The International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) is leading the sustainability movement with unique initiatives on its campuses. IIHM Delhi inaugurated its first Hydroponic Farm on campus on 14th December 2022, promoting sustainable cultivation of vegetables using less water and artificial lighting. The project was initiated in association with 9Growers.
The Hydroponic farm on the IIHM Delhi campus was inaugurated by Dr. Suborno Bose, chief executive officer, IIHM Hotel School, by switching on the lights. This program was attended by distinguished guests from the hospitality fraternity. They included Kush Kapoor, chief executive officer, Roseate Hotels & Resorts; Parul Mahajan, head - Advocacy, Government Relations, Industry Partnerships, and International Relations, National Skill Development Corporation; Sheetal Singh, general manager and ambassador, Delhi, IHCL SeleQtions; Shuvendu Banerjee, general manager, Crowne Plaza Today, Okhla; Vineet Sharma, manager - Rooms Division, Eros Hotel New Delhi; Chef Diwas Wadhera, executive chef, Eros Hotel New Delhi. Dr. Suborno Bose, chairman, IIHM, said, "It's a step forward by IIHM towards sustainability."
"Hydroponic farms are common in many western countries because it goes against conventional farming, and uses lesser water than normal farming, and are ideal for places where there is a dearth of water. This is a small step towards embracing sustainability in our lives. Sustainability is no longer a lip service or political slogan but a reality that people in India and around the world must realize. Sustainability is the only key to survival. IIHM's Delhi Hydroponic farm is just the first step towards a larger goal of starting such farms across all IIHM campuses in India and overseas," Bose added.
Sustainability today is a skill that essentially every hospitality student must embrace to increase his or her employability. IIHM is trying to imbibe the ideals of sustainability in hospitality training to increase awareness and employability of future hospitality professionals.
Himanshu Aggarwal, co-founder and chief executive officer, 9Growers, explained the idea and utility of a hydroponic farm. He said, "The idea of a hydroponic farm is to use minimum water and ample light to grow essential vegetables required for kitchens of hotels and restaurants. We are encouraging everyone in cities to learn this type of farming as it requires minimum space and water. Hydroponic farms help reduce food waste, and the system is designed in a way that we are plucking fresh vegetables in just the amount we need."
The program included making a salad from the produce of the Hydroponic farm, which was given to the guests to taste, followed by potato lettuce soup for all. Chef Sanjay Kak, culinary director, IIHM, also spoke on upcycling while guests tasted macaroons and cupcakes made from egg shells, a practical example of upcycled food. As a mark of support to sustainability. The program closed with guests putting planting seeds in the grow cube of the hydroponic farm.