Poly green houses in the hills producing cut flowers, particularly carnation flowers the quality of which is on a par with Columbian varieties, have global access thanks to launch of GIS (Geographic Information System).

The Department of Horticulture, joining hands with Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, has developed the system by providing all details of poly green houses including production and area under cultivation and posted on the Internet for the convenience of Indian as well as foreign buyers.

The poly houses have been built under the National Horticulture Mission. Images of poly houses, their location, total area under cultivation and variety of flowers can be viewed and quantum of production can be analysed. Such data will help bulk buyers calculate volume of flowers available at one place at a particular time.

Buyers can reach any poly house easily using GPS (Global Positioning System), a space-based satellite navigation system. Moreover, these technologies will enable real-time data collection and analysis of large amount of geo-spatial data.

Development and implementation of precision farming or site-specific farming has also been made possible by combining the GPS and GIS.

GPS-based applications in precision farming are being used for farm planning, field mapping, soil sampling, tractor guidance, crop scouting, variable rate applications, and yield mapping in developed countries.

The GPS also helps farmers work during low visibility field conditions such as rain, dust, fog and darkness, says Deputy Director of Horticulture (Central Schemes) S. Raja Mohamed.

The area under poly houses was being increased every year. Now, 1.30 lakh square metres were under poly green houses. About 8,754 square metres was being brought under a poly house at Gundupatti this year. This powerful tracking technology would pave ways for many new applications in the future, he adds.

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