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Poly green house cultivation helps farmers increase yield

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Ready for harvest:Deputy Director of Horticulture M. Thangaraju (right) inspects cucumber grown under controlled condition in poly green house at a farm in Thondamuthur.—
Ready for harvest:Deputy Director of Horticulture M. Thangaraju (right) inspects cucumber grown under controlled condition in poly green house at a farm in Thondamuthur.—

Karthik Madhavan

This is because the crop grows in a protected environment

COIMBATORE: Beneath polythene sheet, in humid weather stands farmer V. Gokulakrishnan looking at cucumber that is ready for harvest.

He has cultivated the vegetable on a 1,000 square metre plot under controlled weather conditions in a poly green house to improve yield. “I can see a 40 per cent increase in yield,” he says.

This is because the crop grows in a protected environment, without external disturbance explains Assistant Director, Horticulture, R. Rajamani. The Horticulture Department has given 50 per cent of the cost of erecting the poly green house as subsidy.

Aside from the increase in yield, there are other benefits as well.

“I get to save on labour, for the requirement for watering and de-weeding is almost not there,” says the farmer who adds, “there is saving on water usage too.”

Ms. Rajamani says the water requirement comes down by nearly 90 cent as the plot is drip irrigated.

For farmer G. Gurukripa the poly green house is also for cultivating vegetables that otherwise do not grow in open conditions. He grows bell pepper, a vegetable used in salad.

The plant starts yield 70 {+t} {+h} day onwards and can be harvested thrice a week. He has found markets in Chennai, Bangalore and even Mumbai and makes around Rs. 20 – 40 for a kg. The farmer also cultivates green, red and yellow capsicum.

Deputy Director of the Department M. Thangaraju says the advantages of poly green house cultivation are many. Farmer need not be present round the clock. An hour in the morning and evening is more than sufficient and this means he can devote time for other things.

The vegetable is healthy and fetches a good price, he says. The Department has so far provided subsidy for nearly 90 poly green house plots.

The farmers, though happy, want the Department to bring in a few changes to the rules. Mr. Gokulakrishnan says the Department should extend the subsidy to drip irrigation. At present, only 50 per cent of the cost of the poly green house is covered.

Mr. Gurukripa suggests that the Department should remove the restriction on giving subsidy for only one shed for a farmer's family. Affluent farmers may want to go in for more plots, he reasons and says that to popularise the scheme, the Department start giving subsidy for more sheds.

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