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«PROTECTED CULTIVATION HERALDING SUCCESS Indian Society for Protected Cultivation Centre for Protected Cultivation Technology (CPCT) Indian ...»

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Success Stories



Indian Society for Protected Cultivation

Centre for Protected Cultivation Technology (CPCT)

Indian Agricultural Research Institute

New Delhi 110 012

Compiled by:

Naved Sabir

Brahma Singh

© 2013 Indian Society of Protected Cultivation, New Delhi

Published by Indian Society of Protected Cultivation, New Delhi & Printed at Venus Printers and Publishers, B 62/8, Naraina Indl. Area, Phase-II, New Delhi - 28 Ph.: 45576780, Mobile: 9810089097 E-mail: pawannanda@gmail.com Content Preface v

1. DIHAR technologies–lifeline for army and locals in Leh 1

2. In Jharkhand... Low pressure technology to make tribals cheerful 4

3. Greenhouse Capsicum: harbinger of prosperity 9

4. Arvind Beniwal: an icon for strawberry cultivation 11

5. Seedless cucumber for farmers’ prosperity 14

6. Potato minitubes to fulfil demand of potato seed tubers 16

7. Off-season summer squash fetches more 20

8. In Greenhouse... Tomato cultivation is lucurative 22

9. Protected cultivation to make hill farmers prosperous 24

10. Greenhouse vegetables: a boon to Uttarakhand farmers 27

11. Protected cultivation pays 30

12. Innovative Tirath Singh is a source of scientific awakening 32 to vegetable growers

13. S. Devinder Singh made vegetable cultivation profitable 36

14. Balbir Singh Kamboj boosting agri-entrepreneurship 40 Preface S EEING is considered as believing goes the saying. Sharing the success puts others on the path of empowerment to enjoy the added returns from new and tested technology. The protected cultivation is a time- tested technology which is in an infancy state requiring urgent efforts for its adoption. One such step has been taken by the newly- established Indian Society for Protected Cultivation, in 2102, by organizing a national seminar on Advances in Protected Cultivation on 21 March 2013 at the A P Shinde Symposium Hall, NASC Complex, New Delhi. All stakeholders in protected cultivation would deliberate upon the status of protected cultivation technology in the country and prepare a roadmap for its popularization among them.

On the eve of the Seminar, the organizers on the suggestion of Dr Anwar Alam, Vice-President of the Society, decided to bring out this publication having a few success stories on protected cultivation from different parts of the country. Due to paucity of time and efforts required to justify the job for quality presentation, the organizers could gather only more than a dozen examples where protected cultivation has empowered the practitioners of it not in terms of money but pride too which is known to be lacking in agriculture.

The organizers of the Seminar tried to cover cases from difficult places like Ladakh, tribal belts of certain states and developed states like Punjab, Delhi etc.

I personally enjoy going through these stories and hope most of the readers would not only enjoy them but emulate them by adopting this potential technology in the event of prevailing conditions of shrinking land and water resources, frequent spell of inclement weather, popularly known as climate change.

Since India is a developing country, our farmers need not only affordable but low- cost and simple technology to have high productivity of quality produce. Use of technologies such as low -cost protected structures, plastic mulch, naturally- ventilated polyhouse and low- pressure drip irrigation have been mentioned in this compilation of success stories.

All the authors in these stories deserve our appreciation. We are grateful to each of them and all those who helped them in structuring these success stories. Dr Balraj Singh, Director, NRC, Seed Spices, Ajmer; Dr Naved Sabir, Principal Scientist, NCIPM; Dr Raj Kumar, Dr SS Sindhu, Dr M Hasan and Dr AK Singh, CPCT, IARI; Dr BS Tomar, Principal Scientist, Seed Production Unit, IARI; Dr DK Singh, Associate Professor, GBPUA&T, Pantnagar and other contributors deserve special appreciation for their efforts, co-operation and contribution.

On behalf of the society, the organizers of seminar and my own, I congratulate all the practitioners of protected cultivation making per drop of water to produce more crop and inducing pride to the profession of protected agriculture.

My apology, for mistakes may be many in the document because it has been compiled hurriedly to take advantage of the event.

18 March, 2013 Brahma Singh President Indian Society for Protected Cultivation New Delhi DIHAR technologies–lifeline for army and locals in Leh The local farmers are growing a number of high-yielding vegetable varieties/hybrids at their farms, adopting DIHAR technologies. The farmers are supplying their fresh vegetables (28 types) of tropical, subtropical and temperate origin to the army. The farmers’ cooperative society is ensuring supply of vegetables to army and meeting about 55% of their total requirement of fresh vegetables in Ladakh sector. This has developed fraternization between army and civil population with improved socio-economic conditions of poor farmers. This success story is a unique example of partnership between DRDO (technology provider), army (consumers) and local farmers (producers).

The DIHAR, Leh, accepted the challenge of waging a war against harsh climatic conditions and developed appropriate technologies which are in tune with the prevailing socio-economic and environmental conditions of Ladakh region. To bridge the gap between demand and supply of vegetables, greenhouse technologies have played a very important role in ensuring year-round availability of fresh vegetables to our troops and locals. The DIHAR, Leh, has established greenhouses of various types (as per the geo-climatic condition) in various army units itself, so that they themselves can grow vegetables as per their preferences. A total of 165 greenhouses of various types have been established till now.


Trench Greenhouse It is a very low-cost greenhouse known as an underground greenhouse, preferably 30´ × 10´ × 3´ of size. Trench is covered with a transparent UV stabilized 200 micron thick polythene during day time to harvest maximum solar energy and extra cover of black polythene at night time to check the heat loss. It maintains 7–8° C difference in temperature during winter. The production cost under trench is Rs 5.25 / kg with a cost:benefit ratio of 1:3.5. A total of 62 trench greenhouses have been established in various army units.

1 Trench greenhouses

Polyench Greenhouse It is semi-underground double-walled greenhouse working on the principle of zero energy chamber made from locally-available bricks and other materials. The air gap between two walls provides better insulation to check the heat loss. It enhances 11–120 C temperature and 40% humidity as compared to ambient day time during extreme winters, providing favourable environment for vegetable cultivation, especially for leafy vegetables and root crops. The production cost is Rs 6/kg with a cost:benefit ratio of 1:4.

Polyench greenhouses

Till date, DIHAR has established 27 greenhouses of its own, after realizing its utility in this sector and wide acceptance among local farmers.

For further impetus, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, is providing 50% subsidy to local farmers for construction of these greenhouses.

FRP/Polycarbonate Greenhouse Several types of greenhouses such as fibre reinforce polyester (FRP) and polycarbonate (double and triple layered) have also been designed

–  –  –

and standardized for high productivity at different altitudes of Ladakh. So far, DIHAR has installed 76 such greenhouses at various far flung locations in Ladakh sector, covering about 5.23 acres area under protected cultivation.

3 In Jharkhand...

Low pressure technology to make tribals cheerful The project has given very good results in terms of increased yield, diversification of crops, efficient use of precious inputs like water, soil, seed and fertilizer, and very good innovative marketing strategy. The project has addressed both technical and social benefits for very poor tribal farmers. The project has been technically successful in implementing and demonstrating the use of low pressure drip irrigation technology at farmers’ fields. The successful results of project lead to increase in farmers’ income from few hundreds of rupees to about Rs 50,000 annually. Thus, the poor tribal farmers became APL (Above Poverty Line) from BPL (Below Poverty Line) within a year. It is very successful example of socio-economic upliftment of poor tribal farmers due to implementation of low pressure drip irrigation technology. The success story of Jharkhand Angada block farmers has inspired many state governments like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to adopt project for socio-economic development of farmers.

Low pressure drip irrigation technology is a new innovation in pressurized irrigation technology. Pressurized irrigation technology like drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation have many advantages mainly in the form of water and fertilizer saving, increase in crop production, removal of weeds etc. These technologies need pressure and energy mainly in the form of electrical energy for their working operation.

Thus, pressurized irrigation technologies are totally dependant on supply of electricity. It is major bottleneck of these technologies. A new innovation has been made in the field to run the drip irrigation system in small land holding with gravitational energy rather than commonly used electrical energy.

It has been named as low pressure drip irrigation technology.


In this system, gravitational energy is used by placing the water supply tank at a minimum height of 1.5 m. The platform of locally-available materials

–  –  –

like brick, stone, wood, plank is made of minimum 1.5 m height to place the water tank of 500–1000 liter over it. Normally, 1,000 litre tank is sufficient to irrigate 1,000 m2 area of different types of horticultural crops. The lateral or bed length used in this system is not more than 20 m. The lateral pipe of 12-16 mm fitted with dripper of discharge of 1 litre/hour is commonly used in this system. The hydraulics of low pressure drip irrigation system has been studied through different experiments, which suggest the optimum use of water and nutrients in this particular model.

The major advantage of this system is simplification in the use of fertigation. In pressurized irrigation system, there is a need of extra pump, venturi or tank for supply of fertilizers. This requires additional money and energy to be used in the system. Low pressure drip irrigation technology has another major advantage in this area of fertigation as the same water supply irrigation tank is used for supply of fertilizers and other micronutrients.

Normally, commonly used fertilizers and micronutrients are directly used in irrigation tank and supplied to crops. Thus, we can see that low pressure drip irrigation technology has simplified and economized the pressurized drip irrigation technology. This system is now particularly suitable for Indian villages and Indian farmers. Low pressure drip irrigation technology is getting into the villages due to its advantage over pressurized drip irrigation technology for the use of the system without electricity as many Indian villages have erratic and limited electricity supply.

The system is very popular among the farming community as it is technically simple and easy to use in the field. The system can be installed, 5 used, maintained and replaced by one small family. Therefore, it is sometimes also known as family drip irrigation system. We all know that land holding area is decreasing in our country due to increasing population and there is a shift towards use of protected cultivation and use of horticultural crops.

In all these scenario, low pressure drip irrigation technology is extremely suitable and beneficial for Indian farmers. Low pressure drip irrigation technology is particularly suitable for protected horticulture and greenhouse farming, where the land holding is small and there is a precise need of water and fertilizers.

Its Future in Jharkhand Jharkhand is a severely food deficit and poor state with 44% of population as BPL families, 67% of worker force are engaged in subsistence farming.

Potential of water resource is poorly developed, less than 10% of gross cropped area is only irrigated, 85% of the cultivable area is mono-cropped with very low productivity compared to other states and all India average.

There is a stagnation of yield of cereal crops, poor price realization and market linkages and low technical know-how and use of technology are prime reasons of poor situation of farmers in the state. Conventional farming/ agricultural methods based on flood irrigation and broadcasting of fertilizers, have made little headway in tackling the twin challenges of increasing productivity and optimal resource utilization.

This assumes even more significance in Jharkhand, where agricultural canvass is dotted with rainfed cropping pattern, coupled with undulating land and skewed land holdings. Technology interventions, which address land productivity of marginal farmers, hold key to usher in an effective means of addressing the issue of rural poverty alleviation. Pilot Projects at Nagri, Ratu Block and Janum Village at Angara Block of Ranchi district have successfully proven that a small intervention in the form of finance and technology can go a long way in improving cash flow of small and marginal farmers.

Jharkhand has a conducive environment for vegetable cultivation and by using appropriate drip irrigation technology; vegetable crop productivity can be enhanced. This has been demonstrated at Block ANGARA, Ranchi, by Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) and NABARD with the help of a service providing agency, MAATI Agrotech Private Ltd. The technical help for installation of low pressure drip irrigation system and polyhouses has been provided by Centre for Protected Cultivation Technology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.

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