Protected farming is a latest technology. Through which, controlling the environment according to the demand of crops, the cultivation of valuable vegetables is protected from natural ravages and other problems and maximum quality production is obtained in the least area. That is, the farming which keeps the crops grown under any circumstances safe from various calamities is called “protected farming”.
Why There Is a Need for protected farming?
There are various benefits of adopting protected farming and due to these benefits the farmers of the country need to do protected farming. This technique has the following advantages:
Disease free quality and safe plants can be grown many times in less time period as per requirement throughout the year. We can protect our crop from various natural calamities like temperature fluctuations, sun-shade, cold winds, rain, and hail. There is complete protection of crops. The crops are protected from insects, moths, wild animals etc.
Protective farming Promotes both production and productivity per unit area. Vegetables can be produced according to the season, off-season, early and market demand.
It is a very useful technology for small farmers, through which employment can be promoted. In the present circumstances It is proving to be an employable technique for small and marginal farmers of semi-urban and urban areas.
Various structures and suitable vegetables under protected cultivation
Various structures under protected farming have been scientifically discovered under different names, which are shown in the table below and we know these structures as protected farming.
|S.No.||Name of Structure||Cultivable vegetables|
|1||Fan Pad Polyhouse||Nursury, Tomato, Cucumber, Capsicum|
|2||Naturally Ventilated Polyhouse||Nursury, Tomato, Cucumber, Capsicum|
|3||Insect repellent House||Nursury, Tomato, Cucumber, Capsicum|
|4||Shednet house||Only nursury & leafy vegetables|
|5||Plastic Tunnel||Early Summer Squash, Gourd Vegetables, Torai etc|
|6||Plastic Mulch Farming||All Sloanaceous (Tomato group Vegetables) crop & Cucurbitacea (Gourd crops) crops|
Materials suitable for making protected farming structures
It is generally observed that plastic and iron materials are mostly used in making protected farming structures. Which are known by different names according to the structure? .
All plastic materials for covering the poly house structure shall be resistant to ultraviolet rays, the roofing polythene should be 200 microns thick, transparent and flexible.
The insect repellent mesh to be installed in the structures should be white colored nylon resistant to ultraviolet rays and the number of holes per square inch should be 45-50.
The shady nets on the structures should be green or black in color, made of nylon, resistant to ultraviolet rays and having up to 50 percent shade blocking capacity. 25-35 micron thick, flexible and resistant to ultraviolet rays, 25-35 microns thick, and 23 Should be up to a meter wide.
Description of protected farming structures
Poly house Farming– Basically Poly house is a house-like structure which is made up of GI pipes and polythene. Within this the cultivation of capsicum, tomato, cherry tomato, cucumber and chappan pumpkin can be done easily by using agricultural machinery.
Generally poly houses are built in two ways in our country. First one is that where electricity is easily available and at affordable rates. In this we can use electric powered fan-pads and ventilators. But if there is inaccessible area and availability of electricity is not easy then in such areas naturally ventilated poly houses are constructed.
It is necessary to keep the area of these poly houses at least 500 to 1000 sq. After cultivating it proves to be commercially profitable. For irrigation purposes in these poly houses it is necessary to use drip irrigation technology through which fertilizers and soluble materials can also be given along with irrigation.
The names of the valuable vegetables grown inside the poly house their species planting period their production capacity and cost benefit per 1000 sqm per year per annum are shown in the table below.
|S.No.||Name of Vegetables||Vegetables Variety||Crop Rotation||Production (Quintal)||Investment (Lakh)||Net Benefits (Lakh)|
|1||Seedless cucumber||Satis, Kiyan, Hilton||July – Oct, Oct – Feb, Feb – May (Three crop)||120 – 130||2.5 – 3.0||3.5 – 4.0|
|2||Capsicum||Swarna, Orovelly, Indra, Natasha, Wambi||Aug – May (One crop)||60 – 70||2.5 – 3.0||1.5 – 2.0|
|3||Vine Tomato||JS 600, Rakshita, Sneh Lata, Naveen & Rituja||Aug – May (One crop)||140 – 150||2.5 – 3.0||1.75 – 2.0|
|4||Nursury Plant||All types of Vegetables Plant||Annual six times||22 – 25 Lakh plant||3.0 – 4.0||4.5 – 6.0|
At present the actual cost of poly houses which are being built in the fields of farmers having an area of 1000 square meters their actual cost is around 10-12 lakhs on an average. On which farmers can get government subsidy up to 50-75 percent. The remaining amount has to be applied by the farmers from their own hands. Bank loans are also made available to the farmers for the adoption of this technology.
- Insect resistant net house cultivation: This structure is also similar to poly house structure. The only difference is that the poly house is covered with polythene and only insect repellent white covered mesh. In this the roofs can be made square, triangular, rectangular as per the requirement or own interest. This structure proves to be useful for those areas in which the minimum rainfall, frost and coolness is less than normal and the temperature remains evergreen i.e. the same.
The main purpose of such type of system farming is to protect the crops from viral diseases by protecting them from small enemy insects. Cucumber crop can be taken once tomato and capsicum crop can be taken twice a year inside this insect resistant net house.
In this structure the production of vegetables is reduced by 25-30 percent from poly house farming. If the net house structure is of area 1000 sqm then the average cost of its construction is estimated up to 5-6 lakhs. Even after the construction of this structure farmers get about 50 percent government subsidy.
- Shady Net house Farming: Such type of structure is also made like insect resistant net house and inside it we can earn more profit by growing leafy vegetables in summer season. Because leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek, radish, amaranth, coriander etc. are not grown in open fields in summer. This net house in summer proves to be beneficial for raising nursery of early cabbage class vegetables, Kharif onion and other vegetables.
Thus this net house plays an important role in vegetable production during the summer season. Its cost also falls on 5-6 lakh rupees per 1000 square meter area. Even on this structure about 50 percent government exemption is given to the farmers. Shady net proves beneficial for summer cultivation with green shades giving 50-75 percent shade. Here generally a green type of shade net material is used which reduces sunlight intensity up to 50 to 70%.
- Plastic Low Tunnel Farming: This is a temporary structure built on top of vegetables for 1-3 months. Since it looks like a tunnel after being built. If so this structure is called a tunnel. To make this low-tunnel structure we need 6-10 mm thick, 2-3 meter long GI wire made using strings or bars or bamboo sticks. If these wires are buried on a bed 1-1.5 meters wide at both the ends then its height automatically becomes 2.5-3.0 feet. The mutual distance of tunnel wires is kept at 2-2 meters. After the tunnel is made it is completely covered with transparent thick polythene of 25-30 microns.
- Plastic low tunnel is mostly adopted to promote early cultivation of all vegetables of the pumpkin category in the plain areas. In this in the months of November, December and January these vegetables are planted and opened in the month of February. One week after opening the fruits of the pumpkin class vegetables begin to be obtained.
The vegetable called Chappan Pumpkin is successfully produced using plastic low-tunnel technology. While in general the farmers do the planting of pumpkin category vegetables in February-March. With this technique the production comes in the market one and a half to two months earlier and the farmers get more profit.
It costs 25-30 thousand rupees per 1000 square meter area to build a plastic low-tunnel. It is necessary to apply drip irrigation because irrigation is required inside tunnel. Without applying micro irrigation it is impossible to go with low tunnel farming.
- Plastic High-Tunnel Farming: This is a bigger form of Plastic Low Tunnel farming and we can easily come inside it. So we can also call this a walking tunnel. It is usually a made with the help of pipes, bamboos and plastic pipes. The length of these pipes is 20 feet in the market. It is planted in the field by turning it into a semi circle shape from the middle of the pegs of the bar. After bending these 20 feet pipes its height should be about 6 feet and width should be about 12 feet and these pipes are made by burying these pipes at a distance of 2-2 meters in a straight line with the help of 1 feet pegs made of bars. After that 100 micron thick transparent polythene is covered completely and crops are planted inside it.
A hi-tunnel is a structure over which insect repellent mesh, shade proof mesh and polythene pieces can be covered according to the requirement of the crop and the change of season. Under this technique, you can grow every vegetable as per your requirement and can get 2-3 times more profit than normal farming.
Normally it costs 30-32 thousand rupees to build a walking poly tunnel of 100 square meters. It is beneficial to adopt this type of tunnel in winter and rainy season.
Few important things to keep in mind while doing protected farming:
Open the shade net curtains inside the naturally ventilated poly house during winters. Drop the polythene curtains on the ventilators every day in the evening. Open or lift these curtains for 2 hours a day.
Cooling pad should not be used during winter time in Fan Pad Poly house.
Clean the roofs of the poly house by calling them in the winter months, so that maximum sunlight gets to the crops, otherwise there is a decline in production.
With the help of drip irrigation, the supply of moisture in the soil should be maintained and fertilizers should be given in the form of slurry.
All protected structures should be placed at a height of 1-2 feet from the ground.
Keep the length of the structures more and the width less.
Quality of all materials used under protected cultivation.
Change the polythene roof of the poly house from time to time after it is damaged. For protected farming it is necessary to have good irrigation water, land, seeds, plants and good agricultural machinery for efficient management. Otherwise proper benefit cannot be taken.
Keeping in mind the regional markets, grow only those vegetables which can be easily sold at reasonable prices.
It is necessary to plant dense wind box (wind box) at a distance of about 15-20 meters around the poly house structure.