What are the benefits of Polyhouse farming?
Polyhouse farming in India has vast opportunities for commercial growers. Before diving deep into this, let us make you familiar with the term ‘polyhouse’. A polyhouse is a protected structure made with metal pipes and angles, where polythene utilized as a protective shade for the high-value crops growing under it. Modern poly houses have advance climate controlling system to maintain optimum conditions inside.
Today, we will be discussing the scope of polyhouse farming in India, advantages or benefits of polyhouse farming, polyhouse farming cost, the subsidy of polyhouse farming in India, and the profitability of polyhouse farming in India. Just stay with us for a while.
Is polyhouse farming profitable?
Polyhouse farming is an excellent example of precision farming, the utilization of resources is efficient, and the quality of the harvest is high. Commercial growers in India use polyhouse for the production of cut flowers, vegetables, and fruits. Fruits and vegetables together contribute about 92% of the total horticultural production in the country.
To protect crops from external factors which can damage them substantially, they are grown in polyhouse. The benefits or advantages of polyhouse will help you understand how it is better and more profitable than traditional farming.
Advantages of polyhouse farming in India:
Product is of High-Quality: The first thing a consumer look for in the food market is quality. If your product is of high quality, you never have to worry about the demand. Polyhouse is a protected structure and has equipment which continuously monitors the growth and development of the crop.
The management of nutrient and water supply is precise in polyhouse farming. It helps in maintaining the industry level quality standards.
Crops can be grown vertically: Indeterminate tomatoes and cucumbers are the perfect examples of crops most commonly grown vertically inside a polyhouse. According to the data, tomato shares about 12% of the total vegetable production in India.
Vertical crop production in a polyhouse allows the grower to utilize the space more efficiently, and it multiplies the yield three to four times.
Effortless training and pruning of plant are other advantages of growing crop vertically in a polyhouse. Regular pruning increases the growth of the plant.
Controllable Climate: In states like Punjab, the ambient air temperature rises above 30 °C in March and the temperature inside the polyhouse increases due to it. With the controlled environment, the growers can raise plants in regions which are unfavourable for crop production.
Equipment installed in the polyhouse control variables like humidity, temperature, and ventilation of air. The fan-pad system controls the temperature inside polyhouse. The digital control unit, along with sensory devices monitor the climate condition inside the polyhouse. It operates the fan-pad system accordingly to maintain the optimum conditions for crop production.
Climate controlling facilities helps the grower in the off-season production of vegetable and fruit crops and year-round production of floricultural crops.
· Higher Yield with Much Higher Productivity: Polyhouse farming can increase the crop yield 10-12 times, depending on the crop type, and management of the crop.
The crop yield depends on varying biotic and abiotic factors such as nutrient management, pest and disease management, environmental conditions, type of crop, and other biological factors.
With polyhouse farming in India, growers can precisely manage the nutrient supply, maintain the optimum temperature of 18-24 °C, maintain humidity and air circulation. Together, it contributes to maximize the crop yield per unit area. Polyhouse, using modern growing techniques, such as hydroponics and aeroponics, can increase their productivity significantly. Hydroponics technique has 80-90% less water consumption.
Polyhouse farming subsidy and training
Lack of capital for investment and inappropriate training are main problems faced by commercial growers or farmers who want to set up a polyhouse. The farmers can avail benefit from the schemes launched by the National Horticultural Board.
Under this particular scheme, ‘Development of Commercial Horticulture through production and Post-harvest Management of Horticulture Crops’, the beneficiary gets 50% subsidy for constructing a polyhouse, it has a limit of Rs 56 Lakh. Some states offer up to 80% subsidy if the farmer set up their polyhouse in 2,000 sq. m or more.
Various government and private institutions facilitate training programs to upskill the farmer for polyhouse farming in India. During the whole process of polyhouse set up, the farmer also gets assistance from the institutions.