Table of Contents
Polyhouse farming details
Polyhouse is used to create the greenhouse effect for plants to grow and flourish by artificially trapping the atmosphere by covering the plants using polycarbonate sheets.
The most important purpose of the polyhouse is to trap more carbon dioxide (CO2) gas by closed structure using the polycarbonate sheets. Generally, 330ppm CO2 that is present outside increases to 1500 ppm in polyhouse so that the CO2 gas released by plants at night is utilized for photosynthesis during the day time.
The humidity in polyhouse is increased using spraying mist from misters that help in opening stomata (Holes in plant’s leaves used for absorbing CO2 and transpiration). This opening of stomata helps CO2 in entering the plants which help during photosynthesis.
The polycarbonate sheets help to reduce the UV rays from the sun to protect the plants from scorching. The direct sunlight is around 1 lac lux which is not that beneficial for the plants, the polyhouse sheets allow only 50% to 60% sunlight which is beneficial for the plants.
Even when the curtains in the polyhouse are opened, the mesh in them will not allow the moths to enter and lay eggs to later develop into a caterpillar and thus saving the plants inside.
The mists from misters are evaporated and thus help in reducing the temperature inside the polyhouse.
As the vegetables and flowers grown in the polyhouse have 90% of the water it is higher in quality than the other vegetables and flowers grown outside.
However in the polyhouse due to high humidity, there is a chance of growth of mites, thrips, and fungal infection.
It gives advantages such as the controlled environment for growing, reduced pests and weeds, extended growing season, reduced water for the plants, and more plants per square feet of land.
The cost of the polyhouse is more but it can increase the yield from 2.5% to 4% times more. The cost can be recovered within 2 – 3 years.
Polyhouse farming guide and variety of crops in polyhouse farming
Polyhouse is a type of greenhouse which uses polyethylene sheets for covering
Types of Greenhouse
- Types Based on shape:
- Sawtooth type
- Uneven span type
- Ridge and furrow type
- Even span type
- Interlocking ridge type
- Ground to Ground-type
- Quonset type
2. Types based on construction
- Pipe framed structures
- Wooden framed structures
3. Types based on covering materials
4. Types based on ventilation
- Natural Vent
- Fan and pad for climatic control
Points to consider for the polyhouse
- The soil PH must be between 5.5 to 6.5 and EC(The volatility) 0.3 to 0.5 mm cm/cm
- The water must be in PH 5.5 to 7.0 and E.C 0.1 to 0.3
- The drainage of the soil must be the best possible
- Workers must be available
- Pollution-free surroundings
- Roads must be available for transportation
- Large space of expansion
The crops that can be grown are plants that produce vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Examples are as follows,
- Floriculture – Dutch rose, Anthurium, Gerbera, Carnations, Orchids, Lily, Limonium, and Alstroemeria, etc.
- Vegetables and fruits – Cucumber, Color capsicum, Exotic vegetables such as Broccoli, Strawberry and Tomato, Cabbage, Spinach, Chili, Lettuce, Leafy vegetables, Okra, Eggplants, and Green Beans, etc.
Polyhouse cost, polyhouse subsidy
The low tech polyhouse costs without the exhaust fans and cooling pads are Rs 400 to Rs 500/meter square
The medium-tech polyhouse with fan and exhaust without automation costs Rs 900 to Rs 1200/meter square
Hi-tech polyhouse with the fully automatic system will cost around Rs 2500 to Rs 4000/square meter
There are 2 types of polyhouse costs they are as follows,
- Fixed costs – Land, packing rooms, cold storage rooms, labor rooms, and drip and sprinkler systems
- Recurring costs – Fertilizers, Manures, Pest control, planting materials, electricity and transportation charges, etc
Take an example – The total fixed costs per Hectare (2.5 acres) are around Rupees 82 lac and the total recurring cost comes to 1 crore and 64 lac. The total cost is around approximately 2 crores 46 lacs.
For example, if you go for rose cultivation then approximately the gross income comes to 3 crores 30 lacs. The profit amounts to 85 lacs.
The subsidy depends on the state, as per the state it is around 80%, so for a total of 2 crores and 46 lacs the subsidy is 1crore 96 lacs, and remaining around 48 lacs must be spent from the pocket.
Advantages of polyhouse farming
The advantages of polyhouse farming are as follows,
- The plants can be grown in a controlled environment with less water, limited sun rays, lesser pesticides, and minimal chemicals.
- The crops can be grown throughout the year.
- There are fewer pests and insects.
- The external climate does not impact the growth of the crops.
- Good drainage and aeration
- Quality of the product is very high
- It preserves 90% water in the vegetables, fruits and flowers thus increasing the shelf life of the produce
- The cropping period is very less
- The yield is around 5 to 10 times more
- Water is saved due to drip irrigation
- Fertilizer application is less
- Pesticides application is less as there are no pests or insects in the polyhouse
- The right environment for the plants at any season
- Ornamental crops can be grown effortlessly
Future of polyhouse farming in India
Polyhouse farming in India is slowly picking up. Polyhouse farming is a modern farming technique followed in western countries. In India, traditional farming accounts for 95% of the total produce. This is because the farmers in India are the individual owners of the land and usually most of them have around 2 hectares of land for farming. Only big farmers or corporations can afford to go for polyhouse farming because of the high fixed cost and high recurring costs.
However, this is also an export-oriented business that is profitable in the long run. The price of the polyhouse must come down so that more farmers who are poor can get its advantages. Also, the penetration and propagation of agricultural knowledge is an important criterion. India is picking up as more farmers are benefited by subsidy, farmer’s insurance, and other government schemes to protect farmers. However, as the buying power and selling power of farmers increase the day will surely come where more farmers can afford to have the modern technique of polyhouse farming and it will reach more farmers.
Polyhouse farming training
- There is a government toll-free number for information on agriculture such as 1800-180-1551. This is a call center for getting basic information.
- Then you can get information from agricultural colleges and universities.
- Other private companies provide you the support for the information and polyhouse constructions.
- Also, state directories of agricultural supplies and contacts will help.
Polyhouse farming is picking up in India as it is already popular in other western countries. It is today profitable farming with export potential. The knowledge of polyhouse farming is spreading fast and reaching farmers. Yet as of today it involves high upfront costs, however, with the government-provide subsidy, the cost can come down significantly. Yet it is far enough for most traditional farmers to go for polyhouse farming. But it has tremendous potential in India for the corporate and for big farmers.