Greenhouse facility gives farmers cheap access to seeds

The greenhouse rental service is becoming increasingly popular among Haryana farmers, who are growing 6 million seedlings annually by paying a nominal fee to an Indo-Israel vegetable centre at Gharaunda near Karnal.

The centre, set up in 2011, has a greenhouse facility in half-acre and charges Rs 1-2 per sapling from farmers. It is a structure where seedling/plants are grown
under climate controlled environment.

The Indo-Israel Centre for Excellence in Vegetable offers Israeli expertise in greenhouse, drip irrigation and fertigation methods to raise vegetable yields in its regular workshops to farmers and local experts.

“After learning from workshops, farmers have started adopting these technologies in a big way. They are growing seedlings using our greenhouse facility since 2011,” said Satyender Yadav, Deputy Director (Horticulture) at the centre.

Farmers are growing about 6 million vegetable seedlings annually now, as against half a million seedlings way back in 2011, he said adding farmers from Punjab, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are also using the facility.

The Centre charges a nominal fee from farmers for maintaining saplings in the greenhouse facility. It charges one rupee from farmers who get their own seeds, while Rs 2 per sapling if they take seeds from the centre, he added.

Farmers are growing seedlings of different kinds of vegetables like chilli, tomato, capsicum, cabbage, broccoli among others. They take seedlings from greenhouse later for transplanting in their fields.

Asked if farmers have set up their own greenhouse after learning its benefits from the Centre, Yadav said, “It is very expensive to set up a greenhouse. It is much cheaper to grow seedlings in the greenhouse space offered by the

Not farmers but some entrepreneurs in Haryana and Punjab have shown interest to set up a greenhouse structure, which costs around Rs 80 lakh to set up one facility in a half-acre piece of land, he added.

The Gharaunda centre of excellence in vegetables has been set up as part of the Indo-Israeli Agriculture Project. So far under the project, 15 centres in vegetables and fruits have been established in nine states out of the proposed 26.

“We will set up the remaining centres in the third phase of the project 2015-18. We will also focus on modern dairy management, post harvesting and sewage water treatment for reuse in agriculture,” said Dan Allof, Counsellor at MASHAV (Israeli’s agency for international development cooperation).
He said more than 20,000 farmers visit the centres every year to get the training in modern farm technologies.

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