What is Poly house farming?
Poly house farming refers to the process of cultivating plants in a controlled environment providing the right quantity of heat, cold, humidity, air temperature, nutrients etc. to the plants in order to promote conducive growth. The primary objective of a polyhouse is to create an artificial environment that will boost plant growth and ensure the output is of optimum standards.
Crops suitable for poly house farming:
• Vegetables: Capsicum, Cabbage, Radish, Chili, Tomato, Bitter gourd etc.
• Fruits: Papaya, Strawberry, Blueberries etc.
• Flowers: Marigold, Orchids, Rose, Carnation
How to start polyhouse farming?
There are various steps that need to be completed before poly house farming can be actively practiced by a farmer. India is among the top rankers for protected cultivation with 10.10m ha actively practicing the same. While poly house cultivation has paved the way for off season fruits and flowers to be grown comfortably, there are certain concepts to be kept in mind for a successful yield:
- Site selection: This refers to the process of ensuring that a suitable location is selected for poly house farming and the construction process can be conveniently completed by procuring the inputs, ensuring cost effective labor is available and a good transport facility is in place. It should be kept in mind that the poly house should not be very far away from the market place as this will add to farmers transport cost of the produce and also lower the freshness and quality of the produce.
- Water source: Similar to every form of cultivation, water plays a major role in ensuring optimum plant growth. It is important to have a clean water source near the location so that the quality and quantity of water used can be planned and improvised based on the need of the plants.
- Growing medium: It is essential to plan before hand how the crops will be raised in the appropriate growing medium. There are various options available to a farmer such as compost mix with sand, coir-pith etc. this will further determine if the plants will be grown in a pot culture of be planted directly into the fertile land depending on the type of crop.
- Electric energy source: Similar to water availability, it is extremely important to have an uninterrupted source of electricity as this will be used to power any heating, cooling and ventilation systems that may be installed. This is important to control the environment which is the primary objective of a poly house.
- Maintenance: post construction, during the course of usage it is important to maintain the poly house with regular cleaning cycles, repairs to the polyethene film if necessary and other vents. This maintenance will maintain the quality of the poly house and maintain the efficiency for the plants.
While polyhouse farming is a cost effective and budget friendly process, it is also highly dependent on various external factors during the initial stages. Installing the right kind of poly house will ensure that there are no unwanted costs that may lead to dissatisfaction among farmers.