Now Israeli tech to boost crop output
By Express News Service - BHUBANESWAR
24th June 2012 12:12 PM
Big plans are afoot to give boost to horticulture in the State. The Horticulture Department has decided to adopt the Indo-Israeli technique of growing vegetables and flowers. On an experimental basis, this will be done in a Centre of Excellence that will be set up in 25 acres of land at Deras, on the outskirts of the city.
The Horticulture Department recently floated tenders for the Centre of Excellence. Superior variety vegetables and flowers like Indian roses, gerbera, bird of paradise and carnations will be grown here along with some varieties of fruits. The Indo-Israeli technique will include poly-house farming, which has caught the fancy of farmers elsewhere in the country. Official sources said this particular technique helps farmers save their produce from pests. The poly-houses developed with the Israeli technique act as a firewall from pests and do not allow them to enter the farm and, therefore, expenditure on pesticides will almost be nil.
“This Centre of Excellence will be developed under Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana and everything will be mechanised. The project cost has been estimated at around ` 18 crore,” said Sanjeev Chadha, Director, Horticulture. He further said the department would take care of soil reclamation, staggered planting techniques, mulching, micro-irrigation and identification of suitable crops and their varieties.
Sources said Israel has the expertise in vegetable farming and its technology is accepted world-wide to enhance vegetable production. Horticulture officer Sushant Das said through this Israeli technology, farmers can grow any crop throughout the year without being limited to seasonal production.
“The temperature inside the poly-house is controlled between 20 and 22 degree Celsius. During winters blowers and ovens are used to maintain minimum temperature level while during summers, coolants are used. It helps in the uniform growth of plants,” he said. .“We can produce different varieties of capsicum, tomato, brinjal, bitter gourd, chillies, pepper, cucumber, cauliflower and cabbage through the technology. High value vegetables like zucchini, red cabbage, broccoli, that are sold at ` 100 to 120 a kg will also be grown on a large-scale,” said the horticulture officer. Besides vegetables, the Horticulture Department aims at producing five lakh seedlings of various vegetables and flowers in the Centre of Excellence.
Sources said the technology has been a boon for farmers in other parts of the country. On an average, setting up a poly-house on an acre of land requires around Rs 40 lakh (Rs 900 per sq m) and in a year gives minimum returns of around Rs 60 lakh.
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