Protected cultivation is now a common name in the farming sector as it made farming easy and controllable. In this farming method, farmers can easily control crop production’s climate conditions, providing high yield. As we all know, the climate condition’s current status is not favourable, which majorly affects farming and production. Apart from climate, many aspects badly impact farming production. Hence, to solve this problem, the protected cultivation method is developed in which the environment and other farming aspects can control manually.
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Protected cultivation is a farm practice in which crops are growing in a controlled environment. In this farm method, all the essential factors such as temperature, humidity, light, and others, are regulated as per the crop’s growth need. All the necessary farming conditions easily controlled as per requirement. The farming method is healthier and provides large production without any diverse conditions. The method of protected cultivation plants controlled fully, partially or modified to protect the crop from adverse weather. There are many types of protected agriculture available such as forced ventilated, greenhouse, naturally ventilated Polyhouse, insect-proof net house, shade net house, plastic tunnel and mulching, raised beds, trellising and drip irrigation.
These protected cultivation types provide two processes: one is independent, and the second is a combination. Both processes provide favourable environments that protect the plants from harsh climate and extend the duration of cultivation or off-season crop production.
Importance of Protected Cultivation
As we all know, agriculture is the backbone of India’s economy for ages. Apart from the economy, it is also a big employment source as agriculture provides jobs to 90%. India is self-sufficient in agriculture which provides proper food security and also exports high-quality fruits and vegetables. Still, the demand for quality agricultural production has increased over the last decade and not completed by India. So, to complete the market demand, Indian agriculture needs new and effective production technologies that can continuously improve the agricultural sector’s productivity, profitability, and respectability.
One such technology is protected cultivation which is now widely practised in the developed countries, including India. This farming method is a new farming method that allows variations in the climatic conditions and many cropping patterns. India has a big problem of climatic extremes such as floods, droughts and other climatic abnormalities that cause crop losses regularly or damages resulting in economic losses. So, to avoid these all harmful conditions, the protected cultivation method was founded, which provides better opportunities for the Indian farmers. The adoption of protected cultivation technology can take Indian agriculture to the new successful way. Through this method, farmers can easily complete the high market demands without any extra effort.
The greenhouse is one of the best examples of protected cultivation which commercially used for the production of non-native and off-season vegetables, flowers and quality seedlings. Through the greenhouse method, the economic returns of high-value agriculture products increased substantially. It used as a rain shelter, and suitable regions for the greenhouse are high rainfall, like North-eastern states and coastal regions. In the protected cultivation, the less use of chemical pesticides and insecticides avoid their residues on the crop production.
Protected cultivation has many objects, which make it now a widely used farming practice in India. Objectives of protected cultivation defined below, have a look.
- The farming method’s main objective is to protect the plants from abiotic stress, whether physical or non-living organisms like temperature, excess/deficit water, hot and cold waves, and biotic factors such as pest and disease incidences, etc. The protected cultivation in India easily adjusts all the natural and climate conditions as per plants.
- In this method, efficient water use with minimal weed infestation. This process saves a lot of water during the plant’s cultivation.
- Protected cultivation increases the production per unit area. The main reason for high production and extra income.
- With this method, the use of pesticides is minimum in crop production, which maintains the quality of crops.
- The method promotes the high value and quality of horticulture crops.
- Protected farming propagates the healthy, uniform, and disease-free planting material, which improve germination percentages which provide better hardening.
- This farming method provides disease-free yield and genetically better transplants.
Protected Cultivation Structures
Protected cultivation structures consist of 3-main components, including frame, cladding material, and ventilation/climate control systems. The structure’s frame protects crops from different types of damaging factors such as wind, rain, snow, soil, climate moisture, physical, chemical deteriorations, etc. The cladding material designed to provide required photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and entrap sufficient heat during cold weathers and protect the crop from outside conditions. Ventilation or climate control systems provide favourable weather conditions for a plant’s productive performance with an affordable compromise.
The structure of protected cultivation designed to determine its dimensions, ventilation or climate control requirement, and stability against adverse things such as winds, snow, heavy rains, hailstorms, etc. The method involves determining design load from various sources such as dead load, which fixes service equipment like heating, ventilation, air circulation, electrical, lighting, watering, etc. The live load that repairs crews and hanging plants, etc. Some others are snow load and wind load.
Strategies for Protected Cultivation
For every major farming issue, there is only one solution, and that is Protected cultivation. With this method, farmers can solve all the uncertain and varying climatic conditions, climate change, improper uses and low productivity of natural resources, nutritional security in topographic and climatic, bad areas, polluted environment due to pesticide use, etc. The farming method generally refers to providing favourable conditions for plant’s productive growth and enhancement of production level artificially. This method controls the climate conditions by covering the plant not to withstand higher or low temperatures or humidity and other adverse farming factors. But get enough light for photosynthesis, optimum fertilisation and watering, and other best growth and production factors.
Status of Protected Cultivation in India
As we all know, protected cultivation is a new technique in India, but it became famous in India because of its simple method. This hi-tech protected farming of vegetables and high-value horticultural crops came through the Indo-Israel project, initiated at the New Delhi-based Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in 1998. For the last ten years, this technique managed the farming to refine and upscale the system to reduce costs and suit local conditions. Today, almost every farmer accepts this farming practice and does it in a large area. With time, protected cultivation got good reach in the Indian farming sector.
Area Under Protected Cultivation in India
In the last decade, India has greatly accepted this new technique, and today this farming method done by almost every Indian state. As per the report, by the end of the 20th-century area under the protected cultivation was about 110 ha in India and the world over 275,000 hectares. With time, this area increased by 10%. States that have continuously expanded the area under protected farming for 2007-2012 are Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, and Maharashtra. Maharashtra and Gujarat had a wide area of 5,730.23 hectares and 4,720.72 hectares, respectively, under the protected cultivation till 2012.
Benefits of Protected Cultivation
There are benefits of protected cultivation which defined in the below section:-
- This method technique, environmental control, allows the plants to grow any time of the year. That means crops grow under hot climatic conditions when it will not be possible to grow crops under open field conditions.
- It provides production or yield based on the maximum level per unit area, per unit input, and per unit volume.
- This method’s microcosm technique allows the high-quality yield, which is free from pathogens, chemical residue, and insect attack.
- This method also generates self-employment for the educated rural farmers in the farming sector.
These are some major factors about protected cultivations which help to raise your knowledge about protected cultivations. For more such topics, logging Tractor Junction and stay with the blog section of Tractor Junction.
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