Growing plants is an ART and SCIENCE both. About 95% plants, either food crops or cash crops are grown in open field. Since time immemorial, man has learnt how to grow plants under natural environmental conditions. In some of the temperate regions where the climatic conditions are extremely adverse and no crops can be grown, man has developed methods of growing exotic vegetables by providing protection from the excessive cold, which is called as greenhouse technology. So, Greenhouse Technology is the technique of providing favourable environments condition to the plants. It is rather used to protect the plants from the adverse climatic conditions such as wind, cold precipitation, excessive radiation, extreme temperature, insect and diseases. Protected cultivation creates ideal micro climate around the plants so that any plant can grow at any time by providing suitable environmental conditions with minimum labour. Protected cultivation is an an inflated structure covered with transparent or translucent material large enough to grow crops under partial or fully controlled environmental conditions to get optimum growth and productivity. These are following objectives of protected cultivation:
- The yield may be 10-12 times higher than that of outdoor cultivation depending upon the type of greenhouse, type of crop, environmental control facilities.
- Ideally suited for vegetables and flowers crops.
- Efficient utilization of chemicals, pesticides to control pest and diseases.
- Water and fertilizers can be saved up to 70% by using drip irrigation and fertigation system.
- In case of alkaline/sandy soil or soil having nematode infection, where normally crop cannot be grown, we can grow crop in soil less media.
- In protected cultivation we use less (1/10th) insecticides and pesticides than open field.
In the next 10 years, the government wants to increase the ratio of land under cultivation of horticulture versus agriculture to 25:75 from the current 7:93. Despite this laudable status of the horticultural sector, it is facing acute shortage of workers. If the youth venture into this sector, besides contributing to the nation’s growth they would also be building their own careers. Such project would be very helpful to promote entrepreneurial skill among our students.
We design educational project to educate, empower and employ our youth since they are seedling of this nation. If they will be skilled and trained in Hi-Tech horticulture from now, then in future they will be helpful to solve country’s food security problem. In this project we set up prototype within school premises and our expert deliver lecture time to time. Such projects are based on concept of “FUN AND LEARN” where School children will not only learn and “EARN WHILE LEARN” as per project mandate. Such project will provide an opportunity to develop the spirit of work culture and confidence amongst the students. Moreover project doesn’t only target school children; it will also motivate school administrators, teachers, and parents do kitchen gardening or roof top vegetable farming at their homes.