– by Shujaul Rehman , CEO, Garware Technical Fibres Ltd
Agriculture plays a vital role in India’s economy with over 58% of the rural households depending on agriculture and contributing around 17-18% to the country’s GDP. Protected Cultivation is a new age farming technique and plays a critical role in the road map of actualizing Honorable Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Doubling Farmers income by 2022’.
Protected Cultivation makes agriculture lucrative for farmers struggling with conditions out of their control such as arid land, water scarcity, irregular monsoon, etc. In addition to these, the other crucial advantages of Protected cultivation includes optimization of water usage, controlled microclimate, protection against diseases, production during off season, increased yield and protection from wind and rains. As per a survey conducted by Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), vegetable or flower yields under Protected Cultivation are 5-10 times higher than open cultivation depending on the crop.
However, Protected Cultivation in India is at a very nascent stage with only 0.2% penetration, which is very low as compared to markets like Netherlands, Turkey and Israel. Understanding the scope and possibilities of Protected Cultivation and its significant impact on employment generation, agricultural exports and increasing household income of rural India;the Government of India along with State Governments’ are promoting Protected Cultivation by providing subsidies through various bodies such as National Horticulture Board (NHM), Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), etc. and in the form of schemes such as PradhanMantriKrishiSinchaiYojana, MagelTyalaShetTala, etc.
As a leading brand in the Protected Cultivation Space, Garware Technical Fibres Ltd. has also added to the efforts of the subsidy programmes by synergizing with competent statutory bodies to improve and upgrade the standards of Agrotextiles used in Protected Cultivation. In addition to providing technically advanced Monofilament nets for Protected Cultivation, Garware, as part of increasing the penetration of protected cultivation in India, started an initiative named ‘Project Tarakki’. The objective of the project is to educate farmers on the benefits of protected cultivation through customer testimonials of the Margdarshaks’ (farmers’) who are reaping the rewards of protected cultivation. Various Farmer meetings are conducted at demo plots wherein Garware Agronomists educate the farmers on Protected Cultivation encompassing various aspects such as good agricultural practices, crops to be cultivated, disease &pest management, return on investment, & also about the marketing of the produce. “Project Tarakki”is now spreading its wings to various districts across India.The direct benefits reaped by some of the Margadarshaks’ in various regions are cited below:
District Crop Area (Acre) Protected Cultivation Open Cultivation Increase in Profit
Net Investment (Rs. Lacs)
(Rs. Lacs) Profit
(Rs. Lacs) Break Even (Months) Net Investment (Rs. Lacs)
(Rs. Lacs) Profit
Pune Colour Capsicum 0.75 1.34 14.4 1.0 11 2.75 3.0 0.25 4 X
Nashik Capsicum 1.0 8.50 17.50 9.0 6 2.0 4.55 2.55 3.5 x
Chickballapur Capsicum 1.0 5.0 20.0 15.0 3 3.0 5.0 2.0 7.5 x
Krishnagiri Capsicum 1.0 7.53 28.75 21.22 3 5.5 12.5 7.0 3 x
*Note: The data collection from the farmers was done by GTFL
As it is evident from the above table, the returns under protected cultivation are significantly higher than the returns under open cultivation.
Technically developed textiles exclusive for agriculture usage such as Monofilament Shade Nets, control the internal climatic conditions of the field like temperature, humidity and light; while Monofilament Woven Insect Nets protects the farm from various insects & viruses thereby reducing the gestation period & increasing the life of the crop facilitating in increased yield and quality of the crop as compared to open cultivation.
Ever since the introduction of Protected Cultivation in India, Shade nets manufactured from Tape yarn led to significant improvement in crop yields over open cultivation, but had many shortcomings in terms of early degradation due to U.V rays and inaccuracy in shade factors. Recognizing these inadequacies in Tape shade nets, Garware established a high performance technical shade net manufactured from Monofilamentyarn which delivers much superior results over Tape shade nets.
Garware’s protected cultivation products are an outcome of a highly intensive R&D process backed with impeccable quality. Garware is India’s first company to have received BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) Certificate for Shade Net & Insect Net’ in monofilament category. The products of Garware exhibit strength, perfect mesh sizes, accurate shade factors, high load bearing capacities coupled with various other features. All these properties facilitate in maintaining adequate temperatures and reduced pest attack, thereby increasing yield quality as well as the quantity of crop; thus enabling farmers in growing high value crops and enhancing their incomes and lifestyles.
In conclusion, I am sure that with the proper awareness programs and incentives, the overall Protected Cultivation penetration in India will increase and consequently – Farmers’ incomes through adopting Protected Cultivation techniques will increase in years to come.