Horticulture is on the rise in India. So is greenhouse farming. Cut flowers have been grown under polyhouses since the 1990s, but greenhouse vegetable production has been on the rise recently. "The demand for locally grown crops is increasing enormously. The Indian population is growing, the average income is increasing, and the middle class, in particular, is expanding," according to Uday Bhat of Koppert India.
Koppert Biological Systems produces sustainable cultivation solutions for food crops and ornamental plants, using natural enemies to combat pest infestations, bumblebees for natural pollination, and biostimulants that support and strengthen the crops both above and underground.
"The country also has more large hotels which want fresh, local produce. Greenhouse horticulture also offers entrepreneurs more opportunities to achieve higher production per square meter and thus higher returns. As a result, more and more traditional farmers are switching to horticulture," he stated recently.
Although there is sufficient demand and the Indian government values the further development of greenhouse horticulture, there are also challenges, for example, in terms of logistics. "With the available technology, cost of set up is very high, not at the reach of the common farmer. Unless otherwise, we deploy renewable energy, it is also expensive to run the farm as the power bill be the single expensive working capital components," opined Dr. Sairam Reddy Palicherla.
"Until the technology matures, in the current format, it may not be a handy technology to a common farmer. However, if the government encourages the farmers with required aid and subsidies, this technology can be very effectively deployed by any farmer and reap the benefits," he stated.
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