How educated youth are boosting agricultural growth with hi-tech farming in Tamil Nadu

Returning to their roots, educated youth in Tamil Nadu have boosted manufacturing by modernising their ancestral land, and by utilizing Israeli farming know-how.

Sudeesh Okay (32) stop his software program job with a Bengaluru-based multinational firm to grow to be a full-time farmer. He has joined his father Kandhasamy of their ancestral land in Jakeri, a sparsely populated village in Kelamangalam administrative block of Krishnagiri district. In two acres, they domesticate roses and carnations in two poly greenhouses below managed situations, utilizing Israeli know-how.

The neighbouring farm belongs to Srinivasan, a common supervisor in a multinational software program firm. He drives down from Bengaluru on weekends to take care of his hi-tech rose farm. He plans to make the leap and grow to be a full-time farmer.

Throughout 4 administrative blocks in Krishnagiri District — Kelamangalam, Denkanikottai, Shoolagiri and Hosur — poly greenhouses and shade web constructions are ubiquitous. Those who drive the hi-tech horticulture increase are younger engineers, administration professionals, staff from info know-how (IT) sector and the like.

Rain-fed agriculture

The development negates the battle for survival of the typical Indian farmer, and the youngsters not seeming eager to choose up the mantle. In line with the Annual Standing of Training Report – 2017, launched by the non-profit group Pratham, simply 1.2% youngsters of farmers aspired to be a farmer.

In Krishnagiri district, the foremost cultivated space is rain-fed. Over the previous few many years, the district witnessed a shift to horticulture, as a consequence of its local weather and proximity to Bengaluru, the foremost marketplace for horticultural crops. The undulating dry terrain from Rayakottai to Hosur has no perennial water supply and is unsuitable for water-intensive crops.

Fruits like banana, sapota, aonla and guava, greens like brinjal, capsicum, and onion, spices like turmeric and pepper, and flower crops like rose, gerbera and carnations are cultivated in over 49,576 hectares.

Hello-tech farming

Hello-tech horticulture’s beginnings within the space coincide with the IT increase in Bengaluru, with the final 5 years witnessing phenomenal development, aggressively pursued by sons of small and marginal farmers, in addition to first technology farmers.

Anamaiah Gowdu (33) stop his company job and returned to Chettipally, his native village, to modernize his ancestral farm. He grows colored capsicums.

“Liberal subsidies for poly greenhouses, shade web constructions and micro irrigation together with technical and enter assist, has fuelled the expansion of hi-tech farming,” Ganesh, assistant director, Directorate of Horticulture and Plantation Crops, Denkanikottai taluk, instructed As a part of the hi-tech system, farmers set up rainwater-harvesting constructions, for micro irrigation.

India-Israel collaboration

In line with Satyendra Yadav of Indo-Israeli Agriculture Mission’s (IIAP) Vegetable Cluster and IIAP Centre of Excellence (CoE), use of hi-tech greenhouses, naturally ventilated poly homes, anti-insect web homes, and walk-in tunnels considerably enhance yield.

“The constructions cut back use of pesticides and different inputs, prolongs harvest time from three to 9 months,” Yadav instructed “As towards a yield of three.5 tons of cucumber per hectare in open cultivation, the yield below protected cultivation is 45 tons. The yield of capsicum in open cultivation is 12 tons per hectare whereas below IIAP know-how, its 72 tons.”

IIAP’s objectives are to extend crop range, productiveness and useful resource use effectivity. CoEs began below IIAP present a platform for Israeli agro know-how, information switch and coaching, specializing in nursery improvement, cultivation strategies, irrigation and fertilizer administration.

Managed cultivation

Crops cultivated within the open, below pure situations, are extra prone to sudden modifications in temperature, humidity, gentle depth and different situations that have an effect on high quality and yield. The Israeli know-how helps management them and the 4 important parts for photosynthesis.

The poly inexperienced sheet filters ultraviolet and infrared rays, permitting radiation measuring 400 to 700 nano meters, below which photosynthesis occurs. Micro irrigation system ensures the roots get required water, reducing water use by 90%. Carbon-dioxide emitted by crops at night time is retained contained in the enclosure, boosting starch manufacturing.

“That is achieved by manipulating temperature, humidity, gentle depth, air flow, soil media, illness management, irrigation, fertigation and different agronomical practices all through the season, no matter the pure situations exterior,” Arumugam. S, horticultural officer-in-charge of CoE, Thally, instructed “This implies farmers can get seven occasions extra produce.”

The diploma of sophistication of poly inexperienced and shade web homes varies from a easy naturally- ventilated poly home with polyethylene movie masking, to extremely refined, absolutely automated drip and fogger techniques, and photosynthetically energetic radiation (PAR) lightings.


Placing up a naturally ventilated poly inexperienced home in one-acre prices about Rs 28 lakh. Underneath the Nationwide Horticulture Mission, farmers get a subsidy of Rs16.88 lakh for poly inexperienced and shade web constructions in a single acre. The drip irrigation system can also be closely sponsored.

Elevating nurseries below managed atmosphere is catching up too. Farmers get Rs 14.2 lakh per acre for shade web nurseries. Drip irrigation subsidy is Rs 1.13 lakh per hectare, plus Items and Companies Tax (GST), below Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) scheme. Banks too supply loans due to excessive returns.

One acre of poly greenhouse cultivation fetches an annual revenue of Rs 25 lakh every year, as towards Rs 5 lakh in open cultivation. “The mortgage might be repaid in a yr and the returns thereafter are revenue for the farmer,” stated Ganesh.

Worthwhile farming

Subramani Okay (32) of Chettipally village in Kelamangalam administrative block, needed to discontinue his education and take up farming when his father handed away. “Cultivating groundnut and ragi in three acres below rain-fed situations, I struggled to maintain,” Subramani instructed However he broke the cycle rising inexperienced and colored capsicums in two poly inexperienced homes, every over one acre land.

Subramani sells capsicum at Rs 50/kilo on the farm gate. Consumers from Bengaluru choose the produce on daily basis, pack them and transport to varied markets throughout the nation. In a single acre poly greenhouse, 14,000 crops might be grown, every costing Rs 8.5 together with seed price and wage. Three months after planting, capsicum is harvested 9 months a yr at a fee of 60 tons per acre.

Within the case of roses, 28,000 to 32,000 crops might be raised in an acre. The price of planting is Rs 12 to Rs 15. Six months after planting, one or two flowers might be plucked from each plant on alternate days. The market worth of roses swings between Rs 100 to Rs 200 per bunch of 20 flowers.

Intensive administration

“The spectacular outcomes and returns will not be coming straightforward,” Srinivasan instructed “In naturally ventilated homes, enhance in exterior temperature entails semi-manual washing of crops to maintain them cool.”

Every rose bud needs to be capped with artificial mesh to manage its measurement. Rose stems prepared for harvest throughout sunny days must be pre-cooled. Soil and water should be examined often. In line with Sudeesh, one can not achieve hi-tech farming with out private consideration. “We hold updating ourselves with new methods and information about market situations,” stated Srinivasan.

Protected cultivation doesn’t assure pest-free atmosphere. The local weather inside these constructions is conducive for pests like mites and leaf miner. Farmers spend appreciable time spraying pesticides. “Nets and improvised door techniques cut back pest infiltration,” stated Arumugam.

Well worth the dangers

Subramani recalled his childhood days, once they may hardly purchase two units of garments a yr. He couldn’t afford to restore the home. “Right now, I’ve two bikes and a automotive, and I’ve rebuilt our home,” he stated.

About 2,000 acres are below hi-tech cultivation in Krishnagiri district. In Chettipally, there are 200 poly inexperienced homes, and new ones are arising.

Farmers like Sudeesh double up as fabricators and consultants. Farmers are diversifying into different crops like radish, double beans, cauliflower, cabbage and carrot. Villagers are levelling dry and rocky lands to place up poly inexperienced and shade web homes, as the following prosperity appears well worth the dangers.

George Rajashekaran is a journalist based mostly at Salem, Tamil Nadu. Views are private.

The unique article was revealed on and might be discovered right here.

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