Farmers Innovation

Innovative technologies developed and used by the farmers

Farmer also started intercropping of chill with cucumber by using low tunnel techniques. These crops are sown in the field in November and covered with low tunnels in December to overcome the unfavourable environmental conditions. After winter season, the vines of cucumber and bitter gourd are staked on bamboo sticks. For erecting the bamboo sticks in the pits made manually is a labour and time consuming cumbersome practice. To overcome this limitation the farmers have made innovations for digging the pits for erecting this bamboo structure. The electrically operated pit digging machine can reduce the drudgery time, labour and cost. With this machine 3 persons can dig pits for one acre in one day where as otherwise 5 people do the same work in 1.5 days. Chilli and bell pepper nurseries for commercial purposes are also grown by the farmer.

Low Tunnel Technology for the Cultivation of Vegetables and wrapping of base of bamboo stick with polythene

Low tunnels are flexible transparent coverings which are installed over the rows or individual beds of transplanted vegetables to enhance plant growth by warming the air around the plants in the open field during winter season. They can also warm the soil and protect the plants from hails, cold wind, injury, and advance the crop by 30 to 40 days than the normal season.

This low cost technology for off season cultivation of vegetables is suitable and may be quite cost effective for the growers in northern parts of the country, where the night temperature during winter season goes below 8oC for a period of 30-40 days. Farmer is cultivating vegetable under low tunnels in 1 acre area in 2007-08 which was increased to 3acres in 2008-09 and 9 acres in 2009-10. He used to grow cucumber, chilli, bell pepper and bitter gourd under low tunnels. He told that there is no attack of red pumpkin beetle and fruit fly on cucumber and bitter gourd grown under tunnels. He also raises the nursery of chilli, Bell Pepper, Brinjal, Tomato for commercial purpose under low tunnels and takes two crops of it from same plot.

The first crop of nursery is sown in October and planted under tunnels in November and the second crop is sown in end November to sell the nursery in February for summer crop. In spite of this, he stared the intercropping of bitter gourd + Cucumber and Bell Pepper + Cucumber under low tunnels that is not recommended till date.

The crop is sown in November by using low tunnel technology and tunnels are removed in February. After overcoming the winter season, the wines of cucumber and bitter gourd are staked on bamboo sticks. They also started wrapping polythene bags at the base of the bamboo sticks to avoid its spoilage as well as to use it in the subsequent crops.

The staking of cucumber and bitter gourd crops also improved quantity and quality of the produce and advances bitter gourd, Bell Pepper, by 30 days, Chilli and Cucumber by 45-50 days, which resulted in higher income as the prices are high in the start of the season. The yield is almost doubled in first two pickings means increase in yield by 15-20% overall, when the crop is initially raised under low tunnels. He has also provided employment to 20-25 farm labourers.