Traditional cropping systems in open fields have been vulnerable due to the unpredictability of the climate and other significant factors. The challenge is to grow a diverse array of food crops throughout the year to ensure residents' nutritional and other needs are met.
Polyhouse farming will result in significant economic prosperity and the ability to farm in a controlled environment. This way, crops can be grown all year without being dependent on the seasons. Enclosed farming has an advantage over open field farming due to the superior quality of crops produced in an enclosed growing environment.
The capital cost of these polyhouses was largely subsidized through the Zila Yojna, with the remainder coming from THDC and the beneficiaries. Contributions from beneficiaries are required to ensure their participation and also serve as a guiding principle to ensure that nothing is "given for free" and that beneficiaries contribute to ensure their participation.
Farmers receive appropriate training and exposure visits to ensure success including exposure visits, classroom trainings and the on-the-field training. Additionally, Team Mrida is assisting farmers on the ground until the start of the first harvest season. Along with other crops, the farmers are cultivating tomatoes, which are sourced from the plains at the moment. They are anticipating the first harvest.
13 applications were received by the deadline for submitting Beneficiary Application Forms, with an additional 7 applications for polyhouses received after the deadline. 8 of these applications were withdrawn and one was deemed ineligible due to the location of the land for the polyhouse being inconsistent with the docket's suggested standards. The polyhouse pilot project received an overwhelming positive response during phase I of implementation, resulting in the installation of 11 polyhouses in total.
Details of Installation
There are five polyhouses in village Haat, four in village Batula, one in village Naurakh, and one in village Tenduli Chak Haat. While there are 11 polyhouses installed, 6 famers have graduated to the next stage and started cultivation in 6 of the polyhouses with the following allocation of the 100 sq. ft. and the remaining have started the land preparation.
The farmers are cultivating tomatoes, which are uncommon in this region and are currently sourced from the plains. They are anticipating the first harvest in January and February. If done correctly, this will be a huge success for the beneficiaries and the stakeholders.