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Tunnel farming and its significance

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Tunnel farming and its significance

Tunnel farming and its significance

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    • 1. TUNNEL FARMING AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE By: Asmat Babar www.asmatbabar.blogspot.com
    • 2. INTRODUCTION: Growing out-of- season crops in controlled atmosphere inside polythene tunnels is called Tunnel Farming. Tunnel farming was first introduced by William Fredrick 2600 years before. They usually semi-circular, square or elongated in shape. The interior heats up because incoming radiation from the sun warms plants, soil, and other things inside the building faster than heat can escape the structure. Air warmed by the heat from hot interior surfaces is retained in the building by the roof and wall. Temperature, humidity and ventilation can be controlled by equipment fixed in the polytunnel.
    • 3. WHY NEED TUNNEL FARMING?   Importance of vegetables in human diet cannot be ignored these are major source of roughes that are helpful for digestion process. They also provide vitamins and minerals and also help to control cholesterol in our body. Many vegetables are famous for their low-caloric value being used by diet conscious people. With the increasing population of the world and shortage of land for agricultural use coined the idea of producing vegetables in tunnels. To produce winter vegetables in summer by creating an artificial environment is much costly which cannot be practiced at a large level in Pakistan, but production of summer vegetables in winter by providing them optimum environment in tunnels is very much possible, as the plastic sheets saves the energy of sun and does not allow them to go back and provides enough warmth for vegetable production
    • 4. Types of Tunnels:    1) Low Tunnel: Low tunnels are less expensive as compared with the High tunnels but crop yield is low. Soil preparation, spraying and picking is difficult is this tunnel. Cucumber, melons, watermelons, bitter gourds, squashes, and snake gourds etc can be grown in these tunnels. 2) Walk-in Tunnels: These are lower in height as compared with High tunnels. Walk-in-tunnels provide high yield compared to Low tunnels. The tunnel is suitable for growing tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet pepper and hot pepper. 3) High Tunnel: High tunnels give maximum yield of crops and make easy soil preparation, picking, spraying due to its width and height. The tunnel is suitable for growing tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet peppers.
    • 5. Important Points for Tunnel Farming:      Prior to start off-season vegetable farming in tunnels, the investor must have practical knowledge about farming. Soil and water quality should be tested before starting the farming. Self-pollinated plant should be grown. Recommended seed should be used. Farmer must have the updated market information to earn high profit.
    • 6. HOW TO MAKE A LOW TUNNEL IN YOUR OWN GARDEN: Material Required:    1/2” PVC cut into 5 feet pieces. 1/2-in x 2ft steel rebar pins. You will need 2 rebar pieces per “hoop.” Spun bonded row cover. This is the material you will lay over the hoops to protect the plants from the winter elements.
    • 7. Procedure:      Place each rebar piece in the ground at about a 35-45 degree angle inward. For each hoop there are 2 rebar pieces that will face each other. Space the rebar pieces 6 feet apart along the row. Bend PVC pipe over slanted rebar pieces. Cover with row cover and weigh down the row cover with weights on either side of low tunnel. Rocks work very well. Now your plants are protected from the cold winter elements, and you can keep growing into the winter months!
    • 8. SUITABLE CROPS FOR CULTIVATION: Following crops are high value vegetables and have shown significant increase in earliness:  Cucumber  Capsicum  Tomato  Pepper  Bitter Gourds  Melons  Brinjal  Water melon
    • 9. MANAGEMENT OF TUNNELS: S.No vegetable s Temperat ure Degree centi grade 1. Cucumber 24-18 2. Capsicum 24-21 3. Tomatoes 29-21 4. Sweet Pepper 24-21 5. Bitter Gourds 29-21 6. GhyiaKad u 24-18 7. Halwa Kadu 24-18 8. Ghyia Toori 24-18 TEMPERATURE: Requirements of Temperature for Best Growth of Vegetables
    • 10. SOIL: For proper production of vegetables in tunnels, fertile soils with PH range 5-7 are preferable. Well-decomposed organic matter should be added to increase fertility, porosity and water holding capacity of soil. Pakistani soils have capability to produce vegetable in such a huge amount that these can be exported. But it is impossible without practical help of government
    • 11. FERTILIZER: Fertilizer requirements vary from crop to crop and type of soil but generally Phosphate should be given prior to planting, as plants need it in emerging stage. Nitrogen is applied at different level of crop growth, part of it as top dressing before planting along with phosphorus and potash.
    • 12. WATER: Fertigation is a term used for fertilizing along with watering is a good way to provide nutrients along with water. Proper irrigation is another important measure to obtain proper yield. But it mainly depends on crop and type of soil. In all circumstances it should be managed that plants may not bear water shock or water stress. . In severe summer irrigation to vegetables is required after every 5 - 7 days depending on the type of soil, whereas in December, January light water is required after 15-21 days.
    • 13. WHICH TYPE OF IRRIGATION IS MOST SUITABLE:   Row irrigation is most appropriate method for irrigation. In water shortage areas the best way of irrigation is drip irrigation. Drip irrigation improves the water use efficiency if fertilizers are applied though drips as fertigation and offers more splits of fertilizers, even micronutrients can be used, through the initial growth periods.
    • 14. SEED RECOMMANDATION: Hybrid seeds are produced through a special process and give crop yield 3 to 4 times more than ordinary seeds. F1 hybrid seeds are recommended for cultivation in tunnels because they have the ability to resist multiple diseases and have above 90% germination capacity as compared to that of ordinary one.
    • 15. Are Pest And Diseases a Problem? During the ten years that growers have used plastic tunnels in Fresno County, no serious outbreaks of pests and diseases have been reported. Trials in the field with plastic tunnels and different crops have shown that tunnels do protect the crop from insects well into the season. However, plants should be insect-free at transplanting, since the warmer environment will stimulate insect development, usually aphids
    • 16. AREAS OF PAKISTAN UNDER TUNNEL FARMING: Tunnel farming is gaining popularity, and being practiced in many areas of Punjab like, Faisalabad, Mamokanjan, Gujranwala, Okara and Sahiwal. But still their cultivation is not at a level to be exported(55000 acre) This technology can successfully be adopted in coastal districts of Sindh which have favorable conditions for off-season vegetable farming. The tunnel farming in districts Thatta, Badin and Hyderabad can reduce the production costs.
    • 17. SUGGESTIONS:    EXPORT PROSPECTS: Pakistan is not yet exporting vegetables due to their perishable nature, although there is huge demand in international market. The facility of growing off-season vegetables also allows for growing non-conventional varieties and vegetables, which are in high demand in Europe, Middle East and Far Eastern countries. Awareness programs for the farmers should processed by the Govt to introduce this technology ESTABLISHMENT OF STORAGE MARKET: An established market is also needed to handle with production, as the production is increasing but markets cannot intake the whole production. Another challenge is the waxing and packaging of vegetables; these units should be introduced at their respective production area so people may able to export their commodities as well as save them for longer use at local level.
    • 18. EXAMPLE:  A PROJECT OF NBP AND PDUCTION OF VEGETABLES IN TUNNELS: This project is focused on the study of three crops only i.e. Tomato, Capsicum and Cucumber, cultivated on area of 9 acres. The land utilized for cultivation is recommended to be leased. The off-season vegetable project using high tunnel technology on area of 9 acres needs a capital investment estimated at Rs. 6.64 million for construction, purchasing machinery and equipment. In addition to this, a sum of Rs. 0.3 million is required as working capital, which would be used for purchasing of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides etc. The total project cost is estimated at Rs. 6.94 million. The estimated yield potential of the farm varies according to the selected type of vegetable. For this project, three proposed vegetables are selected. For this vegetable crop mix, it is estimated that a 9-acre farm unit will yield a total of 210,000 kg vegetable per annum.
    • 19. Total Production Capacity Vegetables Area (Acres) Production Quantity in (kg)/ Acre Total Productio n Quantity Cucumber 3 28,000 84,000 Capsicum 3 18,000 54,000 Tomatoes 3 24,000 72,000
    • 20. Expected Production and Land Utilization Vegetable Land Production Production Sale Price* Utilization Quantity Quantity Rs./ (kg ) (Acres) (kg)/ (kg) Acre Cucumber 3 28,000 84,000 27 Capsicum 3 18,000 54,000 47 Tomatoes 3 24,000 72,000 47 *The prices of vegetables depend on demand and supply and environment conditions. Normally the off – season vegetables prices are higher than seasonal vegetables.
    • 21. Total expected production: Vegetable Production Total multiplied expected by price outcome/an num Cucumber (84,000) (27) 2268000 Capsicum (54,000) (47) 2538000 Tomatoes (72,000) (47) 3384000 total of all three=8190000/annum
    • 22. SIGNIFICANCE OF TUNNEL FARMING:      Because of controlled atmosphere, Tunnel farming is the source of higher yields and earlier production, and this earlier and quality produce gives good profits to farmers. It is clearly evident that off season production through tunnel farming can increase many fold the share of Pakistani fruit and vegetable in international market, which will not only bring prosperity for farmer but can also earn foreign exchange for the country in the field of agriculture and particularly in horticulture. As plants grow inside high tunnels so they tend to experience less disease and insect pressure Less use of pesticides so input cost reduced. They can help farmers better utilize labor by providing work in bad weather and potentially creating year-round positions.
    • 23.     The structure, high tunnel crops tend to be of higher quality and produce higher yields than field-grown crops Premium prices at early farmers’ markets and additional income for farmer As competition increases among restaurants, they are willing to buy off season vegetables at any cost which provides benefits to farmers using tunnels vegetables. Long lasting benefits. An iron high tunnel costs few thousand rupees but it can be profitable for more than 20 years.
    • 24. THANKS

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