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India: Israeli greenhouse techniques brings exotic veggies within reach for Indian farmers

In a first of its kind venture, greenhouses set up by a progressive farmer in Dabhoi and Savli blocks have brought exotic vegetables like red and yellow capsicums within easy reach of local farmers, who can now start thinking of moving beyond the traditional crops.

Progressive farmer, Ashwin Patel, who is an engineer by education and proprietor of a placement agency in Dabhoi, has set up a greenhouse, which, the agriculture experts in the district hope, would be emulated by other farmers of the region, who aspire to shift to more lucrative and progressive form of farming.

District horticulture officer Jaimin Patel said, Ashwin has set up five greenhouses - three in Dabhoi and two in Savli - to grow red and yellow peppers which find immediate takers in either five star hotels or high-end retail chains in big cities. "The farmers have to make the initial investment, though the government also offers subsidies on greenhouses set up on one acre farms," Patel said. Patel imported the greenhouses and their machinery from Israel.

The fully automated setup of a greenhouse looks like a mini industry with machines regulating the temperature, moisture, irrigation and fertilizer inputs, explains Jaimin adding the Dabhoi's three greenhouses are also providing employment to 25 people.

Ashwin's father, Hansmukh Patel who has been growing traditional crops like tuar, cotton and corn said he was thrilled with the results of the greenhouse farming set up by his son. "We are also continuing with traditional cultivation, as of now," the statement quoted him as saying.


Publication date: 4/2/2013





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