Soil erosionl



Low-cost polyhouse for off-season vegetable cultivation

Low-cost polyhouse for off-season vegetable cultivation

Climatic vulnerability

Ri-Bhoi district experiences different types of climate ranging from tropical climate in the areas bordering Assam to the temperate climate adjoining the East Khasi Hills. The areas bordering Assam experience hot and humid weather during summer seasons with an average temperature of 300C, especially during the May to July. In other areas like Lum Raitong and Lum Sohpetbneng Plateaus, the climate is severely cold during the winter months and is pleasant during the summer. The major climatic vulnerabilities of Kyrdem village are water scarcity, poor soil health and frost.


Low-cost polyhouse for off-season vegetable cultivation

The Kyrdem village produces good amount of cucumber, capsicum and tomatoes during main season,

which eventually leads to the market glut and fall in price. On the other hand, due to weather extremes including high intensity rainfall and hailstorm inflict maximum losses to the cucumber and tomato production during off-season. Therefore, low-cost polyhouse technology was introduced for off-season production of vegetables in the village.

Low-cost polyhouse was constructed using locally available bamboo and metallic wire for developing the frame. UV stabilized film of 200µ (800 gauge) was used for covering the roof and 75% shade net on the side walls. The estimated cost of construction of a 100 m2 size polyhouse varied between Rs. 13000 to 15000. Proper drainage channels were developed around the polyhouse to avoid water stagnation. Raised beds of 1 m length and 30 cm height and of convenient length were prepared inside the polyhouse by thoroughly mixing soil: FYM in 2:1 ratio. The beds were disinfected with Formalin (20 ml/l water) and covered with black polythene for 2-3 weeks. The polyhouses are being used for raising of vegetable seedlings as well as off-season vegetable cultivation.


In-situ moisture conservation in broccoli

The villagers were suffering losses from cultivation of traditional vegetables like cauliflower and cabbage due to water scarcity during winter months. During the course of interaction, they showed interest to adopt new crops and technologies. Broccoli cultivation was one of the alternatives, as this could be cultivated during pre-rabi season and has huge market demand in Shillong.


An area of 1 ha was selected with Mrs. Bilma Tamu as leader for broccoli cultivation. In the 1st week of September 2011, nursery was raised under low-cost polyhouse.  Seeds of ‘Pushpa’ were sown in nursery bed of size 40 x 90 x 20 cm. Transplanting of 4-6 weeks-old seedlings was done with a spacing of 45 x 45 cm. FYM was applied @ 20 t/ha along with recommended dose of fertilizers. Well established 20 days old crop was mulched (5 cm thick) with locally available dried biomass/crop residues for soil moisture conservation and weed control. The crop was ready for harvesting at 90 days after transplanting. A total of 183 q yield was recorded from an area of 1 ha. The cost of cultivation was Rs 105000 with gross return of Rs 297600 and a BC ratio of 2.83. The farmers’ group sold their produce in the local market as well as in Shillong @ Rs 30 to40/kg. This successful intervention has generated tremendous interest and curiosity in the village towards broccoli cultivation.


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