Constraints in adoption of protected cultivation technology in Punjab
Parminder Kaur, Sangeet Ranguwal
The changing demands on agricultural production due to food security, sustainable intensification, climate change and changes in consumer diets call for continuous technological innovation. In pursuit of higher income, farmers are slowly shifting area to fruits and vegetables but horticulture crops are more susceptible to climate changes. Thus protected cultivation deserves serious consideration. The present study was conducted on 80 farmers from Ludhiana and Jalandhar districts having the highest concentration of poly houses in the Punjab state to delineate the constraints in adoption of polyhouse technology. Majority of the farmers (35%) had acquired information regarding the new climate smart technology from PAU followed by HDOs (30%), KVKs (17.50%) and Indo-Israel Centre for Excellence of Vegetables, Kartarpur Sahib (10%). About 60 per cent of the farmers got short term trainings from PAU, while 17.50 per cent got themselves trained from centre of excellence for vegetables, Kartarpur Sahib and 22.50 per cent from others sources. The farmers faced environmental, technical, labour, economic and marketing constraints in harnessing profitability and sustainability of this technology. The major constraints in rapid adoption were high initial investment, poor availability of quality planting material and inputs, poor post-harvest infrastructure and absence of price policy measures. The difference of per kg profit margin for polyhouse technology over the open field conditions in capsicum was estimated by Rs. 5.73 (188.48%) and it was found to be economically feasible under subsidised conditions stressing the need for government support in the form of capital subsidy to enhance rate of adoption of protected cultivation. Also continuous efforts by the Government Officials through regular awareness camps and training courses should be organised to train/upgrade the farmers for successful cultivation of vegetable crops under protected structures and adoption of these technologies at large scale. Farmers’ ability to successfully integrate this technology to suit their socio-economic and agro-ecological conditions would further affect its profitability and sustainability.