Capital intensive agriculture involving the latest technologies is referred to as Hi-tech farming. It is a form of commercialized farming which involves the use of both domestic as well as export markets. The main goals of this farming are high yield with high quality to generate more market value. High-Value Crops such as vegetables, fruits, flowers, etc. are cultivated to generate more profit per unit.
● An increase in yield up to 5-6 times is obtained.
● With the use of the latest technologies, there is efficient utilization of inputs like water, fertilizers and pesticides.
● Quality produce is obtained.
Various Hi-tech farming in India.
● Hydroponics- It is also known as soilless culture involving growing of plants in a nutrient medium. The roots of the plants are suspended in the nutrient medium from where they derived nutrition for their growth. This method is highly efficient in utilizing all the given nutrients to the plant as opposed to that of soil medium where most of the nutrients are leached out through natural phenomena. This technology also allows the use of less water for agriculture purposes. chances of acquiring soil-borne disease are also reduced and productivity is high. The nutrients used for the solution may be organic ( fish meal, bone meal, duck meal, poultry manure etc.) or inorganic fertilizers ( KCl, CaCl2, gypsum, glauconite, NaCl, etc).
● Aeroponics- The process of growing plants in suspended air or mist medium is known as aeroponics. the plants derive their nutrients from the surrounding environment. The plants are grown in a closed area and the roots are sprayed with nutrient-rich water by the use of sprayers, misters, foggers and other devices to create very fine droplets. Since they have grown in a closed area chances of a pest and disease attack is very less also the plants produced are healthy as the roots get the maximum amount of oxygen. This technique is widely used to grow plants produced by tissue culture. The quantity of solar light can also be adjusted as per the requirement artificially to grow plants in less duration. This technology is widely gaining its acceptance and space also and is used to grow pharmaceutical medicines.
● Greenhouse and polyhouse cultivation- A protected method of cultivation is practiced in the greenhouse and playhouse culture. These plants are protected from invasion of pests and outbreak from the nearby areas. Factors such as temperature, humidity, CO2 level can be controlled in the greenhouse as per the requirement of the type of crop to be cultivated. Various types of greenhouse structures can be made depending upon the size and availability of land, level of farm management, duration and capital investment. Greenhouses may be made of glass or polyethene sheets. They are very effective when the climatic factors are not in favor of the development of crops. Off-season varieties can also be grown easily. High-value crops including vegetables, fruits and flowers can be grown in greenhouses to get maximum profit as the yield is 10 times higher than outdoor cultivation. The cost of greenhouse generally ranges from 40 to 60 lakh per acre which can be financed with the loan from any bank. The government also provides 50 to 60% subsidy for greenhouse establishment.
● Vertical farming- This concept is gaining its popularity because it requires very less amount of area to grow large numbers of plants. Vertical farming involves growing plants in vertical layers one above the other. It is most commonly used for soilless farming techniques but it is gaining its application for soil medium culture as well. With the problem of diminishing agricultural land, technology proves its importance. The crops give 10 times more than conventional farming. Crops can be grown in buildings in controlled environments to meet out the needs. This technology is also helpful where fresh produce is required to be transported for long distances.
Various schemes by the government to support high-tech farming.
1.National horticulture board subsidy- it provides a subsidy for the establishment of greenhouse structure. 50 to 60% of the subsidy is given by the government. The subsidy is as per various types of greenhouse structures established.
For the establishment of Hi-Tech nursery 224 sector unit 40% of the cost up to 25 lacs per hectare will be given under MIDH scheme by national horticulture board.
2. APEDA- it plays a major role in export facilitation. Agricultural and Processed food products Export Development Authority (APEDA)is responsible to ensure the export of quality products from India.
3.NABARD- It provides financial support to the state government for infrastructure development. It also plays a role in providing consultancy services to emerging entrepreneurs and guiding them to adopt high tech agricultural projects. Around 140 model bankable projects have been developed including high tech agricultural activities by Regional offices under NABARD.