UP farmers use vegetable forcing and low tunnel method in Jammu’s Bilaspur Parlah to grow food crops

We have taken the land on hire. We have to pay Rs 3,000 for one Kanal for six months. For one year the charge is Rs 6,000. I have sown tomatoes, cucumbers, bitter gourd (karela), water melon, capsicum and bottle gourd (lauki), said a farmer from Uttar Pradesh doing cultivation in Bilaspur Parlah in Jammu. By the end of March, the vegetables will be ready. In this area, the Bilaspur Parlah farmers are leaving aside wheat and rice and trending towards cultivating vegetables. In around 500 acres, the farmers in Bilaspur Parlah have adopted a vegetable forcing method where vegetables are produced out of their normal season in outdoor production under forcing structures that admit light and induce favourable environmental conditions for plant growth. They also use a low tunnel technique to grow the vegetables. The Department of Agriculture gives technical knowledge and also 50 percent subsidy on hybrid seeds to us, said farmers. Apart from that, in the irrigation system, we are using drip irrigation systems. There is a 50 percent subsidy by the government. We get half a subsidy or sometimes even full subsidy. Last year, we got a full subsidy on the drip irrigation system. Sometimes for seeds too we get full subsidy, said the Bilaspur Parlah farmers. Last year we planted vine tomatoes in three Kanals. The profit I got was Rs 1 lakh and three thousand rupees. One vine plant of tomato gives 25-30 kilos of tomatoes. Earlier, crops were sown according to season. Nowadays, apart from seasonal crops, advance crops are also sown with new techniques. Exotic vegetables which were earlier produced in foreign countries are now produced here, the Bilaspur Parlah farmer said. We as farmers are advised how to work scientifically and accordingly we do the crop planting. When the plants become sick, we seek the help of the Department to get the correct advice. This year I have sown tomatoes early. No one else has started yet. So there is hope that if it goes well, rates will increase in the mandi. Last year, the rates of tomatoes were good. We have been here since the past 16-17 years. We mainly grow vegetables. We hire the Kanals for six months or sometimes a year.

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