FTB Stories

Polyhouses in Uttarakhand

Amit Bhatt
Amit Bhatt
Rajendra Singh Koranga: Polyhouse farmer

Rajendra Singh Koranga, started his brand Rajendra  Polyhouse  in Bageshwar, Uttarakhand in 1991 and has successfully maintained, managed and grown with it since. He published his FTB video on Krishi Jagran earlier this week

He grows cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes,  green peppers or capsicum and  cucumber and most of these are for local consumption. He started with one polyhouse  and he now owns four.

It was a small polyhouse to begin with. He was able to establish his first polyhouse with great difficulty and after lots of hard work and communication with the local government authorities he started with his first polyhouse. It was difficult in the beginning, due to lack of knowledge in polyhouses. His family members   slowly came in to the business and have assisted him in its daily maintenance. For training purposes, he initially visited Uddhyan Vibhag (Horticulture department) and Krishi Vibhag (Agriculture department) of Uttarakhand  government. He also visited  Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Kafligair in Bageshwar. He  visited agricultural units in Pant Nagar too to learn how to grow crops in and manage polyhouses. It was motivating for him to meet all these officials and other farmers and he got all the information and advice that one needs to start  one's own polyhouse. They all encouraged him to do polyhouse farming. With the help of this knowledge he setup  the right irrigation hardware and supply that was required for polyhouse farming.

Polyhouse in action

Polyhouse farming is similar to greenhouse farming with the difference being that the glass windows and glass coverings are replaced by plastic sheets. Metallic stands make the basic structure and over this skeleton structure the plastic coverings are placed. Polyhouse farming is expensive in the beginning due to  high setup costs, but is profitable in long run due to high productivity of polyhouses. Polyhouses protect the crops from natural factors like wind, excessive rain and so on. Also there is much higher quantity of CO2 in polyhouses which increases the productivity multifold. Polyhouse farming is much more productive than  standard farming, because it produces higher quantity of crops per size of land than standard farms. However you need to have the right expertise to smoothly run the polyhouses.

Rajendra manufactures his own manure which he uses as the natural organic fertilizer. Rajendra described the process that he uses to manufacture his manure in detail in his video. He said you take 10 liters of cow urine, 10 kg of cow dung , 250 gm besan,250 gm gud (jaggery), 2.5kg local soil  and 5 liters water. All these are then  put into and mixed in a plastic box and  left to rot for a week, and natural  organic fertilizer, manure is ready for use. Rajendra also described the process of using this manure. He said you take 1 liter of this homemade manure with 10 liters of water and this mixture is applied to the roots of the crops. Rajendra  also manufactures Vermicompost (they have a pit to make vermicompost) which is also applied to the roots of the plants.

Close-up of broccoli plants

Rajendra described the process he uses to farm tomatoes in his polyhouses. Tomato plants are allowed to grow to a small size, then their branches are tied to strings attached to the roof or side metal  pillars. Then these tomato plant branches grow and grow with the strings and he always gets a good harvest of tomatoes.

Local markets and district market in Bageshwar is where the products are sold with good price and the products are always in demand due to their quality. Rajendra calls this his kirane business.  Rajendra is now an expert farmer in growing crops in polyhouses. He advises people, and  guides them on how to grow crops in polyhouses and people have liked his lessons. Rajendra  helps these farmers by educating them with what he has learnt through practice and encourages  them to farm with polyhouses. 

Rajendra  likes being self-dependent and self-sufficient which is being encouraged by the government. Being dependent on the government or relying on someone else is not something that Rajendra relishes. He encourages local youngsters, who come to him from time to time, our new young generation, to work and make progress in this type of farm work, i.e. farming with polyhouses. He advises his fellow farmers to work hard, honestly to progress and to make their  family and lives affluent.

Rajendra Koranga

Rajendra Koranga

Bageshwar, Uttarakhand

Rajendra Polyhouse

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