Technology Intervention and Repercussion among High Altitude Community of Ladakh: A Case Study of Trench Greenhouse

Dorjey Angchok and R B Srivastava


The present study endeavors to bring forth the socio-cultural local institutions and their repercussions on adoption of a technology (in this case, the trench greenhouse) among the high altitude community of Ladakh. Ladakh constitute the transhimalayan part of India where the prevailing harsh environment does not leave much scope for vegetable cultivation in time and space scale (especially during the winter months). With the effective utilization of greenhouse technology it has made possible to harness upon the available resources and grow vegetables round the year (in winter months also, when ambient temperature dips down upto -25°C). Among the various types of greenhouse technology developed by Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), the trench greenhouse is the most economical and easy to establish and grow vegetables in Ladakh area in which vegetables can be grown during winter months also when in the open field condition, cold weather does not allow for any vegetables to grow. Considering the utility and non expensiveness of this trench greenhouse, DIHAR, during the conception and dissemination process of this technology, perceived widespread adoption of this technology among the local community. But to their dismay, the rate of adoption among the local community is/was not upto the expected level. To understand this paradox, the present study was conducted and found the prevailing grassroots level local institution, governing the nature of property regime was the reason behind the low rate of adoption. The time period after harvesting (September) of field crops and sowing (March) in the next year, the institutional norms convert the private property in to a common pool resource (September to March), the winter months when greenhouses are of immense utility. Trench greenhouse (due to its openness, and devoid of any retention wall above the ground level) is not feasible where there is chances of trespassing by stray animals. It indicates that the trench technology does not fit well into the prevailing institutional framework and thus the adoption rate is hampered. This finding brings forth the role of socio-cultural factors in the technology adoption process and furthermore, the findings strengthens the concept of involving local people, and understanding the prevailing socio-cultural environment in the technology generation process

Keyword: Adoption; Greenhouse tech

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