Kh. Lily Devi, Manish R. Gurung, Santosh R. Yadav, D. Jhajharia and R. K. Singh
Diverse agro-climatic conditions, rich bio-diversity and fully organic cultivation practices are the strength of agriculture in Sikkim. Despite of good potential, agro-horticultural production in Sikkim is considerably low which may be attributed to various factors that includes very small land holding on narrow terraces, use of traditional farming practices, improper tapping of heavy rainfall, excessive rainfall in monsoon, and extreme cold in winter that affects the growth and yield of vegetables. Protected cultivation can be one of the solutions to increase the production as well as productivity of vegetable crops in this region. In view of this, an experiment was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of low cost naturally ventilated polyhouse (NVP) for the year-round cultivation of vegetables in 2012-13 and 2013-14 on the Research Farm of AICRP on Plasticulture Engineering and Technologies (PET), CAEPHT (CAU), Ranipool, East Sikkim. The two cropping sequences tried in the experiment were C1: broccoli-brinjal-broccoli (2012-13) and C2: tomato-gherkin-broccoli (2013-14) wherein each time three crops were harvested within thirteen months. The cropping sequence C2 was found to be suitable for round the year cultivation inside the low cost NVP as it resulted in the highest production of 1172.6 kg/100 m2, net return of Rs. 44392/100 m2 and benefit cost ratio of 2.44 as compared to the sequence C1 with production of 979.4 kg/100 m2, net return of Rs. 35372/100 m2 and benefit cost ratio of 1.99.
Keyword: Vegetables; Low cost NVP; Cropping sequence; Profitability;