Plastic mulching technique is a unique way to reduce cost of cultivation of fruits and vegetables, know how?
If you want more income in fruits and vegetables then adopt plastic mulching technique
Due to plastic mulching technology, once irrigated, the moisture remains in the fields for a long time. In this technique, weeds do not grow due to plastic covering around the stems of small plants planted or sprouted. Therefore, neither the labour cost of weeding nor weed-killing chemical drugs are needed to remove or destroy them. On the other hand, in traditional farming, the fertility of the land lessens due to weeds. Whereas, due to the plastic mulching technology, moisture remains in the soil and is used only for the chosen crop plants.
The most effective way for farmers to increase their income in agriculture can be ‘reducing cost of the crop’. In this context, apart from improved and high yielding breeds, new farming techniques including mechanization are of great importance. Plastic mulching is one such technique which proves to be helpful for the farmers in many ways. Because in this technique, where most of the nutrients of the soil are available only to the planted crop, at the same time the consumption of fertilizer and water is also greatly reduced. Not only this, the cost of insecticides and weedicides and weeding is also saved. That is why the plastic mulching technique is becoming increasingly popular among the progressives. Madhya Pradesh government is also giving subsidy to encourage it.
What is Plastic Mulching Technique?
Under the plastic mulching technique, the beds are prepared after all the preparations for sowing in the field. After this, the protruding parts of the beds are covered with a plastic sheet i.e. foil of 25 to 30 microns thickness. Then in this foil, the crops are planted in the soil by making small holes of three to four inches at appropriate distance required for transplanting the plants. Since plastic is used in this technique of mulching i.e. shade or cover, hence it is called plastic mulching method or plastic mulching technique of farming. This technique has proved to be very useful for vegetables and fruit plants. Through this, the cost of vegetables like Onion, Tomato, Coriander, Potato, Gobi is greatly reduced and huge income is earned. Due to these qualities, plastic mulching technique is very popular among such progressive farmers who have adopted organic farming.
How To Adopt Plastic Mulching?
Soil test should be done first in the field where plastic mulching technique is to be adopted. So that it can be known that what kind of fertilizer is needed and how much quantity is needed by the field? After this the field should be well plowed. Appropriate amount of cow dung or earthworm manure should be used in the field at the time of plowing. At the end of tillage, raised beds should be made in the field. After this the pipe line of drip irrigation should be laid. Then by covering the raised part of the beds with a plastic sheet, its ends are also buried in the soil. Now on plastic mulching, holes are made according to the distance from plant to plant in the roundness and in these holes, crop seeds or nursery prepared plants are planted.
By adopting mulching technology, farmers save maximum water. Even in summer, the soil moisture is retained for a long time and the cost of irrigation is reduced significantly.
Cost and Incentives of Plastic Mulching
For adopting plastic mulching technology, the cost of plastic sheets or foils that farmers have to buy per hectare comes to an average of Rs 20-22 thousand. A subsidy of Rs 16,000 per hectare is also given to the farmers who adopt plastic mulching from the Horticulture Department of the Government of Madhya Pradesh. It is possible that such incentives are available in other states also. Farmers should know about this from their nearest agriculture officials.
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