Vegetables and cut flowers, including tomatoes, coloured capsicum, roses, carnation and gerbera are raised in the greenhouses. Explaining the programme, Deputy Director - Horticulture, Coimbatore, C. Chandrasekaran, said with controlled climatic conditions in the poly green houses it was easier to cultivate such crops. The objective of the scheme was to promote protected, hi-tech cultivation.
The Directorate was educating farmers to cultivate roses and vegetables in poly green houses using government subsidy.
About 50 of them from Coimbatore were trained in Maharashtra in cultivation of cut flowers. This also helped the farmers diversify to new crops. R. Chandra Sekaran, a farmer at Kempanoor near Karamadai, set up a poly green house in 2007 under the project and raises roses. Mr. Chandra Sekaran is also the director of Karamadai West Valley Floriculturists’ Association that has about 20 members.
He told The Hindu that he had established the green houses on 1,000 sq.mt at a cost of about Rs. 8 lakh. This included the cost of planting, drip irrigation, etc. The Government subsidy was Rs. 3.25 lakh. The cost of production worked out to Rs. 1.25 to Rs. 1.40 for a stem. The average price that the farmer received was Rs. 2 per stem.However, when the demand was low, prices in the local market plummeted to even 50 paise a stem. Farmers should be given a comprehensive subsidy to encourage more such ventures.
Marketing was an area of concern, he said.