As you enter the polyhouse run by the Pejawar Math at Nandagokula near Kodavoor here, the first thing that welcomes you is the mild smell of capsicum. Then, you see small capsicums hanging from plants rooted in coco peats.
As many as 8,400 capsicum plants are being cultivated through fertigation at two polyhouses on half an acre of land at Nandagokula.
There is high demand for coloured capsicums in star hotels and foreign countries and the math aims to use the money from selling the produce for the ‘goshala’ at Nandagokula. There are 100 old cows and bulls at the ‘goshala’.
This project is the brainchild of Vishwaprasanna Tirtha, the junior seer of Pejawar Math.
Capsicum saplings are lined in neat rows in the polyhouses and are watered through drip irrigation. Chelated micronutrients and water-soluble fertilizer are also provided through the same method.
Babu Mogaveera, farm supervisor at Nandagokula, said the investment for the two poly houses and other materials was estimated at Rs. 35 lakh, and one crop was to likely bring in Rs. 24 lakh as returns. “Profits could be expected from the second crop onwards,” he said. There is lesser pest incidence and diseases could be managed in a polyhouse.
According to S.U. Patil, Associate Professor (Entomology) at Zonal Agricultural Research Station, Brahmavar, the yield from capsicum grown in coco peats could be thrice higher than what was grown on the soil. “The yield from capsicum grown on the soil is between 6 to 8 tonnes per acre, but it ranges from 26 to 35 tonnes per acre in coco peats,” he said.
The math has applied for a subsidy of Rs. 9.35 lakh from the Horticulture Department and Guruprasad, Assistant Horticulture Officer, said the department would consider the request.
“There is tremendous potential for cultivating capsicum through poly houses. Farmers should explore the marketing aspect of it,” Prof. Patil added.