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Tunnel Farming for Off-Season Vegetable Cultivation in Nepal
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Nepal ranks among the most vulnerable countries to extreme climate events. In general, rural areas where the population heavily depends on agriculture are the most vulnerable. High temperature during summer months and foggy weather combined with prolonged cold temperature spells during winter months often affect vegetable cultivations, such as tomato and onion. The protection of crops against adverse weather conditions becomes a priority to meet the household requirements especially in mid-hills region in Nepal. In this context, tunnel farming is a simple and low cost practice to control the micro-climate surrounding crops by reducing the impacts of temperature fluctuations. It consists in the building of greenhouses-hut-like structures swathed in plastic that serve as cocoons, making it possible to grow vegetables off-season, securing the provision of food supplies throughout the year. Vegetables are a required source of vitamins, proteins, essential nutrients and carbohydrates for a balanced diet. In the mid-hill region in Nepal, farmers are limited to grow seasonal vegetables and are dependent on marketing mechanism of demand and supply. Growing off-season vegetables and fruits means improving the diet and increasing the household income. In the absence of storage infrastructure and vegetable processing industries, off-season vegetable farming is the only viable option that can add value to the farmers? produce. Temperature fluctuations during summer make the vegetable crop susceptible to insects, pests and diseases and similarly, cold temperature during winter create favorable conditions for diseases. The tunnels offer protection to vegetables crops both in summer and in winter. The tunnel farming offers maximum crop yields, better maintenance of the fertility of land, controlled temperature and humidity, protection from wild animals and insects and better water conservation. In order to produce vegetables under protection, it is necessary to consider a wind-free area, but if this is not possible, windbreaks should be erected or planted. Water must not be very saline, as it is further enriched by the addition of fertilizers. Finally, the tunnel must preferably be situated close to a market, in order to facilitate that products reach the market place as soon as possible. Crops such as cucumber, capsicum, tomato, pepper, bitter gourds, melons, brinjal and water melon are highly valued vegetables that show significant increase in yield when grown in tunnel farming.

#TunnelFarming #Agriculture #FoodSupply #CropDiversification #CropProduction
Publisher:
FAO ,   (2013 )
Type / Script:
Bulletin or Poster in English
Keywords:
TUNNEL FARMING, AGRICULTURE, VEGETABLES, CROP DIVERSIFICATION, CROP PRODUCTION, CROP YIELDS, TEMPERATURE, DROUGHT, OFF SEASON CULTIVAION, PROTECTED CULTIVATION, HAIL, FOOD SUPPLY, IRRIGATION, CAPACITY BUILDING, CLIMATE CHANGE, DISASTER RISK REDUCTION, NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
Thematic Group:
 FAO : Food and Agriculture Organization
Thesaurus:
04.01.01  -  Agricultural Economics And Policy; Rural Sociology
Reference Link:
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