Visakhapatnam: Although most commonly found in India, bamboo is put to very little use even though it is more durable than wood. The abundantly available grass in the country has been traditional used as durable housing material to build stilt houses and lasting low cost houses in various parts of the country, but for the first time in the country, bamboo is being promoted for construction of low cost green houses for agricultural practices in Visakhapatnam district.
Bhagavatula Charaitable Trust in collaboration with Krishi Vigyan Kendra situated in Yelamanchili has constructed prototype green houses using rattan, bamboo and nets to promote floriculture. To make the concept more eco-conducive, experts have introduced pollination by bees in these green houses.
K Srinivasulu, a structural engineer working with Krishi Vigyan Kendra, said, “A lot of people do not realise that bamboo is as strong as steel and as far as durability is concerned it is very tough and resistant to termites. In such a scenario, building multi-tiered bamboo green houses to increase agricultural output in dry districts such as Visakhapatnam is a very good option for small farmers. More importantly, farmers will also take to export-oriented floriculture rather than water consuming native crops or dry crops that give little returns.”
Explaining the concept of a multi-tiered bamboo green house, Srinivasulu said, “The frame is entirely constructed from bamboo and both rope and rattan can be used to fix the joints. More importantly, bamboo poles being tall provide the option of extra space by enabling farmers to simply go vertical. These structures can also be used to construct hydroponic green houses for vegetable cultivation.”
PV Sarma, an expert in hydroponic practices and soil conservation, said, “The use of bamboo to construct green houses will radically change the face of agriculture in Visakhapatnam district. It will not only enable farmers to produce more per square foot but also help reduce water use and consumption. It will encourage farmers to take to ecofriendly agricultural practices. Having said that, the onus is on the state to promote these practices on a large scale to challenge food scarcity and land and resource scarcity.”
Sarma said these green houses are almost 1/10th of the cost of green houses in western countries but equally effective. He urged the state and central governments to promote green houses by picking progressive farmers from each and every mandal in the entire state and ensuring that they share the technology with small farmers in the region as well.
Source: Times of India