Plasticulture applications are one of the most useful indirect agricultural inputs which, hold the promise to transform India’s farming and irrigation techniques. Plasticulture applications are one of the most useful indirect agricultural inputs which, hold the promise to transform Indian agriculture and bring in the "Second Green Revolution"
Advantages of plastic in Agriculture:
The unique advantages of plastic over conventional materials are:
- Higher strength/weight ratio
- Superior thermal insulation properties
- Excellent corrosion resistance
- Superior flexibility
- Resistance to most of the chemicals
- Excellent moisture barrier properties
- Favourable gas permeability.
- Smooth surface – resulting in reduction in friction losses
- Excellent light transmissibility
- Helps to enhance shelf-life of the produces
- Better visibility of the produce
What is Plasticulture?
Plasticulture represents use of applications of plastics in Agriculture, Horticulture, Water management & related areas. A variety of plastics materials and end products are deployed in Plasticulture applications - for water conservation, irrigation efficiency, crop and environment protection, as well as end product storage and transportation.
Plasticulture applications offer a multitude of benefits and are considered most important indirect agricultural inputs which results moisture conservation, water saving, reduction in fertilizer consumption, helps in precise application of water & nutrients, controlled environment agriculture is economically viable, plant protection through the use of nets and use of innovative packaging solutions help in increasing shelf-life and during collection, storage & transportation of fruits and vegetables.
The growing use of plastics in different segments of economy has been very useful. The use of plastics esp. in agriculture has helped farmers increase crop production, improve food quality as also in more efficient usage of water resources. Similar has been their contribution to other key sectors namely; Automotive, Construction, Electronics, Healthcare, Textiles, Packaging, and FMCG etc.
Plasticulture applications are one of the most useful indirect economy & agriculture inputs with huge unrealized potential such as:
- Water Management – Precision Farming, Lining of canals, ponds & reservoirs with plastics film, Drip & sprinkler irrigation system, Water conveyance using PVC & HDPE pipes & Sub-surface drainage
- Nursery Management – Nursery bags, Pots, Pro-trays, Root trainers, Coco peats, hanging baskets, Plastic trays, etc.
- Surface cover cultivation – Soil Solarisation, Plastics Mulching
- Controlled environment agriculture – Greenhouses/Shade net houses/Plastic tunnels/Plant protection nets
- Innovative Packaging Solutions - Plastic crates, bins, boxes, leno bags, unit packaging nets, protection nets etc.; CAP covers - controlled atmospheric packaging (CAP) & modified atmospheric packaging (MAP)
- Organic Farming - HDPE vermin bed
Benefits of Plasticulture Applications
These can help the country to meet both food and nutrition needs at a time when population growth is @ +1% per annum with depleting natural resources such as land & water.
Plasticulture applications are considered the most important indirect agriculture input which results in moisture conservation, water saving, reduction in fertilizer consumption, helps in precise application is economically viable, plant protection through the use of nets and use of innovative packaging solutions help in increasing shelf-life and during collection, storage and transportation of fruits and vegetables.
(Information Courtesy: NCPAH, FICCI Knowledge Paper on New Horizons for Indian Plastics Processing Industry)