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Boath: Two young farmers are creating wonders cultivating cucumbers under polyhouse conditions and reaping profits. One of them gave up Hardware & Networking course, which he was pursuing in Bangaluru, and developed a fascination for agriculture impressed by the methods of cultivation being adopted in Karnataka.

While youth are going from villages to cities in search of livelihood, Vishaal of Adegama village returned to the grassroots dropping out of the technical  education  course. Vishaal met farmers there and was attracted at their minimalist approach to agriculture – putting small space to maximum use and thereby earning profits. 

He consulted his cousin Ramchander of Chincholi and the duo decided to become farmers. Earlier, Vishaal appraised himself about incentives and other benefits being extended to farmers cultivating under polyhouse conditions by the Department of Horticulture, Government of Telangana. 
Realising that construction of Polyhouse has been highly subsidised in Telangana and the subsidy being 75%, the highest in the country, the duo placed an application with the horiticulture department for the same. The department approved it in two months.  They have taken up cultivation of cucumber under Polyhouse conditions in their villages. 

Of the total cost of Rs 33.76 lakh, the government's subsidy is 75 per cent of it. However, the farmer has to bear the 25 per cent of the cost amounting to Rs 8.44 lakh. Banks easily advance loan for the 25 per cent of the total cost. Till the first crop is harvested the horticulture department officials aid and advise the farmers. The department has a Whatsapp group constituting all poly house farmers. 

The duo commenced agriculture four months prior to summer and went to Gujarat to obtain high quality cucumber seeds. They adhered to the advice tendered by horticulture officials and harvested the first crop in 40 days. Their cucumbers have good demand in the local market. Traders started purchasing cucumbers at the rate of Rs 1800 a quintal at their farm gate. On an average, six quintals were sold per day.  They continue to harvest the cucumbers even at the fag end of the season. 

The expenditure included Rs 3 lakh for red soil, Rs 1.10 lakh for workers, Rs 80,000 for organic manure, Rs 70,000 for seeds’ purchase, and Rs 50,000 for clearing the land and developing it. The investment worked out to Rs 6.10 lakh. During the past three or four months they harvested at least 45 to 50 tons and sold cucumbers at the rate of Rs 18000 a tonne. After deduction of their expenses their profit worked out to be at least Rs 2 lakh in four months. The farmers are also entitled to 75 per cent subsidy for the first crop. 

The farmers expressed happiness at the prospect of reaping good profits. The result would be fruitful provided the farmers implemented the farm practices advocated by the government and availing the subsidies, concessions and incentives being doled out by it. Traders are also happy at the sales and say that they are able to save money towards transportation costs incurred in fetching cucumbers from other districts.  

Horticulture officer for Boath Assembly constituency exhorted farmers to cultivate crops in poly house conditions to reap the highest profits from small space. In addition to the poly house, the department provides drip-irrigation equipment free of cost. Poly houses sanctioned this year are under construction. Therefore, he advised the farmers to plan for Polyhouse cultivation and apply next year to get the approvals from the department.

By Sai Kiran Jadhav