Introduction To Greenhouse Capsicum Cultivation Project Report
The following information is abouit Greenhouse Capsicum Cultivation Project Report.
Pepper is commonly referred to as capsicum is a vegetable from a flowering plant native to America. This vegetable has many names depending on the place and type such as chilli pepper, green pepper, red pepper, paprika, and bell pepper, etc. The capsicum plant is a perennial plant, which is being cultivated all round the world. The cultivation of capsicum in the greenhouse or polyhouse is done using indeterminate cultivars that keep producing continuously and the plant keeps developing from new meristems.
The height of the capsicum plant is different for different varieties, but the average height ranges from 30 to 90 cm. The leaves of the plant are oval in shape and bright green in colour. The size of the leaf is proportional to the size of the fruit. It is considered that plants producing small peppers or capsicum have small leaves. The roots of the plant are shallow and may extend up to 20 or 30 cm deep under the soil. The flowers of the plant are star shaped and white in colour. The fruit has different shapes like round, oblong or tapered. The skin of the fruit is smooth and shiny. They are available in many colours like red, yellow, purple and green. Generally pepper or capsicum is green under immature conditions, but turns red upon ripening. The newly introduced cultivars have fruits that are of different colour both under mature and immature conditions. The vegetable or fruit contains many white seeds, which give the spicy taste to it.
This report consists of capsicum farming methods under the greenhouse facility and at the end discusses about the cost structure of the farm with expected profits.
Scope and Importance of Capsicum Cultivation
The current production of capsicum in the country is being done over 24,000 hectares of land with an annual production of 3.21 lakh metric tonnes. With the increasing demand for different varieties of capsicum in the market, it is expected that there would be a scope for expanding the area under production of these fruits. India ranks fourth in the production of capsicum. The plant is extensively cultivated in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh. The export market for capsicum is also very high and it demands fruits with good size, longer shelf life, attractive color, etc. The supply is inadequate due to low productivity from the open farms, which are greatly controlled by the external environmental factors. So, a probable solution to increase productivity, yield and quality could be cultivating capsicum within a greenhouse structure with minimal loss. Expanding and implementing greenhouse structures also increases the chances of employment among the rural population, thereby effectively contributing to the economy of the country.
Cultivars or varieties of Capsicum
There are five major species to which 50K varieties of peppers belong. Some varieties in India are classified as:
Introduced varieties – California wonder, yolo wonder, Chinese giant, and world beater.
Selected varieties – arka mohini, arka gaurav, and arka basant.
Public sector hybrid varieties – pusa deepti, green gold, and pusa meghdoot.
Private sector hybrid varieties – bharat, solan hybrid-2, early bounty, lario, and hira.
Commonly cultivated varieties:
- Medium tall bushy plants
- Dark green leaves
- Fruit is dark green and glossy
- The weight of the fruit is 170 g, length is 10 to 12 cm and girth is 10 cm with 3 to 4 lobes approximately
- Starts bearing fruits in 50-55 days
- Long shelf life
- High export quality
- Tall and strong plant
- It’s an early hybrid variety
- Dark green coloured fruit
- The weight of the fruit is 130 to 150 g, length is 10 to 11 cm and girth is 10 cm with 3 or 4 lobes
- Good for long transport conditions
- It is a blocky hybrid
- Fruit turns from green to yellow
- Square shaped fruits with medium thick wall
- Fruit weight is 150 g
- Good resistant variety
- Strong plant and has vigorous growth
- Fruit is either blocky or long with thick walls
- Dark green in colour
- The weight of the fruit is 200 to 250 g
- Suitable variety for polyhouse or greenhouse cultivation
Capsicum cultivation requirements
Land selection and soil conditions for growing Capsicum in Greenhouse
For developing a polyhouse to cultivate capsicum, essential care has to be taken in land selection. The area should not have heavy rainfall or humidity. The area should be free from high wind velocity. The land should be away from low lying areas, streams or rivers. Moreover, the greenhouse should not be planned near tobacco plantations because of the potential risk of aphid-vectored viruses. The soil for capsicum cultivation should be well-drained sandy loam soil. It should be highly porous and the salinity of the soil should not be more than 1 ms/cm. The pH of the soil should range in between 6 to 7.
Climatic requirements for Capsicum farming in Greenhouse
The optimum temperature required by the capsicum plant is 20 to 25˚C during the day and 18 to 20˚C at night. The minimum humidity of the greenhouse should be around 65%. To control the temperature and humidity misters are started within the greenhouse every day for 3 to 4 minutes with half an hour interval.
Greenhouse structures for production of Capsicum in Greenhouse
The shade net houses are built using granite stone pillars placed 2 ft deep into the soil. The pillars of about 12 ft high and 8 x 4 inch thick are used in the construction. The ends of the pillars are sealed with rubber to avoid tearing of the material. 50% HDPE white shade net is fixed and it supports another shade net (35%) either green or black in colour. This additional shade net is required during peak summer season. The shade houses are also protected on all sides with 40 mesh nylon net, which is UV stabilized.
Polyhouse is more compatible for farming when compared to shade house. The roof of the polyhouse is covered with a transparent UV stabilized polyethylene film of 200 micron thickness. The sides of the polyhouse need to be covered with 200 micron polyethylene film up to a height of 3 ft. The remaining height on all sides is covered with a 40 micron white coloured insect proof net.
Raising the Capsicum seedling in the nursery for planting in Greenhouse
The no. of seedlings required for 1 acre of land are 16 to 20 thousand, and these can be grown from about 160-200 g of seeds. The seeds are sown in pro-trays with 98 cavities. These should be filled with sterilized cocopeat and seeds are sown to a depth of ½ cm. The trays are covered with plastic sheets until germination occurs. One week after sowing the trays are moved to the greenhouse structure and watered lightly. These grown up seedlings are transplanted to the main area after 30 or 35 days.
Growing bed preparation and sterilization of soil
The farming area should be ploughed thoroughly and should be supplied with well decomposed organic manure, sand and sawdust @ 10-20 kg/m². The greenhouse should have raised beds for cultivating capsicum plants and these beds should be drenched with 4% formaldehyde and left covered for 3 to 5 days. The polythene cover over the beds is removed and the beds should be raked regularly to remove the formaldehyde fumes trapped inside. This is a process of fumigation which sterilizes the soil and minimizes the occurrence of soil borne diseases. The minimum dimensions of the bed are 100 cm wide, 22 cm high with a walking space of 45 to 50 cm between the beds.
Transplanting, pruning and training of Capsicum in Protected Environment
The roots of the seedlings should be handled carefully and they are transplanted into the holes of the polyethylene mulch film to a depth of 5 cm. The land or growing beds should be adequately watered before transplantation. The raised bed can accommodate two rows of seedlings, the spacing between the rows is 60 cm and the spacing between plants should be around 30 cm approximately. During the initial stages the seedling are sprayed with a pesticide to prevent any sucking pest infestation. The mulched growing beds are watered regularly using a hosepipe to overcome the heat generated by the mulch film and also to help the seedlings establish well in the soil.
Each capsicum plant is trained to retain only 2 or 4 stems. To maintain this, pruning the plants after 15-20 days of planting is essential with an interval of 7 days. After 4 months, pruning is done once in 10 days.
After 4 weeks of transplanting, the plants are trained along the plastic twines tied to the main stem. A grid is prepared over the plants with a GI wire for this purpose.
Irrigation and Fertigation of Capsicum in Polyhouse
For irrigating the capsicum plants within the greenhouse, drip irrigation system is most suitable. The drip line is laid before mulching it with the film. A single drip lateral at the center of the growing bed with emitting points at 30 cm interval is installed and the discharge rate is approximately around 2 lt/ hr. Before irrigating the plants the soil should be tested for moisture content and then irrigation is provided. Fresh water should be used for irrigation and during the summer season, water is supplied at the edges of the growing beds to compensate the loss of water due to evaporation. The greenhouse should always have the facility of the water outlets to remove excess water from the area.
Fertigation is the application of fertilizers through irrigation. NPK fertilizers in the ratio of 20: 25: 20 respectively, should be given as a basal dose to the plants. After three weeks of planting, 19 % of NPK @ 2.5-4 g/ m² are given twice in a week. Micronutrients should be supplied as and when required by the plants. The fertilizers required by the plants are collected and dissolved into sufficient water quantity and these should be given through irrigation generally in the early hours (5-7 AM). The Fertigation systems should be cleaned thoroughly at regular intervals.
Mulching of Capsicum Plants in Greenhouse
Mulch film made of polyethylene (black) is used for mulching the farm area. The thickness of the film should be around 50-100 micron and 1.2 cm wide. Holes of 5 cm diameter with recommended spacing are created in the mulch sheet and then it is laid on the growing beds. The sheet is anchored properly by securing the edges into the soil. This practice retains moisture in the soil, helps control weeds and reduces the incidence of pests and diseases thereby resulting in higher quality produce.
Pest and disease control of Capsicum
The most common pests of capsicum plants are aphids, thrips, whitefly, fruit borer, nematode, mites etc.
The common diseases found on these plants are damping off, powdery mildew, cercospora leaf spot, phythopthera and other viral diseases.
To control the occurrence of diseases and pests, good cultural practices have to be adopted within the greenhouse. The debris in the plant surroundings should be cleared after harvest. Planting disease free resistant varieties can help keep the crops healthy. Apart from these, properly chosen chemical pesticides or insecticides could be used for controlling the pests and diseases around the greenhouse.
Sometimes the fruit from the plant can have some physiological disorders like blossom-end rot, sunscald, fruit cracks, fruit splitting, fruit spots, misshapen fruit and internal growth in the fruit. All these can be controlled by optimizing the growing environment is the best possible way, watering the plants sufficiently, avoiding water-logging etc.
Harvesting and yield of Capsicum
The fruit should be picked in the early morning. The indication of fruit maturity is known by the smooth and firm look of the fruit. They are removed from the plants with the stem attached to the fruit and collected into strong cloth bags. These bags are not put on the ground rather they are hung from the shoulder of the picker. The fruit should be carefully removed so that the plant is not harmed. Each variety of the capsicum plant produces different quantities of yield. The harvesting of green capsicum is done after 55 to 60 days from transplanting. Similarly, yellow and red capsicum is harvested after 70 to 75 and 80 to 90 days of transplanting respectively. The yellow and red fruit should be picked only after proper colour development. The average yield of the fruit from 1 acre of land is around 30-40 tons.
Post harvest management techniques of Capsicum
Post harvest management includes grading, packing and storing and shrink wrapping. The fruits are selected and cleaned properly with a soft cloth after harvesting. Then these fruits are graded based on their weight, colour, shape, size and disorders. Grade A fruits generally have 3 or 4 lobes and weigh around 150 g.
CFB cartons are used to pack the graded fruits, either in a single or multiple layers. Fruits that are being transported for long distances should be cushioned properly within the cartons. The fruits should be stored at a temperature of about 7 to 8˚C and the humidity should be maintained around 90%. The shelf life of capsicum is generally estimated to be 2 or 3 weeks. The temperature of the storage area should never be below 5˚C otherwise the fruit would be exposed to chilling injuries. Care should be taken not to store these fruits with other ripe fruits like papayas, mangoes and tomatoes.
The fruits have been sorted, washed, disinfected, surface dried and the stalks are trimmed before wrapping. These fruits are then loosely packed in a flexible film before passing through the shrink tunnel for about 8 to 10 seconds. The fruits are shrink wrapped as a second layer of protective cover. Doing so helps to enhance the shelf life of the fruits.
Tips for better and high quality yield of Capsicum/Bell Pepper
There could be some special ways to handle the greenhouse capsicum for getting higher quality yields and the tips for achieving these results are discussed below:
- Proper and adequate supply of organic manure is to be given to the soil along with good microbial treatment.
- Care should be taken to protect the greenhouse cover to minimize the pest or insect attack.
- The greenhouse should be facilitated by a double door system to maintain a protected environment.
- The seedling should be transplanted only after they attain certain growth.
- Regular pruning and thinning can help increase the production of the plants.
- Irrigation and fertilizers should be adequately supplied so that the plants develop fast and healthy.
- Cleaning the greenhouse and disinfecting it regularly can prevent occurrence of diseases in plants.
- The apical bud should be protected carefully.
- Bio-control measures or bio-fertilizers are always suggested for a greenhouse farm.
Advantages of Capsicum farming in Greenhouse
It is always believed that protected cultivation can be more advantageous than normal traditional farming methods due to less or actually no dependence on external environmental conditions. Traditional farming yields only around 20-40 tons per hectare of land, which is comparatively very low to the yield generated from a greenhouse capsicum farm. Some advantages are outlined here:
- Higher yield and quality produce
- Better environmental protection
- Less damage from insects and pests
- Produce is available all the year round
- Harvest is possible 2 to 3 times in a year
Cost and profit analysis of Capsicum farming in Greenhouse
The cost of cultivating capsicum in 1 acre of greenhouse is discussed here. The values presented here are approximate values and may vary considerably from the practical values because of changes in the market structure and the location of the farm.
Assumptions of Greenhouse Capsicum Cultivation Project Report:
Labour cost per day: Rs 250 (average).
Cost of capsicum seedlings: Rs 20 per piece (may vary for different cultivars).
Cost of constructing greenhouse per sq m: Rs 750.
No of plants per sq m: 3.75 (planting density).
Total plants per acre of land: 15000 (average).
Cost of polyethylene mulch film per sq m: Rs 10
|Materials||Investment in Rs|
|Cost of greenhouse construction (4000 sq m approx.)||30,00,000.00|
|Drip irrigation system and pump along with Fertigation system||1,50,000.00|
|Cost of preparing the growing beds with FYM, soil, sand, and mulching||3,20,000.00|
|Cost of the seedlings||1,80,000.00|
|Total fixed costs||36,50,000.00|
Variable investment: (annually)
|Material||Investment in Rs|
|Cost of employing 4 labourers per day||3,60,000.00|
|Cost of fertilizers for the farm||1,20,000.00|
|Cost of supplying water||1,00,000.00|
|Cost of insecticides or herbicides||1,20,000.00|
|Other miscellaneous charges like packing, post harvest management and farm equipment, maintenance etc.||5,00,000.00|
The annual yield from each plant is: 3-4 Kg (average).
Total farm yield in a year: 60,000 kgs.
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Sale price of capsicum per kg: Rs 30-60 (depends on the area of sale).
Total income from the farm per year: Rs 18, 00,000.
Annual profit from the greenhouse after sale of produce: Rs 5, 00,000.
Loans and subsidies for Capsicum farming in Polyhouse/Greenhouse
The National Horticulture Board has many different schemes to help farmers set up a greenhouse for cultivating different crops and subsidies are being given depending on the type of cultivation and farm establishments. It is advisable to consult the nearest Horticulture Department for exact details. Similarly, NABARD also finances farmers to encourage them in setting up a greenhouse which is a more sustainable source of farming and provides assistance in different forms. It is expected that a minimum of 75% subsidy would be available for these kinds of structures.