Ahmedabad:  The Gujarat government’s greenhouse farming initiative has proved to be ineffective as many farmers have incurred losses due to crop failure after adopting the method, according to Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS).

According to BKS officials, Gujarat unit, almost 90 per cent crops cultivated under the greenhouses have failed in the northern parts of Gujarat.

“To address the issue, we had held a meeting with more than 200 farmers, mostly from north Gujarat at Gandhinagar office on Monday. As per our survey, out of 1,000-odd farmers who opted for this technique, 90 per cent met with crop failure,” a senior member of Gujarat BKS Bhavin Patel said yesterday.

Patel said the government should have done tests before implementing the scheme. He also claimed that many farmers rued for adopting the technique over traditional methods.

Under the greenhouse farming technique, farms are covered with plastic sheets under a tent to protect crop from unfavourable weather conditions.

“To encourage the greenhouse method, Gujarat government gives 65 per cent subsidy to farmers to adopt greenhouse method. But during the meeting, it was revealed that this technique is not suitable in areas like North Gujarat which experience severe hot climatic conditions.

Majority of farmers complained of crop failure this season (summer),” Patel said.

“The government claimed that farmers can cultivate off-season crops through greenhouses, but it never happened. In addition, there is no mechanism in place to sell vegetables like capsicum grown through greenhouse. Thus, farmers have to transport it to other states at their own expense,” he said.

After the meeting with farmers, BKS plans to make a detailed representation to the Gujarat government on the issue and request that loans and interest are waived off.

“Last summer’s extreme heat had damaged crops grown under greenhouses. Many of them are in debt of around Rs 20-25 lakh, which were taken as loans. We will demand full waiver of loans and interests taken for greenhouse farming,” Patel said.

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