Recently, Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CMERI), Durgapur, recently inaugurated a “naturally ventilated polyhouse facility” and laid the foundation stone of “retractable roof polyhouse” its Ludhiana centre.
About Retractable Roof Polyhouse
- Retractable Roof Polyhouse Technology will have an automatic retractable roof which will be operated based on weather conditions and crop requirements from the conditional database using PLC software.
- This ongoing development will be useful in our country with its 15 different agro-climatic zones and will help farmers to cultivate off-season crops that can fetch higher value and income.
- The development of this technology, claimed the retractable roof would be used to manipulate sunlight quantity, quality & duration, water stress, humidity, carbon dioxide levels as well as crop and soil temperatures.
What is a Polyhouse?
- A polyhouse is a specially constructed structure like a building where specialised polythene sheet is used as a covering material under which crops can be grown in partially or fully controlled climatic conditions.
- It is covered with a transparent material as to permit the entry of natural light. Polyhouses are also helpful in reducing threats such as extreme heat and pest attacks in crops.
Need for such polyhouse
- With rapidly rising temperatures due to mounting greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human activities, crops are increasingly facing both threats — extreme heat and pest attacks — simultaneously.
- Crop losses in India due to insect pests are about 15 percent at present and this loss may increase as climate change lowers the plant defense system against insects and pests.
- Conventional greenhouses have a stationary roof to reduce the effect of weather anomalies and pests.
- However, there are still disadvantages due to roof covering which sometimes lead to excessive heat and insufficient light (early morning).
- Besides this, they are also prone to insufficient levels of carbon dioxide, transpiration, and water stress.
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