Palak in the pipeline

The Telangana State Centre of Excellence (TSCoE) in Jeedimetla feels like an oasis, in contrast to the barren highway that leads to the area and the humble residential colony in its vicinity. The 10.35-acre facility managed by the department of horticulture is a hub of experiments for cultivation of vegetables and flowers.

In one of the poly houses covered by a UV-stabilising film, more than 800 PVC pipes have been converted into vertical farming towers. Each of these pipes have been filled with a mix of coco peat, red soil, neem cake, vermicompost and micronutrients that help plant growth. Each pipe has more than 20 slots from which small branch-like extensions emanate, it is in these that green leafy vegetables are grown.

The CoE designed and tested such prototypes in December 2018, approved by the department of horticulture authorities and a technical committee of agriculture experts; it has so far grown coriander, amaranthus, bacchali (Malabar spinach) and palak (spinach). At the moment, the 800-plus towers grow spinach, some of them ready to harvest.Read more

Source Web page: The Hindu

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