The All India Coordinated Research Project on Plasticulture Engineering and Technologies (PET) become operational in 1988 during VII Plan period (known as AICRP on Application of Plastic in Agriculture) to undertake research and extension activity pertaining to water management, protected farming, post-harvest produce management etc. In XII Plan period, the project became operative at fourteen Centres (one Centre at CSKHPKV, Palampur was closed and four new Centres as DBSKKV, Dapoli,UAS, Raichur, CIRG, Makhdoom and NRCY, Dirang) located in different agro-ecological regions with its coordinating unit located at CIPHET, Ludhiana.
The major thrust areas of the project are on surface covered cultivation and development of package of practices for better utilization of covered area, rainwater harvesting or water storage pond lining, efficient utilization techniques for stored water including pressurized irrigation, gravity fed micro-irrigation, farm machinery components using plastics as material for reducing weight and improving efficiency, and intensive fish culture devices and strategies. During XII Plan, efforts were also initiated to develop better animal shelters using plastics sheet and films. It has made significant contributions during the course of its execution in the field mentioned above. It includes development of polyhouse cultivation strategies and its participatory evaluation, plastic film lined ponds, shade net / insect net house designs, plastic body winnower-cum-grader for hilly regions, packaging strategies for fruits and fish, plastic mango ripening chamber, gadgets for intensive fish culture, etc.
The 2015-16 is the fourth year of 12th Plan, The BE approved in the 12th Plan EFC was Rs. 894.05 lakh under Plan. However, the approved final RE for the AICRP is Rs. 260 lakh under Plan and budgetary requirement under non-Plan is Rs.11 lakh only.
The monitoring mechanism for the project includes group review in Biennial Workshop and Coordination Committee Meeting. The project coordinator reviews the progress of centre from time to time through centre visits, monthly and quarterly progress reports, telephonic / e-mails from time to time with scientists located at different centre. The progress is submitted to headquarter in the form of Project Coordinator’s report, monthly, quarterly progress reports and other publications.
The AICRP on Plasticulture Engineering and Technologies (PET) envisages location specific research on improving the overall production, produce quality and profitability of the agricultural production systems including horticulture, fishery and animal husbandry, through application of plastics in its different forms to suit the need of different activities. Presently this AICRP has fourteen Centres as listed below.
List of cooperating centres:
- Vivekananda Parvatiya Krishi Anusandhan Sansthan (VPKAS), Division of Crop Production, Almora - 263 601, (Uttarakhand) operating since 1988.
- Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA), PO: Kausalayaganga, Bhubaneswar - 751 002. (Orissa), operating since 1988.
- Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Dept. of Soil & Water Conservation Engg., College of Agril. Engg. Ludhiana - 141 004. (Punjab) operating since 1988.
- Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Malout Hanumangarh Byepass Road, Abohar - 152 116, (Punjab) operating since 1990.
- Junagarh Agricultural University (JAU), Department of Renewable Energy, College of Agril. Engg & Tech, Junagadh – 362 001, (Gujarat) operating since 2004.
- Birsa Agricultural University (BAU), Department of Agricultural Engineering, PO: Kanke, Ranchi – 834 006. (Jharkhand) operating since 2004.
- Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K), Dept. of Agrl Engg, Shalimar Bagh, Srinagar – 191 121. (J&K) operating since 2004.
- Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology (MPUAT), Collage of Technology and Engineering, Department of Soil Water Engg., Udaipur – 313 001, Rajasthan. Operating since 2009.
- Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth (DBSKKV), Department of Farm Structure, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Dapoli, District Ratangiri- 415712, Maharashtra. (Approved in XII Plan EFC) operating since 1st April, 2015.
- Central Institute for Research on Goats (CIRG), Makhdoom, P.O.: Farah – 281122, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.(Approved in XII Plan EFC) operating since 1st April, 2015.
- University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), College of Agricultural Engineering, Raichur – 584102, Karnatka.(Approved in XII Plan EFC) operating since 1st April, 2015.
North Eastern Region
- ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Div. of AgrlEngg, Umroi Road, Umiam - 793 103. (Meghalaya) operating since 2000.
- Central Agricultural University (Imphal), Collage of Agriculture Engineering and Post Harvest Technology (CAEPHT), Ranipool – 737 135, Gangtok, Sikkim operating since 2009.
- National Research Centre on Yak, Dirang – 7900101, West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh operating since 1st April, 2015.
Centre closed during XII Plan
Choudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya (CSKHPKV), Deptt. Of Agril. Engg.,Palampur - 176 062 (HP) closed w.e.f. 31st March,2015.
To develop strategies for use of plastics in agriculture with major emphasis on surface covered cultivation, lining of ponds for rainwater harvesting, storage of water, micro-irrigation systems and mist formation; packaging, storage, transportation of agricultural produce and products; aquaculture, and livestock management. The Project also envisages the field evaluation and operational research of proven technologies at pilot level with an area saturation approach.
- To apply plastics in agriculture, both in production agriculture and postharvest management.
- To identify newer areas of plastics applications in agriculture, particularly in inland fisheries, and animal shelters and environment control.
- To carry out operational research on laboratory proven technologies at pilot level with area saturation approach.
- To disseminate plasticulture technologies through publications, media, exposure and training programmes, workshops, developing linkages with industry, other stakeholders and catalyzing developmental programmes.
For the XII Plan period, the AICRP has the following Thrust Areas:
- Standardization of location specific design of poly houses and shade net houses for round-the–year use.
- Development/improvement of laying techniques and its mechanization for plastic mulch and low tunnels.
- Techniques for rainwater harvesting in plastic lined ponds and their management.
- Development of plastic based low cost pressurized irrigation system equipped with pumping unit powered by non-conventional energy source.
- Development of plastic devices/systems for intensive fish culture and animal shelter.
- Application of plastics for post-harvest management (handling, storage and packaging) of important agricultural produce.
- Development/improvement of plastic components of farm equipment.
Summary of Major Programmes / Areas Implemented
- Studies on heating and cooling of agricultural Greenhouse using earth -air pipe system.
- Development and evaluation of technologies for improving year-round production of vegetables in greenhouse.
- Studies on microclimate and plant growth of capsicum under different types of shade net.
- Effect of different structures on protection of cumin crop against adverse climate.
- Development and evaluation of multi tier multipurpose polyhouse for drying of produce and raising of crop nursery / small height crops..
- Comparative study of micro climate under existing Poly-house and Shade net house..
- Design of gravity-fed Drip irrigation system for hilly areas..
- Water use efficiency of tomato under drip irrigation and mulching.
- Multiple use of water harvested from poly lined farm pond and conjunctive use of ground water.
- Designing, Development and Evaluation of Plastic Gadgets for Hygienic Fish Marketing and disposal of fish water for economic returns..
- Periphyton Production on Different Types of Colored Plastic Strips in Freshwater Ponds for Enhanced Fish Production.
- Evaluation of Polyhouse covered fish pond for fish rearing under temperate climaticconditions of Kashmir valley.
- Design of suitable cost effective Animal Shelter using plastics for temperate Himalayan region.
- Development of plastic mulch laying roller and laying techniques suitable for hills.
- Effect of mulch and irrigation level on water use efficiency and yield of water melon