Passive Solar Greenhouse for Round The Year Vegetable Cultivation in Trans Himalayan Ladakh Region, India
The trans-Himalayan Ladakh region remains cut-off for over six months in a year due to heavy snowfall. Availability of locally grown fresh vegetables is restricted to summer months and therefore, there are seasonal differences in dietary intake of food. Passive solar greenhouse has played a significant role not only in production of leafy vegetables in sub-zero temperature during winter months but also helped in extending the growing season in Ladakh. It is now a common practice to raise vegetable nurseries in spring and grow leafy vegetables during winter months in the greenhouse. Each year an average of 733 greenhouses covering 44313.4 m2 area are being established in Leh district. Passive solar greenhouse structures such as Ladakhi greenhouse, trench, polytrench, polyench, polycarbonate, FRP and polynet have been designed and tested in the inhospitable environment of trans–Himalaya. The greenhouse is used mainly during winter, and majority of farmers (91.7 %) do not use the structures in summer. Insect-pest, irrigation in winter and frequent replacement of cladding materials are the major problems being faced by the farmers in the region. There is a need to improvise the greenhouse design to make it economically viable and technologically feasible to grow a variety of crops, especially during winter months.
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