Training for protected cultivation

The Horticulture Training Centre offers advanced technology training on a range of themes and topics on agriculture

A production manager in a greenhouse in Kolhapur, Vijay Chougule is certain of increasing the yield by at least 30 to 40 percent post his ongoing training in General Greenhouse Management. Chougule a graduate in Agriculture, specially came to Talegaon, 40 kilometers from Pune to train at the Horticulture Training Centre. "The techniques are much advanced and it offers a detailed perspective from its construction till the marketing," says Chougule. Attracting farmers, entrepreneurs as well as students from all over the country and abroad the centre offers advanced technology training on a range of themes and topics on agriculture.

Claiming to be a one of its kind in Asia in terms of practical greenhouse training the centre has trained over 13,000 people since its inception around six years ago. The Horticulture training centre that was established in 2002 by the Maharashtra state Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) in association with the Practical Training Centre (PTC +) of The Netherlands, under National Institute of Post-harvest Technology (NIPHT) is co-financed by The Netherlands Development Finance Company, (FMO), Den Haag, a Government of Netherlands. The courses offered vary from automation in protected cultivation, crop specific courses, cultivation of open field flowers, green and exotic vegetables, cultivation of commercial horticulture crops and so on.

"Along with training modules we also offer technical services, for instance preparation of techno-economic project reports and technical consultancy in protected cultivation and horticultural projects. With two batches of 24 people, the courses are of a week's duration, and we have farmers as well as entrepreneurs from across the country as well as Srilanka, Pakistan and Bhutan visiting and undergoing training with us. The residential programme is offered in Hindi, Marathi and English and covers everything from site selection to marketing," says Suresh Dhumal, director, National Institute of Post Harvest Technology.

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