In earlier newsletters and via our website, we’ve informed you multiple times about the progress in our 3-year India project that HollandDoor started in 2018 in collaboration with the Center of Excellence for Vegetables in Baramati (see Launch protected cultivation vegetable project). Other Dutch partners involved are VHL, HAS and Aeres, all three Universities of Applied Sciences and Lentiz, a TVET school. The main objective is to increase awareness (existence), understanding (knowledge) and finally acceptance (investment willingness) of greenhouse farmers and other value chain stakeholders to catalyse sector developments. This three-year programme is funded by the Dutch government through the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
In 2018 and 2019, a group of selected trainees from various leading commercial companies and knowledge institutes was trained in five intensive training sessions in two parallel groups on various aspects of greenhouse hydroponic cultivation of vegetables and the related value chain development. To create awareness among Indian farmers about the potential for greenhouse cultivation and value chain development, a series of 1-day roadshow seminars were organized in various locations.
Currently the focus is shifting from the training of participants to the development of trainings and training material around eight themes in cultivation and value chain management, geared toward specific Indian situations and context. These multi-day trainings are targeting Indian farmers and other stakeholders interested in greenhouse cultivation and value chain development.
The core component of this project is the Training of Trainers. However, several other parallel projects are taking place within the overall framework of this project:
- 3 Indian students studying at VHL (joint degree with Baramati), 2 French students studying at Aeres completed their thesis and 1 VHL student is currently working on it;
- Support of CoE in optimization of cultivation (provided by PUM, the Netherlands) and optimization of plant propagation (provided by another expert),
- An export pilot of various vegetables to be sold in the Netherlands,
- Development of a hybrid greenhouse model which merges “the best of both worlds” by upgrading Indian greenhouse designs and combining them with Dutch advanced greenhouse technology installations. The objective is to make a hybrid concept which is technically and economically feasible for Indian farmers.