On January 18, 2019 the partners of FoodTechIndia inaugurated the demonstration polyhouse of 1 acre at the India Food Park in Tumkur, Karnataka, India.
FoodTechIndia (“FTI”) is a public-private initiative combining the strengths of Dutch agro-food companies, knowledge institutes, governmental agencies and their Indian counterparts to reduce food wastage in India through the establishment of an improved supply and cold chain infrastructure for fruits and vegetables in the state of Karnataka. The project focusses on enabling sustainable inclusive economic growth amongst local small-scale farmers. The FoodTechIndia partnership consists of Future Consumer Limited, Broekman Logistics, Rijk Zwaan, TNO, Larive International and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch Government is supporting the FTI project and partners via the Facility for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security (FDOV) which aims to contribute to the achievement of various sustainable development goals in developing countries.
On January 18th, the inauguration of a demonstration polyhouse in Tumkur as part of the FTI project took place. Ms. Davinia Lamme, Managing Director of Larive International and the initiator and project coordinator of the FTI project welcomed the guests for the inauguration ceremony followed by speeches from Mr. Jan Omvlee, the Chairman of FTI’s Steering Board, Dr. Shankar Hebbar, Principal Scientist from the International Institute of Horticulture and Research, Mr. Sadashiv Nayak, CEO at Future Retail Limited and Mr. Gert Heijkoop the Consul General of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Bangalore. During the ceremony, more than 100 FTI farmers joined the ceremony and 2 farmers shared their experiences and successes from being part of the project.
The aim of the demonstration polyhouse build at the India Food Park in Tumkur is to showcase the future of closed cultivation in India. In the polyhouse vegetables such as (cherry) tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum and eggplant are being grown in a temperature-controlled environment. High quality seeds, biological crop protection and technology and knowledge from the Netherlands are being used and implemented to reduce the usage of pesticides and fertilizers, improve the yield and produce better, safe and higher quality vegetable products. Partners form “HortiTechIndia” a consortium consisting of highly innovative Dutch companies and knowledge institutes from the horticulture sector have supplied their technology and are transferring their knowledge to the Indo-Dutch polyhouse. The design was made by Twins Yeald and contains technology from India as well as the Netherlands. Rijk Zwaan is supplying high quality seeds and advises the agronomists on how to improve the yield and quality, Koppert Biological Systems India supplies biological crop protection and advises on how to control pest infestations and increase crop resilience. Hoogendoorn Growth Management has supplied the climate computer and Ludvig Svensson has supplied the climate screen to control humidity, temperature and UV radiation. The demonstration polyhouse is currently being operated by Riddhika Bhandari and Sulabh Bhandari from Future Consumer Limited.
Together, the partners have the goal to upgrade the quality of the Indian horticulture sector and thereby enhance productivity and profitability. With the demonstration polyhouse, the FoodTechIndia partners want to show the farmers in Karnataka the benefits of growing crops in a controlled environment and train them on closed cultivation practices. Demonstrations and trainings in the greenhouse will take place the upcoming three years until April 2022.
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