Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

Development of smart greenhouse (SGH) for temperate and alpine regions to enhance agriculture farming for future food sustainability

This collaborative research will focus on the development of a low-cost smart greenhouse (SGH) for the agriculture sector using solar energy in temperate and alpine regions in Himalayan countries taking Bhutan as a sample country. The Kingdom of Bhutan is situated between the Tibetan plateau in the north and the Indian plain in the south with only 2.75% (1055 km2) cultivable land out of 38,394 km2 area. In the temperate and alpine regions, crops usually grow during summer and can’t withstand cold temperatures in the winter season. The temperate region has a total of 199 km2 (18.92%) in total. This collaborative research will examine the unique construction of a low-cost SGH to enhance the crop cultivation period from a few months to throughout the year in temperate and alpine regions embedding modern technologies. It is envisaged that year-round crop cultivation will improve food self-sufficiency in two regions. The two regions receive an average of 4.0-5.5 kWh/m2/day solar radiation which is enough to regulate the required temperature in the greenhouse, pump water for irrigating the greenhouse, and process decomposed organic manure. The experts from APN countries will train the local people (farmers) in construction, operation of the greenhouse, and processing of decomposed organic manure to grow the crops throughout the year and avoid the use of chemical fertilizers. This project has scope to apply in other regions of Himalayan countries having the same agro-ecological zones.

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