Rajesh and Swaroop have installed 3,500 polyhouses in Sikkim
After installing over 3,500 bamboo polyhouses in the Northeast,city-based entrepreneur couple Rajesh and Swaroop Edke are set to replicate their success by implementing the same in China. The couple,under their venture Thousand Petals Polyhouses Pvt Ltd have been granted a patent for Improved Bamboo Polyhouse by China.
The prototype polyhouse has been erected at Shouguang in the Shandong province of China. Interestingly,the province,known as the vegetable basket of China has over 64,000 hectares of land under conventional polyhouses.
Talking to The Indian Express,Rajesh Edke said,We have been installing bamboo polyhouses in Sikkim under the National Mission on Bamboo Applications (NMBA) under which we installed over 3,500 polyhouses. After seeing our work online,the Chinese government officials invited me for an agricultural scientists conference in April 2010. After the conference,the Chinese officials asked me if we would be interested in demonstrating a prototype of the bamboo polyhouse and promised to give the necessary support in terms of allotting a plot and the necessary infrastructure.
The projects in Northeast kept the husband-wife duo busy,and Edke visited China again only in October 2011 for purchasing materials for his polyhouses from India.
It was during this visit that I happened to see polyhouses in Shouguang. This town has almost 64,000 hectares under polyhouses. And in Shandong province,there are about 15 such towns. The concept of these polyhouses was initiated by an 80-year-old Wang Lei, an activist like Anna Hazare whose efforts have resulted in improvement in agricultural production in this area. On observing closely though,I realized that the polyhouses they constructed were expensive and secondly of very basic nature. Given the harsh winter in this region,the polyhouses are constructed underground with bamboo and concrete. Not only do they flood in rains,but also are congested and stuffy, he said.
China has strict capital- investment norms for foreign entrepreneurs wanting to set up business within their country. And Edke got a boost when,in recognition of his technology of improved bamboo polyhouse,the Chinese government has extended 70 per cent capital which means Edke would have to invest only 30 per cent of the remaining. We started constructing a polyhouse on April 1,which was completed in a months time. We are now displaying at an exhibition where various Chinese agencies have evinced interest. Unlike the Chinese polyhouses,this one is made fully of bamboo and is above the ground. There are no concrete poles inside the structure,as a result of which one can drive in tractor like machinery inside the polyhouse. Further,it costs almost 40 per cent less than the cost of Chinese polyhouses, Swaroop added.