Tunnel Farming

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Off-Season Vegetable Farming in Tunnels

R & D and Training Wing

Agriculture Finance Group, Head Office, Lahore
Contact: Dr. Nasir Mahmood Nasir Tel: +92 42 99232105

Table of Contents
Summary 1. Introduction 2. Project Cost 3. Export Prospects 4. Production Sequence of Cultivation 5. Suitable Vegetables for Cultivation 6. Nutrient Requirements 7. Sowing and Transplanting Period of Off-season Vegetables 8. Irrigation 9. Types of Tunnels i) Low Tunnel 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 6 6 7 7 7 8 9 9 9 10 10 10 11 11 11 13 14 15 17

ii) Walk-in Tunnels iii) High Tunnel

a) Support Structure b) Seed Recommendations c) Important Points for Tunnel Farming 10. Suitable Site for Tunnel Farming i) Preparation of Soil & Sowing ii) Expected Production 11. Equipments and Machinery Requirements 12. Human Resource Requirements 13. Infrastructure Requirements 14. Project Detail 15. Projected Income Statement of 54 tunnels on 9 acres project 16. Input Assumptions 17. Disclaimer


Vegetables are daily food requirements for balanced diet and a good source of vitamins, proteins, essential nutrients and carbohydrates. Due to lack of advanced production technology of vegetables, farmers are limited to grow seasonal vegetables and are dependent on marketing mechanism of demand and supply so could not get good prices to sustain vegetable business.

Due to presence of negligible number of vegetable processors and lack of cold storage infrastructure, farmers could not get the reasonable profit margins by selling their produce at the time when market is flooded with seasonal vegetables.

Summer vegetables are susceptible to insects, pests and diseases that can be grown in winter by marinating the temperature through well established production technology of vegetable tunnel farming. The tunnel construction offers maximum crop yield, better maintenance of the fertility of land, controlled temperature and humidity, protection from wild animals and insects and better water conservation. Mostly tunnels are of three types by their structure i.e. low tunnel, walk-in tunnel and high tunnel.

The off-season vegetable project using high tunnel technology on area of 9 acres needs a capital investment estimated at Rs. 6.6 million for construction, purchasing machinery and equipment. In addition to this, a sum of Rs. 0.3 million is required as working capital, which would be used for purchasing of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides etc. The total project cost is estimated at Rs. 7 million


1. Introduction
To grow vegetables in unfavorable weather conditions is called “growing off-season vegetables”. Human nature ever wishes to get those things that are scarce. Off-season vegetables and fruits are sold at high prices in the market. Vegetables are rich source of vitamins, carbohydrates, salts and proteins. High population growth rate has given rise to high demand in basic dietary vegetables. Increased health awareness, high population growth rate, changing dietary patterns of increasingly affluent middle class and availability of packaged vegetables, has therefore generated a year round high demand for vegetables in the country in general and in major city centers in particular. However, our farmers have yet not been able to get benefited from this opportunity and still using traditional methods. In the absence of storage infrastructure and vegetable processing industry in the country, off-season vegetables farming is the only viable option that can add value to the farmers produce.

2. Project Cost
By using high tunnel technology many off-season vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber, brinjal, hot pepper, sweet peppers and watermelon can be cultivated. This project is focused on the study of three crops only i.e. Tomato, Capsicum and Cucumber, cultivated on area of 9 acres. The land utilized for cultivation is recommended to be leased. The off-season vegetable project using high tunnel technology on area of 9 acres needs a capital...
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