Innovation in Controlled Environment Greenhouse (CEGH) for High Value Temperate Crop Production in Lowland Tropics
Publication Date : 07/02/2018
The application of protected cultivation structure has become a common practice in modern agriculture. Generally “protected cultivation structure” is known as greenhouse for crop cultivation use to protect crops against adverse weather conditions and detrimental pest and diseases. In many tropical countries including Malaysia, rapid innovation in various aspects of greenhouse technology, due to increase awareness on benefits of protecting the crop from those harmful agents. However commercial venture of this technology is pretty low and lagged behind due to scarcely justification by investors on high capital investment and low economic viability in agriculture. This had led to imbalance between R&D and commercializing the innovation, in which research has gone much advance in futuristic technology. In MARDI for instance, the development of greenhouse technology has been advanced especially in facilitate for R&D in crop production. The greenhouse technology can be divided into three groups depending on ability of controlling the environmental inputs: Low tech. (naturally environment), intermediate (modified environment) and high tech. (controlled environment system). Naturally environment greenhouse is referred as system that has direct access to ambient airflow and has no control on the environmental inputs under the structure. Modified environment system is referred as natural with a mild changes of the environment from ambient but still has no control on the environmental inputs under the structure. The environment under the structure causes a minimal improved or at par of the outside conditions. While, a controlled environment system is a closed greenhouse structure that has the ability to control the in-house environment. Some mechanized environmental controls system is use to monitor and regulate the in-house environment at an optimum level that fulfilled the crop requirement. In return this will minimize crop stress, grow healthy and increased productivity. This paper highlights the technology relate with advance systems those applies for controlling the microclimate under the structure and applies for precision agriculture. It is also highlighting innovation in energy efficient system (EES) that developed for CEGH and innovation in Internet of things (IOT) for operating SMART agriculture from distances and via Internet. All these R&D works is to make the protected crop cultivation system in the new era towards technology driven, productive and attractive while producing high quality crop produce and make agriculture industry sustainable.
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