Technology transfer for cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) production under protected agriculture in uplands Balochistan, Pakistan
The adverse climatic conditions and scarcity of irrigation water in Balochistan (Pakistan) have encouraged the development of protected agriculture. Semicircular plastic tunnels were introduced in three districts of Balochistan. This technology transfer trials have shown the advantages and benefits of producing cucumber in tunnels with marketable yield per unit area between 5.37 to 6.77 kg m2. Farmer-managed trials also confirmed better effectiveness and efficiency of protected agriculture tunnel against insect pest of cucumber grown under tunnel. The cucumbers so harvested were of higher quality (no insect damage) and were sold at premium prices during the whole production cycle. Proper crop sequencing by considering the market situations as well as physiological circumstances are important for successful production of high value crops including cucumbers round the year. These decisions should be based on the market demand and consumer preference analyses. Higher technical knowledge is also required to manage plant nutrient requirements, choose right kind of hybrids and irrigation scheduling, maintain temperature and humidity and take proper plant protection measures.
Key words: Cucumber production, protected agriculture tunnels, cost benefit ratio, technology transfer, upland Balochistan.