KVK Rangareddy

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KVK Success Stories

Production of Quality Seedlings in Pro-trays under Shadenet Nursery:
A low Cost Technology for Small and Mariginal Farmers


Ranga Reddy, a peri urban district of Telangana has immense potential for fruits and vegetable cultivation. To meet the growing demand for fresh produce, intensive cultivation is need of the hour. Unpredictable rains and fluctuations in extreme temperatures during nursery cause severe loss to farmers. Seeds of hybrid vegetables are sold at very high price, hence converting every individual seed into a healthy seedling becomes essential and this requires intensive nursery management. Use of shade net nursery by individual farmer, particularly those with small land holding was found to be feasible and economically viable.

KVK intervention

Creating Awareness: Participatory rural appraisal was conducted in Gaddamaliahguda village of Yacharam mandal, Rangareddy district through focused group discussion and one to one interaction with vegetable growers. It was found that a setback of knowledge levels of the farmers is one of the important reasons for low yields. Training cum demonstration program was organized at village level in which 40 farmers have participated. The technique of raising pro tray seedlings in different stages were explained and demonstrated. The cost of production of seedlings was also explained.

Supply of inputs for establishment of individual shade net nursery: Fifteen Shade net nurseries of 25 × 1.5 m dimension was established using locally available materials such as bamboo sticks, plastic pipes using the sidewalls of a house. UV stabilized HDPE net of 50 per cent intensity was used to cover the nursery. Fifty portrays (98 celled) and three bags (75 kg) of coco peat were supplied to each farmer.

Steps involved in production of coco peat in pro-trays under shade net

  1. Pro-trays: They are made of polypropylene and are re-usable up to five to six times. The most commonly used are 98 celled (54×27×4 cm) for tomato, capsicum, cabbage, cauliflower, chilly and brinjal. The holes at the bottom of the cells drain out excess moisture and equal spaced cells facilitate uniform growth of the seedling.
  2. Coco peat:Coco peat is a fully decomposed, clearly washed and sterilized bi-product of coir industry. It is an inert material with high water holding capacity and good anchoring material for root system. Coco peat is supplemented with major and micronutrients. Neem cake (100 kg/t) and Trichoderma (1 kg/t) were added to coco peat to prevent seedling disease.
  3. Filling, sowing and raising seedlings
    • The pro tray are filled with coco peat
    • A small depression (0.5 cm) was made with fingertip in the center for sowing.
    • One seed per cell is sown and covered with medium.
    • Coco peat have high moisture retention capacity, hence no need for irrigation until germination.
    • After sowing, 10 trays are each was kept one over the other for 3 to 6 days depending on the crop and season. The entire stacks were covered with polyethylene sheet to conserve moisture until germination.
    • On germination of seedlings trays were shifted to net house and spread over the beds to avoid etiolation.
    • The trays were irrigated every day depending on the prevailing weather using a fine sprinkling rose can or hose-pipe fitted with rose.
    • Trays were drenched with fungicides (copper oxy chloride 3 g/l or carbendazim 1 g/l) as a precautionary measure against seedling mortality
    • Spraying of 0.3 per cent (3g /l) water-soluble fertilizer at 12 and 20 days after sowing was practiced to enhance the growth of the seedlings.
    • The trays were provided with protective cover from rain by covering with polyethylene sheets in the form of low tunnel during rains.
    • The seedlings at right stage of planting were hardened by withholding irrigation and reducing the shade before transplanting or selling to the growers.
    • Systemic insecticides were sprayed 7 - 10 days after germination and before transplanting for managing the insect vectors.
    • The seedlings were ready for transplanting in about 21-42 days
    • Once the nursery cycle is completed trays and shade net were removed and stored in a safe place for reuse in the next season


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Advantages nursery in Pro-trays

  • Properly seed germination, least seedling mortality
  • Adequate space for each seedling to grow properly
  • Least pest and diseases incidence
  • Better root growth, there by transplanting shock is negligible
  • Easy to handle and transport
  • Seedlings do not wither during transport
  • Uniform growth in nursery ensures better establishment and growth of plants in the main field
  • Facilitates uniform maturity of the crop


Cost of production of one seedling  (Rs) in protrays















Comparison of tomato nursery production


Farmers Practice

Shade net Nursery

Land preparation

Rs. 400

Rs. 200

Seed rate

150 g/acre

60 g/acre

Cost of seed

Rs. 6000

Rs. 2400/-

Growth of seedling after 25 DAS

8-10 cm

12-15 cm

Root proliferation



Pest & disease incidence



Mortality after transplanting


Very low

Impact of the technology

As a part of technology dissemination and demonstration, 15 farmers from KVK adopted villages were selected for supply of inputs (shade net, pro-trays and coco peat) for nursery rising in 7.5 acres of tomato. After the completion of the first crop season, 50 farmers adopted this technology on their own and the area of nursery increased to 25 ac. Production of vegetable seedlings in portrays under shade net reduces cost of production and enhances productivity. Department of Horticulture, Government of Andhra Pradesh recognized the need for promotion of small nurseries by individual farmers. With the inputs from KVK, Ranga Reddy Dt, Govt. of Telangana is providing units consists of 100 pro-trays, 6 coco peat bags, 100 sq m shade net (40 %) all of which costs about Rs. 6000, of which 50 % (Rs. 3000) is being borne by State Government under subsidy.