The AICRP on Plastic Engineering in Agriculture Structures & Environment Management (PEASEM) earlier known as AICRP on Plasticulture Engineering & Technology. The project became operational in the year 1988 (VII Plan) by the name of AICRP on Application of plastics in agriculture with plan budget of 32.60 lakhs. Since then the project has given multi folds and by the end of XII plan period, the project was operative at 14 centers including six ICAR Institutes, seven SAUs and one CAU. At present, the AICRP has five centres in mid-hills of Himalayan regions (Srinagar, Almora, Gangtok, Barapani and Dirang), two centres in northern Indo-gangetic plains (Ludhiana and Abohar), two centers in coastal regions (Junagadh and Bhubaneswar, while Bhubaneswar is devoted fully on fishery aspects), one centre in eastern plateau region (Ranchi), two centres in tropical wet (Matura and Dapoli), one centre in dry climatic region (Raichur) and one in Aravali hills eco-systems (Udaipur). The scheme has very good impact in farmers field particularly due to enhanced income per unit are of land and substantial saving inputs like water, fertilizer and manpower. The scheme has contributed significantly in expansion are under protected cultivation (@ annual growth rate 85%), area under micro irrigation (@ annual growth rate of 15%). On farm demonstrations of protected cultivation in 25.00 ha and more than 100 Nos of plastic lined for creation of on farm water resources. Many state governments have given subsidy on greenhouse structures, plastic lined pound and plastic much with fertigation. Harvested water in remote areas made possible integrated farming due to design and development of plastic line ponds for hilly, arid and semis arid regions. IRR and B.C ratio as 67% and 1.52 resp and employment of 72 man days per season which indicating favourable for investment on plastic lined pond. Farmers at Sikkim region whre growing of crops very difficult due to high rainfall who adopted Bamboo-based Naturally Ventilated Polyhouse for round the year vegetable cultivation and susses fully growing colour Capsicum, cucumber, palak on rotation basis and got net income of Rs. 50k to 1.00 lakh in one season with B:C ratio of 2.5-3.0. Standardized package of practices of plastic mulching and fertigation under protected farming for vegetable and pulses in arid and semi-arid region resulted in in enhancement in yield by 3-4 times, resource conservation (water & labour) by 40-50% with doubling farmer’s income. Adopted technology of polyhouse dryer and portable solar dyer made possible to dry fruits and vegetables within 2-3 days for enchasing shelf life and value addition. During last five years, four technologies licensed to firms, one technology mobile fish vending machine released by the Hon’ble Agriculture Minister and one foldable box for transportation received national societal award 2014. Three hundred sixty two units of FRP carp hatchery (flagship technology of the scheme) were installed in farmers’ field which generating Rs 4.00 crores per annum and about 300 persons received trainings through national training programmes. A total of 850 trainings / demonstrations/ Kisan mela were conducted on different aspects of plasticulture technologies during the period benefitting 35000 officers, farmers and rural youths during last five years. However, on polyhouse construction and repair & maintenance, 120 specialized trainings were conducted benefitting about 3000 farmers and rural youths. On an average in one season a farmer earned Rs. 40,000 income from portable carp hatchery and saving of in input resources of feed about 30% using developed feeder aquaculture gadgets. Around 100 Schedule cast farmers are supported by SCSP activities under the scheme since 2018 by providing them plasticuture material such as mulch sheet, plastic pond sheet, shade nets, micro irrigation, solar dryers etc. The developed plastic silo bag technology for silage, Goat feeder and high altitude pastures development has made significant impact on animal productivity in arid and cold regions. Developed modern protected cultivation methods such as soilless cultivation, modified designs of NV polyhouse and shade nets under scheme made possible to take round the offseason cultivation in arid, semi-arid, humid and cold regions. The team of AICRP on PEASEM (earlier peasem) is instrumental in developing and improving BIS standards for greenhouse, plastic mulching and laying machine during last five years
The AICRP was conferred with ICAR Prestigious Award “Chaudhary Devi Lal Outstanding AICRP Award 2012”.