The All India Coordinated Research Project on Plastic Engineering in Agriculture Structure and Environment Management (PEASEM) become operational in 1988 during VII Plan period (known as AICRP on Application of Plastic in Agriculture) to undertake research and extension activity pertaining to water management, protected farming, post-harvest produce management etc. In XII Plan period, the project became operative at fourteen Centres (one Centre at CSKHPKV, Palampur was closed and four new Centres as DBSKKV, Dapoli,UAS, Raichur, CIRG, Makhdoom and NRCY, Dirang) located in different agro-ecological regions with its coordinating unit located at CIPHET, Ludhiana.

The major thrust areas of the project are on surface covered cultivation and development of package of practices for better utilization of covered area, rainwater harvesting or water storage pond lining, efficient utilization techniques for stored water including pressurized irrigation, gravity fed micro-irrigation, farm machinery components using plastics as material for reducing weight and improving efficiency, and intensive fish culture devices and strategies. During XII Plan, efforts were also initiated to develop better animal shelters using plastics sheet and films. It has made significant contributions during the course of its execution in the field mentioned above. It includes development of polyhouse cultivation strategies and its participatory evaluation, plastic film lined ponds, shade net / insect net house designs, plastic body winnower-cum-grader for hilly regions, packaging strategies for fruits and fish, plastic mango ripening chamber, gadgets for intensive fish culture, etc.

The 2015-16 is the fourth year of 12th Plan, The BE approved in the 12th Plan EFC was Rs. 894.05 lakh under Plan.  However, the approved final RE for the AICRP is Rs. 260 lakh under Plan and budgetary requirement under non-Plan is Rs.11 lakh only.

The monitoring mechanism for the project includes group review in Biennial Workshop and Coordination Committee Meeting. The project coordinator reviews the progress of centre from time to time through centre visits, monthly and quarterly progress reports, telephonic / e-mails from time to time with scientists located at different centre. The progress is submitted to headquarter in the form of Project Coordinator’s report, monthly, quarterly progress reports and other publications.

The AICRP on Plasticulture Engineering and Technologies (PET) envisages location specific research on improving the overall production, produce quality and profitability of the agricultural production systems including horticulture, fishery and animal husbandry, through application of plastics in its different forms to suit the need of different activities. Presently this AICRP has fourteen Centres as listed below.

List of cooperating centres:

  • Vivekananda Parvatiya Krishi Anusandhan Sansthan (VPKAS), Division of Crop Production, Almora – 263 601, (Uttarakhand) operating since 1988.
  • Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA), PO: Kausalayaganga, Bhubaneswar – 751 002. (Orissa), operating since 1988.
  • Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Dept. of Soil & Water Conservation Engg., College of Agril. Engg. Ludhiana – 141 004. (Punjab) operating since 1988.
  • Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Malout Hanumangarh Byepass Road, Abohar – 152 116, (Punjab) operating since 1990.
  • Junagarh Agricultural University (JAU), Department of Renewable Energy, College of Agril. Engg & Tech, Junagadh – 362 001, (Gujarat) operating since 2004.
  • Birsa Agricultural University (BAU), Department of Agricultural Engineering, PO: Kanke, Ranchi – 834 006. (Jharkhand) operating since 2004.
  • Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K), Dept. of Agrl Engg, Shalimar Bagh, Srinagar – 191 121. (J&K) operating since 2004.
  • Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology (MPUAT), Collage of Technology and Engineering, Department of Soil Water Engg., Udaipur – 313 001, Rajasthan. Operating since 2009.
  • Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth (DBSKKV), Department of Farm Structure, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Dapoli, District Ratangiri- 415712, Maharashtra. (Approved in XII Plan EFC) operating since 1st April, 2015.
  • Central Institute for Research on Goats (CIRG), Makhdoom, P.O.: Farah – 281122, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.(Approved in XII Plan EFC) operating since 1st April, 2015.
  • University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), College of Agricultural Engineering, Raichur – 584102, Karnatka.(Approved in XII Plan EFC) operating since 1st April, 2015.

North Eastern Region

  • ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Div. of AgrlEngg, Umroi Road, Umiam – 793 103. (Meghalaya) operating since 2000.
  • Central Agricultural University (Imphal), Collage of Agriculture Engineering and Post Harvest Technology (CAEPHT), Ranipool – 737 135, Gangtok, Sikkim operating since 2009.
  • National Research Centre on Yak, Dirang – 7900101, West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh operating since 1st April, 2015.

Centre closed during XII  Plan

Choudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya (CSKHPKV), Deptt. Of Agril. Engg.,Palampur – 176 062 (HP) closed w.e.f. 31st March,2015.


To develop strategies for use of plastics in agriculture with major emphasis on surface covered cultivation, lining of ponds for rainwater harvesting, storage of water, micro-irrigation systems and mist formation; packaging, storage, transportation of agricultural produce and products; aquaculture, and livestock management. The Project also envisages the field evaluation and operational research of proven technologies at pilot level with an area saturation approach.


  • To apply plastics in agriculture, both in production agriculture and postharvest management.
  • To identify newer areas of plastics applications in agriculture, particularly in inland fisheries, and animal shelters and environment control.
  • To carry out operational research on laboratory proven technologies at pilot level with area saturation approach.
  • To disseminate plasticulture technologies through publications, media, exposure and training programmes, workshops, developing linkages with industry, other stakeholders and catalyzing developmental programmes.

Thrust areas

For the XII Plan period, the AICRP has the following Thrust Areas:

  • Standardization of location specific design of poly houses and shade net houses for round-the–year use.
  • Development/improvement of laying techniques and its mechanization for plastic mulch and low tunnels.
  • Techniques for rainwater harvesting in plastic lined ponds and their management.
  • Development of plastic based low cost pressurized irrigation system equipped with pumping unit powered by non-conventional energy source.
  • Development of plastic devices/systems for intensive fish culture and animal shelter.
  • Application of plastics for post-harvest management (handling, storage and packaging) of important agricultural produce.
  • Development/improvement of plastic components of farm equipment.

Summary of Major Programmes / Areas Implemented

  • Studies on heating and cooling of agricultural Greenhouse using earth -air pipe system.
  • Development and evaluation of technologies for improving year-round production of vegetables in greenhouse.
  • Studies on microclimate and plant growth of capsicum under different types of shade net.
  • Effect of different structures on protection of cumin crop against adverse climate.
  • Development and evaluation of multi tier multipurpose polyhouse for drying of produce and raising of crop nursery / small height crops..
  • Comparative study of micro climate under existing Poly-house and Shade net house..
  • Design of gravity-fed Drip irrigation system for hilly areas..
  • Water use efficiency of tomato under drip irrigation and mulching.
  • Multiple use of water harvested from poly lined farm pond and conjunctive use of ground water.
  • Designing, Development and Evaluation of Plastic Gadgets for Hygienic Fish Marketing and disposal of fish water for economic returns..
  • Periphyton Production on Different Types of Colored Plastic Strips in Freshwater Ponds for Enhanced Fish Production.
  • Evaluation of Polyhouse covered fish pond for fish rearing under temperate climaticconditions of Kashmir valley.
  • Design of suitable cost effective Animal Shelter using plastics for temperate Himalayan region.
  • Development of plastic mulch laying roller and laying techniques suitable for hills.
  • Effect of mulch and irrigation level on water use efficiency and yield of water melon

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Dr. Rakesh Sharda, PC

Designation: Project Coordinator
Qualification: Ph.D. (Soil and Water Engineering)
Contact No.: +91-161-2313117
Email ID: rakesh[dot]sharda[at]icar[dot]gov[dot]in
Research Interests: Administration : Micro Irrigation, Protected Cultivation, ,Use of IoT and  Artificial Intelligence in Water Resource Management

Major Research Accomplishments: 

R & D: Dr Sharda has developed technologies for Drip Irrigation, Fertigation and Mulching in various crops, viz. potato, onion, chilli, wheat, spring maize, brinjal, pea, bitter gourd, cotton, sugarcane, pumpkin, guava, marigold, kinnow, dendrobium orchids, strawberry. He was involved in evaluating two machines, i.e. mulch laying cum bed forming machine and vegetable seedling transplanting machine. He was involved in developing a modified polynet house, rooftop kitchen garden, soilless cultivation of cucumber and use of poor-quality water through drip irrigation. Dr Sharda was also involved in the evaluation of two varieties of strawberries and one type of dendrobium orchids. These technologies are part of the package of practices for the farmers.

Awards Recognition:

  • FAO consultant as International Soilless and Protected Cultivation Expert
  • Appreciation letter by Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana, March 2019 recognizing the work.
  • Appreciation Letter by Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Egypt, on visit to Egypt under Indo- Egypt project, (2017).
  • Awarded Project by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India under Indo Egypt Call, 2016
  • Awarded Project by University Grants Commission under major Research project Grant, 2013.
  • Represented NCPAH Delhi at 6th International Horti-Expo and 3rd Indian Potato Expo 2014 at Chandigarh on 20-22 Feb. 2014 and won the ‘Excellent Display Award’ for technologies displayed at the stall by the PFDC in the Exhibition.
  • Appreciation letter from Executive Director, NCPAH for conducting a five day intensive training programme on Micro irrigation, fertigation & protected cultivation from April 21 -25, 2014 at PAU, Ludhiana.
  • Appreciation letter by Commissioner (Agriculture) Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Govt. of India to Dr. Rakesh Sharda and his team for conducting research on drip irrigation in September, 2014.
  • Invited to present research work on drip irrigation in paddy at International Rice Congress-2014 held at Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Awarded 2nd prize for poster presentation under the theme natural resource conservation a key to sustainable agriculture in the “International Conference On Sustainable Agriculture For Food And Livelihood Security” held at PAU, Ludhiana (27-29 November, 2012).
  • Member of the team which was awarded first prize in the poster presentation at the National Symposium on “Enhancing Productivity and Sustainability” held from August 10-11, 2004 at CS&WCR&TI, Dehradun.


  1. Sharda R, Mahajan G, Siag M, Singh A and Chauhan BS (2017) Performance of drip- irrigated dry-seeded rice (Oryza sativa L.) in South Asia. Paddy and Water Environment 15(1):93-100
  2. Sidhu BS, Sharda R and Singh S (2021) Spatio-temporal assessment of groundwater depletion in Punjab, India Groundwater for Sustainable Development, Volume 12, 100498
  3. Goyal P, Sharda R, Siag M and Singh KG (2020) Development of an IoT based weighing type micro-lysimeter for soilless cultivation Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences. 90(10):1980-7
  4. Singh L., Kaushal A., Singh J., Sharda R. (2022) Structural Stability Analysis of Naturally Ventilated Polyhouses under Different Conditions Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology. Vol. 24, No 5, September 2022.
  5. Saggi, Mandeep, Jain, Sushma, Bhatia AS, and Sharda Rakesh (2022) Proposition of new ensemble data-intelligence model for evapotranspiration process simulation. Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing
  6. Garg Naveen, Choudhary O.P., Thaman S., Sharma Vikas, Singh Harmanjeet, Vashistha Monika, Sekhon K.S., Sharda Rakesh, Dhaliwal M.S. (2022) Effects of irrigation water quality and NPK-fertigation levels on plant growth, yield and tuber size of potatoes in a sandy loam alluvial soil of semi-arid region of Indian Punjab Agricultural Water Management
  7. Goyal Pooja, Sunil Kumar, Sharda Rakesh (2023) A review of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) based techniques for estimating reference evapotranspiration: Current trends and future perspectives, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, Volume 209, 107836,
  8. Goyal P, Sharda R, Siag M and Biwalkar N (2023) Development of the crop coefficient for vertically trained cucumber vines grown in soilless media under naturally ventilated greenhouse conditions Irrigation and Drainage.
  9. Das S, Kaur S, Raheja A, Gill KK, Sharda R (2023) Development of machine learning-based reference evapotranspiration model for the semi-arid region of Punjab, India Journal of Agriculture and Food Research, 100640
  10. Wajhat-Un-Nisa, Sandhu S, Ranjan R, Sharda R (2023) Root plasticity: an effective selection technique for identification of drought tolerant maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines Scientific Reports
  11. Sharda R, Singh A, Pandey K ( 2023) Paddy and maize straw-based media as an alternative for cocopeat in soilless cultivation Journal of Plant Nutrition, 1-19
  12. Doomra A, Choudhary OP, Sharda R, Mavi MS (2023) Effect of Brackish Water on the Growth and Yield of Hydroponically Grown Cherry Tomato Journal of Soil Salinity and Water Quality 15 (1), 110-114
  13. Singla P, Sharda R, Sharma S, Gulati D, Pandey K, Singh Navprem, Singh K. and Sharma A (2023) Variation in physio-chemical attributes and WUE during growth and development of Pak choi (Brassica rapa L. subsp. chinensis L.) under different drip fertigation and mulching treatments Acta Alimentaria 52(3): 458-468
  14. Kumar Sunil, Sharda Rakesh, Goyal Pooja, Siag Mukesh and Kaur Prabhjot (2023) Reference Evapotranspiration Modelling Using Artificial Neural Networks Under Scenarios of Limited Weather Data: A Case Study in the Malwa Region of Punjab Environmental Modeling & Assessment
  15. Goyal P, Sharda R, Saini M and Siag M (2023) A deep learning approach for early detection of drought stress in maize using proximal scale digital images Neural Computing and Applications

Patents, Technology, Methodology, Genetic Stock, Variety, etc.:

Image of Dr. Sandeep Mann

Dr. Sandeep Mann

Designation:  Pr. Scientist
Qualification: Ph.D
Contact No.: +91-161-2313117,2301673
Email ID: pcapaldh[at]gmail[dot]com,
Research Interests: Modified Atmosphere Storage. On farm handling & storage of Agriculture produce. seed processing, drying and dehydration of biomaterials. Expert system development

Image of Sh. Vishal Kumar

Sh. Vishal Kumar

Designation: Technical Officer
Qualification: M.Sc.
Contact No.: +91-161-2313159
Email ID: vrohilla1974[at]gmail[dot]com
Research Interests:
Major Research Accomplishments:
R & D:
Patents, Technology, Methodology, Genetic Stock, Variety, etc.:

Image of Sh. Yashpal Singh

Sh. Yashpal Singh

Designation: Sr. Technical Assistant
Qualification: B.A
Contact No.:  +91-1612313173
Email ID:
Research Interests: Administrative Work
Major Research Accomplishments:
R & D:
Patents, Technology, Methodology, Genetic Stock, Variety, etc.: