Friday 17 August 2012

Non-Seasonal Vegetable Crops are demanding but fears and myths associated should not disapprove the endeavor.

          These days of course not considerably but to a certain extent, few progressive farmers earn substantial money through growing and selling of non-seasonal vegetable crops.
     We know or forced to know or compelled to know that there are crops whose growths depends on specific season.
     Season; that is distinctive from other in terms of temperature, day length, precipitation and relative humidity of course, there are crops which really depends strictly for their successful growth and life cycle.
    We, as a part of our understanding know vegetables like cabbage, Cauliflower, Tomato and many other beans grows specific to certain season and climatic condition.
   So, as usual these crops are grown as winter vegetable crop (except few varieties of bean or as the case may be). But that is not being the case all the time.
   There are instances where cabbage and tomato used to be grown round the years defying the season and climatic sensitiveness.
   The scene had been eye witnessed in the Karnataka where even in places like drier region there used to be green cabbage plot. And, tomato field with ripened tomato.
   In Meghalaya state, many cool and winter vegetable crops used to be found round the year. Of course, Meghalaya especially Shillong and adjoining areas are considered to be under temperate gone which supports the growths of cool and winter vegetable crops.
  Therefore, Meghalaya used to feed winter vegetable crops to a certain extent to the neighboring states of north-eastern India.
   The specialty  of  growing non seasonal vegetable crops are for more price realization and this is happening due less supply so is more demand and finally good economic return of the vegetable growers.
   Earlier, and even these days also, during the month of June-July, some cool and winter vegetable crops from the Meghalaya used to be found in the state capital and other places.
     But now, one positive indication is, you get to find, produce of Tripura too. That is to say that some farmers from Tripura also started cultivating the non-seasonal vegetable crops during this hot summer.
  They grow Cabbage, Cauliflower and Capsicum. Result, unexpected price due to spike in demands. Farmers are earning money to the maximum. These non-seasonal vegetable crops are fetching good market demand so is premium price compare to other traditional time of growing these types of vegetables.
    This is happening due to the fact that people in the summer season; you have little choice but to stick to limited types of summer vegetables.
     This is quite less significant compare to winter season where you get varieties of vegetables so you have much more choice in selecting the crops to be grown and changing the taste preference too.
    But, there are also apprehensions, fears and phobia on non-seasonal vegetable crops or for that matter any such product which are found beyond their known characteristics.
  People sometimes consider non-seasonal vegetable is bound to get maximum pest attack so is more chance for exposure to hazardous chemical pesticides and finally residue level.
  People also consider it just show off because you only spend money but do not get any substance.
  But many assumptions seem to be myths because in case of pest and disease incidence what is ought to be happen is; many primary pest depending on primary host plant (winter vegetable in this case ) will not be available during the summer season so is less prevalence for pest incidence.
   However, reverse may also happen but non-seasonal does not simply amount to more risk as far as exposure to chemical pesticides or as the case may be.
  There are several instances for growing of vegetable crops in controlled condition in hi-tech green house. 
   Earning extra pie maintaining all possible parameters would be much appreciated in the time where farmers are in search of more profitable avenue.
       Agritangkol dated 14.08.2012

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Increasing farm Income through Sericulture.

    Tired of searching good source of income! But no sign of improvement in economic status, it is declining rather what to do? 
    An acre of upland farm field, till date only being used once in a year depending on the south west monsoon, good monsoon – means; a paddy / rice crop of subsistence. 
    Otherwise! Fallow, fallow or may be rarely vegetable crop on experimental basis or Rabi Oilseed Crops. But not for profiting, it is only to occupying the space available so is this endeavor of no motive and profit. 
   Have you thought of other way round to best utilize the limited land resource for maximizing the returns? Do you ever foresee to take these initiatives in your one acre upland form field? 
  1. Intensive vegetable cultivation 
  2. Cultivation of cash crops 
  3. Cultivation of non-traditional crops 
  4. Cultivation of fodder 
  5. Mulberry cultivation for sericulture activities. 
     What do you think about silkworm rearing or sericulture? Have you ever tried silkworm rearing? If not, farm owners have every right to try sericulture within his / her existing farm resources. The basic necessary necessities are as follows: 
  1. A good and well maintained Mulberry field 2. A well ventilated silkworm rearing house/shed 
  3. Silkworm seeds and other basic necessities 
  4. Knowledge to handle silkworm larvae and their proper nourishment. 
    Success in sericulture would heavily depend on supply of nutritive mulberry leaves for feeding to the silkworm larvae. A well maintained mulberry field to the area of one acre would not only supply nutritive leaves but also ensures numbers of times silkworm larvae can be reared so is number of times green cocoon could be sold in year. 
   Worried for mulberry cultivation! Well drained, fertile land with irrigation source (for maximizing the numbers of crop per year) and also land which receives good sunshine is enough.
     You have enough expertise in raising or growing crops; mulberry would not much differ from other crops except perennial in nature, timely pruning, manure application, irrigation and fertilizer application. 
    Need for further help, don’t worry there’s sericulture department out there to help you to supply quality mulberry saplings or cutting and other for your mulberry cultivation to come up. Contact and get help from sericulture department of the state.
     Plan to start mulberry cultivation by the month of March with land selection, land preparation, manuring and coincide planting of cuttings by pre-monsoon rain or best by July coinciding monsoon rain.
  Collect the cutting/saplings from the sericulture farm of the state sericulture department where, you would get quality and good and high yielding verities of Mulberry selection or varieties. 
   In the meantime, see whether you have well ventilated house/shed which would be pre-requisite for rearing of silkworm larvae as and when mulberry plantation is ready with sufficient leaves in the field.
   Scarce of money! Shortage of money for investment! Construction of mud wall silkworm rearing shed is not that costly. 
      Some helps in this regard is not ruled out from the department which is in all out effort to popularize the sericulture so is incentives for raising mulberry plantation to construction of mud wall house for silkworm rearing shed.
    So, there’s possibility you receive some incentives in the form of cash or kinds for construction of silkworm rearing shed. 
    In the meantime, collect all the essential things for up coming rearing start of silkworm larvae. You need to collect / procure the followings: 
  a) Silkworm rearing tray 
  b) Rack for keeping of silkworm rearing tray 
  c) Mulberry leaves chopper knife 
  d) Chandrike 
     Confused! Nearest help centre is ready to give you every tips you require including exact requirement of above listed items. Support staff of sericulture department is on field visit during mulberry cultivation time to silkworm rearing period.
   They are there for your help, for your solution. Just contact nearest support service, service will be at your door. 
  In the first season of mulberry cultivation, first leaf harvest would take nearly six month to attain harvesting stage of mulberry leaves. Keep your mulberry garden free of insect pest and disease and stop application of chemical product one month prior to the silkworm rearing. 
  Finally, the time for first silkworm rearing time would come by the end of September or the first week of November. November is winter month in Tripura.
    First, batch of disease free laying (DFLs) or silkworm seeds would also be supplied by the department, at cost factor, it is not much, sometimes in the beginning of your sericulture endeavor, you will get certified and quality silkworm seeds in affordable rate from the sericulture department. 
    Rearing of young silkworm larvae up to the stage of second molts is highly sensitive with respect to surrounding weather condition and quality of tender leaves that is collected from tip leaving first two to three leaves. 
   Newbie sericulture sometimes finds its difficult to manage during this particular time therefore, government department facilitates this stage in their departmental farm which is called Chawki rearing centre, after this stage, this young silkworms larvae are supplied to general sericulture farmer for rearing.
   You are about to harvest your first cocoons within forty days of rearing of silkworm. Sericulture would employ the following: 
  a) Farm women 
  b) Household women/ men 
  c) Rural unemployed youth (if) 
  d) Ensure subsidiary activity around sericulture. 
     So, you got your crop by a month. Judge; what are other crops that ensure returns by a month. Worried for selling green cocoon! Don’t worry again; there is assured cocoon collection centre by the sericulture department.
    The department purchase green / dry cocoon from the farmer in fixed price. 
     You would not realize your farm income in the first year; it is in second year onwards that you would receive continued income. It is not difficult to raise 4 (four) cocoon crops in a year.
   Remember; for that to happen, you should maintain a good mulberry field for meeting the leaves requirement round the year. 
    Your income is insulated with sericulture. Just take initiative and increase your farm income. In the later stage; you can also rear selective breed which yields higher cocoon and produce quality silk like Bivoltine that could be reared in the autumn season. 
   For now; cross breed Mulberry silkworm can be reared being hardy, quite high yielding and higher adaptable to the local weather/ environment. 
                                                                     Agritangkol dated 14.08.2012