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Good agricultural practices(n)

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  • 1. IntroductIonWhat are Good Agricultural Practices?A multiplicity of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) codes, standards and regulationshave been developed in recent years by the food industry and producersorganizations but also governments and NGOs, aiming to codify agricultural practicesat farm level for a range of commodities. Their purpose varies from fulfilment of tradeand government regulatory requirements (in particular with regard to food safetyand quality), to more specific requirements of specialty or niche markets. Theobjective of these GAP codes, standards and regulations include, to a varying degree: • ensuring safety and quality of produce in the food chain • capturing new market advantages by modifying supply chain governance • improving natural resources use, workers health and working conditions, and/or • creating new market opportunities for farmers and exporters in developing countries.Good Agricultural Practices are "practices that address environmental, economic andsocial sustainability for on-farm processes, and result in safe and quality food andnon-food agricultural products" (FAO COAG 2003 GAP paper)These four pillars of GAP (economic viability, environmental sustainability, socialacceptability and food safety and quality) are included in most private and publicsector standards, but the scope which they actually cover varies widely.The concept of Good Agricultural Practices may serve as a reference tool for deciding,at each step in the production process, on practices and/or outcomes that areenvironmentally sustainable and socially acceptable. The implementation of GAPshould therefore contribute to Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development(SARD) Potential benefits and challenges related to Good Agricultural PracticesPotential benefits of GAP • Appropriate adoption and monitoring of GAP helps improve the safety and quality of food and other agricultural products. • It may help reduce the risk of non-compliance with national and international regulations, standards and guidelines (in particular of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (html), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) (html) and the International Plant Protection Convention IPPC (html)) regarding permitted pesticides, maximum levels of contaminants (including pesticides, veterinary drugs, radionuclide and mycotoxins) in food and non-food 1
  • 2. agricultural products, as well as other chemical, microbiological and physical contamination hazards. • Adoption of GAP helps promotes sustainable agriculture and contributes to meeting national and international environment and social development objectives.Challenges related to GAP • In some cases GAP implementation and especially record keeping and certification will increase production costs. In this respect, lack of harmonization between existing GAP-related schemes and availability of affordable certification systems has often led to increased confusion and certification costs for farmers and exporters. • Standards of GAP can be used to serve competing interests of specific stakeholders in agri-food supply chains by modifying supplier-buyer relations. • There is a high risk that small scale farmers will not be able to seize export market opportunities unless they are adequately informed, technically prepared and organised to meet this new challenge with governments and public agencies playing a facilitating role. • Compliance with GAP standards does not always foster all the environmental and social benefits which are claimed. • Awareness raising is needed of win-win practices which lead to improvements in terms of yield and production efficiencies as well as environment and health and safety of workers. One such approach is Integrated Production and Pest Management (IPPM). Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) are specific methods which, when applied to agriculture, produce results that are in harmony with the values of the proponents of those practices. There are numerous competing definitions of what methods constitute "Good Agricultural Practices". Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations GAP The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) uses Good Agricultural Practices as a collection of principles to apply for on-farm production and post-production processes, resulting in safe and healthy food and non-food agricultural products, while taking into account economical, social and environmental sustainability. GAPs may be applied to a wide range of farming systems and at different scales. They are applied through sustainable agricultural methods, such as integrated pest management, integrated fertilizer management and conservation agriculture. They rely on four principles: Economically and efficiently produce sufficient (food security), safe (food safety) and nutritious food (food quality);Sustain and enhance natural resources; Maintain viable farming 2
  • 3. enterprises and contribute to sustainable livelihoods; Meet cultural and socialdemands of society.The concept of GAPs has changed in recent years because of a rapidly changingagriculture, globalization of world trade, food crisis (mad cow disease), nitratepollution of water, appearance of pesticide resistance, soil erosion...GAPs applications are being developed by governments, NGOs and private sectorto meet farmers and transformers needs and specific requirements. However,many think these applications are only rarely made in a holistic or coordinatedway.They provide the opportunity to assess and decide on which farming practices tofollow at each step in the production process. For each agricultural productionsystem, they aim at allowing a comprehensive management strategy, providingfor the capability for tactical adjustments in response to changes. Theimplementation of such a management strategy requires knowing, understanding,planning, measuring, monitoring, and record-keeping at each step of theproduction process. Adoption of GAPs may result in higher production,transformation and marketing costs, hence finally higher costs for the consumer.To minimize production costs and maintain the quality of agri-foodGAPs require maintaining a common database on integrated productiontechniques for each of the major agro-ecological area (see ecoregion), thus tocollect, analyze and disseminate information of good practices in relevantgeographical contexts. Basics of Good Agricultural PracticesThe specific GAPs steps are outlined in detail in the “Good Agricultural PracticesSelf Audit Workbook” developed by Cornell University. GAPs principles can besummarized as follows: clean soil, clean water, clean hands, and clean surfaces.Examples of applicable procedures are listed below. These principles must beapplied to each phase of production (field selection, pre-plant field preparations,production, harvest, and post-harvest) to be effective.“Clean soil” involves taking steps to reduce the possibility of introducingmicrobial contaminants into the soil, particularly via manure and other animalexcrements. GAPs address the need to properly compost, apply and store manure.Additionally, the exclusion of domesticated animals from production fields isessential in helping to reduce the possibility of faecal contamination. Taking stepsto minimize the presence of wild animals in fields is also important.“Clean water” entails making sure all water used in washing, cooling andprocessing is of drinkable quality. Packing ice should also be made from drinkablewater. Ground and surface water sources need to be protected from runoff andanimal contamination. Water used for irrigation and foliar applications also needsto be free of human pathogens. Regular water quality testing may be necessary,particularly for surface water sources. 3
  • 4. “Clean hands” applies to workers and the use of good personal hygiene in thefield and packing house. Providing washing facilities for customers at U-Pickoperations is also an important consideration.“Clean surfaces” means ensuring that all packing bins, work surfaces, storageareas, and transportation vehicles are properly washed and sanitized on a regular,often daily, basis. Farm equipment should also be routinely cleaned and sanitized.An essential aspect of GAPs procedures is accurate record keeping. While keepingrecords is an important part of any farm operation, it can become critical in casesof food safety issues. When food-borne illnesses do occur, attempts are made totrace the contamination back to the point of original. Growers who documenttheir GAPs procedures will be able to provide evidence that their farm is anunlikely source of the outbreak.Good Agricultural Practices for Selected Agricultural ComponentsSoilThe physical and chemical properties and functions, organic matter and biologicalactivity of the soil are fundamental to sustaining agricultural production anddetermine, in their complexity, soil fertility and productivity. Appropriate soilmanagement aims to maintain and improve soil productivity by improving theavailability and plant uptake of water and nutrients through enhancing soilbiological activity, replenishing soil organic matter and soil moisture, andminimizing losses of soil, nutrients, and agrochemicals through erosion, runoffand leaching into surface or ground water. Though soil management is generallyundertaken at field/farm level, it affects the surrounding area or catchment due tooff-site impacts on runoff, sediments, nutrients movement, and mobility oflivestock and associated species including predators, pests and biocontrol agents.Good practices related to soil include maintaining or improving soil organicmatter through the use of soil carbon-build up by appropriate crop rotations,manure application, pasture management and other land use practices, rationalmechanical and/or conservation tillage practices; maintaining soil cover toprovide a conducive habitat for soil biota, minimizing erosion losses by windand/or water; and application of organic and mineral fertilizers and other agro-chemicals in amounts and timing and by methods appropriate to agronomic,environmental and human health requirements.WaterAgriculture carries a high responsibility for the management of water resources inquantitative and qualitative terms. Careful management of water resources andefficient use of water for rainfed crop and pasture production, for irrigation whereapplicable, and for livestock, are criteria for GAP. Efficient irrigation technologies 4
  • 5. and management will minimize waste and will avoid excessive leaching andsalinization. Water tables should be managed to prevent excessive rise or fall.Good practices related to water will include those that maximize water infiltrationand minimize unproductive efflux of surface waters from watersheds; manageground and soil water by proper use, or avoidance of drainage where required;improve soil structure and increase soil organic matter content; apply productioninputs, including waste or recycled products of organic, inorganic and syntheticnature by practices that avoid contamination of water resources; adopttechniques to monitor crop and soil water status, accurately schedule irrigation,and prevent soil salinization by adopting water-saving measures and re-cyclingwhere possible; enhance the functioning of the water cycle by establishingpermanent cover, or maintaining or restoring wetlands as needed; manage watertables to prevent excessive extraction or accumulation; and provide adequate,safe, clean watering points for livestock.crop and Fodder productIonCrop and fodder production involves the selection of annual and perennial crops,their cultivars and varieties, to meet local consumer and market needs accordingto their suitability to the site and their role within the crop rotation for themanagement of soil fertility, pests and diseases, and their response to availableinputs. Perennial crops are used to provide long-term production options andopportunities for intercropping. Annual crops are grown in sequences, includingthose with pasture, to maximize the biological benefits of interactions betweenspecies and to maintain productivity. Harvesting of all crop and animal productsremoves their nutrient content from the site and must ultimately be replaced tomaintain long-term productivity.Good practices related to crop and fodder production will include those that selectcultivars and varieties on an understanding of their characteristics, includingresponse to sowing or planting time, productivity, quality, market acceptabilityand nutritional value, disease and stress resistance, edaphic and climaticadaptability, and response to fertilizers and agrochemicals; devise crop sequencesto optimize use of labour and equipment and maximize the biological benefits ofweed control by competition, mechanical, biological and herbicide options,provision of non-host crops to minimize disease and, where appropriate, inclusionof legumes to provide a biological source of nitrogen; apply fertilizers, organic andinorganic, in a balanced fashion, with appropriate methods and equipment and atadequate intervals to replace nutrients extracted by harvest or lost duringproduction; maximize the benefits to soil and nutrient stability by re-cycling cropand other organic residues; integrate livestock into crop rotations and utilize thenutrient cycling provided by grazing or housed livestock to benefit the fertility ofthe entire farm; rotate livestock on pastures to allow for healthy re-growth ofpasture; and adhere to safety regulations and observe established safety 5
  • 6. standards for the operation of equipment and machinery for crop and fodderproduction.crop protectIonii) Maintenance of crop health is essential for successful farming for both yieldand quality of produce. This requires long-term strategies to manage risks by theuse of disease- and pest-resistant crops, crop and pasture rotations, diseasebreaks for susceptible crops, and the judicious use of agrochemicals to controlweeds, pests, and diseases following the principles of Integrated PestManagement. Any measure for crop protection, but particularly those involvingsubstances that are harmful for humans or the environment, must only be carriedout with consideration for potential negative impacts and with full knowledge andappropriate equipment.Good practices related to crop protection will include those that use resistantcultivars and varieties, crop sequences, associations, and cultural practices thatmaximize biological prevention of pests and diseases; maintain regular andquantitative assessment of the balance status between pests and diseases andbeneficial organisms of all crops; adopt organic control practices where and whenapplicable; apply pest and disease forecasting techniques where available;determine interventions following consideration of all possible methods and theirshort- and long-term effects on farm productivity and environmental implicationsin order to minimize the use of agrochemicals, in particular to promote integratedpest management (IPM); store and use agrochemicals according to legalrequirements of registration for individual crops, rates, timings, and pre-harvestintervals; ensure that agrochemicals are only applied by specially trained andknowledgeable persons; ensure that equipment used for the handling andapplication of agrochemicals complies with established safety and maintenancestandards; and maintain accurate records of agrochemical use.Harvest and on-Farm processIng and storagexiii) Product quality also depends upon implementation of acceptable protocolsfor harvesting, storage, and where appropriate, processing of farm products.Harvesting must conform to regulations relating to pre-harvest intervals foragrochemicals and withholding periods for veterinary medicines. Food produceshould be stored under appropriate conditions of temperature and humidity inspace designed and reserved for that purpose. Operations involving animals, suchas shearing and slaughter, must adhere to animal health and welfare standards.xiv) Good practices related to harvest and on-farm processing and storage willinclude those that harvest food products following relevant pre-harvest intervalsand withholding periods; provide for clean and safe handling for on-farmprocessing of products. For washing, use recommended detergents and clean 6
  • 7. water; store food products under hygienic and appropriate environmentalconditions; pack food produce for transport from the farm in clean andappropriate containers; and use methods of pre-slaughter handling and slaughterthat are humane and appropriate for each species, with attention to supervision,training of staff and proper maintenance of equipment.energy and Waste managementxv) Energy and waste management are also components of sustainableproduction systems. Farms require fuel to drive machinery for culturaloperations, for processing, and for transport. The objective is to performoperations in a timely fashion, reduce the drudgery of human labour, improveefficiency, diversify energy sources, and reduce energy use.xvi) Good practices related to energy and waste management will include thosethat establish input-output plans for farm energy, nutrients, and agrochemicals toensure efficient use and safe disposal; adopt energy saving practices in buildingdesign, machinery size, maintenance, and use; investigate alternative energysources to fossil fuels (wind, solar, biofuels) and adopt them where feasible;recycle organic wastes and inorganic materials, where possible; minimize non-usable wastes and dispose of them responsibly; store fertilizers andagrochemicals securely and in accordance with legislation; establish emergencyaction procedures to minimize the risk of pollution from accidents; and maintainaccurate records of energy use, storage, and disposal. gap For groWersA farmer who practices Good Agricultural Practices implements proactive foodsafety control measures to prevent crop contamination. GAP guidelines can begrouped into four categories; health and hygiene, water quality, soil supplements,and environmental hazards. A brief discussion of each is discussed.Health and Hygiene – Growing fresh produce requires a significant amount ofhand contact during harvesting, sorting, and packing. A worker who shows signsof diarrhea, vomiting, or sudden yellowing of the skin or eyes may have a diseasethat can be transmitted through food and should not handle fresh produce. Everyfood handler should wash his or her hands before starting work, after breaks, andespecially after using the restroom. It may be difficult to provide the necessarysanitary facilities, but clean, accessible, and appropriately stocked restroom andhand washing stations are essential for preventing product contamination.Water quality—Water has a many pre- and post-harvest uses for irrigation,pesticide application, washing harvested produce, cleaning harvest containers,and for drinking and hand washing. Food safety risks are greatest when surfacewater from ponds, streams, or rivers comes into contact with the edible parts of 7
  • 8. fruits and vegetables. Ground or well water is usually a safer choice, but it shouldbe tested regularly and wells should be inspected to make sure they are intact andnot located in areas that are subject to runoff during storms or floods. Municipalwater is the safest source because you can be sure it has met government safetyrequirements. The choice of water to use and the level of risk is determined by thetiming and application method. For instance, a safer source of water should beused as harvest time approaches or when overhead irrigation is used since theedible portions of the plant is likely to come into contact with the water justbefore harvest. Water used after harvesting should be free of human pathogens. Ifthe safety of the water is in doubt, a sanitizer should be added to the water.Soil supplements—Healthy soils contain abundant populations ofmicroorganism and most are harmless to people. In fact, they are beneficial tocrops because they break down organic matter into more readily available plantnutrients. However, when animal manure is used as a soil conditioner or a sourceof nutrients, contamination risks increase. It should be assumed that all rawmanure contains microorganism that can make people sick. Therefore, propermanure management and application techniques are essential. If raw manure isapplied to fields where fresh produce is grown, allow a minimum of 120 daysbetween manure application and harvest. Working it into the soil in the fall of theprevious year is even better since long term exposure to the elements greatlyreduces pathogen levels. A better choice when using animal manures is to followestablished aerobic composting techniques that will raise core temperatures toabove 130 oF for at least 5 days. Turn the pile several times to ensure even heatexposure to all parts of the pile. It is also important to store raw and incompletelycomposted manure as far away as possible from crop growing areas and toprevent runoff after heavy rains or flooding.Field and Packinghouse Hazards—Farms and packing houses are by no meanssterile environments and there are ample opportunities for contamination fromharvest equipment and containers, harvest implements, packing equipment,storage facilities, and during transportation. Growers need to be aware ofpotential contamination sources from adjacent properties such as junk yards,toxic waste sites, and dairy or cattle operations and, to the extent possible, keepwild animals away from the crop. Harvest containers and totes should be cleanedbefore each use and stored so they are protected from sources of contamination.The voluntary recommendations described above are applicable to all freshproduce growers. But growers who supply fresh produce to grocery stores andrestaurants are increasingly being asked to supply documented evidence that GAPstandards are being followed. An inspection from an independent third partyauditor is typically required at some point during the harvest season.There are resources available to those who have received certification noticesfrom their wholesale buyers. A new United States Department of Agriculture audit 8
  • 9. service is available that is supported by funds from the Pennsylvania Departmentof Agriculture. Currently under development from Penn State Extension and theDepartment of Food Science is a training program that will help growersunderstand farm food safety risks and develop a food safety plan.GOOD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICE (GAP)The methods of land use which can best achieve the objectives of agronomic andenvironmental sustainability are described in several different Codes of Practicedesigned by producers organizations (eg COLEACP), importers and retailersconsortia (e.g. BRC, FPC, CIMO, EUREP) and Government bodies representingconsumers (e.g. UK Food Standards Agency). Many UK supermarkets have inaddition their own codes of practice which their suppliers must satisfy. Americanretailers use a different standard called SQF 2000, which is based on HACCP. Moreinformation can be found on the SGS websiteThe European Retailers Group (EUREP) is attempting to consolidate theagronomic and environmental components of all these codes into one universalset of rules or guidelines under the name EUREPGAP (= EUREP Good AgriculturalPractice). This is intended to present a clear message to suppliers and reduce theconfusion that flows from the current multiplicity of codes. The EUREP websitesets out the rules and procedures which growers or traders must comply with inorder to qualify for EUREPGAP certification. COLEACP is also trying to develop aharmonised framework taking the important parts of each code of practice. It isnot clear how long this process of consolidation will take. FERTILIZER USEApplication of fertilizers, whether organic or inorganic, is usually necessary forachieving economically viable returns but it is important to determine applicationrates on the basis of soil analysis, cropping history and actual requirements of thecrop at each stage in its development.For smallholders who also keep livestock,use of organic manures - whether animal manure, green manure or mulch - isoften desirable as a way of saving costs, improving soil structure and enablingfarmers to access organic markets, but proper treatment of the manure isnecessary to ensure food safety and to avoid leaching of nutrients into streams orgroundwater.Where chemical fertilizers are applied even greater care is needed to match theamount and timing of applications to crop needs, food safety and environmentalprotection.INTEGRATED CROP MANAGEMENT (ICM)ICM is a system of crop production which conserves and enhances naturalresources while producing food on an economically viable and sustainablefoundation. It is based on a good understanding of the interactions betweenbiology, environment and land management systems. 9
  • 10. ICM is particularly appropriate for small farmers because it aims to minimizedependence on purchased inputs and to make the fullest possible use ofindigenous technical knowledge and land use practices.KEY COMPONENTS AND OBJECTIVES OF INTEGRATED CROP MANAGEMENTComponent AimMinimum tillage and soil conservation Low-cost maintenance of soil structuretechniques and fertilityUse of nitrogen-fixing plants, green Improvement of soil fertilitymanures and agro-forestry techniquesBiological methods of pest and disease Cheap and sustainable plant protectioncontrolCrop rotations Prevent build-up of pests, disease and weedsProductive use and disposal of plant Prevent damage to soil, water, human,and animal residues plant and animal healthMaintenance and improvement of Avoid loss of biodiversity and damage toecological diversity habitatMinimum use of purchased inputs and Reduce production costs andnon-renewable fuel resources environmental damage8 Plantation crops in North Eastern India: Constraints and StrategiesPlantation crops are high-value crops of great economic importance and providehuge employment opportunity, specially to the women throughout the year. Thesub-tropical climate of Northeastern India is extremely favourable to thecultivation of many plantation crops. Among the three important crops viz, tea,coffee and rubber, tea was introduced in Assam and Tripura as an industrial cropduring the middle of nineteenth century, which has spread to other non-traditional states in the region in recent years. Suitable land and climaticconditions provide favourable environment for tea, coffee and rubber plantationin Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland, but it is notfully exploited. At present 3.33 lakh ha area are under these crops in the region,which is a major source of revenue to the economy of the states. The data revealthat out of 14.6 per cent total geographical area under cultivation in the region,the plantation crops cover only 8.97 per cent, of which tea alone covers 7.5 percent (2.79 lakh ha), rubber 1.20 per cent (4419 ha) and coffee only 0.27 per cent(10.1 thousand ha). The share of tea is the largest, covering 85 per cent of areaunder plantation crops. Historically, the cultivation of tea being a corporateactivity, the involvement of common farmers was totally absent in the past, but inthe changing environment, a marginal presence is seen with a total area of 40.0thousand ha in the small-scale sector. The development of this emerging 10
  • 11. phenomenon of small-scale tea cultivation in Assam attracted the non-traditionalstates to introduce it as cash crop among the small farmers.Assam is the largest producer of tea in India (about 53 per cent of totalproduction). Its share in the region is about 96.8 per cent of area and 98 per centof production. The productivity of tea is about 1850 kilograms per ha.Coffee was introduced in NE states during 1960s. The implementation of thescheme of expansion of subsidy of Coffee Board Of India in 1979-80 has helped inincreasing its area. The Assam Plantation Crops Development Corporation tookinitiatives to establish coffee and rubber plantation.Rubber occupies 44.72 thousand ha in NE India, which is about 8 per cent of thetotal area at the all India level and produces 2.28 per cent of total rubberproduction in the country. Though the entry of this crop started on experimentalbasis during 1950s, but gained momentum only after 1985 through the project"Accelerated Development of Rubber Plantation". Presently Tripura alone grows25.38 thousand ha of rubber, which is 56.7 per cent of the total rubber area in theregion.Plantation Crop Based Farming SystemThe monoculture in small holdings is a nightmare during the year of slump andepidemic of pest and diseases. Raising more than one crops alongwith a particularplantation crop not only reduce the gestation period but also ensure steady andhigher farm income even in the period of slump. Seasonal crops like vegetables inthe formative years of the plantation crops and permanent crops like orange,arecanut, agar, tree beans, black pepper, gooseberry etc. could be grown in thematured plantation to augment productivity and profitability. Intercropping alsostands as insurance against crop failure and price slump.premIum organIc FarmIngThe organically, grown products have been gaining popularity worldwide andfetching premium price both at the domestic as well as international market. Sincethe virgin soil in the hill areas is favourable for tea cultivation, the naturalproduction condition in the NE India could be highly gainful in the production ofuser-friendly tea. On account of high amount of organic matter and other plantnutrients in these soils, the plantation crops can be grown organically withminimum of agro-chemicals. The strategy to produce organic tea and popularizeamong the consumers would pay high dividend. Such innovation in value-additionof tea is potentially economically remunerative and helps conserve the precioussoil and water resource.. 11
  • 12. Research NeedsThe identification of proper cropping system for plantation crops requires moreresearch initiatives. The companion crops along with plantation crops as basecrop, must have varying morphological frame and rooting habit for minimumcompetition for space, light, moisture and nutrients. Further, the selection of hostcrops is crucial or else it attracts pests and diseases. The promotional activity inthe sector should take cognizance of local needs, knowledge network, agroclimaticcondition and market facilities in a multi-pronged manner.Conclusion Plantation crops are highly income generating if managed properly. Thecultivation of these crops was traditionally limited to corporate sector. Thecorporate revenue however, did not percolate down to the benefit of the society.Although, the region occupies a strategic position as the highest producer of tea inthe country, the social gains due to the corporate agriculture is negligible. Thechanges are taking place in the recent years, resulting in the emergence of small-scale cultivation of tea. The implication of this development on the farm incomehas been significant. There are, of course, several inherent problems of small-scalecultivation of plantation crops like capital lock up due to long gestation period,capital intensive nature of production system, processing and marketingproblems. The solution to these multi-dimensional problems requires effectivestate intervention. The farmers also face the problems such as qualitydeterioration of green leaves due to delay in processing and locationaldisadvantage of tea processing units. The capital infrastructure facilities such asprocessing units need to be located in the site around the cluster of smallerplantations and the production management by the cooperatives of the usergroups. A cluster of village model may be encouraged to grow particular type ofplantation crops, viz, tea, coffee or rubber so that processing can be done in thecentral processing units. The location of the central unit should accompanied bythe infrastructure facilities like electricity, water, road and marketing network.The ancillary infrastructure such as regular supply of raw materials, inputs, agro-chemicals and other requirements must be available. In view of existence ofcustomary laws and property ownership rights prevailing in the tribal societies,such a socially acceptable arrangement could substantially benefit the hill states. Tea(CamelliasinensisL.O.Kuntze.) CamelliaceaeVarietiesPandian, Sundaram, Golconda, Jayaram, Evergreen, Athrey, Brookeland, BSS 1,BSS 2, BSS 3, BSS 4, BSS 5, Biclonal seed stocks and Grafts.Soil and climate 12
  • 13. Tea requires well drained soil with high amount of organic matter and pH 4.5 to5.5. The performance of tea is excellent at elevations ranging from 1000 - 2500 m.NurseryThe nursery soil should be well drained and deep loam in nature with pH of 4.5 to4.8. The soil and sand used in the preparation of rooting medium should be testedfor pH and nematode infestation.Pre-treatment of rooting mediumTreating with Aluminium sulphate can reduce soil pH. For this purpose thenursery soil is formed into beds of one metre width and about 8 cm height and ofa convenient length. Then the beds are drenched with 2% solution of Aluminiumsulphate applied at 10 litres/2.5 sq.m of area. Over this another layer of soil of 8cm height is spread and again drenched with equal quantity of water twice. Thenthe soil is allowed to dry and the pH is checked before use in the nursery.Preparation of sleevesPolythene sleeves of 150 or 200 gauge and 10 cm width and 30 - 45 cm lengthmay be used. Drainage holes may be provided at the bottom. The lower 3/4 of thesleeves should be filled with 1:3 sand and soil mixture and the top 1/4 with 1:1sand and soil mixture and staked in rows. Overhead shade is provided.Selection of mother bush and its treatmentHealthy and vigorously growing high yielding bushes should be selected. Apply toeach selected bush with 40 g of young tea mixture + 60:90 NK mixture up to 5years. The following mixture has to applied before taking the cuttings.0.5 % AlSO4 + 1 % MgSO4 (before 3 weeks)2 % Zn SO4 (before 2 weeks)1 % Urea (before 1 week)Preparation of cuttings Cuttings are taken on April - May andAugust - September. Semi hard-wood cuttings are prepared with one leaf and aninternode with a slanting cut at the bottom.Planting of cuttingsThe sleeves are watered thoroughly and holes are made in the soil. The cuttingsare inserted in the hole and the soil around is pressed firmly to avoid airspacefollowed by watering. Small polythene tents may be provided which maintain highhumidity and regulate the temperature inside. Cuttings may take 10 - 12 weeksfor rooting. After 90 days i.e. when all the cuttings have rooted, the polythene tentmay be removed gradually over a period of 10 - 15 days. 13
  • 14. Manuring of nurseryAfter the tent is removed the cuttings are sorted and staked. 30 g of Nurserysoluble mixture of the following composition dissolved in 10 litres of water maybe applied over an area of 4 sq.m. This should be done fortnightly.Composition of the fertilizer Ammonium phosphate (20:20) 35 parts by Wt Potassium sulphate 15 parts by Wt (or) MOP 12 parts by Wt Magnesium sulphate 15 parts by Wt Zinc sulphate 3 parts by Wt Total 80 parts by WtHardening of the cuttingsHardening of 4 - 6 months old young cuttings should be done by removing shadegradually in stages over a period of 4 - 6 weeks starting from a few hoursexposure to sun every day initially and extending the time of exposure gradually.metHodsoFplantIngSingle Hedge SystemIn this method, the spacing adopted is 1.20 x 0.75 m accommodating 10,800plants/ha.Double Hedge SystemIn this method, the spacing adopted is 1.35 x 0.75 x 0.75 m accommodating 13,200plants/ha.Season and plantingMay - June or September - OctoberSleeves should be opened lengthwise without injuring the roots and planted in thepit and the soil is gently pressed.IrrigationSubsoil irrigation may be given for young tea seedlings during summer months.ManuringManuring should be done 2 months after planting. Phosphorous should be appliedat 80 - 100 kg/ha as Rock phosphate once in a year by placement at 15 - 25 cmdepth up to the first pruning and thereafter once in two years. N : K ratio 2 : 3should be adapted for the first 3 years and a ratio 1 : 1 thereafter. 14
  • 15. Total weight Qty/plant (g)Year of kg/ha/annum No. ofapplication applications Ammonium N K Urea SulphateI year 180 270 5 13 27II year 240 360 6 23 15III year 300 450 6 29 18IV year 300 300 6 33 19onwardsApplication of fertilizers should be done before the onset of monsoon. Fertilizersshould be broadcast around the drip circle avoiding contact with the collar.AftercultivationPerennial grasses (Forbicot weeds) can be controlled by spraying Glyphosate 1.75lit + Kaoline 2 lit + 2 kg of wetting agent in 450 lit. of water followed byGramoxone 500 ml in 200 lit of water to control dicot weeds. traInIng young teaCenteringTo induce more laterals, centering should be done 3 - 5 months after planting.The main leader stem should be cut, leaving 8 - 10 matured leaves.TippingTipping is done at a height of 35 cm from the second tipping at 60 cm from groundlevel.PruningPruning is done to maintain convenient height of bush and to remove dead anddiseased branches.Area to be pruned every year = Total extent of the garden Pruning cyclePruning interval = (Elevation in feet / 1000) + 1Pruning should be done in April - May or August - September. types oF prunIng 15
  • 16. Rejuvenation pruning The whole bush should be cut near the ground level less than 30 cm with a view to rejuvenate the bushes. Hard pruning Hard/ formation pruning of young tea is done at 30 to 45 cm (12" to 18") for proper spread of bushes. Medium pruning To check the bush growing to an inconvenient height this type of pruning is done in order to stimulate new wood and to maintain the foliage at lower levels less than 60 cm. Light pruning Pruning depends on the previous history of the bush raising the height of medium pruning by an inch or less to manageable heights for plucking (less than 65 cm). Skiffing This is the lightest of all pruning methods. A removal of only the top 5 - 8 cm new growth is done so as to obtain a uniform level of pruning surface (more than 65 cm). Shade regulation Pollarding of shade trees should be done prior to heavy rains at a height of 8 - 10 m from the ground level. Annually cut the erect growing branches. plant protectIonScalesScales can be controlled by spraying Carbaryl 50 WP @ 2 g/lit. or Endosulfan 35 EC @2 ml/lit or Quinalphos 25 EC @ 2 ml/lit or Chlorpyriphos 20 EC @ 2 ml/lit.Thrips and AphidsThrips and Aphids can be controlled by spraying Phosalone 35 EC or Endosulfan 35EC @ 2 ml/lit.MitesMites can be controlled by spraying Dicofol 18.5 EC @ 2 ml/lit or Sulphur 40 WP @ 2g/l or Sulphur 80 WP @ 1 g/l.dIseasesBlister blightBlister blight can be controlled by adopting the following control measures. • Spray 210 g Copper oxychloride and Nickel chloride per ha at 5 days interval from June - September; 11 days intervals in October and November. 16
  • 17. • Spray Hexagonazole 200 ml + Copper oxychloride 210 g 5 days interval/ha (or) • Spray Copper oxychloride 210 g + 200 ml Propiconazole/ha 10 days interval (or) • Spray Contaf 85 g / Tilt 80 g + 85 g Copper oxychloride at 7 days interval starting from the onset of monsoonBlister blightCrop duration and harvest Banji bud Harvesting in teaPlucking commences when the tea bush is 3 years old. The plucking of extreme tip ofthe growing branch consists of an unopened bud together with two leaves ispopularly known as "Two leaves and a bud", while fine plucking is anything less thanthis. In South India plucking continues throughout the year at weekly intervals duringMarch - May and at intervals of 10 -14 days during the other months.Rush periodDuring rush period harvesting is done at 7 to 10 days interval.Lean periodDuring lean period harvesting is done at 10 – 15 days interval.YieldThe yield of green leaves is 10 t/ha Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis Muell-Arg.) Euphorbiaceae 17
  • 18. VarietiesTjir 1, PB 86, BD 5, BD 10, PR 17, GT 1, RRII 105, RRIM 600, PB 28/59, PB 217, PB235, RRIM 703, RRII 5, PCK-1, 2 and PB 260Soil and climateIt requires deep and lateritic fertile soil with an acidic pH of 4.5 to 6.0 and highlydeficient in available phosphorous. Tropical climate with annual rainfall of 2000 –4500 mm is suited for cultivation. Minimum and maximum temperature should beranged from 25 to 34°C with 80 % relative humidity is ideal for cultivation.Regions prone to heavy winds should be avoided.SeasonJune – July is optimum for cultivationMethod of propagationPropagated by green budding, brown budding and crown budding.PlantingIn the cleared forest area, pits at 1 m x 1 m x 1 m are dug and filled up with soiland compost. The spacing of 3 x 2 m or 5 x 5 m is adopted.Seed at stake plantingGerminated seeds are sown in situ in the pits. Healthy ones are retained and theothers removed.ManuringFor immature rubber trees at pre-tapping stage Apply 12 kg of compost orFYM and 120 g of rock phosphate in each pit before planting. Apply 10:10:4:1.5NPK and Mg as per schedule given below: Quantity per plant Period of application 10:10:4 12:12:6Months after planting3 September/October 225 g 190 kg9 April/May 445 g 380 kg15 September/October 450 g 380 kg21 April/May 450 g 480 kg27 September/October 550 g 480 kg33 April/May 550 g 380 kg39 September/October 450 g 380 kgApply 400 kg of mixture/ha in 2 doses, once in April/May and another inSeptember/October from the 5th year till the tree is ready for tapping. 18
  • 19. Matured rubber trees under tapping Apply NPK 12:6:6 mixture at the rate of 400 kg/ha every year in two split doses. Add 10 kg commercial Magnesium sulphate for every 100 kg of the above mixture if there is magnesium deficiency. After cultivation Growing of cover crops, incorporation of cover crops and weeding are important operations. Pueraria phaseoloides, Calopagonium muconoides, Centrosema pubescens and Desmodium evalifolium are common cover crops. Tapping Trees attain tappable stage in about 7 years. First tapping in seedling trees will commence when the trunk attains a girth of 55 cm at 50 cm height from the ground. In budded trees the girth should be 50 cm at 125 cm height from the bud union. Ethrel treatment Ethrel is recommended to increase latex yield of trees. It is applied at 5% a.i. concentration with a brush below the tapping cut to a width of 5 cm after light scraping of the outer bark. The first application may be done after a drought period preferably after a few pre-monsoon showers and subsequent applications may be done in September and November. However, continuous application of Ethrel is not recommended for periods of more than 3 years at a stretch. plant protectIonPestsScale insectWhen severe infestation is noticed, spray Organophosphorus insecticides likemalathion 50 EC 2 ml/lit.Mealy bugSpray fish oil rosin-soap 25 g/lit. Release Austalian lady bird beetle, Cryptolaemusmontrouzieri @ 10/tree.Termite (White ant)Drench the soil at the base of affected plants with Chlorpyriphos 20 EC 2 ml/litre. 19
  • 20. Cockchafer grubDrench soil at the base of plants in the affected area with the solution ofChlorpyriphos 20 EC 2 ml/litre.MitesSpray Sulphur 50 WP at 2 g/lit or spray Dicofol 18.5 EC 2.5 ml/lit.DiseasesAbnormal leaf fallProphylactic spraying on the foliage prior to the onset of South-West monsoon with,Bordeaux mixture 1% at 4000 - 5000 lit/ha using high volume sprayers.Oil basedCopper oxychloride dispersed in diluent spray oil employing either low volume airblast sprayers (Micron 420 or Minimicron 77 or Shaw Duster Sprayer) from theground or through aerial application.For micron spraying on the tree spread, foliageintensity, planting material used and age of plants, two rounds of spray using about17 to 22 lit of fungicide oil mixture per ha per round (1:6 proportion) with gap of 10to 15 days or a single round of spray with about 30 - 37 lit of fungicide oil mixture perha (1:5 proportion) may be necessary.Secondary leaf fallThe control measures suggested for abnormal leaf fall will check this disease also.PowderymildewDusting during the defoliation period commencing from the bud break in about 10%of the trees, giving 3 to 5 rounds at weekly to fortnightly intervals before 10.00 a.m.using 11 to 14 kg 325 mesh fine Sulphur dust per round per ha. Sulphur dust can bemixed with talc in the proportion of 7:3. Wettable sulphur (1 kg in 4000 lit of water)is also effective in nurseries and for young plants as a spray.Birds eye spotRepeated sprayings with Bordeaux mixture 1% or Mancozeb or Copper oxychloride0.2%. Provide shade in nursery. Give balanced manuring to increase tree vigour.Leaf spotSpray 1% Bordeaux mixture or 0.2% Mancozeb, or 0.1% Carbendazim at fortnightlyintervals.PinkdiseaseFrequent tree to tree inspection should be done during July – September period fordetecting the infected trees and application of Bordeaux paste in the early stages upto30 cm above and below the affected region. In advanced cases apply Bordeaux pasteand when it dries up scrape off the superficial mycelium and damaged bark and applyBordeaux paste once again. Prune off and burn the dried up branches afterdisinfecting by Bordeaux spraying. 20
  • 21. Patch canker or Bark cankersThe affected region may be scraped to remove all the rooting bark and the coagulatedrubber and the wound washed well with Emisan solution. (Emisan 10 g in 2 lit).When the fungicide dries up apply wound dressing compound.Dry rot, Stump rot, Collar rot or Charcoal rotClean up affected areas, by washing with Emisan solution. Scrape out thefructifications. Affected bark and wood show black lines. Wash the wound again withfungicide solution. When it dries up apply a wound dressing compound. Avoidaccumulation of rubber at the base of the trees. For root infection see the treatmentfor brown root disease.Brown root diseaseOpen up the root system. Completely killed and dried roots may be traced andpruned. Partially affected and healthy roots washed with Emisan solution. When thefungicide dries up, a thin coating with a wound dressing compound may be given.Refill the soil and drench the base with fungicide solution.YieldRubber yield steeply increases year by year, reaching a peak after 14 years ofplanting. In South India, the annual yield of rubber is 375 kg/ha from seedlings trees,whereas budded plants yield 800 - 1000 kg/ha. COCONUT(Cocosnucifera) Palmae Varieties 1. East Coast Tall 2. West Coast Tall 3. VPM-3 (Selection from Andaman Ordinary Tall) 4. ALR (CN -1) (Selection from Arasampatty Tall) 5. COD (Dwarf for tender coconut purpose only) Hybrids Tall x Dwarf (To be grown under well managed conditions) 1. VHC 2 - ECT X MYD 2. VHC 3 - ECT X MOD 21
  • 22. Soil Red sandy loam, laterite and alluvial soils are suitable. Heavy, imperfectly drained soil is unsuitable. Planting seasons June - July, December - January The planting can also be taken up in other seasons wherever irrigation and drainage facilities are available. Spacing Adopt a spacing of 25 x 25 (7.5 x 7.5 m) with 175 plants/ha. For planting in field border as a single row, adopt 20 spacing between plants. Planting Dug pit size of 3’ x 3 x 3. In the pits, sprinkle Lindane 1.3 % D to prevent white ant damage. Fill the pit to a height of two feet (60 cm) with FYM, red earth and sand mixed in equal proportions. At the center of the pit, remove the soil mixture and plant the seedling after removing all the roots. Press the soil well around the seedling and provide the seedling with shade by using plaited coconut leaves or palmyrah leaves. Keep the pits free from weeds. Remove soil covering the collar region. As the seedlings grow and form stem, fill up the pits gradually by cutting the sides. Water management From 5th year onwards, adopt the following irrigation schedule based on pan evaporation for drip irrigation and basin irrigation. Western region of Tamil Nadu Moderate Severe water Normal condition waterMonths scarcity (for best yield) scarcity condition conditionA. Drip irrigationFebruary to May 65 lit / day 45 lit/ day 22 lit / dayJanuary, August and 55 lit / day 35 lit / day 18 lit/day SeptemberJune and July, 45 lit / day 30 lit/ day 15 lit / day October to 22
  • 23. DecemberB. Basin irrigationFebruary to May 410 lit / 6 days *January, August and 410 lit /7 days* SeptemberJune and July, 410 lit /9 days* October toDecember Months Normal Moderate water Severe water condition scarcity scarcity (for best yield) condition condition A. Drip irrigation March - September 80 lit / day 55 lit / day 27 lit/day October – 50 lit / day 35 lit/ day 18 lit /day February B. Basin irrigation March – 410 lit / 5 days* September October – 410 lit /8 days* February Eastern region of Tamil Nadu Quantity of water to be applied in the basin. Add 30 - 40 % of the above quantity of water (135 -165 litres/palm) to meet the conveyance loss.For drip irrigation, open four pits size of 30 x 30 x 30 cm opposite to each other at one meter distance from the trunk. Place 40 cm long PVC pipe (16 mm) in a slanting position in each pit and place the drippers inside the tube and allow the water to drip 30 cm below the soil surface. Fill the pits with coir pith to prevent evaporation. In the first year, irrigate on alternate days and from the second year to the time of maturity irrigate twice in a week based on the water requirement. Basin system Drought management and soil moisture conservation 23
  • 24. Mulching with coconut husks/leaves/coir pith Apply coconut husks with convex surface facing upwards (100Nos.) or dried coconut leaves (15 Nos) or coir pith up to a height of 10 cm in thebasin of 1.8 m radius around the palms as mulch for soil moisture conservationparticularly during summer season.Burial of coconut husk or coir pith Husk burial can be done in coconut basins or in theinterspaces to overcome drought and button shedding. Bury husks @ 100 Nos.with concave surface facing upwards or 25 kg of coir pith /palm in circulartrenches, dug 30 cm width and 60 cm depth at 1.5 metres radius. The husk can bealso buried in the trenches at a distance of 3 m from the palm with a size of 45 cmdeep and 150 cm width in between two rows of coconut. The soaking of thecoconut husk or coir pith as the case may be preserves the monsoon rains.Manuring From 5 th year onwards, apply 50 kg of FYM or compost or green manure.1.3 kg urea (560 g N), 2.0 kg super phosphate (320 g P2O5) and 2.0 kg muriate ofpotash (1200 g K2O) in two equal splits during June – July and December –January. Apply manures and fertilizers in circular basins of 1.8 m from the base ofthe palm, incorporate and irrigate. During 2nd, 3rd and 4th year ¼, ½ and ¾doses of the above fertilizer schedule should be adopted respectively. Sufficientmoisture should be present at the time of manuring. Fertigation may be done atmonthly intervals with 75% of the recommended dose of the above fertilizers.Phosphorous may be applied as super phosphate in the basins and incorporatedor as DAP through drip when good quality of water is available.TNAU Coconut tonic For nut bearing coconut, root feed TNAU coconut tonic @200ml/palmonce in six months.Bio-fertilizer recommendation Mix 50 g of Azospirillum, 50 g of Phosphobacteria ( or ) 100g Azophos and 50 g of VAM in sufficient quantity of compost or FYM and applynear feeding roots once in 6 months / palm starting from planting. Don’t mix withchemical fertilizers and pesticidesOrganic recycling Any one of the green manure crops like sunnhemp,Calapagonium or Daincha may be sown and ploughed in situ at the time offlowering as a substitute of compost to be applied. Sow sunnhemp @ 50 g/palmin the basin and incorporate before flowering. Coir pith compost/vermicompostmade from coir pith/ coconut leaves/ other wastes from coconut grove can beapplied. 24
  • 25. Inter-cultural operation weed management The inter-space in the coconut garden has to be ploughedtwice in a year in June - July and December - January. Intercultural operation isessential to keep weed population under check, to enhance the utilisation of theapplied plant nutrients by the coconut trees, to facilitate proper aeration to theroots of coconut, to induce fresh root growth.Weed management For the broad-leaved weeds, pre-emergence spraying ofatrazine @1.0 kg a.i./ ha for the control of grasses and sedges. Post emergencespraying of glyphosate @ 10 ml and 20 g ammonium sulphate/litre of water.Weed free coconut gardenInter cropping Inter/mixed crops may be selected based on the climaticrequirement of the inter/mixed crop, irrigation facilities and soil type. The canopysize, age and spacing of the coconut are also to be considered. Market suitabilityshould be taken into consideration before selecting an intercrop.Below 7 years of age: Any suitable annual crop for particular soil type andclimatic condition may be raised as intercrops upto 5 years after plantingdepending upon the canopy coverage. Groundnut, sesamum, sunflower, tapioca,turmeric and banana can be grown. Avoid crops like paddy and sugarcane etc.7 – 20 years of age: Green manure crops and fodder crops (Napier grass andguinea grass) alone can be grown.Above 20 years of age (20 years of age has to be adjusted based on the sunlighttransmission of above 50% inside the canopy): The following crops can be growndepending on the soil and climatic suitability.Annuals: Groundnut, bhendi, turmeric, tapioca, sweet potato, sirukizhangu,elephant foot yam, ginger, pineapple Biennials: Banana varieties Poovan andMonthan are suitable.Perennials: Cocoa*, pepper*(Panniyur 1 or Panniyur 2 orPanniyur 5 or Karimunda), nutmeg* and vanilla* *Suitable areas in Pollachi tractof western region and Kanyakumari district. For vanilla, use disease free plantingmaterial and maintain high vigilance to maintain a disease free crop.Multiple cropping system 25
  • 26. Coconut + banana + sirukizhangu + bhendi is suitable system forthe eastern region. Crops like banana, pepper, cocoa, nutmeg, vanilla can be triedunder multiple cropping system in suitable areas in the western region. In all thesystems, apply recommended quantity of water and manures and fertilizers to theintercrops separately.Coconut mother palm selection and nurserymanagementThe need for collecting seed materials from high yielding coconut palms is highlyessential in a perennial crop like coconut.The following points may be remembered.Mother palm selectionSelect seed gardens, which contain large proportion of high yielding trees withuniformity in yielding ability. Trees growing closer to households, cattle shed,compost pits and other favorable conditions should be avoided.High yielding mother palms giving not less than 100 nuts/palm/annum should bechosen for collecting seednuts. Alternate bearers should be avoided. The age ofthe palm chosen be middle age i.e., from 25 to 40 years. Even trees with 15 yearsage can be selected, if it is high yielding and has stabilized yield.The mother palm should have straight trunk, spherical or semi spherical crown,high rate of leaf and spathe production, short and stout petiole, more number offemale flowers regular bearing habit, non – buckling bunches, high settingparentage, medium in nut size, high copra outturn and free from pest anddiseases. A good regular bearing mother palm produces on an average one leafand an inflorescence in its axil every month. So, there will be twelve bunches ofvarying stages of maturity at any one time. Avoid trees producing habituallybarren nuts.Harvest seednuts during the months of February - August to get maximumgermination and good quality seedlings. Harvest the bunches intended forseednut by lowering them to the ground using a rope to avoid injury to seednutsThe seednuts should be round in shape and when tapped by finger shouldproduce metallic sound. Fully ripe nuts develop twelve months after fertilization.To get more quality seedlings, the seednuts of tall and hybrid are to be air curedfor one month followed by sand curing for two months. For dwarf varieties, theair curing should be lesser than one month followed by sand curing for twomonths. 26
  • 27. Nursery management Select nursery area in a well drained plot with coarse texture soil near water source for irrigation. Nursery can be raised in the open space with artificial shade or in the adult coconut garden.Plant seednuts in a long and narrow bed at a spacing of 30 x 30 cm either horizontally or vertically in deep trenches with 20-25 cm depth. Five rows of nuts may be planted in each bed accommodating 50 nuts per row. Irrigate the nursery beds once in three days.Keep the nursery free of weeds. To manage the weed problem in coconut nursery, growing sunnhemp 2 times (each harvested at flowering stage) followed by one hand weeding at 6th month was found to be very effective besides yielding green manure for manuring the adult coconut palms.Provide shade to the nursery by raising Sesbania or Leucaena on the sides of beds. The seednuts start germination 6 – 8 weeks after planting and germination continues upto six months. Select seedlings that germinate before 5 months after planting. Remove those nuts which do not germinate 5 months after sowing. Regularly survey for pest and diseases.Select seedlings 9 to 12 months after planting. Seedlings, which have germinated earlier, having good girth at collar and early splitting of leaflets, should be selected for planting. Do not select the so called Kakkamukku Pillai i.e., seednuts which have just germinated. Eliminate the seedlings which are deformed or having stunted growth.Remove the seedlings from the nursery by lifting with spade. Do not pull out the seedlings by pulling leaves or stem.Select quality seedlings with a minimum of 6 leaves and girth of 10 cm at collar. 3. Pest and disease management A. Pest managementPests Management strategiesRhinoceros beetle • Remove and burn all dead coconut trees in theOryctes rhinoceros garden (which are likely to serve as breeding ground) to maintain good sanitation. • Collect and destroy the various bio-stages of the beetle from the manure pits (breeding ground of 27
  • 28. the pest) whenever manure is lifted from the pits. • Incorporate the entomopathogen i.e, fungus (Metarrhizium anisopliae) in manure pits to check the perpetuation of the pest. • Soak castor cake at 1 kg in 5 l of water in small mud pots and keep them in the coconut gardens to attract and kill the adults. • Treat the longitudinally split tender coconut stem and green petiole of fronds with fresh toddy and keep them in the garden to attract and trap the beetles. • Examine the crowns of tree at every harvest and hook out and kill the adults. • For seedlings, apply 3 naphthalene balls/palm weighing 3.5 g each at the base of inter space in leaf sheath in the 3 inner most leaves of the crown once in 45 days. • Set up light traps following the first rains in summer and monsoon period to attract and kill the adult beetles. • Field release of Baculovirus inoculated adult rhinoceros beetle @ 15/ha reduces the leaf and crown damage caused by this beetle. • Apply mixture of either neem seed powder + sand (1:2) @150 g/palm or neem seed kernel powder + sand (1:2) @150 g per palm in the base of the 3 inner most leaves in the crown • Place Phorate 10 G 5 g in perforated sachets in two inner most leaf axils for 2 times at 6 months intervals. • Set up Rhinolure pheromone trap @ 1/ 2 ha to trap and kill the beetles.Black headed caterpillar • The incidence of the pest is noticed from the monthOpisina arenosella of November to May and from August to November after rainfall. The coconut trees of all ages are attacked. • Release the larval (Bethylid, Braconid and 28
  • 29. Ichneumonid) and pupal (Eulophid) on (chalcid) parasitoids and predators periodically from January, to check the build up of the pest during summer. • Among the larval parasitoids, the bethylid Goniozus nephantidis is the most effective in controlling the pest. The optimum level of release is 1:8 of host- parasitoid ratio. The parasitoid should be released @3000/ha under the coconut trees when the pest is in the 2nd or 3rd instar larval stage. Parasitoids should not be released in the crown region since they will be killed by predators like spiders and reduviid bugs. • Remove and burn all affected leaves/leaflets. • Spray Malathion 50 EC 0.05% (1mi/lit) to cover the undersurface of the leaves thoroughly in case of severe epidemic outbreak of the pest in young palms. • Root feeding for the control of coconut Black headed caterpillar: Select a fresh and live root, cut sharply at an angle and insert the root in the insecticidal solution containing Monocrotophos 36 WSC 10 ml + water 10 ml in a 7 x 10 cm polythene bag. Secure the bag tightly to the root with a cotton thread. Twenty four hours later, check whether there is absorption. If there is no absorption select another root. These methods should not be resorted to as a routine practice and it is suggested only for cases of severe epidemic outbreak of the pest and when the survival of the tree is threatened.Red palm weevil • Remove and burn all wilting or damaged palms inRhynchophorus ferrugineus coconut gardens to prevent further perpetuation of the pest. • Avoid injuries on stems of palms as the wounds may serve as oviposition sites for the weevil. Fill all holes in the stem with cement. • Avoid the cutting of green leaves. If needed, they should be cut about 120 cm away from the stem. • Fill the crown and the axils of top most three leaves 29
  • 30. with a mixture of fine sand and neem seed powder or neem seed kernel powder (2:1) or Lindane 1.3 D (1:1 by volume) once in three months to prevent the attack of rhinoceros beetle damage in which the red palm weevil lays eggs. • Plug all holes and inject Pyrocone E or Carbaryl 1% or 10 ml of Monocrotophos into the stem by drilling a hole above the points of attack. • Setting up of attractant traps (mud pots) containing sugarcane molasses 2½ kg or toddy 2½ litres + acetic acid 5 ml + yeast 5 g + longitudinally split tender coconut stem/logs of green petiole of leaves of 30 numbers in one acre to trap adult red palm weevils in large numbers. • Install pheromone trap @1/2 ha • Root feeding: As under black headed caterpillarTermites • Locate termite mounds in or near the coconutOdontotermes obesus nursery or garden and destroy. • Swabbing with neem oil 5% once on the base and upto 2 m height of the trunk for effective control. • Spray Copper sulphate 1% or cashew nut shell oil 80% or spray Chlorphyriphos @ 3ml/lit of water, neem oil 5% or NSKE 20% to preserve plaited coconut leaves from the termite attack.Scale insect • Pluck mature nuts and spray Monocrotophos 36Aspidiotus destructor WSC 1 ml/ha. • Do not harvest nuts for 45 days after spraying.Mealy bugs • Remove leaflets harbouring these insects andPseudococcus longispinus destroy them • Spray any one of the following : • Malathion 50 EC 2 ml/lit (or) • Dimethoate 30 EC 1 ml/lit (or) • Methyl demeton 25 EC 1 ml/lit (or) • Phosphamidon 40 SL 1.25 ml/lit (or) 30
  • 31. • Monocrotophos 36 WSC 1 ml/lit (or) • Methomyl 25 EC 1 ml/lit (or) • Neem oil 3% (or)Leaf caterpillars • Collect and destroy the immature stages of theTurnaca acuta insects by conducting study (or neem compaign)Nut caterpillar wherever possible and spray carbary 50 WP 2Nut coreid bug gm/lit • Root feeding with monocrotophos 36 WSC @ 10 ml + 10 ml water at 45 days interval for 3 times for control of leaf caterpillar. • Set up light trape to trap and collect adult moths • Spray Dichlorvas 76 WSC 2 ml / lit. •Slug caterpillar • Spray any one of the following:Contheyla rotunda • Dichorvos 76 WSC 2 ml/lit • Bacillus thuringiensis 2 g/lit, • Triazophos 40 EC 5 ml • Methyl demeton 25 EC 4 ml/lit • Root feeding with monocrotophos 15 ml + 15 ml of waterScolytid bark borer beetles • Stem injection through a stove wick soaked in 0.2%Xyleborus parvulus fenthion or 0.2% dichlorvos and plugging the hole and repeating the treatment using the same wick and hole a month after.Palm civet • Poison baiting with ripe banana fruit sandwichedVivera zibatha with 0.5 g carbofuran 3 G granules.Rat • Tree banding with inverted iron cones or ProsophisRattus rattus wroughtoni thorns. Baiting with bromodialone 0.005% at 10 g/tree at crown region twice at an interval of 12 days. 31
  • 32. Special problem: Coconut eriophyid mite (Aceria guerreronis)Package of recommendations for the management of the coconut eriophyid miteCoconut eriophyid miteManurial and fertilizer recommendation (Soil application/tree/year)Urea 1.3 kgSuper phosphate 2.0 kgMuriate of potash* 3.5 kg* Increased quantity is recommended to increase the plant resistance to the mite.Neem cake application @ 5 kgOrganic manure (well rotten FYM) @ 50 kgMicronutrients (Soil application / tree / year)Borax 50 gGypsum 1.0 kgMagnesium sulphate 500gGrow sunnhemp as intercrop twice a year (Seed rate 30 kg/ha)Spot application of ecofriendly BotanicalsRound Eco-friendly Botanical Quantity / tree1. Azadirachtin 1% 5 ml in one lit. of water2. Neem oil + Teepol 30 ml in one lit. of water3. Azadirachtin 1% 5 ml in one lit. of waterMethod of application • The botanicals should be applied in the sequence indicated above at 45 days interval using a one litre hand sprayer. Rocker or Pedal sprayer can be used for spraying small trees. • The spray should be applied at the crown region by a climber covering only the top six bunches during non rainy season. • The bunches must be covered well by the spray fluid and approximately one litre of spray fluid may be required per treePrecautions and safety measures 32
  • 33. • Spraying should be avoided during windy season to prevent contamination. • At the time of spraying, protective mask and clothing should be used. • Wash face and hands cleanly with soap after spraying. • B. Disease managementName of the Disease ManagementBasal stem rot • Cultural MethodGanoderma lucidum • Apply Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf1) @ 200 g/palm + Trichoderma viride @ 200 g/palm/year • Apply 200g phosphobacteria and 200 g Azotobactor mixed with 50 Kg of FYM/palm • Green manure crops must be raised and ploughed in situ • Neem cake 5 kg/tree must be applied along with fertilizers o Chemical • Aureofungin-sol 2 g + 1 g Copper sulphate in 100 ml water or 2 ml of Tridemorph in 100 ml water applied as root feeding. (The active absorbing root of pencil thickness must be selected and a slanting cut is made. The solution to be taken in a polythene bag or bottle and the cut end of the root should be dipped in the solution). • Forty litres of 1% Bordeaux mixture should be applied as soil drench around the trunk in a radius of 1.5 metre.Bud rot The infected tissues from the crown region should be removed andPhytophthora palmivora dressed with Bordeaux paste or 1% Bordeaux mixture to be sprayed to reach the crown region as pre-monsoon spray.Stem bleeding disease The bark of the trunk should be removed in the bleeding area andThielaviopsis paradoxa Bordeaux paste should be applied.Lethal leaf blight (LLB) Spray 1.0 per cent Bordeaux mixture or 0.25 per cent CopperLasiodiplodia oxychloride or 0.2 per cent Indofil M 45 (4 times at monthlytheobromae interval during February, March, April and May). a. Preparation of 1% Bordeaux mixture A quantity of 400 g of copper sulphate should be dissolved in 20 litres of water and 400 g of lime in another 20 litres of water separately. The copper sulphate solution should be added to the lime solution constantly stirring the mixture. Earthen or wooden vessels alone should be used and metallic containers should not be used. To find out whether the mixture is in correct proportion, a polished knife should be dipped in the mixture for one minute and taken out. If there is reddish brown deposit 33
  • 34. of copper, additional quantity of lime should be added till there is no deposit in theknife. b. Preparation of Bordeaux pasteTake 200 g of Copper sulphate and dissolve it in one litre of water and 200 g of lime inone litre of water separately. Both are mixed simultaneously in a third vessel and theresultant mixture can be used as a paste.4. Harvest and post harvest technologyHarvest 11-12 months old fully matured nuts at an interval of 30-45 days dependingon the yield level of the garden. For household use keep the nuts in vertical direction.Dry copra either by sun drying or by using copra dryers. Store the copra at 5-6 %moisture content. Store the copra in polythene tar coated gunny bags.SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN COCONUT1. Rejuvenation of existing gardenThe low yield in vast majority of gardens is due to thick population, lack of manuringand irrigation. These gardens could be improved if the following measures are taken. • Thinning of thickly populated gardens: In the farmer’s holdings where thick planting is adopted, many trees give an yield of less than 20 nuts/palm/year. By cutting and removal of these trees, the yield could be increased. Besides, there is saving in the cost of cultivation and increase in net profit. After removal of low yielding trees, the populations should be maintained at 175 palms/ha. • Ensuring adequate manuring and irrigation: The yield can be increased in the existing gardens when manuring + irrigation + cultural practice is adopted as per recommendation.2. Pencil point disorder (Micronutrient deficiency)Because of micronutrient deficiency, the stem will taper towards its tip with lessernumber of leaves. The leaf size will be greatly reduced and the leaves will be pale andyellow in colour. Along with the recommended fertilizer dose, 225 g each of Borax,Zinc sulphate, Manganese sulphate, Ferrous sulphate, Copper sulphate and 10 g ofAmmonium molybdate may be dissolved in 10 litres of water and poured in the basinof 1.8 m radius. This disorder can be corrected if noticed early. Severely affectedpalms may be removed and replanted with new seedlings. 34
  • 35. 3. Button shedding Button sheddingShedding of buttons and premature nuts may be due to any one of the followingreasons:i. Excess acidity or alkalinityii. Lack of drainageiii. Severe droughtiv. Genetic causesv. Lack of nutrientsvi. Lack of pollinationvii. Hormone deficiencyviii. Pestsix. Diseases The following remedial measures are suggested.a. Rectification of soil pH Excess acidity or alkalinity of soil may cause button shedding. If the soil pH is lessthan 5.5, it is an indication of excess acidity. This could be rectified by adding lime.Increase in alkalinity is indicated by soil pH higher than 8.0. This situation could berectified by adding gypsum.b. Providing adequate drainage facilitiesLack of drainage lead to suffocation of roots of coconut trees for want of aeration.Shedding of buttons is noticed under such condition. Drainage channels have to bedug along the contours to drain the excess water during rainy season.c. Management of young coconut gardens under waterlogged conditions • A trench between two rows of young coconut palms should be dug during onset of the monsoon rains. The size of the trench is 3 m width, 30 – 45 cm 35
  • 36. depth to entire length of field. The soil excavated from the trench should be placed along the rows of palms to make a raised bed. • Form mound around the young palms to a radius of 1.2 m width with height of 30 –45 cm.d. Genetic causesIn some trees button shedding may persist even after ensuring adequate manuring,irrigation and crop pest and disease management. This is an indication of inherentdefect of the mother palm from which the seed material was obtained. Thisunderlines the need for proper choice of superior mother palm for harvesting seedcoconut to ensure uniformly good yielding trees.e. Lack of nutritionButton shedding occurs due to inadequate or lack of manuring. The recommendeddose of manurial schedules and proper time of application are important to minimisethe button shedding. Apply extra 2 kg of muriate of potash with 200 g of Borax/palmover and above the usual dosage of fertilizer to correct the barren nuts in coconut forperiod of 3 years.f. Lack of pollinationButton shedding also occurs due to lack of pollination. Setting up of beehives @ 15units/ha may increase the cross pollination in the garden. Further the additionalincome obtained through honey, increases the net profit per unit area.g. Hormone deficiencyThe fertilised female flowers i.e., buttons shed in some cases. By spraying 2, 4- D at 30ppm or NAA 20 ppm (2,4-D 30 mg or NAA 20 mg per litre of water) on theinflorescence one month after opening of the spathe, the setting percentage could beincreased.h. PestsButton shedding may happen due to the attack of bug. Spraying of systemicinsecticides like Methyldematon 0.025% (1ml/lit) or Dimethoate 0.03% (1ml/lit)may reduce the occurrence.i. DiseasesButton shedding also occurs due to disease incidence such as basal stem rot. Adoptionof control measures suggested for the disease reduces not only spread of the diseasebut also prevents shedding of buttons.Coconut mother palm selection and nursery managementThe need for collecting seed materials from high yielding coconut palms is highlyessential in a perennial crop like coconut.The following points may be remembered. 36
  • 37. Arecanut(ArecacatechuL.) PalmaeVarietiesMangala, Sumangala, Subamangala, Mohitnagar, Srimangala and Samruthi(Andaman) are mainly cultivated.Soil and climateArecanut is capable of growing in a variety of soils. It thrives best in well drainedsoils. Adequate protection from exposure to South-Western sun is essential toavoid sun-scorch. Quick growing shade trees have to be planted on the southernand western sides well in advance of planting seedlings. It is sensitive to moisturedeficit and should be grown where adequate water facilities are available.SeasonJune – December is found to be the optimum.Seeds and sowingFor raising seedlings seed nuts from pre-marked and pre-potent mother palms ofoutstanding performance are selected and sown at a spacing of 5 - 6 cm apart insand beds under partial shade with their stalk end pointing upwards. After thesprouts have produced two to three leaves, they are transplanted to a polythenebag 30 x 10 cm filled with forest soil and are allowed to grow for 12 to 18 monthsunder partial shade. The seedlings can also be transplanted in secondary nurserybeds with a spacing of 30 cm on either side. Periodical watering should be given.PlantingDwarf and compact seedlings with more number of leaves should be selected.Seedlings of 1 - 2 years age are planted in pits of about 90 cm x 90 cm x 90 cm at aspacing of 2.75 m either way and covered with soil to the collar level and pressedaround. Provide shade during summer months. Growing Banana or other crops inadvance may also provide shade.IrrigationIrrigation should be given as and when necessary.ManuringApply to each bearing palm (5 years and above) 10 - 15 kg of FYM or green leaf.100 g N, 40 g P and 150 g K. To palms less than five years old, half of the abovedose is recommended. Manures are applied during January - February after theNorth - East monsoon in a basin of 0.75-1.00 m radius around the tree to a depthof 20 - 30 cm. Time of application N P K 37
  • 38. (kg/ha) Trees less than 5 years 50 20 25 Trees more than 5 years old 100 40 50AftercultivationWeeding is done twice or thrice a year by spade digging. Wherever the land issloppy, terracing has to be done to prevent soil erosion. Vanilla can be grown asintercrop under optimum conditions.Intercropping Vanilla in Arecanut Plant protection pests Mites Mites can be controlled by spraying Dicofol 18.5 EC at 2.5 ml/lit. Spindle bug The spindle bugs may be controlled by a drenching spray with Lindane 1.3 D @ 2.5 g/lit of water. Inflorescence caterpillars Inflorescence caterpillars can be controlled by spraying Lindane 20 EC 2 ml/lit or WP @ 2.5 g/litre of water. dIseases Bud rot or Mahali disease Infected tissues of the bud should be scooped off and treated with 10 % Bordeaux paste. Destruction and removal of seed palms and also bunches affected by Mahali and drenching crowns of surrounding healthy palms with 1 % Bordeaux mixture would help in minimizing the incidence of the disease. Foot rot or Anabe Affected palms have to be isolated by digging trenches all round. The severely affected palms should be cut and destroyed. The stumps should be pulled out by digging and the drainage improved. Root feeding with 125 ml of 1.5 % (15 ml/litre of water) Tridemorph at 3 months interval. 38
  • 39. Stem breaking Wrap up of the green portion of the stem which is exposed to the South-West sun to protect against sun-scorch. Harvest The bearing starts after 5 years of planting. Nuts are harvested when they are three quarters ripe. The number of harvests will vary from three to five in one year depending upon the season and place of cultivation. Yield An average of about 1250 kg/ha can be obtained. Cashewnut (Anacardium occidentale L.) AnacardiaceaeVarietiesVRI 1, VRI 2, VRI 3, VRI 4, vengurla 4, Vengurla 7 and BPP – 8 (H2/16) are thepopular varietiesSoil and climateIt grows up well in all soils. Red sandy loam is best suited. Plains as well as hillslopes upto 600 - 700 feet elevation are suitable.SeasonJune – December is optimum for cultivation.PropagationMainly propagated by soft wood grafting, air layering and epicotyl grafting 39
  • 40. Requirement of plantsAbout 200 plants/ha can be planted.Preparation of fieldPits of 45 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm size are dug and filled up with a mixture of soil + 10kg FYM + one kg neem cake and 100 g Lindane 1.3 %.SpacingA spacing of 7 m either way is adoptedManuring (per tree)Manures and I year II year III year IV year V yearfertilizers old old old old onwardsFYM or compost 10 20 20 30 50(kg)N (g) 70 140 210 280 500P (g) 40 80 120 160 200K (g) 60 120 180 240 300Fertilizer application may be done during November - December in the East Coastareas. Wherever possible the fertilizer can be applied in 2 equal split doses duringJune-July and October-November periods.IntercroppingPlough the interspaces after the receipt of rain and raise either groundnut orpulses or minor millets till the trees reach bearing age.Training and pruningDevelop the trunk to a height of 1 m by removing low lying branches. The driedtwigs and branches should be removed every year. 40
  • 41. Rejuvenation of old cashew orchard by topworkingOld and senile cashew orchards with poor yielder are cut down leaving a stump of1 – 3 m height from the ground level. The emerging new sprouts are used asrootstock for epicotyl grafting. Suitable scions are collected and grafted on to thenew sprouts. plant protectIon Pests Stemborer 1.Collection and destruction of affected shoots 2. Swabbing the bark of exposed roots and shoots with Carbaryl 50 WP 2 g/lit. Twice a year before the onset of South West Monsoon (March – April) and after cessation of monsoon (November) painting of coal tar + kerosene mixture (1:2) or swabbing with a suspension of Carbaryl 50 WP (4 g/lit) can be done up to one metre length in the exposed trunk region after shaving the bark. 3. Root feeding with Monocrotophos 36 WSC 10 ml + 10 ml of water kept in a polythene bag on one side of the tree and keep the same amount on the other side of the tree (Total 20 ml/tree) divided into two equal halves will give protection when there is moderate incidence. 4. Swab the trunk with Lindane 20 EC 1 ml/lit or Carbaryl 50 WP 500 g in 20 lit of water. Tea mosquito bug Tea mosquito bug can be controlled by spraying Endosulfan 35 EC @ 2 ml/lit. The first spray can be done at the time of emergence of new flushes, the second at floral formation and the third at fruit-set. 41
  • 42. Shoot caterpillarsShoot caterpillar can be controlled by spraying Endosulfan 35 EC @ 2 ml/lit.Root borerRoot borer can be controlled by pouring Monocrotophos 10 ml/tree in thebore holes (Insecticide 5 ml + 5 ml water).Leaf miner1. Collect and destroy the damaged plant parts2. Spray NSKE 5% two rounds, first at new flush formation, second at flowerformationDiseasesDie back or Pink diseasePrune the affected shoots just below the affected portion and apply Bordeauxpaste. Spray 1 % Bordeaux mixture or any copper fungicide like Blitox orFytolan 0.25 % twice i.e. in May - June and again in October as a prophylacticmeasure.Anthracnose1. Remove the affected portions of plant/branches2. Spray 1 % of Bordeaux mixture + Ferrous sulphate at the time of flushinitiationHarvestThe peak picking months are March and May. Good nuts are grey green,smooth and well filled. After picking, the nuts are separated from the appleand dried in the sun for two to three days to bring down the moisture contentto 10 to 12 %. Properly dried nuts are packed in alkathene bags. This will keepfor 6 months.YieldAbout 3 - 4 kg/tree/year can be obtained. 42
  • 43. Cocoa(TheobromacacaoL.) SterculiaceaeVarietiesCriollo, Forestero and Trinitario are most popular. Forestero TrinitarioSoil and climatePotash rich alluvial soils friable in nature with high humus and moistureretentivity with a pH of 6.6 - 7.0 are suitable. Cocoa is normally cultivated ataltitudes up to 1200 m with an annual rainfall of 150 cm and a relative humidityof 80 % and annual mean temperature of 24°C to 25°C. Cocoa can be grown asintercrop in coconut and areca nut gardens.SeasonJune - July and September - OctoberSeeds and sowingCocoa is normally propagated by seed. Before sowing the seeds the pulp adheringto the seeds has to be removed. Cocoa seeds are individually sown in polybagssoon after extraction. The bags are filled with surface soil and sub-soil mixed withcompost, leaf mould and fertilizers. Nursery plants are ready for transplanting at6 months of age when they attain a height of 60 cm.PlantingSeedlings are transplanted with a ball of earth in 45 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm pits at aspacing of 3 x 3 m either way. Periodical mulching with leaves and wateringshould be done. Temporary shade has to be provided.IrrigationIrrigation should be given as and when necessary. During summer monthsirrigation should be given once in three days.ManuringTrees of 3 years of age and above are manured with 100 g N, 40 g P and 140 g Kper tree in two split doses during April - May and August - September. Treesyounger than three years may be applied with half of this dose. 43
  • 44. AftercultivationWeeding is done as and when necessary. The unproductive shoots, dead, diseased N P K Time of application (kg/ha) 1 – 3 years old trees 50 20 70 Trees more than 3 years old 100 96 140twigs should be removed periodically. Banana is better as a primary shade plantin the early years of plantation. For permanent shades Jack, Silver Oak, etc. areplanted.1. Plant protection Pests Mealy bug Mealy bug can be controlled by spraying Phosphamidon 85 EC 1 ml/lit or Dimethoate 2 ml/lit at fortnightly intervals. Release Coccinellid predator Cryptolaemus montrouzieri @ 10 tree.2. Aphids Aphids can be controlled by spraying Dimethoate 35 EC 1 ml/lit at monthly intervals.3. Grey weevil Grey weevil can be controlled by spraying Phosphamidon 85 EC 1ml/lit.4. Hairy caterpillar Hairy caterpillar can be controlled by dusting Lindane 1.3 D or spray Lindane 20 EC @ 2ml/lit.5. Diseases Black pod disease Spray 1 % Bordeaux mixture or 0.2 % Mancozeb or Copper oxychloride at 20 days interval. Black pod disease6. Dieback disease The disease can be controlled by spraying 1 % Bordeaux mixture.7. Charcoal disease Charcoal disease can be controlled by spraying with 1 % Bordeaux mixture. 44
  • 45. 8. Pink disease Prune the affected branches and swab the cut ends regularly with 1 % Bordeaux mixture.9. Harvest Bearing starts from 4th year but economic yield starts from 6th year onwards. The season of harvest is November - December and May - June.10. Yield The yield ranges from 500 - 1000 kg of dry beans/ha Betelvine(Piperbetel) PiperaceaeVarietiesKarpurakodi, Kallarkodi, Revesi, Karpuri, SGM 1, Vellaikodi, Pachaikodi,Sirugamani 1, Anthiyur kodi, Kanyur kodi and Bangla type are under cultivation SGM 1 SGM (BV) 2Soil and climateWell drained fertile clay loams are suitable. It does not tolerate saline and alkalineconditions. Betelvine require a cool humid with considerable humidity andregular supply of moisture in the soil is essential.Seeds and sowingThe vines are propagated by terminal stem cutting or setts about 30 - 45 cm long.Setts obtained from the top portions of the vines are easy to root and hence bestfor planting. On an average 1, 00,000 setts are required for planting one hectare.Setts with vigorous apical buds and nodal adventitious roots are selected andplanted at the base of the live supports, which are to be planted 4 to 5 monthsearlier. Vines/hectare Row spacing Single vine Double vine 20 cm 50,000 1,00,000 30 cm (1 ft) 30,000 60,000 45 cm (11/2 22,500 45,000 ft) 45
  • 46. SeasonNovember - December and January – February are optimum for cultivation.Preparation of fieldThe field is prepared to a fine tilth and beds of 2 m wide are formed to aconvenient length. Provide drainage trenches of 0.5 m width by 0.5 m depth inbetween two adjoining beds. Plant the seeds of the live supports i.e. Agathi(Sesbania grandiflora) in long rows. About 750 banana suckers are planted at theedges of the beds, which are used, for tying the vines on the live support and forpacking the betel leaf. When the Agathi plants reach 4 m height, they are toppedoff for maintaining the height. The crop is planted in two rows in beds of 180 cmwidth on Agathi plants with a spacing of 45 cm between plants in the row.IrrigationIrrigate the field immediately after planting and afterwards once in a week. After cultivationTraining of the live standardsBefore the establishment of vines, the side branches of Agathi trees upto a heightof 2 m are removed for early creeping of the vines.Training of the vinesTraining is done by fixing the vine at intervals of 15 to 20 cm along the standardsloosely with the help of banana fibre. Training is done at every 15 - 20 daysinterval depending upon the growth of vines.Lowering of vinesUnder normal cultivation, the vines grow to height of 3 m in one year period.When they reach this height their vigour to produce normal size leaf are reducedand they need rejuvenation by lowering during March - April. After the vine islowered, the tillers spring up from the nodes at the bends of the coiled vines at theground level and produce many primary vines. Irrigation should be given aftereach lowering.ManuringApply 150 kg N/ha/year through Neem cake (75 kg N) and Urea (75 kg N) and100 kg P2O5 through Super phosphate and 30 kg Muriate of potash in three splitdoses first at 15 days after lifting the vines and second and third dose at 40 - 45days intervals. Apply on beds shade dried neem leaf or Calotropis leaves at 2 t/haand cover it with mud (2 t in 2 split doses). N P K Time of application (kg/ha) Basal dressing 37.5 100 50 Top dressing @ 3 split doses 112.5 0 0 46
  • 47. . VarietyTellaku (Kapoori Type)Leaf is greenish yellow, ovate in shape, smooth with acute tip, juicy andnonpungent. It produces large number of laterals/vine and hence the yield ismore when compared to other types. The vine bears 10-15 lateral shoots.Susceptible to foot rot disease. It yields on an average 80,000 panthas per hectareper year (approximately) 100 leaves make one pantham. Karapaku (Bangla Type)It is moderately vigorous. The leaf is green to dark green, cordate in shape, thickwith broad lamina, coarse to touch and pungent. With very few or nolaterals/vine.PropagationThis is usually propagated by terminal stem cuttings obtained from sufficientlymature plantations. The length of the vines used for planting is about 30 to 45 cmhaving 6 to 7 nodes.Land PreparationApply farmyard manure 25 t/ha as basal dressing in the last ploughing. The landis laid out into ridges and furrows 45cm apart and irrigation channels formed atconvenient places. Generally Agati is used as supporting betelvines. The seeds ofAgati are sown at the rate of 40 to 50 kg/ha during June-July along the ridgesspaced at 100 cm. Irrigations are given to the standards twice a week or evenmore frequently. Along the border sow some seeds of Moringa or Pangara,Glyricidia as wind breaks. Apply gypsum @2.5 t/ha and plough the field beforesowing live standards in saline and alkaline soils. Prepare the field into small plotsto facilitate good drainage to avoid the incidence of foot rot disease.PlantingThe vines are planted during September-October in place where live standardsare raised in June-July. 50,000 sets (vine cuttings) are required for planting ahectare. The vine sets are planted at 100 x 20 cm spacing. The seed vines of top‘50’ cms length must be collected from vigorously growing, disease free gardens.Seed vines should be treated with 0.5% Bordeaux mixture + 500 ppmstreptomycin for 15-30 minutes. For seed vine treatment 2 kg copper sulphate, 2kg lime, 400 lts of water and 200 g. of streptomycin (9%) per one acre arerequired.For treatment of seed vines require for one acre, the followingcomposition is to be used. Copper sulphate : 2 Kgs. Quick lime : 2 Kgs. Water : 400 lit. 47
  • 48. streptomycin (9%) : 200 gAfter seed vine treatment the remaining Bordeaux mixture can be applied to thefield. Manures and FertilizersFIrst yearBlack Alluvial Soils200 kg N/ha in 4 split doses at monthly interval starting from 2nd month ofplanting through organic (Neem cake) and inorganic manures in 1:1 ratio, 100 kgP2O5/ha through single superphosphate and 100 kg K2O/ha through Muriate ofpotash/sulphate of potash as basal dosage during land preparation.Red Soils200 kg N/ha (100 kg N through FYM or oilcake, 100 kg N through Ammoniumsulphate),100 kg P2O5 through single super Phosphate and 100 kg K2O throughmuriate of potash.Second YearManuring schedule of first year except FYM is to be followed.Third YearManuring schedule of first year is to be followed.Irrigation and drainageIrrigation is given after planting betelvine cuttings, twice in a day for 3 days, oncein a day for next 3 days and later once in two days for 3 times. Later lightirrigation is to be given depending on the soil conditions and season. Subsequentirrigations are to be given based on the seasonal and soil conditions i.e. once in 2days during summer and 5 to 6 days during winter. Proper drainage channels areto be provided in the field for every 10-12 m row length and water should not beallowed to stagnate at the base of plants. IntercultivationWeedingWeeding should be done whenever necessary. ProppingTrain the vines to the standards at 20-30 days interval. Fix dry bamboos whereverthere is no standard.ToppingSesbania (Avisi) tops are pruned at 4m height. The pruning of sesbania branchesis a regular and continuous process. Less number of branches are retained duringwinter to allow sufficient sunlight and more during summer to protect the vinefrom hot sun and wind. 48
  • 49. Tying with ropesWhen the vines grow to the top of sesbania, the latter have to bear a heavyburden, hence they are tied with strong coir and these ropes are tied strongly to athick bamboo poles to protect from strong gales during April-May and cyclonicstorms during October to November.Wind breaksThe garden is protected from the strong gales, hot summers and cool winters bysowing some seeds of Moringa/Pangara/Glyricidia or fencing with bananaleaves/coconut fronds/gunny sacs as wind breaks along the border.Lowering the vinesWhen the first year crop is completed, the vine grows beyond 3-3.5m and pickingleaves is difficult. Hence, the vines are lowered by forming a ring (lower leaves ofshoots are stripped and then coiled) and fastened to live supports just above theground level, leaving the apical 50cm of the vine. The top 50cm of the vines iserected and tied to live support. This operation is called lowering of vine forrejuvenation.Second year gardenAt the time of lowering the vines, the coiled vines are to be sprayed with 0.5%Bordeaux mixture solution and then tied to the sesbania standard.Crop rotationCrop rotation with maize once in two years recorded the lowest foot rot diseaseincidence. Crops like castor, brinjal, chillies, bhendi, tomato should not be includein the rotation.HarvestingGenerally betelvine is ready for harvest after 2-3 months of planting andthereafter for every 25 to 30 days.Average yield: First year 60,000 - 70,000 bundles/haSecond year 80,000 – 1,00,000 bundles/ha(1 Bundle: approximately 100 leaves) Integrated crop Management module Best plant population (50,000 sets vine cuttings) +252 200 kg N through Neem cake + Urea (1 : 1) (Neem cake as basal and Urea in 4splits at bimonthly interval) 100 kg P2O5 and 100 kg K2O as basal. + 49
  • 50. Irrigation 100% replenishment of CPE + Application of Bordeaux mixture (4 drenches + 8 sprays) + Recommended insecticides if required. OIL PALM(Elaeis quineenis) PalmaeOil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is the highest oil yielding plant among perennial oilyielding crops, producing palm oil and palm kernel oil. These are used for culinaryas well as industrial purposes. On an average, oil palm produces 4-6 tonnes oil/ha.It can also contribute substantially to the nutritional and energy requirements ofthe masses. Oil palm is a crop for future and a source for diversification, importsubstitution, value addition, health and nutrition, waste utilization, energygeneration (non-conventional energy) eco friendly and sustainable. Oil palm is anative of West Africa, is now extensively grown in Malaysia, Nigeria, Indonesia,Republic of Zaire and Ivory Coast. Increasing demand for palm oil and also thetechnological developments for its extraction have greatly changed the entirescenario of the palm industry. In India about 80% of the area is located in AndhraPradesh and Karnataka.ClimateOil palm is a humid tropical palm which thrives well where annual temperaturerange is 29O-33OC (maximum) and 22O-24O C (minimum) with an evenlydistributed rainfall of 2,500-4,000 mm, relative humidity more than 80%, and notless than 5 hr sunshine/day. It can be grown up to 900m above mean sea-level.SeasonPlanting is preferably done at the onset of rains during June-July.SoilsIt can be grown on a variety of soils. But moist, deep, loamy and alluvial soils richin organic matter with good water permeability are best-suited, for its cultivation.Highly alkaline, saline, waterlogged and coastal sandy soils should be avoided. Atleast 1 m depth of soil is necessary. The soil pH should be 5.5-8.0.VarietiesThere are three main types of oil palm. They are dura, pisifera and tenera 50
  • 51. DuraWith a thick shell (2-8mm) its fruits have low to medium mesocarp content (35-55%). This is not grown commercially.PisiferaIt is a shell less, fruit bearing variety.TeneraThis is a hybrid obtained by crossing Dura (Female) and Pisifera (Male). It has athin shell usually measuring 0.5 to 4 mm with medium to high mesocarp contentof about 60-241 90%. This is a widely cultivated hybrid all over the world due tohigher mesocarp content and resultant oil output.Seeds and SowingThe seeds are subjected to a temperature of 40O C for 80 days for stratification.Seeds are soaked in water for five days changing the water daily. Thereafter theseeds spread out in shade for drying for two hours. The dried seeds are kept inpolythene bags in cool place in order to maintain the moisture content. The polybags (preferably black) of 400-500 guage measuring 40 x 35 cm are used. Thebags are filled with top soil and compost, arranged at a spacing of 45 cm2 and oneseed/bag is dibbled. The germination commences in about 10-12 days. Wateringthe seedlings weekly thrice is essential.PlantingOil palm is planted in the main field in triangular system at a spacing of 9 x 9 maccommodating about 143 palms/ha in hexagonal system of planting. Planting ispreferably done at the onset of rains during June-July. Manures and Fertilizers g/palm/year Age N K2O P2O5 First year 400 200 400 Second year 800 400 800 Third year 1200 600 1200Fertilizers should be applied in two equal split doses (in June and September)within 2 m diameter around the palm and forked in. Apply 50-100 g of Borax pertree every year. Application of potassium fertilizer may be enhanced dependingon the requirement of the palm.Inter cultivation and Weed Control 51
  • 52. The base of the palm is to be kept clean by weeding and pruning of cover crops.Forconserving the moisture in the basins apply coconut husk or paddy husk orsaw dust, cut leaves or male inflorescence as mulching.PruningMaximum number of green leaves should be retained on the palm. As a regularpractice, all dead and diseased leaves should be pruned. Severe pruning adverselyaffects 242 both growth and yield of palm. Pruning should be done by giving clearcut to the petiole as close to the stem as possible with the help of a sharp chisel.AblationAblation is the removal of male and female flowers produced in early stages ofplantation. This enables the plant to gain adequate stem girth, vigour and developadequate root system. Flowering starts 14-18 months after planting. Ablation canbe started immediately after the appearance of inflorescences on plams andextended upto two and a half to 3 years depending upon plant growth and vigour.After this stage, pollinating weevil Elaeidobius kamerunicus has to be introducedfor better pollination since oil palm is a cross pollinated crop.IrrigationOil palm requires sufficient irrigation, as it is a fast-growing crop with highproductivity and biomass production. Insufficient irrigation reduces the rate ofleaf production, affects the sex ratio and results in inflorescence abortion and leafproduction. For grown-up yielding palms of 3 years age and above, a minimum of200-250 litres water/day is a must. However, in older plantations during hotsummer, this amount may be increased up to 300 litres. When water is not aconstraint, basin irrigation can be taken up. Required quantity of water can begiven at weekly intervals or once in 5 days depending on soil condition. Irrigationchannels must be prepared in such a way that the individual palms are connectedseparately by sub-channels. For light soils, frequent irrigation with less watershould be given. In heavy soils irrigation interval can be longer. If irrigation wateris limited and land is of undulated terrain, drip or microsprinkler irrigation can beadvantageous. When drip irrigation is given, care should be taken to avoidclogging and for uniform discharge of water. Four drippers are sufficient todischarge 200-250 litres water within 6-7 hr.IntercropsAnnuals like chillies, gourds and other vegetables can be profitably grown asintercrops leaving an area of 2 m around the palm for the first two years only.After the onset of flowering there should not be any competition from otherintercrops for the early stabilization of yields.Harvest 52
  • 53. First harvest 3 . -4 years after planting. A chisel is used for harvesting bunches from young palms. When the palms become taller, a harvesting hook has to be used. Under very good maintenance especially with irrigation the yield could be 4- 6 tonnes of oil per hectare per year.The fresh fruit bunches harvested from the palm are to be transported for oil extraction immediately preferably within 24 hours. pest oF adult palmsThe rhinoceros beetleThe rhinoceros beetle is primarily a serious pest of coconut palm, and in recent yearshas attained the pest status in oilpalm also. The adult beetle which bores through intothe spear leaves, resulting in snapping of the fronds at the feeding sites. In oil palmplantations failed female inflorescences, dead palm trunks, persistent leaf axils andempty bunch heaps, act as breeding sites for the pest.The red palm weevilInfestation by the red palm weevil Chynchophorus ferrungineus was noticed inmajority of oil palm plantations resulting in the death of the palms. Damage is due tothe feeding activity of the grubs, usually 12-87 per palm, which bore through and feedon the softer tissues of stem and meristem. Palms infested by R.ferrugineus showgradual wilting and drying of outer whorl of fronds. In some cases roofing of spearwas also noticed.Biological controlIn nature, the rhinoceros beetle is suppressed by entomophogens like Baculovirusoryctusvirus and Metarhizium anisopliae. Release of Baculovirusoryctes minimise thepest incidence.Cultural controli) Field sanitation and elimination of breeding sites like dead palm trunks, emptybunch heaps etc., within the plantations are essential for the management of both redpalm weevil and rhinoceros beetle.ii) When the infestation by rhinoceros beetle is very high, especially in youngplantations, Hand picking of the adult beetles using hooks is very effective.iii) For red palm weevils, use of attractants incorporating fermented sugarcane juice,acetic acid, yeast etc., to collect and kill the adult weevils is recommended. 53
  • 54. Chemical controli) For rhinoceros beetles, placing 3-4 napthalene balls in the youngest spear axils atweekly intervals is recommended.ii) For palms with advanced stage of infestation by red palm weevil, stem injection of5-8 ml of Monocrotophos is advised.Fruit bunch covering against avian pestsCovering the bunches with different materials such as noirenets, reed baskets, plaitedcoconut leaf baskets and senile oil palm leaf are effective in preventing the fruitdamage. But senile oil palm leaf covering is more practical and economical as thematerial is readily available and involves only the labour charges and cost of ropebits.Rodent controlAmong rats, the burrowing type is more serious which tunnel into the bole of theseedlings. Different baits such as acute poison baits (Zinc phosphide, Aluminiumphosphide etc.) anticoagulants (warfarin, fumarin, bromadiolone) and traps such asiron like traps, snap traps, deathfall trap, boro trap etc. may be used as an integratedapproach to minimise the rodent damage to the crop.dIseaseBudrotHigher disease incidence is noticed in young plantations. Rotting initiates at the basalportion of the spear closure to the meristem and extends to the whole spear. Thespear could be easily pulled off. Cleaning the affected tissues and drenching the crownwith carbendazim 0.1 percent cures the disease. The leaves emerging immediatelyafter the application of fungicides are shorter and successively emerging ones arenormal.Leaf spotsLeaf spots caused by Curvularia noticed on the inner whirl and young leaves. Thefungal spots enlarge with a yellow ring around spots. As these spots enlarge the leafwill be scorched. Pestalotipsis fungal spots are irregular with grey to brown centre.Numerous black dots, the acervuli of the fungus, are seen on the lesions.Management: 1. Affected leaves must be cut and burnt. 2. Spray Mancozeb @ 0.2%.CollanteCollante is a symptom associated with inadequate soil moisture conditions. Plantingof seedlings in the field during dry weather also induces collante symptoms in the 54
  • 55. affected seedlings, the leaves fail to unfurl properly with a constriction developing inthe central portion of the leaf. The rains become prominent and the leaves rigid. Inextreme cases the leaf remains as a woody spike without separation of leaf lets. Thesymptoms are not seen in fresh leaves, when adequate watering is done.HarvestingProper and timely harvesting of fruit bunches is an important operation whichdetermines the quality of oil to a great extent. The yield is expressed as fresh fruitbunches (FFB) in kg per hectare per year or as oil per hectare per year. The bunchesusually ripen in six months after anthesis. Unripe fruits contain high water andcarbohydrate and very little oil. As the fruit ripens oil content increase to 80 - 85% inmesocarp. Over ripe fruit contains more free fatty acids (FFA) due to decompositionand thus increases the acidity. Usually the ripe fruits, attached to the bunches contain0.2 to 0.9% FFA and when it comes out of extraction plant the FFA content is above3%.Ripeness of the fruit is determined by the degree of detachment of the fruit frombunches, change in colour and change in texture of the fruit. Ripening of fruits startfrom top downwards and fruits also get detached from tip downward in 11 - 20 daystime. Ripeness is faster in young palms than in older palms for the bunches of equalweight. The criteria used in determining the degree of ripeness based on the fruitdetachment are as follows:a) Fallen fruits: 10 detached or easily removable fruits for young palms and 5 foradult palms,b) Number of fruits detached after the bunch is cut; 5 or more fruits/kg of bunchweight,c) Quantity of detachment per bunch; fruit detachment on 25% of visible surface ofbunch. These criteria could be applied with flexibility.Frequency of harvestingHarvesting rounds should be made as frequent as possible to avoid over ripening ofbunches. A bunch which is almost ripe but not ready for harvest for a particularharvesting round should not be over-ripe by next round. In lean period of production,harvesting can be made less frequent and it should be more frequent in peak periods.Harvesting rounds of 7 - 14 days are generally practiced. Other factors determiningfrequency are, extraction capacity of the mill, transportation facilities, labouravailability and skill of the workers. In India, harvesting is usually carried out with achisel of 6 - 9 cm wide attached to a wooden pole or light hollow aluminium pipe,Bunches are cut without damaging the petiole the leaf that supports it. Use of narrowchisel is usually carried out till the palm reaches two meters above the ground. Fortaller palms upto 4 meters, a wider chisel of 14 cm is used. The curved knife isattached to a long bamboo or aluminium pole with screws or steel wires to harvestfrom taller palms. In uneven stands, an adjustable, telescopic type of pole is in use. 55
  • 56. Ideal stage of harvesting in Oil palmYield of OilpalmIn well maintained garden the yield of oilpalm will be as furnished below: Age of oil palm Yield Ton/ha/year 3-4 years 5 4-5 years 12 5-6 years 25 6-25 years 30 56