It promotes growth, boosts immunity and controls diseases in plants
DASAGAVYA IS an organic growth promoter for crops, which is prepared by mixing certain plant extracts along with panchagavya. The term Gavya is given to cow's products. Panchagavya comprises cow dung, cow urine, cow's milk, curd and ghee, suitably mixed to give beneficial growth effects on plants when sprayed on them. Panchagavya is the major ingredient of dasagavya. It is prepared initially by thoroughly mixing 7 kg of fresh cow dung with 1 kg of ghee in a clean plastic drum. After two days, 10 litres of cow urine and 10 litres of water are added and the mixture is kept for 15 days. After 15 days, three litres of cow's milk, two litres of curd, three litres of tender coconut water, three kg of jaggery and 12 well-ripened Poovan (Tamil) banana fruits are added to the mixture and stirred well, according to Prof. N. Selvaraj, Professor and Head, Horticultural Research Station (HRS), Udhagamandalam, Tamil Nadu.
"The mixture is allowed to ferment for about 25 days, which encourages the growth and multiplication of certain beneficial bacteria and fungi," he said. Foliar extracts of weeds such as Lantana camara, Leucas aspera, Datura metal, Phytolacca octandra, and Artemisia nilgirica, are then soaked in cow urine in the ratio 1:1 (1 kg chopped leaves in 1 litre cow urine) for ten days, according to him. These weeds are found abundantly along the roadsides and have been found to be resistant to pests and diseases, due probably to the presence of certain antifeedant substances that ward off pests. "The plant extracts are then filtered, mixed well and added to the panchagavya solution in the ratio of 1:5," he said. The mixture thus obtained is called dasagavya and has the potential to promote growth, boost immunity in the plant system to repel pests and control diseases.The mixture is stirred well everyday for about 20 days to ensure thorough mixing of panchagavya and the plant extracts.
"In addition, it has been found to enhance the biological efficiency of crop plants and the quality of fruits and vegetables," said Prof. Selvaraj. The dasagavya solution has to be filtered before spraying to avoid clogging of sprayer nozzles. About three per cent dasagavya solution is recommended as a foliar spray for spraying over the plants, explained Prof. Selvaraj. Soaking of seeds or dipping the roots of seedlings in three per cent dasagavya solution for about 30 minutes before planting is found to enhance seed germination and root development in plants.
Dasagavya may be sprayed once every week for all vegetable and plantation crops. Spraying dasagavya is effective in controlling diseases such as leaf spot, blight, powdery mildew, rust of vegetables and cutflower crops and tea blister blight. Dasagavya also controls pests such as aphids, thrips, white flies, mites and also foliar caterpillars. "Plants sprayed with dasagavya invariably produced bigger sized leaves and developed denser canopy with profuse rooting systems, which enabled higher intake of nutrients and water. The taste and shelf life of the treated vegetables and fruits were also found to be enhanced," said Prof. Selvaraj.
The cost of production per litre of dasagavya works out to Rs.40, which is cheaper compared with plant protection chemicals and can be sold for up to Rs.90 per litre. Small-scale farmers and women self-help groups can start manufacturing dasagavya as a commercial venture, according to Prof. Selvaraj.For more information readers may contact Prof. N. Selvaraj, Professor and Head, Horticultural Research Station (HRS), Udhagamandalam, Tamil Nadu, Phone: 0423-2442170, email: firstname.lastname@example.org