Bright and sunny ...4,600 seedlings per acre Three-month once harvest Yield 8 tons per acre
In Tamil nadu state, most of the dishes are prepared from the curry leaves. The reason is not only because of its smell and its medicinal properties. That’s why curry leaves are always been valued in the market. After understanding this, the farmers are ready to cultivate the curry leaves.
Nearly, hundred acres of land is being cultivated under curry leaves in districts like, Coimbatore, Mettupalayam and surrounding areas of Karamadai. Although most of the farmers are using chemical inputs for agriculture, some people have attempted to cultivate organic curry leaves. One among them is a progressive farmer Mr. Nandakumar, belonging to Mankalakkaraipudur village, Karamadai,
Eventhough he is cultivating wetland crops like banana and turmeric the main crop cultivated is curry leaf. He is cultivating 'cenkampu’ local curry leaf variety in seven acres of land.
In general, more number of pests will be attracted by curry leaves due to its smell and greenness in nature. In an year, thirty times more insecticides will be sprayed when comparing conventional methods. In general, when we enter into the field we can feel the pesticide smell instead of the curry leaf smell. Curry leaves are highly used in the food. Some times, we eat a raw curry leaf. For such a wonderful crop, is it good to dump the chemicals? "I often thought, why can’t we raise curry leaf in an organic method? When I asked this question to the other farmers, they said it is impossible to cultivate curry leaf without using much of chemicals.
Nature wins the artificial!
He got introduced to the pioneering organic farmer Mr. Navanitakirshnan of Mettupalayam. He has learned about an organic farming from him. He took an organic cultivation as a challenging task and started the curry leaf cultivation. For the first time he started curry leaf cultivation in two acres of land. He recorded higher yield. Then he expanded to seven acres of land. For the past two years, he was using only organic inputs like, pancakavya, bio pest repellent, farm yard manure, neem cake and cow horn manure. The most common curry leaf diseases like leaf folder, leaf spot, molds, root rot and all kind of diseases are controlled by natural method. After seeing this, now people are slowly moving to organic method of curry leaf cultivation.
Suitable for all Seasons!
Curry leaves, grows well in red soils. We can do curry leaf planting in all the seasons. An acre of land to be ploughed twice. After spreading 15 tractors of farm yard manure, the field should be ploughed twice without any lumps. After that the raised bed will be prepared with 1 feet height and 3.5 feet width. Based on the topography and needs the length of the bed can be prepared. One and a half feet of space should be provided for each and every bed. Drip fertigation tubes to be placed on the raised beds.
4,600 seedlings per acre!
Ragi, sorghum, cumbu, thenai, varagu, samai, green gram, sesame and horse gram seeds were mixed together @ 20 kg and sown on the raised bed and irrigation should be done immediately. The plants will be ready for tranplanting on the 40th day. Seedlings are uprooted and put them on top of the bed and covered with soil. The next week curry leaf seedlings should be transplanted in a pit with a depth of half feet and distance of 2.5 feet from the center of the bed. Hence, 4,600 seedlings per acre is required.
Pancakavya once in a month!
Irrigation to be given in 10 days interval. Drip irrigation will suppress the weed growth. Panchakavya spray to be given once in a month ( mix 3 litres of panchakavya in 100 liters of water). The plants grow quickly with good color development. On the 100th day 50 g of neem cake should be placed at root region.
Herbal insect repellent for insects !
Herbal insecticides (Mix 400 ml in 10 liters of water) can be sprayed on the plant in the morning hours at 15 days interval to control the leaf folder, leaf spot, molds and winter season disease like white leaf spot. Plants need to be wet thoroughly. On a full moon day of every month, 100 liters of water is mixed with 40 g of cow horn manure and kept for one hour. Snow like spray is to be given. This spray leads to produce highly fragrant curry leaves and increases the shelf life. The first harvest to be done after 6 month of planting. The subsequent harvest to be done at three months interval. During the first harvest yield will be less. The yield increases gradually from the subsequent harvest.
Pruning once in a year!
In the first year, we will get an yield of 5 to 6 tons. During second year onwards, it reaches 8 to 10 tons yield. After every three harvest, the plants need to be pruned by leaving a one foot height away from the ground. Then, poly grains are to be sown in between the plants. On 40th day, the seedlings are uprooted and used for mulching purpose. By repeating this method every year, the plants will get adequent nutrients and also weeds will be suppressed. Cost of cultivation (in rupees) in one acre of land
Note: The cost incured for drip system was not included in this list.
Organic curry leaf cultivation will reduce the cost of cultivation to get an increased yield. Curry leaf is a multicut crop, so if we plant for the first time means we can get an yield upto 25 years. Curry leaf can be harvested at four times in a year. We can get a remunerative price for curry leaves during the months of February to december. We can get minimum of 4 rupees per kg and maximum of 40 rupees per kg of curry leaves.
Traders, who come from Kerala, used their labours for harvesting and weighing purpose. We do not spend money for harvesting, transportation, commission agents involve in the loading and unloading operations. They will give ready cash in field itself. He gets an average price of 20 rupees per kg of curry leaf and annual income of 1,60,000 thousand rupees per acre of land in a year is obtained. He was able to get the profit more than one lakh rupees excluding the cost of cultivation.