AGRICULTURE TRIBUNE Monday, January 17, 2000, Chandigarh, India
 



Haryana dairy federation’s ‘Vision-2004’
By V.P Prabhakar
WITH surpassing its previous milk procurement records when it touched the figure of 4.10 lakh litres in a day on November 15, 1999, the Haryana Dairy Development Cooperative Federation, which came into existence on April 1,1977, has now chalked out an ambitious plan in milk marketing and it has named it as "Vision-2004."

Amaranths — a foodgrain, vegetable crop
By C.M. Kumbhkarni
AMARANTHS are being projected as a potential foodgrain and vegetable crop. Amaranths, an ancient crop of the Mayan, Aztec and Inca civilisations of Central America, is popularly known in northern parts of India as "seul" and "chollai". In spite of its highly nutritious nature, the crop remained neglected till recently when the National Academy of Sciences recognised its potential.

Kitchen gardening a pastime too
By Sandeep Chopra and Kulbir Singh
THE importance of vegetable is increasing in our daily life, not only because they are tasty but are nutritious also and a source of carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins. Dieticians recommend consumption of 280 gm of vegetables per individual per day. Keeping in view the availability of vegetables in our country it becomes imperative for an individual to grow vegetables at his place.

Post-harvest handling of cut flowers
By V.P. Singh and Dal Singh
NOWADAYS, floriculture cultivation is a good source to earn foreign currency. Post-harvest technology has the main role to play in international market for earning more money from floriculture cultivation, especially in cut flowers. Different cut flowers are being grown in our country. The demand for cut flowers is increasing in domestic and international markets. About 20 per cent cut flowers are being lost during harvest, handling, storage, transportation and marketing.

Farm operations for January



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Haryana dairy federation’s ‘Vision-2004’
By V.P Prabhakar

WITH surpassing its previous milk procurement records when it touched the figure of 4.10 lakh litres in a day on November 15, 1999, the Haryana Dairy Development Cooperative Federation, which came into existence on April 1,1977, has now chalked out an ambitious plan in milk marketing and it has named it as "Vision-2004."

The main objective of the federation is to promote the economic interests of milk producers of Haryana. There are at present five functional unions in the state operating at Ambala, Karnal-Kurukshetra at Kurukshetra, Hisar-Jind at Jind, Gurgaon-Rohtak at Rohtak and Sirsa. All the unions, except the Karnal-Kurukshetra Milk Union, have milk plants. Besides processing liquid milk, products like ghee, powder, butter, paneer and SFM are being manufactured.

After covering a long way, the federation is now at a taking off position, according to its Managing Director, Mr Ramendra Jakhu. He says that it has made a gradual progress in creating infrastructural facilities at those places where the availability of milk is at its maximum. There are five milk plants located at Ambala, Ballabgarh, Jind, Rohtak and Sirsa with a processing capacity of 4,70,000 litres per day. The per day processing capacity of the Rohtak and Ballabgarh plants is being increased from one lakh litres each.

Mr Jakhu says that the procurement of milk increased from 720.64 lakh litres in 1997-98 to 795.06 lakh litres in 1998-99 — an increase of 10.3 per cent. The number of societies increased from 1,937 in 1997-98 to 2,399 in 1998-99 — an increase of 23.9 per cent. However, the number of functional societies at present is 2,916.

The average number of milk pourers increased from 48,965 in 1997-98 to 53,935 in 1998-99 — an increase of 10.2 per cent. Mr Jakhu claims that the number of pourers at present is around one lakh — the highest number of farmers ever participated in the system.

The average price paid from April 1,1998, to March, 1999, was Rs 10.10 per litre which is Rs 0.70 per litre higher than that of last year. The capacity utilisation also increased from 74.7 per cent in 1997-98 to 84.7 per cent in 1998-99. The turnover of the federation increased from Rs 152.30 crore to Rs 192.23 crore in one year — an increase of about 31 per cent. Mr Jakhu said the milk unions and the federation combined had been earning profit for the past two years.

To ensure milk production in the state the Haryana State Development Cooperative Federation launched ISI type-II and high energy cattle feed under the brand name of "Vita" in August, 1998. The Milk Plant, Rohtak, is an ISO-9002 plant and Ballabgarh is at an advanced stage of getting ISO-9002. The remaining three plants have also initiated action in this direction.

He said that under "Vision-2004", the demand in 1999-2000 was likely to be 11.92 lakh litres per day and this will touch 16.65 lakh litres per day by the end of 2004. In order to have major share in the milk markets, a proper marketing strategy would be developed. It is envisaged that by the end of the project period the unions and dairies would be able to market above 3.05 lakh litres of milk per day in class-I cities and 44,000 litres in other cities.Top

 

Amaranths — a foodgrain, vegetable crop
By C.M. Kumbhkarni

AMARANTHS are being projected as a potential foodgrain and vegetable crop.

Amaranths, an ancient crop of the Mayan, Aztec and Inca civilisations of Central America, is popularly known in northern parts of India as "seul" and "chollai". In spite of its highly nutritious nature, the crop remained neglected till recently when the National Academy of Sciences recognised its potential.

Amaranths have high nutritional value due to a higher amount of protein and other nutrients, and being an excellent source of iron and carotenes. It can help in removing iron and vitamin A deficiency. The presence of higher amount of folic acid can help in increasing the blood haemoglobin level. The most essential amino acid lysine in amaranths is reported to be twice that of wheat, three times that of rice and maize and almost at par with milk.

The grains contain seven to eight per cent unsaturated fatty acids which are good for heart patients. The oil also contains considerable amount of tocopherol, a source of vitamin E otherwise obtained from shark liver oil. In spite of a high amount of oil in amaranths, the calorific value of amaranths is comparable to wheat, and rather less than of rice and maize.

It is a multipurpose crop. Dr G.L. Bansal, Professor and Head, Department of Plant Physiology, HP Krishi Vishvavidyalya, Palampur, who, with his team, has worked on physiological investigations on the grain and green amaranths in relation to productivity under mid-hill conditions, says that its high photosynthetic efficiency, low input requirements, high yield potential for grain, vegetable and fodder production, relatively high tolerance to drought, diseases and pests and wider adaptability are several additional merits.

In hilly areas, the crop is generally sown in May-June soon after the onset of monsoon. In plains, however, the crop is generally sown in October-November. In the Himalayas, two grain species, A. hypechordriacus and A. caudatus, are often inter-cropped with maize, finger millet, Italian millet, barnyard millet, french bean, soyabean, black gram, horse gram and "colocasia".

On the South Indian hills, it is mostly mixed with "ragi" and is rarely grown as pure crop. It is rotated with potatoes or cabbage.

According to Dr Bansal, the trials at Palampur have shown A. cruentus lines giving better performance and yield than A. hypochondriacus, and a yield ranging from 14 to 17 quintals per hectare has been reported. The amaranths foliage is available as potherb when no other vegetable is available in the market.

The researchers are of the opinion that the nutritionally rich but cheap, short duration and easily cultivable amaranth crop could go a long way in meeting the food requirements of the underdeveloped world. The crop has a great economic significance especially in drought-prone areas which cannot support conventional crops.

He further thinks it is highly desirable to develop cultivars with all inflorescences located at one position and synchronous maturity to facilitate simultaneous mechanical harvesting.Top

 

Kitchen gardening a pastime too
By Sandeep Chopra and Kulbir Singh

THE importance of vegetable is increasing in our daily life, not only because they are tasty but are nutritious also and a source of carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins. Dieticians recommend consumption of 280 gm of vegetables per individual per day. Keeping in view the availability of vegetables in our country it becomes imperative for an individual to grow vegetables at his place.

In general the place adjoining to our home could be used for this purpose as it also increases the aesthetic value of the place. Members of the family cannot find a better alternative to utilise their spare time. Apart from this the waste material and water can be utilised for manure and irrigation. Other than this there is a dire need to grow vegetables in rural and urban areas. But the rural society has still not realised the importance of growing vegetables.

It has been seen that a space of 10 marlas could yield 2 kg of fresh vegetables every day which is sufficient for a family of six members. Where lack of space is a problem, pots and wooden boxes can be used for growing the shallow-rooted crops.

For a family (six members) a plot of approximately 10 marlas is needed. The crops to be grown could be changed depending upon the taste, location and the availability of space. A plot of 250 square metres can be divided into 12 sub-plots to grow seasonal vegetables. Water channels should be provided to irrigate the plots.

It is very essential to prepare a layout plan for the kitchen garden. A gardener efficiently knows the location of the plot, crops to be grown, different varieties and their spacings, etc. The basic purpose of layout is to efficiently utilise the space. A number of root crops like carrot, radish, turnip, sugarbeet, arum and calocasia, etc., can be sown in the ridges maintained on both sides of irrigation channel. Various cucurbits like bittergourd, bottlegourd sown in summer and rainy season and peas in winter season could also be trained on the fences.

If possible, one or two pits can be dug in a corner of the garden in which the rubbish produced from the garden and house could be dumped. The beans can be trained over it to hide it. All the perennials like aspargus, drumstick, curry plants and fruit plants like papaya and banana should be raised on one side or corner of the garden so that they do not interfere with the normal interculture operations and also should not shade the smaller plants.

A kitchen garden could be given an aesthetic look by understanding various facts highlighted by the research scientists. Good seed is the key to success. Even after keeping all other factors at the best a good yield cannot be obtained if the seed is of inferior quality. Hybrid seed of brinjal, tomato, melons, chillies and cucumber should be used.

Kitchen gardening is an art as it could not be understood merely by reading books. It needs regular practice and experience. A thorough guidance could turn an unskilled one to an efficient gardener. However, it is desirable that a gardener should be acquaint with the scientific technologies for the garden work and from time to time he should supplement his knowledge with the latest scientific research and operations.Top

 

Post-harvest handling of cut flowers
By V.P. Singh and Dal Singh

NOWADAYS, floriculture cultivation is a good source to earn foreign currency. Post-harvest technology has the main role to play in international market for earning more money from floriculture cultivation, especially in cut flowers. Different cut flowers are being grown in our country. The demand for cut flowers is increasing in domestic and international markets. About 20 per cent cut flowers are being lost during harvest, handling, storage, transportation and marketing. These losses can be avoided by careful handling, temperature management, sanitation and use of preservatives. Pre and post-harvest practices affect cut flower quality and its longevity. There are many post-harvest practices which deal with the longevity of cut flowers.

Proper stage of development:
The stage of development of flowers at the time of cutting determines its keeping quality and the display characteristics. The flowers must be harvested at the right stage of development which varies with the flower and the market outlet. For distant markets, the flowers are harvested at an early stage as compared to local markets.

Grading and bunching:
Damaged and diseased flowers should be discarded. Grading procedures vary widely among growers and different countries. Many growers have developed their own grading system and use them successfully in marketing their flowers. The same grade flowers should be bunched to improve the display value. Bunched flowers should be wrapped with cellophane paper or waxed paper.

Pre-cooling:
Pre-cooling is the first step in good temperature management. Pre-cooling removes the field heat rapidly from the freshly harvested cut flowers. Pre-cooling is done by room cooling or forced air cooling. Proper cooling reduces spoilage and maintains freshness of the flower for a longer time. From 20 in 24 hours or more are required for adequate cooling.

Packaging:
The pre-cooled flowers are packed to protect flowers during storage and transportation. Different materials used for wrapping flower head should enhance the display value of the flower. Care must be taken to avoid any direct contact between the flowers and packaging material. packaging materials for cut flowers vary with the kind of flower and growers. The widely used packaging material for cut flower export is carboard boxes. The boxes are lined with paper to reduce the rapid change in 10 to 60 mm Hg at 0 to 2C. Dry pack storage is for long period.

Flowers are normally harvested early in the morning when full turgid, handled dry and packed in moisture tighter containers before any wilting occurs. Wet storage is for short period. Cut ends of the flower stems are dipped either in water or preservative solution for 4-6 hours or more at 4C. Storage period and temperatures vary with the crop and the stage of development.

Chemical treatment:
Chemical preservatives are known to improve the quality and longevity of cut flowers. Hence the use of preservatives is strongly recommended at all stages of distribution. Ingredients used in floral preservatives are water, sugar, minerals, germicides, organic acids and salts, antioxidants, ethylene inhibitors, growth regulators and enzyme inhibitors. These chemicals are used singly or in combination. The concentration of these chemicals varies in vase solution bud opening and pulsing of different flowers.

Transportation:
Depending upon market distance, type of flowers and facilities available, flowers are transported by air, rail, road and sea. Packages should not be exposed to extreme temperature conditions. Prompt delivery of the product on arrival is an important factor in reducing the post-harvest loss.
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Farm operations for January

Sugarcane:
—Start crushing/harvesting (mill purpose) the mid-season varieties (CoJ-84 and CoJ-82) and the late maturing variety ( Co-1148), which matures during the end of January.

—Protect the seed crop against frost by giving frequent irrigation. Frost injury results in low germination of sugarcane.

—The sugarcane crop, meant to be ratooned, may be harvested as close to the ground as possible to promote better sprouting and burn the trash immediately.

—Irrigate the harvested field, plough in between the cane rows to control weeds.

Sunflower:
—Complete sowing of sunflower during this month. Sowing of short-duration hybrids like GKSFH-2002 and NSFH-592 can be extended up to the second fortnight of this month. Further delay in sowing causes a sharp decline in yield.

— Sow the crop preferably on the southern side of the ridges and keep a distance of 60 cm among the ridges and 30 cm from plant to plant. Place the seed about 6-8 cm below the ridge top. Apply irrigation to the ridge sown crop within 2-3 days after sowing.

— A seed rate of 2 kg is sufficient to sow one acre.

— Apply 24 kg N (50kg of urea) and 12 kg of P2 O5 (75 kg of superphosphate) per acre at sowing. Also apply 12 kg K2 O (20 kg muriate of potash) on soils low in potash. Prefer single superphosphate for application as it also contains sulphur. In light-texture soils apply N in two splits i.e. half N at sowing and the remaining half with the first irrigation.

—If the sunflower crop follows potato having received recommended dose of fertiliser and farmyard manure (40 tonnes per acre), then it does not require any additional nitrogen, phosphorus and potash.

—If sunflower follows potato having received 20 tonnes FYM per acre, then requires only 12 kg N (25 kg of urea per acre).

—Weeds can be controlled with the application of Stomp 30 EC (pendimethalin) @ 1.0 litre/acre as pre-emergence within 2-3 days after sowing.

— Cut worm becomes active in the sunflower fields where potato crop was sown earlier. Therefore, it is necessary that the sunflower should be sown on ridges.

Mentha:
— The best time of planting mentha is the second fortnight of January. Use two quintals of freshly dug 5-7 cm long suckers for one acre. Before planting, these suckers should be washed and dipped into 0.25 per cent Brassicol or 0.1 per cent Carbendazim 50 WP solution for 5-10 minutes. Fifty litres of solution is sufficient to dip 40 kg of suckers into it.

— The suckers should be laid end to end in furrows 45 cm apart. Apply light irrigation after planting.

— Apply 15-20 tonnes of farmyard manure before planting, besides 130 kg of urea and one quintal of superphosphate (single).

— For effective weed control, use pre-emergence application of Karmax (Diuron 80 WP @ 300 g/acre in 200 litres of water.

— Progressive Farming, PAUTop