Brinjal is a common vegetable in every household. It is used as a side dish like poriyil, kootu, roast, and also used in sambar. Depending on the nature of soil and surroundings, different varieties of brinjal are being produced and the taste also differs from one another.
Manaparai brinjal is one such kind known for its taste. This is cultivated in large quantity under organic farming in the village of Mudhukulam in Pudukottai district. Prakash and Iyyapan are relatives and they are jointly engaged in this cultivation. They are already known to the public by virtue of their earlier recognition given to them in the Pasumai Vikatan dated 25.5.2017 for their prize-winning cultivation of groundnut.
Iyyappan shares their personal story. The selected land is one that they have taken on lease from one of their relatives since there is no water facility in their land. In this 3 acre land they initially cultivated maize; then groundnut and now brinjal based on the demand for Manaparai brinjal in the markets of Thanjavur. They procured 200 Manaparai brinjal seedlings and started the cultivation in 2 acres. Iyyappan and Prakash say that the drip irrigation itself is enough for these plants by means of covering the bar with polythene sheet.
They had used sheep and cow manures at the bottom of the plants while this time, they have used poultry manure @ 7 tonne per acre due to adequate availability of poultry population in nearby areas and the harvest return is substantial.
For the brinjals grown by Iyyapan and Prakash, insects were a great menance and this affected the growth of brinjal plant; however, they used agni asthram, neamseed mixture and other herbal insecticides to drive them away effectively. Apart from these, they had used Albizzia Amara leaf extract mixed with fermented buttermilk , coal ash liquid, panchakavya etc. inputs as preventive measures which have made the plants strong and stable. The brinjals thus grown up are free from insects and they have a shine of their own.
From the 55th day, they have been plucking once in two or four days and now these plants are nearly 115 days old. So far, they have received 5,800 kgs. and they have sold them at a minimum price of Rs.40/- and maximum price of Rs.80/- per kilo, thus receiving a total sum of Rs.3,48,170/-. While they have spent Rs.1,00,200/- in both the acres, they have reaped a net profit of Rs.2,47,970/-
Income & Expenditure Statement for cultivation of Manaparai Brinjal in 2 acres of land (Rs.in approximate figure):-
Particulars Expenditure Income
Poultry manure 8,400
Construction of bar 4,000
Planting exp 2,000
Polythene sheet & inputs 40,000
Harvest expenses 24,000
Transportation expenses 11,200
Income from sale of 5,800 kg.brinjal 3,48,170
Expected income from sale of further1,500 kg. 75,000
Expected future expenditure 25,000
Total amount 1,25,200 4,23,170
Net profit 2,97,970
They expect further harvest for 2 more months and expect 1500 kgs which can fetch 75000 rupees at an average sale price of Rs 50 per kg. They also expect an expense of 25000 for this.
In one acre of land , 7 tonne poultry manure should be disbursed with 3 times of firm ploughing. Raised bed should be constructed with 2 ft. breadth and ½ ft. height with a distance of 1 ½ ft. in-between. In between the beds, the drip irrigation structure must be done, duly covered by the polythene sheet.
From the central point of the bar, we must leave ¾ ft. distance and on both sides of the bar and on the polythene sheet, we must create holes with 3 ft. distance in a triangle shape in a zig zag way so that the plants can be conveniently planted without unnecessarily clashing one another and with better air and sunlight. Once in 4 days drip irrigation process is required to be executed. From the 10th to the 20th day, neem seed liquid mixture (5 kg.neem seed should be pound and mixed in 20 lt. water and allowed to cool for 24 hours) should be given to the plants through drip irrigation channels.
On the 12th and 40th days coal ash liquid (4 lt. liquid to be mixed in 200 lt. water) is to be given through drip irrigation channel. On the 45th day, 2 lt. coal ash liquid should be mixed in 130 lt. water and sprinkled on the plants. Once flowering occurs, once in ten days, one time 3 lt. panchakavya should be mixed in 150 lt. water and sprinkled.
On the 50th day, 1 ½ lt. agni asthram should be mixed in 130 lt. water and it must be sprinkled. On the 60th day, 1 lt. fish amino acid should be mixed in 130 lt. water and sprinkled. On the same day, 2 lt. fish amino acid should be mixed in 100 lt. water and fed through drip irrigation water channel.
From the 65th day onwards, 6 lt. Albizzia Amara leaf extract mixed with fermented buttermilk (arappu buttermilk karaisal) must be mixed in 200 lt. water and sprinkled on the plants
From the 55th day onwards the vegetables can be plucked continuously for four months.
Thus the personal efforts of Iyyappan and Prakash have given them rich dividends in Manaparai brinjal cultivation.
(This article written in Tamil by K Ramakrishnan for Pasumai Vikatan issue dt 10/12/2017 has been reproduced in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)