Wedding or any other functions or occasions cannot do away without a favorite dish of sambar with brinjal and is one of the very common but an inevitable food items on our table. Agriculturally, it is also one of the plants that is highly prone to pestilence and disease. That is why even a farmer who is using chemical in puts remains hesitant to opt for it. But an ardent organic farmer, Nagarajan, Iluppuli village, Thiruchengodu, Namakkal district has proved that it could be cultivated organically and to be is able to harvest profit in lakhs.
Pasumai Vikatan impressed me to go organic
We approached him while he was harvesting brinjal in his farmland. “We have 30 acres of land and farming has been our occupation traditionally. At the beginning, we used chemical in puts at our farm, which did not fetch us much as the income and expenditure remained the same. That was when I happened to read Pasumai Vikatan that encouraged me to try with natural farming. Therefore I attended the training program conducted by Nammaalvar. In order to experiment with what I learnt I tried with a local variety of brinjal (Poonathalai, cat head) given by my friend, about 2500 saplings in three fourth of an acre. Brinjal can be cultivated throughout a year, especially in water deficient lands. At present I am continuing with well irrigation, half an hour supply in alternate days. Less amount of water is used as I follow drip irrigation and the profit is appreciably good”, continued Nagarajan.
Only organic henceforth!
“As I provide natural fertilizers to the land earthworms are growing aplenty. That facilitates good plant growth and also reduction in disease affliction. If a brinjal plant can be successfully grown organically any other plant can easily be grown organically. As I have already succeeded in that I will grow any other plant organically henceforth. If it is grown organically in a prudent manner it could be profitable than that is grown chemically. I have proved it by myself. My friends, Senthilkumar, Ranganathan and Senniappan helped me go organic”, said Nagarajan with pride and shared about its scope of high income.
Two tons in six months!
“Selling it to the market is not a problem as it is grown organically. But I do not sell it for higher price but contain it with market price only. On an average, 120-150 kg of brinjal is harvested every day, of which 15 kg could be pest afflicted. In a season 20 tons of good quality brinjal and 2 tons of pest afflicted brinjal can be harvested. I have been harvesting since last two months and I have reached 6.5 tons of harvest so far.
Tentative income and expenditure in cultivating Brinjal in 75 cents as per Nagarjan (INR)
I have sold a kilogram of brinjal for 15-25 INR. On an average it can be calculated as 20 per kg of quality brinjal and 5 per kg of afflicted brinjal. So far, I have earned 1,30,000 INR from 6.5 tons of brinjal and I expect additional 14 tons from the crops remaining in the field. If I consider 20 tons of total production and fix an average price of 20 INR I would be getting a total of 4 lakhs. Taking into account all the expenditure incurred for the production I could easily get a profit of 2.75 lakhs. He concluded by mentioning that he has already decided to expand the brinjal cultivation area as he was able to gain higher returns through organic cultivation having tasted success and eventual profit.
Contact Nagarajan, 99654-63999
Controlling caterpillar pests
To control leaf lice and aphid attack use sour buttermilk mixed with insect repellent in equal quantities. To control pests on the vegetable, add to Agni Asthram half a kg of green chillies, ginger and garlic, grind them together and spray on the affected areas. To control stem and boll worm use pheromone and light traps.
Caution about pheromone traps
In the pheromone trap there will be a bottle with female hormones. Being attracted towards it the male insects will get trapped. The pheromones will last for 21 days. It should be protected from direct sunlight. If it is kept under the sun it will last only for 15 days and will lose its effectiveness thereafter and become useless.
After 21 days it is important to replace the hormone bottle. The trap should be kept in the field at dusk and taken away by 8 am. It should be fixed at the height on par with the plant height, neither taller nor shorter than it. In an acre it can be fixed in three locations.
Fish acid formulation for enhanced flowering
On the day of flowering, spray fish acid formulation every ten days. If natural repellent is sprayed weekly once flowering will be better. Besides, spraying with one kg of asafoetida mixed in ten liters of buttermilk will prevent the flowers from pestilence and facilitate rapid flowering.
Why synthetic when there is natural?
A relative of Nagarajan, Mr Jeyapal who faced huge loss due to brinjal cultivation using chemical inputs said, “I continue with chemical inputs and recently I incurred a heavy loss in brinjal production in an acre of land. The reason being I used chemical fertilizers, which at one point of time exacerbated pest and disease attack more than usual. Especially through stem worms and aphids there is a total loss of returns. But Nagarajan who followed organic farming methods gained appreciable returns and therefore I have decided to follow the same organic methods henceforth”.
Follow the methods strictly!
Excerpts from Nagarajan about organic cultivation of brinjal!
In a one acre land chosen for brinjal cultivation, irrigate the field with farmyard manure and plough the soil till it becomes coarse. Plant the brinjal saplings in 3 foot space in parallel rows. For each four rows spare a pathway. By following this method in an acre 3500 saplings can be planted. On the seventh day of planting, pour 100 mL of Jeevamirtham formulation to each plan at its base, pitting out a portion near the root and cover it with soil after pouring the formulation. Repeat it weekly after and the volume can be altered according to the growth. From tenth day onwards, spray natural insect repellent, weekly.
On day 15, spread neem oil cake mixed with farmyard manure (100 kg farm yard manure with 70 kg of oilcake per acre), and strengthening the base with soil. On day 20, spray a mixture of 300 mL Panchakaavya in 10 liter of water. If it is needed weed out the field on day 25 and use pheromone traps on 30th day. Flowering will happen after 45th day.
On day 50, add 100 gram of oilcake mix (Equal proportion of neem, groundnut, coconut and sesame oilcakes), covering it over with soil. From 60th day brinjals will appear and harvest will continue till 6th month.
(This article originally written by K Anandraj in Pasumai Vikatan has been reproduced in English Amalan Stanley)