Vermi compost unit Vermicomposting is a simple biotechnological process of composting, in which certain species of earthworms are used to enhance the process of waste conversion and produce a better end product i.e. vermi cast. Vermicomposting or vermi cast is an organic manure prepared from the bio-agro, city, kitchen wastes and cow dung by the earthworms and a rich source of plant nutrients. The vermiculture technology has potential of nutrient supply in an environment friendly farming system.
Earthworm species: Eisenia fetida.
Method: In a simple vermicomposting method the crop waste material is mixed with fresh cow dung in the preparation of 4 : 1 and water is sprinkled to keep 30% moisture of the mixture. The mixture is left for 10-15 days. The partial decomposition starts in waste mixed material. Thereafter, the bed with 3m x 1m x 0.3m size is prepared in a shed. Partial decomposed waste material is put in the bed and left earthworms in it. Then it is covered with gunny bags or mulch material. Water is sprinkled timely to maintained the temperature of the bed about 35oC throughout the process. Earthworms start feeding the material and within 45-60 days the material is turned into dark brown vermi cast. The vermi cast is ready to be applied in the field.
The nutritive horticulture crops particularly known as perennial fruit plants which are grown in arid and semi-arid region successfully such fruit plants as ber, pomegranate, aonla and drum stick. Such fruit plants as ber, pomegranate, date palm, aonla, lime and vegetable crops as okra, mateera, water melon, musk melon, kachari and snap melon and seedling in nursery are available. The area of fruit is covered 3 ha land at present time.
1. Ber (Zizyphus mauritana Lamk)
There are 205 plants of different varieties of ber in the ber orchard. The ber is grown at drought conditions successfully.
It is early variety. The plants are in spreading, leaves are green and length 1.2 cm, shoot are round and dark purple at the base, flowers started last week of August, peak period 2nd week of September and end last week of September. Fruits set started 1st week of September, peak period 3rd week of September and end 1st week of October. Fruits are round style, skin bright yellow, smooth and glossy, fruit size 3.5 to 3.8 cm, pulp/stone ratio 14.3 and weight 21.4 gm and maturity is 1st week of January to last week of January.
It is early variety. Growing habit erect, leaves are oval broad, young leaves are light green and length 1.8 cm, shoot are round to angular, now shoots are dark purple. Flowers are start 3rd week of August, peak period 3rd week of September and end the 1st week of October, fruits start 2nd week of September, peak period 4th week of September and end 3rd week of October. Fruits are round, resembling crab apple styler, skin yellowish, grown with brown specks, slightly rough, hard, size 3.6×3.3 cm, pulp/stone ratio 14.4 and weight 24.6 gm. Maturity 2nd week of January to 2nd week of February.
It is mid season variety. Plants are erect, leaves are cordate broad and length of leaf 1.8 cm, shoots are round to angular, flowering start 4th week of August, peak period 2nd week of September and end 4th week of October. Fruit set start 3rd week of September, peak period 4th week of September and end of 4th week of October. Fruit oblate styler, skin yellowish green smooth, pulp soft, size 2.2×2.2 cm, weight 8.5 gm, pulp/stone ration 18.4. Maturity period is last week of January to second week of February.
It is late ripening variety. Growth habit is semi erect, leaves are oval, broad, length 1.5 cm long, shoot round to angular, flowering start 4th week of August. Peak period 3rd week of September and end 3rd week of October. Fruit set 1st week of September, peak period 4th week of September and end 3rd week of October. Fruits are oval styler end round, pulp hand, size 4.7×3.4 cm, weight 33 gm, pulp/stone ration 25.2 and maturity period last week of February to 1st week of March.
2. Lime (Citrus aurantifolia swingle)
There are 90 plants of lime variety kagzi lime in Horticulture unit. Growth habit is erect and deep rooted plants, fruits are highly acidic with tilrable acidity upto 8%. It is very thin paper like peel almost 2 mm or even less. Its fruits are spherical to ovate in shape, 35-40 mm in diameter. Harvest fruits turn yellow without treatment within few days.
3. Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera )
There are 60 plants in date palm orchard of Khandravi variety. It is the cultivar which is dark in color. It is a soft date of the highest quality. It is early-ripening; does not keep too well. This cultivar is the smallest edible date palm and it is fairly tolerant of rain and humidity.
4. Papaya (Carica papaya)
There are 70 plants of papaya in papaya orchard of Taiwan variety. Papaya has healthy fiber, carotenes, C & B vitamins and minerals believed to increase cardiovascular health, boosts immune systems and protect against some cancers. Papaya has natural digestive enzymes, papain and chymopapain. Papain supports digestion of protein and works with papaya’s natural fiber to maintain a healthy digestive tract by soothing upset tummies, easing nausea and constipation.
5. Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
There are 110 plants of pomegranate (variety Sindura) in pomegranate orchard at KVK farm. Each 100 g of pomegranate contains Energy (83 kcal), Carbohydrates (18.7 g), Sugars (13.67 g), Dietary fiber (4 g), Fat (1.17 g), Protein (1.67 g), Thiamine (vit. B1) (0.067 mg), Riboflavin (vit. B2) (0.053 mg), Niacin (vit. B3) (0.293 mg), Pantothenic acid (B5) (0.377 mg), Vitamin B6 (0.075 mg), Folate (vit. B9) (38 µg), Choline (7.6 mg), Vitamin C (10.2 mg), Vitamin E (0.6 mg), Vitamin K (16.4 µg), Calcium (10 mg), Iron (0.3 mg), Magnesium (12 mg), Manganese (0.119 mg), Phosphorus (36 mg), Potassium (236 mg), Sodium (3 mg), Zinc (0.35 mg). Pomegranates are believed to help in lowering risk of Heart Disease, Cancer, Diarrhea, reduce Cholesterol, control weight and fight cell damage.
6. Banana (Musa paradisiaca)
There are 25 plants of banana in banana orchard of variety G-9 at KVK farm. This fruit is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin B6. Nutrients in one medium-sized banana or 126 grams wight are Vitamin B6 – .5 mg, Manganese – .3 mg, Vitamin C – 9 mg, Potassium – 450 mg, Dietary Fiber – 3g, Protein – 1 g, Magnesium – 34 mg, Folate – 25.0 mcg, Riboflavin – .1 mg, Niacin – .8 mg, Vitamin A – 81 IU, Iron – .3 mg.
7. Sejna (Moringa oleifera)
There are 150 plants of sejna in sejna orchard of variety CO-1 at KVK farm. India is the largest producer of moringa, with an annual production of 1.1 to 1.3 million tonnes of tender fruits from an area of 380 km². The leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant, being a significant source of B vitamins, vitamin C, provitamin A as beta-carotene, vitamin K, manganese and protein, among other essential nutrients. The leaves are cooked and used like spinach. In addition to being used fresh as a substitute for spinach, its leaves are commonly dried and crushed into a powder used in soups and sauces. The immature seed pods, called “drumsticks”, are commonly consumed and cooked by boiling. The seed pods are particularly high in vitamin C, good source of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium and manganese. The seeds, sometimes removed from more mature pods and eaten like peas or roasted like nuts, contain high levels of vitamin C and moderate amounts of B vitamins and dietary minerals. Mature seeds yield 38–40% edible oil called ben oil from its high concentration of behenic acid. The refined oil is clear and odorless, and resists rancidity. The seed cake remaining after oil extraction may be used as a fertilizer or as a flocculent to purify water. Moringa seed oil also has potential for use as a biofuel. Moringa has been used in folk medicine, including Siddha medicine and Ayurvedic traditional medicines. In Ayurvedic traditional medicine, the leaves are believed to affect blood pressure and glucose levels.
8. Lasora, Gunda(Cordia myxa)
There are 110 plants of lasora or gunda in the orchard at KVK farm. Keeping in view the numerous utilities of the plant it is widely cultivated in the arid zone. Lasura tree flowers during March-April. Being a deciduous plant, the species bears male and female flowers on the same tree. The fruit of lasora start appearing during July-August. Being full of viscid glue like mucilage, the pulp is somewhat translucent. When fully ripe the pulp becomes quite sweet in taste and is fully enjoyed by children. The pulp in a half ripe fruit can even be used as an alternative to paper glue in office work. The half ripe lasura fruit makes a tasty broth which is hot in effect as per Ayurveda practitioners. The fruit makes an excellent pickle and is quite affective against indigestion. The ripe fruit are full of vitamins and regular use is supposed to be helpful in good growth of hair. In addition to fruit, lasura bark and roots are also very effective as a local remedy against cough, cold and various other ailments connected with indigestion and throat problems. The lasura tree yields, high quality wood constituting a very good quality timber. It is grayish brown in color and weighs nearly 15 to 18 kg per cubic foot.
9. Anjir, Fig (Ficus carica)
There are 80 plants of fig in the orchard at KVK farm. Fig is naturally rich in much health benefiting phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants and vitamins. Dried figs, in fact, are concentrated source of minerals and vitamins. 100 g of dried fruit of the fig contains Energy 249 kcal, Protein 3.30 g, Fat 0.93 g, Carbohydrate 63.87 g, Sugars 47.92 g, Dietary fiber 9.8 g. Dried figs are excellent source minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc. 100 g of dried figs contain 640 mg of potassium, 162 mg of calcium, 2.03 mg of iron and 232 mg of potassium.
10. Phalsa (Grewia asiatica)
Phalsa is also called Falsa in India. It is a small berry that is the fruit of the tree Grewia asiatica. The tree grows upto 15 to 20 feet in height. It is native to India and South Asia. The tree has a rough bark and drooping branches that are covered with hairs. The leaves are thick and big, ovate shaped with pointed tips. The fruits are purple in color and ripen on the tree.
11. Aloevera (Aloe vera)
There are 200 plants of aloevera in the orchard at KVK farm. Aloe vera, called kathalai in Ayurvedic medicine, is used as a multipurpose skin treatment. The substances found in aloevera are Vitamins A (as b-carotene), B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, E, Folic acid, Choline; Minerals calcium, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, silicon, sodium chloride, Sulphur, potassium, phosphorus, zinc; Amino acid (20) used by the body to make proteins including all essential amino acids which the body cannot produce itself; Uronic acids which strip toxic materials from cells to aid detoxification; Fatty acids are natural plant steroids which are anti-inflammatory, anti- septic and helps cells function better; Sugars Mucinous polysaccharides (including acetylated Mannan or Acemannan) which are used by the immune system, detoxify the body, line the gut, aid absorption from the digestive system, lubricates joints, protects cells and aid gaseous exchange in the lungs; Enzymes are used by body as a catalyst for chemical reactions; Saponins form foam in water solution, have natural cleansing and anti-septic qualities; Lignin is a wood-like pulp which has the ability to penetrate the skin; Anthraquinones (14) are natural pain killers and antimicrobial agents and Salicylic acid is an aspirin-like compound that is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.
At KVK farm, different high yielding short duration varieties of sesame, green gram, guar, pearl millet, moth bean during Kharif season and cumin, methi, mustard, wheat, barley, okra, guar during Rabi season are cultivated so that the surrounding farming community is able to see the performance of all improved varieties of different crops at one place. The farmers choose the most suitable variety for their situation based on the available resources with them. Besides the crop variety in the crop museum different varieties of fruit plants, vegetables, are also sown/ planted at KVK farm to produce seed/ seedlings.
Heating of fruits for preserving is known as fruit processing. However, in canning, processing means heating or cooling of canned foods to inactivate bacteria. Fruits are processed at temperature at 100oC while non-acidic vegetables are processed at 115 – 121oC.In the fruit processing unit of KVK, CAZRI, Pali the different products from arid and semi arid food items are prepared. These are ber syrup, ber candy, lemon pickle, fruit pickle, aonla pickle. In this fruit processing unit the products are prepared according to need and requirement of farmers and farm women.
Water harvesting in its broadest sense can be defined as the “collection of runoff water for its productive use”. Runoff water may be harvested from roofs and ground surfaces as well as from intermittent or ephemeral water courses. Water harvesting techniques, which harvest runoff from roofs or ground surfaces fall under the term “Rainwater Harvesting”. The objective and reason to utilize concepts and techniques of rainwater harvesting is to optimize the use of the available rainfall on any given location. KVK, Pali has constructed a rainwater harvesting structure of dimensions 10m X 10m X 4m under the project entitled “Livelihood and nutritional security through rain water harvesting in arid zone of Rajasthan” which is externally funded by NABARD. The rainwater structure is located at a point where water from catchment area gathers and the structure is filled in single rain. This structure holds enough water for the entire need of farm. The rainwater harvesting structure is also being used for fish and duck rearing. KVK, Pali has established drip and micro irrigation setup on its farm and is using rainwater from the rainwater harvesting structure for irrigation of its field crops. The rainwater harvesting structure is serving as a demonstration as well as motivation unit for the farmers of surrounding villages and district area. It is also serving as a facility for technical training programme of extension functionaries and farmers, informational support and capacity building in several ways.
At KVK farm 500 buds of Napier grass (APBN-1) have been planted with good growth and given to approching farmers for cultivation at their fields.Napier grass is also called as Elephant Grass due to its tallness and vigorous vegetative growth. Hybrid Napier is a perennial grass (Elephant grass X Bajra) which can be retained on field for 2-3 years. Compared to Napier grass, Hybrid Napier produces numerous leaves. It has larger leaves, softer and less persistent hairs of leaf blades and sheaths and less sharp leaf edges. The stems are also less fibrous than Napier. The tillers are more numerous and grow faster. The grass grows throughout the year in the tropics. The optimum temperature is about 31° C. There are many Hybrid Napier varieties like APBN-1, NB-21, CO-3 and CO-4. The napier grass has high nutritive value as Dry matter (16.20 %), Crude Protein (9.38 %), Calcium (0.88 %), Phosphorus (0.24 %), Oxalates (2.97 %) and Digestibility (58.00 %). Leaves (Foliages) are larger and greener, sheaths are softer, and margins are less serrated; so the herbage is more palatable. It is juicier and succulent at all stages of growth. It is less fibrous and more acceptable.
The objective of seed processing is to achieve clean, pure seeds of high physiological quality (germinability) which can be stored and easily handled during succeeding processes, such as pr etreatment, transport and sowing. Processing includes a number of handling procedures, where applicability differs e.g. according to seed type, condition of the fruits or seeds at collection and potential storage period. Keeping the above facts in mind a Seed Grading Unit has been established under National Horticulture Mission at KVK Pali. The project leads to the development of new facilities and procedures of seed grading and processing with the following objectives.
- To demonstrate the latest improved cleaning and grading technologies of seeds to the farmers with a view to reduce the time gap between technology generation and its adoption.
- To increase awareness about seed grading and packaging technologies of crops through demonstration at KVK farm and at farmers fields.
- To generate self-employment and capacity building among farmers by adoption of the said units
- To increase area under various crops of improved variety through proper graded and treated seeds
The following crops can be graded by the Seed Grading Unit:
The Model Nursery has been established with the aim:
- To provide easy and timely improved quality and quantity plant materials to farming community in arid and semi- arid region.
- To increase the number of plants and preserve the essential characters of plants for developing orchard in region.
- To generate revenue and improve the economic condition of farmers.
- To generate self-employment capability among entrepreneurs through nursery raising in region.
The following plants of different varieties have been planted in the nursery and their saplings are prepared throughout the year.
Gunda, Aloe vera, Bargad (Bud), Drumstick, Fig, Agave, Kela, Lemon, Mehandi, Parkensonia, Ralia, Napier grass, Neem, Neem (Meetha), Shatavar, Papaya, Podina, Pomegranate, Chameli, Chandni, Bogenvalia, Champa plant (Deshi), Champa plant (English), Hazara, Harsingar, Nagdon, Keli, Gudhal, Kevda, Bamboo, Lilly, Mogra, Rangoon creeper, Rose, Sadabahar, Azolla etc.
Edible mushrooms are consumed by humans as comestibles for their nutritional and medicinal value. KVK established a mushroom unit where different edible mushrooms are cultivated throughout the year depending on temperature and climatic conditions. This serves as a demonstration-cum-production unit.
Azolla is a floating fern and belongs to the family of Azollaceae. Azolla hosts a symbiotic blue green algae, Anabaena azollae, which is responsible for the fixation and assimilation of atmospheric nitrogen. Azolla, in turn, provides the carbon source and favourable environment for the growth and development of the algae. It is this unique symbiotic relationship that makes azolla a wonderful plant with high protein content. Azolla is easy to cultivate and can be used as an ideal feed for cattle, fish, pigs and poultry, and also is of value as a bio-fertilizer.