The natural habitat of cardamom is the evergreen forests of Western Ghats. It is found to grow within an altitude ranging between 600 and 1200 meters above MSL. Though considerable variations both in the total rainfall pattern and its distributions are noticed in the cardamom tracts (900- 4000mm), a well distributed rainfall of 1500-2500mm with not less than 200mm summer showers and mean temperature of 15 to 250C would be ideal. Cardamom generally grows well in forest loamy soils that are acidic in nature, the preferable pH being 5.5-6.5. Cardamom soils are high in organic matter and nitrogen, low to medium in available phosphorous and medium to high in available potassium.
In order to raise a cardamom plantation, suckers or seedlings of high yielding varieties suiting to the location are to be used. If virus free production of planting material could be ensured, vegetative propagation through suckers is the best method. However, vegetative propagation has the inherent disadvantage of reducing the genetic base of cardamom. Sucker propagation is the accepted practice in Kerala and Tamilnadu. Traditionally, cardamom plantations were raised from seeds. It is still the common and advisable practice in Karnataka mainly because of the rampant virus disease infestation.
Vegetative multiplication ensures true to type plantlets from high yielding mother plants. Plants raised from rhizome show uniformity in growth and come to bearing earlier than the seedling-raised plants. However, sucker propagation carries the risk of viral disease spread and hence this method may be best avoided in the viral disease hot spots of cardamom tract.
Sucker multiplication may be taken up from the first week of March to September depending upon the weather conditions. The site is selected in open gently slopping well-drained areas near water source. Trenches of 45 cm wide and 45cm deep and convenient length are taken across the slope along the contour at 1.8 meter apart. They are filled with equal quantity of humus rich topsoil, sand and composted cattle manure. Uproot a part of the high yielding disease free mother clump identified in the plantation. Care should be taken to identify and collect mother clumps only from areas totally free from viral diseases. Trim the roots and separate suckers so that the minimum planting unit consists of one grown up tiller with a growing young shoot. Plant them at a spacing of 100cm in filled up trenches making a small pit. Apply 50 grams of Mycorrhizae (AM) fungi before planting of the suckers in the pit. Provide sufficient mulch and stake each planting unit. Provide overhead pandal as in the case of seedlings nursery and remove shading material with onset of monsoon. Provide irrigation once in a fortnight and adopt necessary plant protection measures. Apply fertilizers 25: 25: 50 grams per sucker NPK in two to three splits from two months after planting. Apply neemcake @ 100-150 grams per plant along with fertilizers. On an average 15 -20 good quality planting units (one grown up sucker with a growing young shoot) could be produced from a mother clump with in ten months of planting.Seedling nursery
Select nursery sites on gentle sloppy area and preferably near to a perennial water source. Clean the area from all existing vegetation, stumps, roots, stones etc. In the cleared area, beds can be prepared having one meter width, 20 cm height and at required length, generally six meters. Jungle topsoil can be spread to a thickness of two to three cm on the beds. Fumigate the beds with two per cent formaline (10 liters per bed), which will help in eliminating soil borne pathogens, nematodes and other soil pests. Fumigation should be done in raised nursery beds before sowing. The beds should be made airtight by covering with polythene sheets and the fumigant is allowed to penetrate into the soil for two or three days. Later the treated beds should be kept open for another week before taking up sowing.
Fully ripened bold capsules from high yielding and disease- free mother clumps of known source can be collected from second and third harvests for seed extraction. One kg of fresh capsules would give 350-400 fruits depending upon variety, seed size and number of seeds/capsule. Seeds after extraction should be washed using water to remove the mucilage. It is then mixed with wood ash and dried in shade. 175-200 grams seed is required to raise quality seedlings required for one hectare. Seeds are to be sown as early as possible, preferably within 15 days after extraction since seeds looses its viability on storage. Sowing in September gives maximum germination under field conditions; winter and peak southwest monsoon period should be avoided. Even under ideal conditions, the germination is often less than 50 per cent only.
Breaking of hard seed coat through seed treatment with acid or similar chemicals improves germination. Acid scarification with 25 per cent nitric acid for 10 minutes to break the seed coat will enhance germination. The seed is ready for sowing the next day.
Sowing can be done in lines in rows at a distance of 10 cm. Seed rate is 30 to 50 grams per 6x1 meter size bed. After sowing cover the bed with thin layer of fine soil and then with mulch material, such as potha grass or paddy straw. Avoid the contact of mulch material with the soil by spreading the mulch over tree twigs laid across the bed. Water the beds to sufficient moisture conditions. Once sprouting is observed, remove the mulch and cover the bed with thinly sliced mulch material in between rows. To protect the seedling from direct sunlight, provide overhead pandal. Germination commences 20 to 25 days after sowing and continues for further 30 to 40 days. Seedlings when reach four-six leaf stage (five-six months after sowing) is transplanted to secondary nursery
There are two methods of raising seedling in secondary nursery: They are bed and polybag nurseries.
Bed nursery: Prepare beds as in primary nursery. A layer of cattle manure and wood ash may be spread on the bed and mixed with soil. Seedling of three to four leaf stage from the primary nursery beds can be transplanted in the secondary nursery at a distance of 20 to 25cms. Mulching and watering of beds should be done immediately after transplanting. Over head pandal can be erected to protect seedlings from direct sunlight.
Black HM/HDP bags of size 20x20cm having minimum 100gsm thickness with three to four holes at the bottom can be used for this purpose. Fill the bags with potting mixture in the ratio of 3:1:1 of jungle topsoil, cow dung and sand. The bags may be arranged in rows of convenient length and breadth for easy management. One healthy and disease free seedling at three to four-leaf stage can be transplanted into each bag. Cardamom plants from secondary nursery/polybags can be transplanted to the main field during the last week of May after receipt of south west monsoon.
For planting in a new area, ground should be cleared and if it is replanting area, old plants should be removed. Shade regulation, terracing and preparation of pits should be done during summer months.
Shade regulation is one of the important practices that should be attended to during summer (March-April) in the new planting areas and during May-June after the receipt of summer showers in the existing plantation. If there is thick shade, chopping off branches should be done to provide filtered light of 40 to 60 percent of the open area. Cut alternate side branches of tree in the lower one third to half portion of the total canopy height. Lopping should not be done on one side only. Cutting branches from all the sides ensures a balanced canopy. South-Western slopes should be provided with more shade than North-Eastern slopes. Shade trees should have small leaves, tap root system and in summer, it should not shed leaves. If area is open due to tree fall, planting of quick growing tree spices like Karuna (Vernonia arborea), Corangati (Acrocarpus fraxinifolius), Chandana Viambu (Toona ciliata), Njaval (Syzygium cumini), Jack tree (Atrocarpus hetrophyllus) etc. should be taken up to protect the plants from direct sun light.
Field operations are to be undertaken with the objective of preventing soil erosion and to conserve soil moisture. In sloppy areas, soil should be protected from soil erosion for which planting should be taken up in terraces. Terraces should be made at required distances on contours depending on the spacing adopted. Pits of 90x90x45 cm can be prepared before commencement of monsoon, about 1/3 of the pit should be filled with top soil and 1/3 should be filled with 1:3 mixture of organic manure and top soil.
Planting material of high yielding variety suitable for the areas may be selected for planting. They may be planted in the already prepared and filled pits and plants should be protected from wind by staking. For Mysore and Vazhukka cultivars, plants to plants distances can be 3x3 meters (1111plants per hectare). A spacing of 2.4x2.4meters (1736 plants/ha) is recommended for Tamilnadu 1.8x1.8 meters spacing (3086 plants per hectare) is suitable for Cv. Malabar in Karnataka. Immediately after planting, the plant base should be mulched well with available dried leaves to prevent soil erosion and conserve moisture. Planting should be done diagonally to the slope to reduce runoff.
Weeds are potential competitors to cardamom for water and nutrients. At the initial stage of plant establishment, weed growth will be more. Two or three rounds of hand weeding at the plant base during May, September and December/January and slash weeding in the inter-space are advisable. Use of spade for weeding is to be avoided as it will loosen the soil and cause soil erosion. The weeded materials may be used for mulching.
Irrigation is required generally during summer months and also during periods of prolonged dry spells, if it coincides with the critical periods of plant growth where development of young tillers and panicles takes place. Water may be stored during rainy season through various water harvesting measures with out causing much damage to the environment. Irrigation can be done through different methods such as pot irrigation, hose irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, drip irrigation or micro-sprinkler/mist/fogger irrigation. Pot irrigation or hose irrigation can be done at weekly intervals at the rate of 20- 30 liters per plant depending upon the clump size. In case of sprinkler, irrigation with amount of water equivalent to 35 to 45 mm rain at fortnightly intervals is recommended under normal conditions. In case of drip or microsprinkler irrigation, water at the rate of five to six liters per clump per day can be given. Fogger/mist irrigation system is used largely to create a suitable microclimate within the plant eco-system to create favorable environment for growth, flowering and seed setting. The frequency of operation of the irrigation systems depends on the macroclimate in the plantation and hence has to be standardised for specific local weather situation. Irrigation is to be undertaken with utmost care to avoid excess wetness at the plant base for prolonged period to prevent occurrence of azukal/rot diseases.
Conservation of natural resources like soil and water is very important for sustainable production of the crop. All cultural operations should be aimed at causing least exposure of the soil to rain. Opening of rectangular silt pit (1.0x0.5x0.6 meter) in between four plants will help in soil and water conservation on gentle slopes. If slope is steep, construction of stone pitching walls at 10-20 meters intervals across the slope and also making watercollecting trenches along drainage channels at selected intervals will be helpful in non-landslide prone areas. However, any mechanical/permanent soil conservation measures should be adopted based on scientific soil/ topography/rainfall based parameters under expert advice, as unscientific based structures may lead to land sliding.
As far as possible, the entire plantation and particularly the plant base are to be kept under mulch for reducing evaporation loss, suppress weed growth and to maintain optimum soil temperature. It is very essential to keep the plant base mulched (5-10 cm thick), except during periods of heavy monsoon (June to September). Through adopting the best soil management practices, the soils will remain loose and friable. However, in situations where soil has become compact and hard, forking the plant base to a distance up to 90cm and to a depth of 9-12 cm may be beneficial to enhance root proliferation, better infiltration of summer showers and for improving soil aeration. Forking could be done with the cessation of north east monsoon during November/December taking care to cause least damages to the root system.
Trashing consists of removing old tillers, dead rhizome and dry leaves and leaf sheaths. This operation may be carried out once in a year at any time after the receipt of the pre-monsoon showers, in May. Pruning is the operation undertaken with sharp sickles for removing the dead and hanging leaves from the pseudo-stem. Care should be taken not to peel off the leaf sheath from the Pseudo-stem. This operation may be done during January and during September, which coincides with the peak thrips population. The resultant plant materials obtained through pruning can be used for mulching.
Whenever, the top soil covering the plant base is washed away and the rhizomes and roots are exposed, earthing-up of the plant base with top soil is recommended during November/December, before the withdrawal of north east monsoon. While carrying out this operation, care should be exercised to ensure that only top soil is used, and it is evenly and thinly spread at the base covering only half the bulb portion of the rhizome. This operation helps to keep the top 10 to 15 cm soil loose and friable enabling easy root penetration and water percolation.
The cardamom soils are generally acidic in nature. However, soil test results indicate that in major areas of cardamom cultivation, the pH of the soils decreased to levels that need immediate corrections over a period of last 15 years. Application of lime/dolomite is essential if pH of the soil is < 5.5. Though the quantity of lime is to be arrived at by assessing the lime requirement of the soil, for practical purpose, application of agricultural lime is recommended @ one kg per plant per year for soils with pH below 5.0. Lime is to be applied in one or two splits during May and September. Fertilizer shall be applied only after 15-20 days of lime application.
Cardamom responds to both manuring and fertilizer application. A soil test based judicious manuring schedule is to be arrived at to achieve optimum production on sustainable basis. Soil sampling procedure is given in Annexure I. Long term manuring studies that is being carried out at ICRI, Myladumpara indicate that an integrated nutrient application is beneficial for sustainable production in cardamom.
A wide variety of wheat is grown in today's times. However, the three principal types of wheat that are produced in India comprise of:
Hard Red Winter wheat: It produces good quality flour used primarily in making bread, burgers, biscuits, etc. It has a high protein content of 10-14%, because of which it has a high amount of gluten in it Soft wheat: Products like cakes, doughnuts, cookies, pastries, etc. are best made with soft wheat as it does not require the same amount of leavening as yeast bread. It contains about 6-10% protein in it Durum: Durum has a very hard texture and has a high protein and gluten content in it. It contains semolina, a course, golden amber product, which, when mixed with water, forms a dough. It's this dough that is largely used in making pasta products like noodles, spaghetti, etc. White wheat: It has a soft texture and is used in making cereals, cakes, biscuits, etc.
|Northern Hills Zone (NHZ)|
|VL-832,VL-804, HS-365, HS-240||Irrigated/Rainfed, Medium Fertility, Timely Sown|
|VL-829,HS-277||Rainfed, Medium Fertility, Early Sown|
|HS-375(Himgiri),HS-207, HS-295, HS-420 (Shivalik)||Irrigated/Rainfed, Medium Fertility, Late Sown|
|HS375 (Himgiri), HPW42||Very High Altitude|
|Noth Western Plains Zone (NWPZ)|
|HD2687,WH-147, WH-542, PBW-343, WH-896(d), PDW-233(d), UP-2338, PBW-502, Shresth (HD 2687), Aditya (HD 2781)||Irrigated, High Fertility,Timely Sown|
|PBW-435, UP-2425, PBW-373, Raj-3765||Irrigated, Medium Fertility, Late Sown|
|North Eastern Plain Zone (NEPZ)|
|PBW-443, PBW-502, HD-2733, K-9107, HD-2824(Poorva), HUW-468, NW-1012, HUW-468, HP-1731, Poorva (HD 2824)||Irrigated,High Fertility,Timely Sown|
|Raj-3765, HD-2643, NW-1014, NW-2036, HUW-234, HW-2045, HP-1744, DBW-14||Irrigated, Medium Fertility, Late Sown|
|HDR77, K8027, K8962||Rainfed, Low Fertility, Late Sown||HD-2888||Rainfed, Timely Sown|
|Central Zone (CZ)|
|DL-803-3, GW-273, GW-190, Lok-1, Raj-1555, HI-8498(d), HI-8381(d)||Irrigated, High Fertility, Timely Sown|
|DL-788-2, GW-173, NI-5439, MP-4010, GW-322, Urja (HD 2864)||Irrigated, Medium Fertility, Late Sown|
|C-306, Sujata, HW-2004, HI-1500, HD-4672(d), JWS-17||Rainfed, Low Fertility, Timely Sown|
|Peninsular Zone (PZ)|
|DWR-195, HD-2189,DWR-1006(d), MACS-2846(d),
DWR-2001(di), Raj-4037, DDK-1009(di)
|Irrigated,High Fertility,Timely Sown|
|HUW-510, NIAW-34, HD-2501, HI-1977,Pusa Tripti (HD-2833)||Irrigated, Medium Fertility, Late Sown|
|A9-30-1, K-9644,NIAW-15(d), HD-2380||Rainfed, Low Fertility,Timely Sown|
|Southern Hills Zone (SHZ)|
|HW-2044, HW-1085, NP-200(di), HW-741||Rainfed, Low Fertility, Timely Sown|
|HUW-318, HW-741, HW-517, NP-200(di), HW-1085||Irrigated, High Fertility, Timely Sown|
|National Capital Region Delhi (NCR)|
|HD-2851(Pusa Visesh), HD-4713(i)(d)||Irrigated, Timely Sown|
|Pusa Gold (WR-544)||Irrigated,Late Sown|
Latest Release of wheat varieties
|HD-2894 (2008)||High yielding variety for NCR Delhi, with an average yield of 5.2 t/ha having a protein content of 12.9%, high gluten score, and good chapati making. It is developed by IARI New Delhi|
|HD-4713 (durum) (2008)||High yielding durum variety for NCR Delhi, with an average yield of 4.71 t/ha having a protein content of 5.15%. It is resistant to brown rust under both natural and artificial conditions and is suitable for pasta products.|
|Pusa Gold (WR-544)(2005)||for late sown, irrigated conditions of Delhi region, released by IARI New Delhi.|
|Pusa Visesh (HD-2851) (2005) & HD-4713(d)(i) (2006)||for timely sown, irrigated conditions of Delhi region, released by IARI New Delhi|
|Poorva (HD 2824) (2005)||timly sown irrigated for NEPZ region, released by IARI New Delhi|
|HD-2888 (2006)||timly sown, Rainfed conditions for NEPZ region, released by IARI New Delhi|
|Shresth (HD 2687)(2005), Aditya (HD 2781)(2005)||timly sown, irrigated conditions of NWPZ region, released by IARI New Delhi
|Pusa Tripti (HD-2833)(2006)|| Late sown & Irrigated conditions of PZ, released by IARI New Delhi
|Urja (HD 2864)||for late sown, irrigated conditions for CZ region, released by IARI New Delhi
|Amrta (HI 1500)||for timely sown unirrigated for central India, released by IARI Indore|
|Swarna (HI 1479)||for timely sown irrigated condition for central India, released by IARI Indore
|PBW 502||timly sown, irrigated conditions of NWPZ credited with Punjab Agriculture Univ.
|DBW 14||late sown,irrigated conditions of NEPZ credited with Directorate of Wheat Research
|Market Year||Domestic Consumption (in 1000 MT)||Consumption Growth Rate||Production(in 1000 MT)||Production Growth Rate|
|1999||68793||7.98 %||70780||6.68 %|
|2000||66821||-2.87 %||76369||7.90 %|
|2001||65125||-2.54 %||69680||-8.76 %|
|2002||75254||15.55 %||72770||4.43 %|
|2003||68918||-8.42 %||65760||-9.63 %|
|2004||72838||5.69 %||72150||9.72 %|
|2005||69980||-3.92 %||68640||-4.86 %|
|2006||73477||5.00 %||69350||1.03 %|
|2007||76423||4.01 %||75810||9.32 %|
|2008||70924||-7.20 %||78570||3.64 %|
|2009||78150||10.19 %||80680||2.69 %|
|2010||81760||4.62 %||80800||0.15 %|
|2011||81555||-0.25 %||86870||7.51 %|