Stevia farming is not a very tough job as in it can grow almost any where in suitable conditions. It is a herb which can be grown in your backyard or even in your kitchen. But growing stevia commercially requires a good care for maximum yield and better quality which fetches you a good price in maket. There a few important things you need to keep in mind which doing stevia farming in your farm.
3.Water Type and Availability
Stevia florishes most in a temparature ranging between 10 to 35 Degree Cg. For temparature going above 35 dg one need to use micro sprinklers to control the temperature.
The suitable soil for stevia plantation is red soil and sandy loam type of soil. As stevia requires a lot of irrigation in high temparature days and stevia being very sensitive to water logging, one need to make sure that the land should not hold water as that may work against a good stevia crop. Also the land preparation is done and beds are raised for stevia farming so as water logging do not take place.
As Stevia requires a good temparature control and irrigation, one need to make sure that water is available in abudance for stevia farming. since the irrigation is done in beds and water goes away soon one need to make sure that the water goes to water harvesting well or borewell so as to conserve water. The Ph level of water is also very important and it should be in a range of 6-7 for the best yield and long life of the plantation.
Stevia can be grown using seeds, cutting, and tissue cultured stems. It is ok to use stevia seeds if you are growing the stevia for personal use in your garden. But for commercial purposes one should go for tissue cultutred stevia stems as they give highest yield are in general have better quality. Although they are a bit costlier but the stevia leaves output justifies the cost. Also it is helpful for selling the dried leaves due to buy back facility for stevia leaves provided by the plant supplier. If you want to try and learn on a smaller spaces then you may use the cutting from the plants to further propogate it. Please keep in mind that selection of planting material is crucial for successful commercial cultivation of stevia.
The marketing of final produce (Dried Stevia leaves) is among the most important factor for any farmer considering commercial cultivation of stevia. It is not advisable to small farmers to sell it in local market as it is not sold easily in local markets. Also the dedmand of stevia leaves vary in market substancially hence the best option for farmers is to go for a buyback agreement for stevia leaves from the seller of the planting material. This is suggested even if the stevia planting material supplier is charging you a bit higher as it reduces your risk significantly and you can be easy and relaxed for sale of material.