Ashwagandha Cultivation: Good income even on barren land, earn 6-7 times profit
The main produce in Ashwagandha cultivation may be its roots, but everything in it gives profit.
Ashwagandha cultivation is a very good option if you want to earn well at a low cost even from less fertile and unirrigated land. Ashwagandha is a medicinal and cash crop. It can be cultivated in irrigated and non-irrigated and all types of land.
Not only can it be adopted as a crop rotation, but it is also ideal for those lands where the irrigation water is somewhat saline and the climate is arid or semi-arid because irrigation with brackish water removes the useful substances found in Ashwagandha, ie ‘alkaloids’ ( The amount of Alkaloids or Ksharabh) increases by two to two and a half times.
The botanical name of Ashwagandha is Withania somnifera. It doesn’t get sick quickly. Nor does it require chemical fertilizers. Even stray animals do not harm it. That’s why the farmers cultivating Ashwagandha remain relaxed on many fronts. That’s why agricultural experts say such land is most suitable for Ashwagandha where it is very difficult to take other profitable crops. The main yield in Ashwagandha cultivation maybe its roots, but everything in it gives profit. Its plants, leaves and seeds, etc. are available at affordable prices.
Ashwagandha demand in the country
Ashwagandha is cultivated on about 5000 hectares in the country. Its annual production is about 1600 tonnes, while the demand is 7000 tonnes. That’s why farmers do not face any problems in getting good prices of Ashwagandha in the market. This plant is found in all other parts except cold regions. But it is widely cultivated in the Mandsaur, Neemuch, Manasa, Javad, and Bhanpura districts of western Madhya Pradesh and the Nagaur district of neighboring Rajasthan. Nagauri Ashwagandha also has a different identity in the market.
Use of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is used like medicine. Many Ayurvedic and Unani medicines are made from their dry roots. Its consumption removes stress and anxiety. It increases the immunity of the body and strengthens the nervous system. Medicines are made from it for diseases like paralysis, spinal and urinary problems, rheumatism, cancer, sex tonic, skin diseases, inflammation of the lungs, stomach ulcers, worms (worms) and dyspepsia, back pain, knee swelling, tuberculosis, eye diseases. Are. Ashwagandha is also used a lot in making Chyawanpras.
Several alkaloids are found in the quantity of 0.13 to 0.51 percent in the roots and leaves of Ashwagandha. Its main alkaloids are – withanine (sleep-inducing), methionine, withaferin (antitumor), withaferin-A (antibacterial), feminine, choline, nicotine, and somniferine. Apart from this, glycosides, Withania, starch, sugar, and amino acids are also found in Ashwagandha.
How to cultivate Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha can be cultivated twice a year. Once in February-March under Rabi and a second time in August-September as Kharif. Wheat can also be grown after Kharif Ashwagandha in the crop cycle. Ashwagandha crop is ready in about 5 months. The main yield of Ashwagandha is its root. For its good growth, dry and semi-arid weather with 500 to 700 mm of rainfall and temperature around 35 °C is required.
Ashwagandha advanced seed
The height of the Ashwagandha plant ranges from 40 to 150 cm. Its stem is branched, straight, gray, or white hair. Its roots are long and oval and flowers are green or yellow in color and the fruits are about 6 mm round, smooth, and red in color. There are many seeds in each fruit. Ashwagandha’s ‘Poshita’ and ‘Rahita’ varieties developed by the Central Medicinal and Aromatic Research Institute, Lucknow are very good for infertile and dry areas. Its price is around Rs 200 per kg.
Sowing of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha can be sown in both ways. By sprinkling the seeds or by transplanting the plants grown in the nursery. Sowing in the nursery should be done in June-July. Sowing of rainfed crops can be done by broadcasting the seeds directly in the field. Keeping a distance of one foot between rows of plants and 5 to 10 cm between two plants in irrigated crops gives good yield and ease of weeding.
Crop Protection of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha seeds should be treated with Thiram or Dithane M-45 solution of 3 grams per kg before sowing. To protect its roots from nematode disease, Furadan at the rate of 5-6 kg per hectare should be mixed in the field at the time of sowing. Seedling blasts and leaf spots are common diseases of Ashwagandha, which reduce the number of plants in the field. That’s why before sowing the seeds should be treated with Thiram or Dithane M-45 solution of 3 grams per kg.
A nursery of 5 kg seed is suitable for one hectare. Seeds germinate in 8-10 days. When the nursery plants become 4 to 6 cm high, they should be planted in rows of one foot at a distance of 5 to 10 cm. The one-month-old crop should be sprayed with dithene M-45 mixed in 3 grams per liter of water at an interval of 7-10 days until the disease is controlled. To keep the crop safe from leaf-eating insects, mix 5-6 ml of Rogar or Nuan in one liter of water and spray this solution 2-3 times.
Fertilizing and Weeding
Ashwagandha is a root crop, that’s why regular weeding provides air to the roots and gives more yield. After 20-25 days of direct sowing, weeding should be done by balancing the distance of the plants. For better development of Ashwagandha roots, adding only cow dung manure or 15 kg nitrogen per hectare to the field before sowing gives more yield. After this, the crop does not need any other fertilizer.
Irrigation of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha needs less irrigation, so if Ashwagandha is cultivated in fertile and irrigated land, then there should be a good drainage system. If the rains are regular then there is no need to water the crop. Irrigate after rain only when the field starts drying. If irrigation of Ashwagandha is done with brackish water having 4 to 12 EC (electrical conductivity), then its quality increases by 2 to 2.5 times, because its salt tolerance is up to 16 EC. Explain that salt tolerance is considered an important measure of soil health.
Ashwagandha Digging, Drying, and Storage
Ashwagandha crop gets ready for digging between 135 to 150 days. When the leaves of the plant start turning yellow, then the crop is ready for digging. At the time of digging, the entire plant along with the root should be uprooted. Then the roots should be cut from the plants and washed with water and dried in the sun. After drying, the roots should be sorted according to their size.
Ashwagandha with 6-7 cm long, one-and-a-half cm thick, shiny, and white root is considered the best grade. After this, 5 cm long and one cm thick roots are kept in the second level and 3-4 cm long roots in the third level, and after that, the remaining chopped and thin roots are kept in the last category. After sorting, the roots can be kept in jute bags in a ventilated and termite-free place for a whole year or can be sold in the market.
Ashwagandha Cost, Yield, and Profit
Apart from the roots of Ashwagandha, its seeds and the straw of plants uprooted from the field are also sold in the market. Depending on the quality, the roots and seeds are sold at Rs 150 to 200 per kg, while tree straw also fetches a price of around Rs 15 per kg.
Generally, 7-8 quintals of fresh roots are obtained from Ashwagandha cultivation in one hectare. After drying, 4-5 quintals remain. Apart from this, about 50-60 kg of seed is also obtained. The cost of cultivation of Ashwagandha is about 10-12 thousand rupees per hectare (2.5 acres). While the product is sold for around Rs 75-80 lakh. That is a profit of 6-7 times the cost. The benefits of cultivation of Ashwagandha of improved species can be more.
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