Kundru cultivation : Farmer couple adopted pandal technique
This vegetable can be grown year-round in warm areas
Kundru vegetable may not be very popular like other vegetables, but now farmers are doing commercial cultivation in many places. Since it is a creeper plant, it has to be climbed up with some support. Kundru can be cultivated well by pandal method. A farmer couple from Mulkaluru village has also set an example by adopting the same technique and successfully cultivating Kundru.
Kundru cultivation in 3.3 acres
Farmer couple Sushila and Chintha Adinarayana Reddy, residents of village Mulkaluru in Narasaraopet mandal of Andhra Pradesh, have been cultivating vegetables for 30 years. He is very fond of growing new vegetables and likes to keep experimenting in farming. He cultivates different types of vegetables on his 3 acres of land. They are cultivating Kundru in 3.3 acres, Turai in 1 acre and Bitter gourd in 1.3 acres. Sushila Reddy says that she usually works in the field for 6 hours, but works for 10 hours at the time of harvesting and employs about 10 women a day.
Increased production by changing technology
Hardworking and progressive farmer couple Sushila and Chintha Adinarayana Reddy used to cultivate vegetables on the land itself. Then they started using small bamboo poles to reduce the investment. Gradually they realized that the small bamboo poles made it difficult for the workers to harvest the crop. The problem was especially severe during the rainy season.
The farmer couple got permanent pandals made by taking a loan of Rs 2 lakh to increase productivity, quality and to overcome the problem of labour. During a training program he came to know about the technique of semi-permanent pandal system (pandal made of bamboo poles). They had already spent 2 lakhs in making pandals. So they took advantage of the subsidy available under the World Bank Project (AP Water Sector Reform Project). A semi-permanent pandal was constructed with the help of Rs.30,000.
Significant change in productivity and quality
This farmer couple planted Kundru in half an acre and saw a tremendous change in productivity. While the production was 20 tonnes per acre under the normal cultivation method, the semi-permanent pandal system doubled the production to 40 tonnes. Not only this, the quality of the vegetables was also excellent.
Increase in income
The total cost of cultivating kundru per acre came to them at about Rs 2,20,000. About Rs 3,20,000 was earned from 40 tonnes of kundru. In this way they made a profit of about one lakh rupees per acre.
Best female farmer award
Susheela Reddy has received the Best Female Farmer Award by the District Collector, Guntur in 2010. The farmer couple also advise other farmers to adopt the semi-permanent pandal method, which improves both production and quality. However, it requires replacement of bamboo poles every 2 years. The success of Sushila and her husband has inspired other farmers in the area to grow vegetables using this technology.
Kundru is a creepy vegetable, which can generally be grown throughout the year. However, in cold places it does not bear fruit throughout the year. Hot and humid climate is suitable for its good harvest. As far as the soil is concerned, although it can be grown in all types of soil, but organic rich loamy loam soil is considered best suited for this. In addition, proper drainage system is essential. Its plants need support to grow. It is usually sown from cuttings.
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