Commercial cultivation of Munja grass on infertile land and get handsome income
Munja grass is the raw material of countless products in the rural economy
Munja or Moonj or Sarkanda is a perennial and weedy type of grass. This is the grass of the sugarcane species. It is transmitted through new plants that sprout from its roots. It is easily found in drought-affected areas of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The plant Munja grass remains green in every season, and its length is up to 5 meters.
Munja grass helps a lot in preventing soil erosion in rainfed or unirrigated and desert regions. Once the roots of the Munja plant grow in the ground, it keeps on giving yield for about 30-35 years. Munja grass can grow easily even in such soil where no other crop and plant thrives. That is why it is a naturally growing grass in pastures, etc.
Also very suitable for Natural Fencing
The leaves of Munja grass are very sharp. That’s why if the hand or any part of the body gets rubbed with it, then that place can get cut and there can be a chance of bleeding. Due to this nature of Munja grass, farmers often grow it for natural fencing on their farm ridges, so that their crops are protected from wild animals.
Munja grass grows naturally on the banks of rivers, roads, highways, railway lines, and fallow land around ponds. All parts of the plant, such as leaves, roots, and stems, are used medicinally or otherwise. In the condition of drought and famine, green fodder can be replenished by feeding animals by grinding the green leaves of Munja grass.
Expected to Increase Demand due to Medicinal Use
Medicines are also made from reed roots. Medicinal use of reed roots is also mentioned in Ayurveda and Unani medicine. There are possibilities of increasing their consumption at the national level because the promotion and use of medicinal plants is increasing continuously in the modern era. This is bound to affect the quality and availability of Munja grass. That is why the importance of the scientific method of its cultivation increases significantly.
How to do Scientific Cultivation of Munja Grass?
According to the experts of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kajri, Pali Marwar, reed can be easily grown in sloping, sandy, river banks and light soil areas. It is mainly planted from the roots. It can be easily planted in the form of 25 to 40 small rootlets prepared from a main plant (mother plant). In July, when buds and roots of new plants sprout from the old plants of Munja grass, then the plants with these buds should be uprooted and planted in ridges, dunes and sloping areas.
Plants growing from new roots become fully mature in two months. One feet deep, one feet long and one feet wide pit should be dug for transplanting plants. The distance between the pits should be two to two and a half feet. 30 to 35 thousand saplings can be planted per hectare. Soil erosion is stopped when it is harvested on the slope side of mountains and sand dunes. After planting the plants in the field, they should be protected from animal grazing for two months. Watering must be given after planting plants in dry areas. Due to this the plants remain green and healthy and their roots develop well.
No need of Irrigation and Fertilizers
The roots of Munja plants do not require much water. Too much soil moisture can be harmful to the roots. This can also slow down their development. Cultivation of Munja can prove to be very useful for drought prone areas. For the first time after about 12 months Munja should be cut 30 cm above the roots. This again leads to more explosions. Generally chemical fertilizers are not required in Munja cultivation. But if the development of Munja plants is not visible, then 15-20 tonnes of farmyard manure should be applied per hectare.
When fully developed, a bunch of roots of 30 to 50 buds is formed from the Munja plant. Generally, production of Munja grass is available from such bunches for 30 to 35 years. Harvesting should be done every year from the developed Munja bunch. By doing this, you earn more. Munja grass is still available in rural areas at a price of Rs 7 to 10 per kg.
Munja is a beneficial weed. Its roots and leaves are also used in the manufacture of various medicines. It provides employment to landless farmers in rural areas. Many products made from Munja are widely used in rural areas. Sleeping on a cot made of its rope does not cause back pain and pain in hands and feet. In case of broken bones in the feet of animals, tying reeds all around with a rope of Munja also provides relief. The effect of heat is reduced on animals and humans sleeping under a shed made of Munja grass or the effect of heat is also reduced.
Harvest and Yield
Munja should be harvested from October to November every year. Harvesting is considered proper when its height becomes 10 to 12 feet and the leaves start appearing dry and their colour starts turning yellow. After harvesting, reeds should be collected in the field for drying for 5 to 8 days by keeping the flower part up and the root part down and standing near the bunds in the field to dry. After drying, the flowering part should be separated from the buds. Then it should be sent to the market to be sold. Leaves, buds and flower parts should be separated from dried reeds. In this way, 350 to 400 quintal yield can be obtained per hectare. According to an estimate, it can generate an income of two and a half to three lakh rupees per hectare.
Uses of Munja Grass
- Munja is used more for making household items. Such as machla, charpai, chajj for cleaning seeds, rope, children’s swing, thatch, sitting mat etc. decorative items.
- Wind erosion is a major problem in desert areas where the soil is sandy. Munja is a successful plant in such places, reducing soil erosion by up to 75 percent.
- The crop can be saved from the wrath of strong and hot winds by planting munja on the bunds around large fields.
- After planting cucurbit vegetables in summer, reeds of Munja are used for shade to protect them from the hot sun. Due to this, heat stroke does not fall on the vines and the vines remain healthy.
- When there is no work in the summer season in the village, at that time ropes and many other types of domestic essential items are made from the buds of Munja.
- Its reeds are used for making thatch. It is also used for making various types of attractive thatch in hotels and restaurants on major national routes. It remains very cool in summer.
- In sandy areas, when the flow of water is high during rains, its use proves to be very useful in preventing soil erosion. The rural women use its flower stalks to make a variety of attractive items like sticks, mats, fans, etc. Reeds are mostly used to shade nurseries and vermicompost making units.
- It is also used as organic mulch.
- Munja is used in making greasing paper. The shoots of new plants emerging from its roots are eaten boiled with rice. In low rainfall areas, farmers store dry fodder and seeds by making a round shaped structure for fodder collection from its reeds, which does not spoil for 10-12 years.
- It is used to make bedding for animals.
- Farmers use it to protect crops from frost.
- Its reeds are used to make sheep and goats.
- Insecticide organic product is made from its ash.
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