Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Black Cumin Cultivation gives good income to farmers

Black Cumin is Rabi crop, This cash crop has many advantages, know everything about it


Nigella or Mangrail or Black Cumin Cultivation is a crop that has all the advantages of cash crop, medicinal cultivation, and spices production. Kalonji seeds are black in colour. Its taste is slightly pungent and bitter. They are rich in many nutrients. Apart from medicines, fennel is used to make naan, bread, cakes, and pickles sour and aromatic. Black Cumin is an important medicinal crop for Ayurveda and other medical methods.

Use of fennel 

Many medicines are made from fennel oil. Sometimes fennel seeds are also used for fragrance. Kalonji oil is considered useful in removing baldness. Apart from this, the consumption of fennel is also beneficial in the treatment of paralysis, migraine, cough, fever, and facial palsy. Eating fennel with milk also helps in the treatment of jaundice. Kalonji is accessible to every kitchen in the form of spices.

Black Cumin
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Kalonji is also used as an anthelmintic, stimulant, and anti-protozoa. It has also been found to be effective as an anti-cancer drug. It is also used on scorpion bites. Its aromatic oil contains fatty acids such as palmitic, myristic, stearic, oleic, and linolenic, in addition to elements such as nigelone, methyl, isopropyl, quinone, and beta-sitosterol.

Kalonji contains 35 percent carbohydrate, 21 percent protein, and 35-38 percent fat. Its oil is beneficial in diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, back pain, and stones. Kalonji oil is also used in cosmetics. Kalonji also has a main place in pickle spices.

Cultivation of Black Cumin 

Kalonji is a rabi crop. The mixed season of summer and winter of North India is suitable for the cultivation of Kalonji. That is why fennel is mainly cultivated in north and north-west India from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal to Assam. Kalonji plant is bushy and one to two feet high. Its round fruit has black colored triangular and 5 to 7 cells filled with seeds. These seeds are called kalonji.

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It is easy to sell Black Cumin in the market 

Kalonji can be easily sold in the market. Kalonji cultivation proves to be a profitable deal for the farmers due to getting good prices. There are many such advanced varieties of Kalonji, whose certified seeds give more benefits to the farmers by preventing diseases. Farmers get the normal price of Kalonji in the market up to Rs.20,000 per quintal. The demand for Kalonji is so great that many brands of spices get farmers to produce it on contract (contract farming) as well.

Black Cumin

Climate for Black Cumin Cultivation 

According to the Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development, Calicut, Kalonji can be cultivated in those parts of India where rabi crops are grown. Mid-October to mid-November is the best time for sowing kalonji. The seeds require normal temperature at the time of germination, but for good growth of plants, winter around 18 °C and summer around 30 °C during crop ripening are most favourable.

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Loamy or sandy loam soil rich in organic matter is most suitable for the cultivation of Kalonji. Its pH value should be between 5 to 8. Kalonji does not grow well in stony soil. Kalonji fields should have good drainage as it requires only moderate irrigation.

Improved Varieties and Yield of Kalonji

Many improved varieties of fennel seeds are used by the farmers. Seven of these varieties are main – Ajmer Kalonji-20, AN-1, Azad Kalonji, Rajendra Shyama, Pant Krishna, NS-44, NS-32 and Kalajeera. These varieties of Kalonji ripen in 140 to 160 days. Its yield is between 8 to 12 quintals per hectare.

To get the certified seeds of Kalonji, specially recognized nurseries can be contacted towards the Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development. Click here to know more about it.

Field preparation for Kalonji 

Soil test should be done before cultivation of Kalonji. If there is less organic matter and fertilizer in the soil, then cow dung manure or compost or NPK manure should be used. Use of organic fertilizers gives more yield. For better yield, before sowing the field should be leveled by making the soil loose by doing 2-3 ploughings with the cultivator. 

Sowing and Irrigation of Kalonji 

Spraying method is more popular for sowing of kalonji. In this, after leveling the field, seeds are sprinkled by making beds at a distance of about one feet. The middle should be one and a half to two centimeters below the soil. 5 to 7 kg of seed is required per hectare. Seeds should be treated before sowing. Light irrigation should be done after sowing. Seeds germinate after about 10 days. Next irrigation should be done keeping in view the soil moisture. Two to three weeding is required to keep the Kalonji field free from weeds.

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Prevention of Kalonji diseases 

Although the effect of diseases is less on the Kalonji crop. However, sometimes the yield is affected due to cutworm and root rot. Chloropyriphos should be sprayed on the roots of diseased plants or they should be cut and destroyed. Water should not be allowed to stagnate in the fields to avoid root rot.

Kalonji harvesting 

After ripening of the crop, when the leaves of kalonji start turning yellow, then uproot the plants along with the roots and leave them to dry in the fields for a few days. After the plants are completely dry, take out the seeds by beating them with sticks or with the help of machines. Now the produce can be sold in the market by filling it in sacks.

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