Farming of Wild Marigold is unique, gives double profit on cost
'Suraksha Kavach' is its smell because it keeps wild animals away from the fields.
Cultivating wild marigolds is no less than a boon for farmers because of its excellent profits. The cultivation of wild marigold also plays the role of a natural fencing ‘protection shield’ for farmers, as its smell keeps wild animals away from the fields, and they do not harm the standing crop. It is cultivated to obtain its essential oil, which is found in its flowers and leaves. It is obtained by the distillation method.
In the botanical world, the name of the wild marigold is ‘Tejatus minuta’. Its commercial cultivation is prevalent in South Africa, Brazil, and Australia. India is the second largest producer of wild marigold oil after South Africa. The total annual production of wild marigold oil in the country is around 5 tonnes. In the past decades, commercial cultivation of wild marigold has grown in popularity in the hills and plains of northern India, such as Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh.
The interest of farmers in cultivating aromatic plants has increased because they see a good possibility of earning from it. According to the experts of CSIR- Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow, the wild marigold crop’s production cost is around Rs 35,000 per hectare. A net profit of about 75 thousand rupees can be obtained by selling its produce. The income increases if the farmer can extract its oil and sell it.
Land and Climate
Wild lilies require temperate and temperate climates. It can be successfully grown in low-lying areas of plains and hilly areas. Wild marigold seeds require low temperatures for germination and long summer days for plant growth. Such sandy loam or loam land with proper drainage management and abundant organic matter is good for its cultivation, whose pH value is 4.5-7.5.
Nursery and Seeding
To cultivate wild marigold in the plains of North India, direct sowing of seeds can be done in October. In hilly areas, its nursery should be prepared in March to April, and when the plants become 10-15 cm tall, they should be transplanted in the fields. For direct sowing, 2 kg of seeds are required per hectare. After adding some soil, the seeds can be sown by sprinkling them in rows. 750 grams of seed per hectare is sufficient for preparing and transplanting plants in the nursery. When transplanting, a row-to-row distance of 45 cm and plant-to-plant distance of 30 cm should be kept.
It is necessary to do light irrigation immediately after transplanting of wild marigold crop. During the whole crop, 3-4 irrigations are required in the plains, while in hilly areas, wild marigold cultivation is generally rain-fed.
Manure and Fertilizers
At the time of field preparation, 10-12 ton per hectare well decomposed cow dung manure should be mixed at the last ploughing. For good yield, 100 kg Nitrogen, 60 kg Phosphorus and 40 kg Potash should be given at the rate of per hectare. Nitrogen should be given in two equal parts after first weeding i.e. after 30-40 days and second time after about a month.
Harvest the Crop
In the plains, the crop planted in October is ready for harvesting from the end of March to mid-April and in the hilly areas, the crop planted in June-July is ready for harvesting by September-October. At the time of harvesting, plants should be cut with a sickle or sickle about one foot above the ground.
Improved Variety and Yield
The name of the improved variety of wild marigold is ‘Van-Phool’. It has been developed by CIMAP i.e. CSIR- Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow. With this type of farming, 300 to 500 quintals of herb is obtained per hectare. Distillation of the herb should be done as soon as possible. From this, 40 to 50 kg of wild marigold oil is obtained.
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