Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Why is cultivation of Foot Cucumber beneficial for drought affected areas? Grow even in 45-48 degrees

Foot cucumber has the ability to tolerate extreme heat and drought


Foot cucumber is an important vegetable among horticultural crops for arid regions. Foot cucumber is also known as Kakadiya, Foot, Kachra, Dangra etc. There is also practice of giving its dried fruits as gifts. These dried fruits are called Khelda/Khelari. Foot Cucumber can be used throughout the year in the form of raita, vegetable and salad, as well as dried and stored. Although this vegetable is not as popular as other vegetables, its cultivation has increased in the last few years due to development of some of its improved varieties and new technology by the Central Institute of Arid Horticulture, Bikaner. Many farmers have been successful in making profits from this. Cultivation of foot cucumber is a good option to earn extra income.

Soil and Climate

Foot cucumber is a hot and dry season crop. Therefore the climate of Rajasthan is suitable for its cultivation. This crop also grows in 45-48 degree temperature. A temperature of 20-22 °C is required for the germination of seeds and 32-38 °C for the development of plants and fruits. Its cultivation is good in summer. Sandy and sandy-loamy soils are suitable for its cultivation and proper drainage system should be there in the field. pH up to 6.5-8.5 Cultivation of Foot Cucumber can be done successfully even in low fertile soils of value.

How to prepare the field for the cultivation of Foot Cucumber? 

The field should be prepared by deep plowing in June before monsoon. In last week of June, plow once again by adding manure or cow dung. After this, prepare the field for sowing by planting a pad. For summer sowing, plow the field with cultivator twice in January-February and plant it with a pad.

Foot cucumber
Image Credit: ICAR

How to Cultivate Foot Cucumber? 

The fields are irrigated by drain or drip irrigation method. In scientific way, half quantity of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potash and other chemicals and fertilizers are used in the cultivation of Cucumber before making drains and beds in the field. The remaining half quantity of nitrogen is divided into 3 parts @ 50 kg urea per hectare and sprinkled in drains after 18-21, 30-35 and 45-50 days after sowing.

In the drip irrigation method, dividing urea into 4-6 parts and giving it with irrigation at an interval of 10-20 days is beneficial. It is also necessary to keep weeding and hoeing it from time to time.

Improved Varieties of Foot Cucumber 

AHS 10- The fruit of this variety has smooth skin and the fruits are light yellow and speckled. The fruits are ready for harvesting 65-70 days after sowing. Its yield potential is 215-230 quintals per hectare.

AHS 82- The size of the foot cucumber of this variety is large, the skin of the fruit is smooth and the fruits are yellow and saffron in colour. It is ready for harvesting in 66-72 days after sowing. The yield potential per hectare is 232-248 quintals.  

Foot cucumber

Keep these things in mind in the cultivation of foot cucumber 

  • The mature fruits are harvested from the plants after 65-71 days after sowing.
  • Harvest the fruits on the basis of use such as fully grown fruits for making sabzi and raita and salads and fully ripe fruits for drying (when the fruit separates from the plant itself).
  • After harvesting the fruits can be kept in ventilated open place for 3-4 days.
  • They can be stored in cold storage for 10-12 days.
  • The fruits can also be dried and stored for use throughout the year.
  • Management of Pests and Diseases in Foot Cucumber
  • Foot cucumber is prone to damage by wild lizards, squirrels and birds. In such a situation, it is necessary to take care of the crop after sowing and at the time of fruiting.

There is a possibility of infestation of red and epilechna fractures, white and fruit flies and sap-sucking insects in plants. To prevent them, sprinkle one kg insecticide or neem leaf powder with 10 kg ash mixture in a sackcloth and sprinkle it on the plants in the morning. For integrated disease-pest control in the crop, it is beneficial to spray imidachlorpid, methyl dimethone and dimethoate in the order of 18-25, 30-35 and 45-50 days after sowing.

Many products can be prepared from foot cucumber 

The ripe fruits of the fruit cucumber cannot be kept fresh for a long time. Therefore, after harvesting, farmers can process them for long-term use. Catch-up, jam and dehydrator (drying) can be used to prepare khelda from the fruit pulp of the fruit cucumber and kernel from the seeds. In this way self-employment and profit can be obtained from value addition at the domestic level.  

Also Read: One should learn from this woman the use of technology in organic farming, Iravva is the ‘marketing guru’ of her area

Foot cucumber

How much is the income? 

Foot cucumber can be cultivated even with less resources. Studies conducted on the production and market of Foot Cucumber from 2014 to 2018 have proved that farmers get 165-225 quintals of fruit per hectare despite less rainfall or irrigation. By selling it, he can earn from 65 thousand to one lakh rupees.

Foot cucumber
Image Credit: ICAR

Not only this, by adopting scientific techniques of cultivation of foot cucumber, it can be sown in January to March and June to July. The availability of its fresh fruits in the market can be kept from the end of March to the month of November. An income ranging from Rs 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh per hectare can be obtained from domestic products like fruit cucumber production and processing technology, fresh fruit marketing, drying, making khelda, seeds, jam and catch-up. 

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