I am working on Ashavgandha cultivation for the last 5 years but could not be succedded. I sown the seed for many time it germinates very vigourously but with in four to five days it starts dying & within 20 days the whole field gets washed off, kindly advice me what to do .
Here is some detailed information of Ashwagandha cultivation if you follow the right stes you will definately succed.
Ashwagandha grows well in sandy loam or light red soil having pH 7.5 to 8.0 with good drainage. Black soils or such heavy soils are suitable for cultivation.
It is grown as late rainy season (kharif) crop. The semi-tropical areas receiving 500 to 750 mm rainfall are suitable for its cultivation as rainfed crop. If one or two winter rains are received, the root development improves. The crop requires relatively dry season during its growing period. It can tolerate a temperature range of 200C to 380C and even low temperature as low as 100C. The plant grows from sea level to an altitude of 1500 meter above sea level.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalay, Madhya Pradesh, has released one high alkaloid variety "Jawahar" which is short in stature and most amenable for high density planting. The variety yields in 180 days and yields a total withanolides content of 0.30 per cent in dry roots.
It is propagated by seeds . Fresh seeds are sown in well prepared nursery beds. Although it can be sown by broadcast method in the main field, transplanting method is preferred for better quality and export purpose. For export, a well maintained nursery is a prerequisite. The nursery bed usually raised from ground level is prepared by thorough mixing with compost and sand. About 5 kg of seeds are required for planting in 1 hectare of the mainfield. Nursery is raised in the month of June-July. Seeds are treated in carbendazim to control wilt and seed borne diseases. Seeds are sown just before the onset of monsoon and covered thinly using sand. The seeds germinate in 5 to 7 days. About 35 days old seedlings are transplanted in the main field.
2 to 3 ploughing and discing and /or harrowing should be done before rains. The land is well ploughed and pulverized and brought to a fine tilth. 10 to 20 tonnes farm yard manure is applied. Field is then levelled.
After the manures are incorporated in the soil, ridges are prepared at 60 cm spacing. Healthy seedlings are planted at 30 cm spacing. In some places, 60 cm x 60 cm or 45 cm x 30 cm spacing is also followed. However, a spacing of 60 cm x 30 cm with a plant population of about 55000 seedlings per hectare is considered optimum.
Seed rate and sowing method
A seed rate of 10 to 12 kg per ha is sufficient for broadcasting method. They can be sown in lines also. Line to line method is preferred as it increases root production and helps in performing intercultural operations smoothly. The seeds are usually sown about 1 to 3 cm deep. Seeds should be covered with light soil in both the methods. Line to line distance of 20 to 25 cm and plant to plant distance of 8 to 10 cm should be maintained. According to soil fertility, in fertile soil, distance can be extended.
Seed should be treated with thirum or dithane M45 (Inofil M45) at the rate of 3 g/kg seed before sowing to protect the seedlings from the seed borne diseases.
Thinning and weeding
Grown up seedlings raised by sowing by broadcasting method or in line in furrows should be thinned out by hand 25 to 30 days after sowing the seeds to maintain a plant population of about 30 to 60 plants per sq.m. The plant density to be maintained finally may depend on the nature and fertility of the soil. On marginal soil, the population is maintained high. If some fertilizer is applied, the population should preferably be kept at lower level. Generally two weedings are required to keep the field free from weeds, the first within 20-25 days of sowing the and the other seeds after 20-25 days of the first weeding.
Manures and fertilizers
The crop does not require heavy doses of manures and fertilizers. It responds well to organic manures and addition of 10 tonnes FYM / 1 tonne vermicompost per hectare is recommended. Application of 15 kg of Nitrogen and 15 kg of Phosphorous per hectare is beneficial for higher production.
Excessive rainfall or water is harmful for this crop. Light shower after transplantation ensures better establishment of seedlings. Life saving irrigation may be applied, if required. Under irrigated conditions, the crop can be irrigated once in 10 days.
Pests and diseases
No serious pest is reported in this crop. Whenever the crop is damaged by insect, 2 to 3 sprays of rogor or nuvan should be applied @ 0.6%. A combination of 0.5% malathion and 0.1% - 0.3% kelthane as foliar spray at 10-15 days interval was found highly useful for aphids, mites and insect attack.
Diseases like seedling rock and blight are observed. Seedling mortality becomes severe under high temperature and humid conditions. Disease can be minimised by use of disease free seeds and by giving seed proper treatment before showing as stated earlier. Carbofuran should be applied @ 2-2.5 kg/ha at the time of sowing. Neem cake also can be applied. It will save root damage done by nematodes and insects. Further, adoption of crop rotation, timely sowing and keeping field well drained also protect the crop.
Maturity of the crop is judged by drying out of leaves and yellow-red berries. Flowering and bearing of fruits start from December onwards. The crop is harvested for roots by digging in January to March i.e. 150 to 180 days after sowing. There should be moisture in soil at the time of digging. Roots are dug out or ploughed using power tiller or a country plough. The tap root should be carefully pulled out not damaging even the small lateral roots.
The roots are separated from the aerial portion by cutting the stem 1 to 2 cm above the ground. After digging, the roots are washed, cut into 7 to 10 cm small pieces and dried in sun or shed. Roots should be dried to 10 - 12 % moisture content. Root pieces can be graded in following 3-4 grades as per its length and thickness :
i. A grade root : Root pieces upto 7cm and diameter 1.0 - 1.5 cm, solid, bright
and pure white.
ii. B grade root : Root piece upto 5 cm and diameter 1 cm, bright and white.
iii. C grade root : Root pieces upto 3-4 cms in length, diameter less than 1 cm,
solid, side branches.
iv. Lower Grade : Small root pieces, semi-solid, very thick, yellowish, chopped.
The superior grade has stout and long root which fetches premium price. To avoid moisture and fungal attack on the dried roots, it should be stored in tin containers.
Berries are hand plucked separately. They are dried and crushed to take out the seeds.
On an average, the yield from 1 hectare of commercial cultivation is approximately 3 to 5 q./ of dry roots and 50 to 75 kg of seeds. A maximum yield can be procured upto 6.5 to 7.0 q/ha. There are instances where farmers have achieved root yields as high as 1 tonne. Commercially, 6 to 15 mm diameter and 7 to 10 cm length root species are better. Alkaloid percentage in roots ranges from 0.13 to 0.31%.
The Neemuch and Mandasaur markets of Madhya Pradesh are popular world over for Ashwagandha. Importers, buyers within the country, processors, traditional practitioners, Ayurvedic and Siddha Drug manufacturers throng these markets for procurement of Ashwagandha roots every year. The domestic demand for Ashwagandha roots as stated earlier is about 7000 tonnes annually. As the production is much less (around 1500 tonnes) in India, the internal market itself is highly potential. Other major marketing centres of medicinal and aromatic plants are presented in Annexure-I.
The unit cost for development of 1 ha transplanted Ashwagandha cultivation is Rs.22,400/-. The details are presented in Annexure-II. The yield and the income parameters assumed are also presented in the Annexure.
Total gross income
Margin money :
As per NABARD norms, the margin money for different farmers is as follows :
Marginal farmers : 5%,
Small farmers : 10%
Big farmers : 15%
However, in the present model, 10% of the unit cost(i.e. Rs. 2240.00) has been considered as margin money.
Bank loan ( Short term production credit)
Assuming 90% of the unit cost, the bank loan amount would be Rs.20160.00
Interest rates for ultimate borrowers :
Banks are free to decide the rate of interest within the overall RBI guidelines. However, for working out the financial viability and bankability of the model scheme, we have assumed the rate of interest at 12% p.a.
Interest rate for refinance from NABARD :
As per circulars issued from time to time.
Banks may take decision as per RBI guidelines.
Repayment of loan with interest :
Loan amount : Rs. 20160.00
Interest for 6 months @ 12% p.a. : Rs. 1210.00
Total due : Rs. 21370.00
Gross income : Rs. 38600.00
Net income after
payment of interest
and repayment of
loan amount : Rs. 17230.00
Net income after deducting
the margin money : Rs. 14990.00
Institutes / organisations to be contacted
1. National Medicinal Plants Board, Department of ISM&H, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
2. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
3. Regional Research Laboratory, Jammu Tawi, Jammu & Kashmir, and other RRLs.
4. Agriculture College, Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
5. Utthan Centre for Sustainable Development & Poverty Alleviation, 18-A, Auckland Road, Allahabad-211001, Uttar Pradesh.
6. State Agricultural Universities such as Kerala Agricultural University, Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (MP), University of Agricultural Sciences (Karnataka), etc.
7. National Research Centre for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Anand, Gujarat.
If ashwagandha is cultivated in warm humid climate that time one disease called as seedling mortality may occur due to which seedling dies within 5-10 days after germination.
Cause of this is sowing followed by heavy rains
It can be controlled by-
Treating seeds with thiram @ 1-2 g/kg of seed.
Keeping field well drained.
If ur problem is same than u can adopt above control measures.