Improves toor dal production with dibbling and nipping method. Also engaged in seed multiplication for two crops
“We can increase the yield of toor crop (called pigeon pea in English) with dibbling and nipping method. This 180 days/6 months crop is sown in July 1st week and harvested in November. Dibbling method boosts seed germination and enables the plant to grow well. Nipping controls the height of the plant and enables to have more branches. With more branches production is increased,” says Mr. Narayana Gowda. Dibbling refers to making small holes in the farmland for sowing seeds while removing tips of the young branches of legume plant when it is 2-4 weeks old is known as nipping. His farm spreads in 20 acres. It is located at Hanumanthapura village, Chikkaballapura district, Karnataka. Along with toor dal he cultivates hyacinth beans, arecanut, sweet corn, cabbage and tomatoes etc.
Dibbling method improves plant growth, enhances yield and saves farmers’ money as the seeds required less water. “Once the rows are ready (distance 6×6 feet) seeds are sown through dibbling method. “We do it manually. 3-4inches deep hole is made in the rows keeping the distance of 3×3 feet (plant-plant) and seeds are placed inside it. This practice ensures seed germinates and plants grow healthy. Approximately 4 kg seed is required for one acre,” he elaborates. Seeds are bought from Agriculture Department. 10-12 labors can sow seeds through dibbling in 2acre in one day.
Nipping is crucial for increasing the yield. Without nipping the plant grows upto 6 feet tall. “When it grows so high it doesn’t branch out. On the contrary when we nip off the tip of the shoot then we get 10 branches. It helps to develop the plant well and yield increase,” highlights Mr. Narayana. Through nipping the height of the plant is controlled to 4.5-5 feet.
Explaining the process of nipping he says, “After 1.5months, we nip (cut) the shoot by thumb nail as it is soft. Nipping has to be done manually because only the tip of the plant needs to be removed. If done with any agricultural implement or accessory then it will nip off 9-10inches of the shoot/stem. If done so the plant would need 15days to grow back to the original height!” 10-12 labors can nip the plants in 1acre in one day. One plant yields 5-6 kg toor dal while from one acre 7-8quintals produce is obtained.
Pigeon pea is sold raw as in vegetable as well as processed as dal. It has good demand and sales prospects in both forms. “If the selling price is more than Rs. 30/kg then we sell it raw else we dry and selling it to dal mills for further processing. In my experience when sold in raw form toor dal fetches good profits!” he affirms.
He uses dibbling and nipping method for growing hyacinth beans too. “When hyacinth grows taller then leaving 1 feet stem we nip the rest of the plant and use it as cattle feed. In this way the plant grows very well. The stem will branch out and increase the yield,” he shares.
When asked about seed multiplication, Mr. Narayana shares, “We grow beans and maize for two different seed companies. These two crops are grown exclusively for seeds to be sold to the respective company. We get the seeds from the company, cultivate, harvest and give the produce back to them.” Beans and maize cultivation is done on rotation. Usually beans is sown in October-November and harvested after 90days precisely in January second week. The next two months the land is left idle to rest then after in April-May maize is sown. It is harvested after 4 months/120 days. Once again after harvesting maize the land is left free from cultivation for 4-5 weeks. Later the same cycle of beans and maize farming is continued. “During the land resting period we level the land and nourish the soil with cow dung manure.”
Mr. Narayana is in favor of growing seeds for the companies as it is a stable source of income! “On an average we earn Rs. 15-16 thousand/ quintal. Commonly the seed produced is 10-12 quintal/acre. The payment is made within 15days through cheque or RTGS in the bank account. Beans and maize farm output will not be graded and we get paid as per the fixed price quoted in the contract,” he elucidates.
In future Mr. Narayana wants to diversify in poly house cultivation as well as quit use of chemicals in the farm completely. He concludes, “With a little change in the technique of cultivation we can improve the yield. In addition to have regular income we always need to be on a look out for new opportunities. There might be ups and downs but a total loss will never be faced with multiple farming activities!”
Mr. H.C Narayana Gowda
S/o H. K Channaraya Gowda, Hanumanthapura Village, Jarabandahalli PO, Manchenahalli Hobli, Gowribidanoor Taluk, Chikkaballapura District – 561 211, Karnataka