It is an essential raw drug used in the production of modern and ayurvedic medicines. Its roots have a distinct aroma but a bitter taste. Its roots are used to make a variety of drugs. Sarpagandha-derived medications are used to treat wounds, fever, colic, urinary retention, insomnia, hypertension, epilepsy, and insanity. Moreover, it is a shrub and grows to a height of 0.3-1.6m on average. The leaves are oblong and 8-15cm long. Flowers are white or rose in color, fruits are purplish-black, and roots range in diameter from 0.5 to 3.6cm. Sarpagandha is grown extensively in Burma, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Andaman Islands. Uttar Pradesh is a central Sarpagandha growing state in India.
Soil for Sarpagandha Farming
Because of its hardiness, it can be grown in a wide range of soil types, from red lateritic loamy soil to sandy alluvial loamy soil. However, it produces maximum results when grown in soil rich in humus and nitrogenous substances, with organic matter and a sound drainage system. It is tolerant of clay loamy soil and moderate clayey soil. It grows well in soil pHs of 4.6 and 6.5. Also, you can use perfect agricultural machines like Mahindra 555 and others to enhance performance.
Jawahar Lal Nehru Agricultural University developed R.S.1. The variety has 50-60% seed viability and a 10qtl/dry roots/acre yield.
Sarpagandha plantation necessitates well-prepared land. Repeated plowing is used to bring soil to a fine tilth. Then, manures, nutrients, and growth promoters are applied to the ground after it has been tilled and plowed to enrich the soil. Apart from this, prepare the land with quality farming machines like Massey 1035 and others. It will help you with efficient work.
Nursery Management And Transplanting
Sarpagandha seeds should be sown on raised beds 1.5ft wide, 150-200mm high, and of a convenient length. Nursery beds are planted in April and are rinsed before planting. Seedling germination begins within 30-35 days.
When the seedlings are 40-50 days old and have 4-6 leaves, they are transplanted in the first week of July. Transplanting is carried out in the main field at a distance of 450 x 300mm distance. After transplanting, only light irrigation is performed.
Dip seedlings in Bavistin @0.1% for 30 minutes before transplanting to protect against soil-borne diseases.
If seed propagation is used, cultivation takes place from April to June. However, if stem cuttings are used for propagation, we should plant them in June. If root cuttings are used for propagation, we should plant them between March and June. If root-stump propagation is used, cultivation takes place between May and July. Use 30 x 30cm spacing depending on plant growth habits. Direct sow seeds or transplant seed/stem cuttings or root cuttings in the main field.
Use a seeding rate of 32,000 – 40,000/acre for good plant growth. To protect crops from diseases such as damping off, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before transplanting, and then treat by dipping seedlings in fungicidal solution such as Thiram@2-3gm/kg of seeds. Use the seedling after chemical treatment for plantation.
To keep the field weed-free, weed it first, then hoe it. During the plant’s growing period, two weedings are done in the first year, and one weeding followed by one hoeing is done in the second year. If flowering begins during the first period, we should nip flowers to promote root growth.
In the summer, apply two irrigations every month, and in the winter, apply four irrigations every month. During the hot, dry season, irrigation is done every two weeks.
Glyphodes Vertumnalis causes the infection in pyralid caterpillars. The symptoms include leaf rolling and defoliation. Pests are controlled by spraying Rogor at a concentration of 0.2 percent.
Anomala Polita causes the infection in Cockhafer grubs. The symptom is seedling attack, followed by drying. Phorate granules mixed thoroughly with soil to control pests are applied during land preparation.
Leaf spot: Brown spots on the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves are the symptoms. The leaf first turns yellow, then dries and falls off. To control disease, Dithane M-45 is applied at 400gm/150ltr of water per acre at monthly intervals until November.
Meloidogyne incognita and Meloidogyne Hapla cause the root-knot nematode infection. The symptoms include stunted growth and a reduction in leaf size. Also, we can control them with 3 G Carbofuran at 10kg/acre or 10 G Phorate granules at 5kg/acre.
Alternaria tenuis has dark brown leaf spots as a symptom. Diseases are controlled by spraying Blitox @30g in 10 liters of water.
Plants begin to yield 2-3 years after planting. Harvesting occurs during the winter months when the plant goes dormant. The majority of the work is done on the roots. Irrigation is done before harvesting for better uprooting. Dried seeds are used in processing.
Cleaning takes place after harvesting. The roots are first cut and then air-dried. The dried seeds are pack in airtight bags for more accessible transport and to extend their shelf life. After processing the dried roots, several products such as powder, Tablets, Ghanavati, Yoga, and Mahesvari Vati are produced.