Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Short term crop # 3 : Moringa

We planted Moringa (Drumsticks) saplings on a 7 acre plot early February. There are two types of Moringas - Annual and Perennial. The former is a shrub that yields once a year while the latter is a tree that yields every year (without having to replant it). We decided to proceed with the Perennial version known as PAVM for two main reasons.

Harvesting Tonnage : This variety has the highest estimated yeild amoung Moringa of upto 100Kgs per tree annually. We may try out Ultra High Density (UHD) cultivation in future if it is proven to be effective.
Water Requirement : PAVM requires less irrigation with initial yeilds starting as soon as 6th month.

Although Brinjal and Watermelon are seasonal and short duration crops, they are fairly demanding in regards to plant protection, pest management and labour requirement. Given minimal resource requirements, regular harvest and healthy revenue projections, Moringa could be a 'star crop'. We are trying out this under organic cultivation using organic pesticides and panchkavya.

More to come around our Moringa efforts in the coming months. Follow the link below which introduced us to this crop. We met Mr Alagarsamy some time back and toured his farm as part of our market research. PAVM variety was developed by him and is said to be cultivated across several thousand acres in Tamil Nadu. For those who live in Tamil Nadu, his nursery is situated 35 KM from Madurai towards Dindigul on National Highway.

Additional details and contact details about Mr Alagarsamy are available at :

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  1. i have grown brinjal and watermelon in my terrace..watermelon had serious aphid problem.

    where as cerain varities of brinjal are relatively easy to grow..

    i used ground cake as fertil;izer for brinjal plants..the plant remains healthy even after 6 months and is still yields good.

    i think brinjal is still a good option for short term crop... watermelon is not a good option.

  2. Ladybirds are usually effective in controlling Aphids. Ladybirds are harmless to your crop, actually these can be pollinators as well, while they are hardy and easy to maintain. You can find more about Ladybirds here :

  3. Hi friend ,
    If you continue this hitech blog/sharing , it will be very useful to new entrants even to the experienced aggies to some extent, so in the final analysis your blog could be many times more valued than your aggie outputs to the society.
    coming to this post why there a low level at the base of the plant? I think there should be little mud mound at the center! if plant stem base is at the lowest level, when it rains it can water log your plants and kill them !

  4. This is a great observation. We intend to do a second round of manuring in a few weeks from now. At the time, the cavity would be covered up (well before the monsoons!)

  5. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing on a great crop..now doing Watermelon and Okra , agree with you they are demanding. Please let us know how did you cultivate PAVM. How the land is preapred, spacing-pit size, oraganic manures applied etc. it will be helpful

    Thanks & Regards

    1. Ramesh,
      Land prep involved 2 rounds of disc plough followed by rotavator (to faltten and pulverize the soil) Spacing is 6m x 6m. Spacing for outer rows is 3m (act as a windbreak). Manuring applied at the time of planting was 1 kg. It is to be repeated every 1.5 months.

    2. Thanks for sharing the information. This is really useful for me for good health. Moringa is rich in Vitamin A, hence it is a weapon against blindness.


  6. How did you manage transportation if seedlings. I am trying to get them to my farm located 80 KMs from Hyderabad. The cost seems to be prohibitively high. Any ideas?

  7. Tata ace should not cost more than Rs 9-10 per km. It can carry at least 800-900 seedlings. So the cost should not be more than Rs 2 per seedling.

  8. Hello,

    thanks for the blog.
    can you let me know the cost of each sapling.
    have some queries related to transportation though...
    i want to plant these in coastal area of Andhra.
    if we ask will Mr. Alaghar saamy will be able to send directly to the intended area ?