Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gaon connection - a rural newspaper..

The rural population of Uttar Pradesh is all set to get a newspaper made for them, by them. Titled Gaon Connection, the Hindi weekly will be launched initially from the villages of three districts of the state, including Lucknow, Barabanki and Sitapur, in August.

The weekly will be introduced as a pilot project with an initial print run of 50,000 copies and will have a cover price of Rs 5 per copy.

The 12-page broadsheet will be circulated in villages and will target the "rural readers who otherwise have no voice as well as those companies which are interested to invest in these areas," says Neelesh Misra, editorial director, Gaon Connection. While four pages of the newspaper will be coloured, the rest will be black and white.

Gaon Connection will have a mix of employees from villages as well as urban areas. The newspaper will have a three-pronged strategy - while there will be a physical version of the newspaper, there will also be a news wire service that will supply news stories from the villages to the mainstream newspapers across the country.

For complete article,click here 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Anthracnose and Ash Weevil in Mango

While we gear up to plant another 6 acres of Mango UHD tomorrow, mango saplings from last year turn 1 this week. We have also planted another 20 acres of Melia Dubia  (15x15 ft) this past week. Weather conditions have been almost perfect with rains occurring every 3-4 days and reliance on TNEB has been minimal fortunately. We have been experiencing 15-20 hour power cuts for the last few days and you know for certain that it is a power issue when the inverter starts packing up..

Mango saplings from last year have progressed well, especially the Imampasand UHD plot. Alphonsos UHD plot is coming a near second while alphonsos at 5x5m have some catching up to do. Relatively, we have had more mortality in this plot and one of the causes for the mortaility has been due to setting in of Anthracnose.

Anthracnose is a fungal disease that affects stems and branches and results in blackening of tissue. A spray of Bavistin (2g/L) would be a proactive step to reduce the occurrence. However, if the infection sets in, then the stem should be pruned and sprayed (and burn the cut stem, away from the plot)

Following are some pictures of Anthracnose -

An affected primary branch. If you look closely, a couple of ash weevils can be spotted (bluish-greenish in color). These flies aggravate anthracnose as well. Spray Curacron 1ml/L, followed by Chloropyriphos 1.5ml/L after 15 days.
They are quite destructive on young leaves and will munch away in days..

Problem seems to be under control for now..

A pruned stem of an affected plant

Ash weevil - Could not get a more focussed picture with my cell phone camera, but you get the idea..

Following is a link that elaborates on the management of Anthracnose in Mango click here

Both anthracnose and Ash weevil are common but serious issues in mango and proactive measures should be taken to curb the losses. Do let us know if any of you experienced the same and what measures were taken..

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Secret organic recipe is out!!

Some of you had expressed interest in knowing more about the secret ingredients used in organic solution used in the moringa plants. So here it is..

We use Aloe Vera, Neem leaves, Tulsi, Cow dung and urine, Asafoetida (hiing in Hindi) and some local country herbs (pictures below). Recently, I read ginger, garlic and green chillies are effective pest repellants, so I have started to include these in the mix  as well.

This is called Yeruku in Tamil (Calotropis Gigantia). Leaves secrete a milky solution on cutting them.

This is called Avrambu in Tamil (Cassia Auriculata). Apparently, the flower is good for diabetic patients. Not tried it, so do not take my word for it.. :)

This is called Oomathai in Tamil (Datura stramonium)

Typically, I use 2-3 Kg of cow dung and 15L of cow urine and whatever herbs I can get. After grinding the herbs, they are mixed with the dung and urine and stirred daily for 3 weeks. The solution is sieved and used in the ratio of 10ml/L of water.

Do let us know if you have a secret recipe to combat the bugs!!