Cultivation of Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)


Clove of commerce is aromatic, dry, fully-grown, but unopened flower buds of clove (Syzygium aromaticum) tree. Besides clove, clove oil obtained from buds stems and leaves, and oleoresin from buds and stems also have commercial value. The essential oil of clove is rich in eugenol, which has medicinal values.

It was introduced into India around 1800 AD by the East Indian Company in their spice garden in Courtallam, Tamil Nadu. From there, its cultivation extended to high ranges of Nagercoil in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kollam to the Mekkara hills in Thirunelveli district. At present, important clove-growing states are Kerala (Quilon, Trivandrum, Calicut, Kottayam districts), Tamil Nadu (Nilgiris, Nagercoil, Ramanathapuram, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts), Karnataka (South Kanara district), Maharashtra (Ratnagiri district), and Andamans.

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Cultivation of Brinjal (Solanum melongena)


Brinjal (Solanum melongena), also known as eggplant, is grown for its edible fruits. The world production is 497.82 MT lakh and productivity 26.7 MT/ha. India is the second-largest producer of brinjal next to China and produces 135.58 lakh tonnes from a 7.11 lakh ha area with 19.06 MT/ha productivity. Cultivation of brinjal is distributed in almost all states of the country, with the highest in West Bengal, followed by Odisha, Gujarat, and Bihar. The production share of brinjal is 8.3% of the total vegetable production of the country.

Based on plant spread and fruit shape, four botanical varieties are reported under S. melongena, viz. S.melongena var. melongena (Syn: S. melongena var. esculenta) (round and egg-shaped fruits), S. melongena var serpentinum (long and slender fruits), S.melongena var. depressum (early and dwarf cultivars), S.melongena var. incanum (wild and prickly plants with small fruits). Botanically, the fruit of brinjal is a berry, which can be purple, green, white, or striped with wide variations in size and shape.

Cultivation of Dolichos or Lablab bean (Lablab purpureus)


Dolichos or Lablab bean (Lablab purpureus) an important vegetable grown in India, is popularly known as sem. It is a very nutritive vegetable grown for the consumption of green pods, green seeds, and dry seeds as pulse also. Regional preferences are predominant, playing an important role in its cultivation. The green pods are mostly consumed in south India, whereas white ones are preferred in eastern India and green, fleshy pods in north India. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, West Bengal, and northeastern states are the major sem growing states.

Cultivation of Cluster bean or guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba)


Cluster bean/guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) is a multi-purpose crop. The Guar plant produces a cluster of flowers, therefore, it is also known as cluster bean. Its green pods are used as vegetables, grains as pulse and for gum extraction, and as a green manure crop in agriculture. Since it is a leguminous crop, it also has soil-enriching and erosion-resisting properties. The tender pod of grain type varieties is also used extensively as a vegetable (fresh and dehydrated) in spite of its poor quality and is the most common poor man’s vegetable of desert dwellers. Guar leaves can be used like spinach and the pods are prepared like salad or vegetables. Guar is an annual plant generally grown in dry regions of India. Cluster beans, tender pods are extremely popular veggies, they are indigenous to India and can be obtained all year round generally in most marketplaces. Cluster beans/guar pods are rich in soluble dietary fiber. Guar contains vitamin C, K, A, and manganese, potassium, folate, iron. It is also a good source of fiber. As a rich source of protein and fiber, cluster beans have several health benefits in both vegetable and powder form (guar gum).

Cultivation of Vegetable Amaranth (Amaranthus spp.)


Vegetable amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) known as chaulai in Hindi, is a very nutritive and highly suitable crop both for kitchen gardening and commercial cultivation. It is the most common leafy vegetable grown during the summer and rainy seasons in India. It fits well in a crop rotation because of its adaptability to a wide range of climate and soil conditions, rapid growth, quick rejuvenation after each harvest, and high yield of edible matter/area in a limited time. It is often described as a poor man’s leafy vegetable because of its low price and high nutritive value. The leaves and tender stems of amaranth are rich in protein, minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, potassium, and vitamins such as vitamin A (carotene), vitamin C, folic acid, thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin. Leaves and succulent stems are good sources of iron (38.5 mg/100g), calcium (350-400 mg/100g), vitamin A and vitamin C. High oxalate content (1-2%) and nitrate (1.8-8.8 g/kg dry matter) levels are reported from leaves of various species. The crude protein content in the leaves ranges from 20-32% on a dry weight basis. It is reported that in children the incidence of blindness due to poor nutrition can be reduced with daily consumption of 50-100 g of amaranth leaves.

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