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About the Crop
Ladies finger, Okra.
Name in Indian languages
Bhendi (Hindi), Vendaikai (Tamil), Vendakka (Malayalam), Bendekaya (Telugu), Bende Kayi (Kannada), Bhinda (Gujarati), Dherasa (Bengali)
Origin, Distribution and Uses
Cultivated in Tropical regions around world, it is highly nutritious and has anti oxidant properties. Its seeds are used as coffee seeds for preparation of decoction for drinking. Believed to have originated in South Asia, it is cultivated in tropical regions around the world. Places of production in India are States of Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and U.P.
Area, Production and Productivity
In India, Bhendi is cultivated in approximately 8,50,000 acres. Productivity is estimated at 24mt per acre.
Climate and Seasons
Generally it can be grown in all climates except during winter, since the plant seeds require a minimum Temperature of 25oC to germinate.
Bhendi can be grown in all kinds of soil. Loam soil is better suited.
Pusa Sawani, Pusa Mukhamali, Parbhani Kranti, Kamini Padmini, Vaishali, Vagmi.
Before sowing, the field is to be prepared well. It requires at least two to three ploughings of the soil thoroughly.
Then it is to be left for sterilizing either through exposing the field to sun rays or through herbicides for effective removal of any soil borne organisms or pests.
Propagation of Bhendi is direct, through sowing of seeds only.
Sowing, Nursery and Transplanting
Approximately 11 kg of seeds required per acre for summer season and 22 kg per acre during rainy season.
Before sowing the Bhendi seeds are to be soaked in a 2% solution of Carbendazim (Bavistin) for about 6 hours and dried in shade.
The seeds are sown 60 cm x 30 cm.
It will be better if the field is watered for 3 days before sowing in order to improve germination of seeds.
For sowing Ridge type or furrow type can be followed. For hard soil ridge type and furrow type for soft soil is preferred.
Bhendi can be cultivated through rotational method in order to avoid diseases.
Drip Irrigation Is advised for Bhendi plants. Water requirement is about half litre per plant during initial stage and about 2 litres per plant per day during full grown stage.
The field is treated with addition of Field Manure, Poultry manure or Organic Manure like Neem cake to improve growth of plant. The field requires approximately 62mt/acre of compost manure. In addition 865kg of Super Phosphate and 310kg of Mureate of Potash and 740Kgs of Ammonium Sulphate per acre is to be applied to the rows before sowing.
For Weed management 1. Application of herbicides 2. Inter row cultivations 3. Removal of weeds manually, are done.
Basalin (Fluchoralin 48%) 4 litres per acre can be applied. 12 litres of Tok-E-25 per acre can be used for soil application purpose.
Pests and Management
- Fruit and Shoot Borer
Bores into shoots and pods and eats them causing damage to pods and reduction in yield.
Management: Remove the affected pods and shoots. Apply pesticide Carbaryl, at the rate of four grams per litre or Neem Oil solution.
- Leaf Hopper
Stays underneath the leaves of the plant and grows by eating sap from the leaves. Causes the rolling in of leaves with a burnt colour. This affects the plant entirely.
Management:- Spraying of Dimethoate (0.05%) every ten days helps control the damage.
Sucks cell Sap of the leaves causing white patches appear on the leaves and the leaves ultimately fall down.
Management: Spraying of wettable Sulphur 2gm/litre of water or Dicofol 2.5ml/litre of water controls Mites.
- Root Knot Nematode
Enters Root of the plant and develops knots throughout the roots. Retards plant growth causes yellowing of leaves.
- Treat the soil with neem leaves or paddy husk at the sowing pits one week before sowing.
- Deep ploughing and exposure to sun or plant rotation also controls the pests.
- Application of Nemagon at the rate of 74 litres per acre before sowing also can control the pests.
Suck sap from soft areas of the plant causing curling and knotting of leaves.
Management: spraying of Tobacco decoction or Dimethoate 0.05% over the affected areas controls the pests.
- White Fly
Sucks sap from the leaves. Carriers of Yellow Vein Mosaic Virus. Curling and drying of leaves.
Management: spraying of Dimethoate 0.05% once in every 10 days controls the pests also controls Yellow Vein Mosaic Virus.
Diseases and Management
- Yellow Vein Mosaic Virus
Affects leaves of the plant causing thickening of the veins and development of yellowish and thicker and smaller Pods unsuitable for consumption.
Management: remove the affected plants. Application of either Neem oil solution or Dimethoate 0.05% on the plants once in every 10 days prevents the damage. Using YVMV resistant varieties of the plant controls damage
- Damping off
The affected seedlings are susceptible to get damaged before they grow. The plant population is affected with fungal disease causing loss of crop.
Management: excessive watering is the main cause. Treating the seeds with Thiram Solution at the rate of 3gm per kg of seed reduces the damage. Removal of affected plants then and there will prevent other plants getting infected
Harvesting and Yield
Flowering starts after 40 days of sowing and develops into pods after 60 days. At this time the pods are soft tender and can be harvested, the pods can be harvested every two days interval and should not be allowed to mature in the plant which in turn may affect further flowering and development of new pods and in turn affect productivity of Bhendi.
Yield: Bhendi yield can be in the range of 17 tons per acre in summer and about 24 tons per acre in rainy days.
Cost of Cultivation
| Cost of Cultivation of Bhendi per acre: | Rupees |
| -------------- | ------ |
| Field Preparation | 14,820 |
| Sowing | 29,640 |
| Weeding | 13,832 |
| Plant Protection | 12,350 |
| Fertilisers | 14,820 |
| Wages | 14,820 |
| Total | 1,00,282 |
Profitability per acre:
Total cost of cultivation: Rs 1,00,282
Total yield: 24 mt/acre
Sale price: Rs 6 to 15 per kg
Gross income at Rs 6/kg: (6 x 24,000) = Rs 1,44,000
Net profit at minimum price: Rs 43,718
(Source: TNAU Agritech portal)
The harvested Bhendi can be marketed through local vegetable markets or by having purchase contract with marketing agencies.
Post Harvest Technology
Storage after Harvest: Bhendi can be stored only for a short while after harvest. It can be stored for about 10 days at 10oC and 90% relative humidity. Beyond this period Bhendi can become unfit for marketing. It is advisable to send the harvested Bhendi immediately to markets for sale. It is suggested to keep Bhendi unwashed in a paper bag under refrigeration.