India grows the largest number of vegetables from temperate to humid tropics and from sea-level to snowline, Vegetables are excellent source of vitamins, particularly niacin, riboflavin, Thiamin and vitamins A and C. They also supply minerals such as calcium and iron besides proteins and carbohydrates. Vegetables combat under nourishment and are known to be cheapest source of natural protective tools. However per capita consumption in India is only around 130 grams against a minimum of about 300 grams recommended by dietitians.
Most of the vegetables, being short duration crops, fit very well in the intensive cropping system and are capable of giving very high yields and very high economic returns to the growers besides providing better health standards to the people.
India is the world's largest producer of vegetable next only to China with an annual production estimated around 50.99 million tonnes from 4.5 million hectares. However, vegetables ocuupy hardly 2 per cent of the total cropped area of the country which is very low in view of the national need. Hence it is necessary to increase the production and productivity of vegetable to meet the demand of growing population to ensure better nutrition by adopting improved technology.
Cole vegetables or Cole Crops- The major cole crops are the cabbage, cauliflower, knolkhol, Brussels sprouts and sprouting broccoli. All these vegetables have been originated from the wild cabbage, 'Cole warts' (Brassica oleracae Var sysvestris) which occurs along the meditarranean coasts. All the cole vegetables require cool season for growth and production of quality product. Among these, cabbage and cauliflower are grown on commercial scale in India. The crops like Knolkhol, Brussels spronts and sprouting Broccoli are grown on a very small scale and their area is scattered around.
Fruit Vegetables- Fruit vegetables are widely cultivated throughout the country. The most important Fruit vegetables are: Tomatoes, Brinjal or egg plant chillies (Hotpeppers) and Okra.
Tomato Tomato is one
of the most popular and widely grown vegetables in the world. Tomatoes were introduced in
India by English traders of East India Company in 1822. Today, around 10 million 5tonnes
of tomatoes were produced in the country with Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra,
Punjab and Haryana being the major producers. The fruits are used as salad, cooked as well
as processed for soup, juice, ketchup, puree, paste and powder. Besides table, tomato is
one of the important protective foods because of it's special nutritive value. According
to the Harvard University study, a diet rich in tomatoes might dramatically decrease the
risk of prostrate cancer.
Tomato is warm season crop, and can be grown almost all the year round in milder climate like that of peninsular India. Select medium to heavy well drained soil . For May-June, August-September and December-January planting sow seed in nursery on raised beds 4-6 weeks prior to planting. About
500-600 g seeds/ha are required. Seedling should be transplanted in the field at 60 X 45 or 75 X 60 cm when they are 10-12 cm tall. Apply 75-100 kg n + 100 kg P2O5 + 50 kg K2O per hectare; in split doses. Half dose of N, full dose of P2O5 and K2O is applied 30 days after transplanting and the remaining half dose of N is applied 30 days after transplanting. Providing staking or support of Banboc sticks to the individual plants or adopt trollies system for training to mato plants. Interculture operations like hoeing weeding irrigation and plant protection measures should be carried out as and when necessary avoid moisture stress during flowering and fruiting stages. Pick tomato at pink stage at an interval 3-5 days average yield ranges from 200 to 300 quintals per hectare.
Brinjal or egg plant is one of the most common and popular vegetables in India. A number of cultivers if this indigenous vegetable are grown throughout the country. And consumers preference greatly varies, for colour, size and shape. The fruit in India. It is cooked in various ways and Vaishali. Vitally, Puss Purple Round, Puss Kranti, Puss Anmol, Arka Sheetal, Arka Navneet, Punjab-8
The planting is done thrice a year I,e, May-Jane, August-September and December-January. Brinjal requires more warm season. For commercial production of Brinjal well drained fertile soil is necessary. Seedlings are grown at the raised nursery beds. About 400-500 g seeds will be required for planting one hectare area. In a well prepared field 20 to 30 tonnes of well decomposed manure is mixed per hectare and 4-6 week old seedlings are planted at 75 X 60 cm or 75 X 75 cm distance. Apply 60 kg N + 50 kg each of P2O5 and K2O per hectare, of which half the dose of N and full P2O5 and K2O is applied at time of transplanting. Interculture i.e. hoeing, weeding irrigation and plant protection operations are carried out as and when required. The fruits are harvested when they are tender and attractive. The average yield of the fruits varies from 300 to 400 quintal per hectare.
Chilli (Capsicum annuum)
Chilli is one of the most important commercial vegetable crops of India and besides vegetable valued as spices, condiments sauces and pickles. India is largest producer of 6,07,375 tonnes of dry chillies. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka are major chilli producing states in India and accounting 75 per cent of the countries chili area.
Chilli can be grown successfully in both cold and warm climatic conditions. Chillies grow on a wide range of soils but for higher yields light loam soil is the best. For rainy season planting seeds are sown in nursery in April-May and for summers planting in January February. Raised nursery beds of 2m X 1m size with 20 cm are prepared. For planting 1 hectare area 1.5 to 2.o kg seed is required for raising the seedlings.
When seedlings become 4-5 weeks old (10-15 cm heights) These should be transplanted in well prepared mixed with 9-10 tonnes/ha farm yard manure at 60 X 45 cm spacing. Application of 50 kg N + 60-90 kg P2O5 and 50 kg K2O is recommended. About half of the N and full dose of P2O and K2O should be at the time of transplanting and the remaining nitrogen be applied as top dressing after 30-45 days of transplanting.
Interculture including weeding, hoeing irrigation and plant protection should be done as and when required.
Improved Varieties- Pusa Jwala, NP46-A, Pant C-1, G-3, Sindhur, Andhra Jyoti, Agnirekha. Harvesting of chillies depends on the purpose for which they are grown. For vegetables purpose fruits are harvested at green and mature stages, for making powder the fruits are harvested when they are fully ripened, the average yield of chilli as a rainfed crop may be 5- 8 quintal of dry chillies whereas under irrigated conditions 15-25 quintals per hectare, yield can be obtained.
Almost 97.5 % of chilli production is consumed indigenously while only 2.5 per cent is exported. India has exported 34,000 tonnes of chillies valued at Rs 98 crores in 19992-93 while spice oils and oleoresins export was 1,132 tonnes valued at Rs. 5 crores.
Okra( Abelmuchus esculentus(L-s) Moench)
Okra or Ladys Finger is one of the most popular vegetables grown throughout the tropics and warm parts of the temperate zone. The green tender fruits of Okra are rich in Vitamins, proteins, calcium and iron. Mostly it is used in fresh stage but the tender fruits can be preserved by canning in brine, dehydration and freezing. It is also exported as fresh green vegetable to Gulf countries.
It is a warm season crop and thrives best during warm humid seasons, although it grows fairly well in the hot summers.
Okra can be grown in a wide range of soils sandy loams to clay loams, provided they are well drained and supplied with enough organic matter. Main Okra growing season is Kharif(rainy season) June-Jully. However, it can be grown in September and October and January- February (summer season) where assured irrigation facilities are available.
It requires about 8 to 10 kg/ha of seeds during Kharif and September-October and 18 to 22 kg/ha for the summer season planting. During Kharif season where growth is vigorous, seeds are sown at 60 X 30 cm distance, while in summer the vegetative growth is relatively less and seeds are planted at 45 to 30 cm distance. Seed is sown by dibbling method.
Apply 25 tonnes of farm yard manure per hectare and throughly mix at the time of field preparation. Recommended fertilizer doses are 100 kg N, 50 kg each of P2O5 and K2O per hectare. Full dose of P and K and half dose of N is applied at the time of sowing. The remaining half dose after one month of sowing.
Fields be kept free from weeds, either by hoeing or hand weeding. In summer regular irrigation is given at an interval of 4-8 days depending upon the type of soil; crop growth and climatic conditions. During rainy season, generally no irrigation is given except where there is a long dry spell.
Fruit become roady for first picking after 45 days of sowing. Only tender green fruits be harvested at every 2 or 3 days of interval. It yields about 100 125 Q/ha in rainy season while the summer season crop yields 40-60 Q/ha.
Improved Varieties- Pusa Sawani, Parbhani Kranti, Arka Anamika, Akra Abhay, Punjab Padmini
Plant Protection-Okra crop is generally attacked by Jassids, aphids, fruit borer, miles and fruit fly insects and diseases like powdery mildew and fusarium wilt. For effective control of these pests and diseases apply 20 kg Furadon per hectare to the furrow before sowing. Spray the young seedlings with marathion(2 cc per litre of water) a week after the first spray to check the incidence of aphids and jassides. Sprays Nuvacron or Endosulphon on 2 ml per litre of water after 4 weeks and repeated once or twice, to check fruit borer spray Karanthane or wettable sulphur (1 ml per litre of water ) to check the powder mildew. Repeat the spray after 8-10 days if necessary.