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(1 September 21 September)


M L Bhardwaj
H Dev Sharma
Manish Kumar
Ramesh Kumar
Sandeep Kansal
Kuldeep Thakur
Shiv Pratap Singh
Dharminder Kumar
Santosh Kumari
Meenu Gupta
Vipin Sharma


The importance of vegetables in providing balanced diet and nutritional security has
been realised world over. Vegetables are now recognized as health food globally and play
important role in overcoming micronutrient deficiencies and providing opportunities of
higher farm income. The worldwide production of vegetables has tremendously gone up
during the last two decades and the value of global trade in vegetables now exceeds that of
cereals. Hence, more emphasis is being given in the developing countries like India to
promote cultivation of vegetables. Development of hybrid varieties, integrated insect-pest
and diseases management practices, integrated nutrient management and standardizing
improved agrotechniques including organic farming have changed the scenario of
vegetables production in the country. In short, productivity, quality and post harvest
management of vegetables will have to be improved to remain competitive in the next
decades. The major objectives of reducing malnutrition and alleviating poverty in
developing countries through improved production and consumption of safe vegetables will
involve adaptation of current vegetable systems to the potential impact of climate change.
Genetic populations are being developed to introgress and identify genes conferring
tolerance to stresses and at the same time generate tools for gene isolation, characterization
and genetic engineering. Furthermore, agronomic practices that conserve water and protect
vegetable crops from sub-optimal environmental conditions must be continuously enhanced
and made easily accessible to farmers in the developing world. Current, and new,
technologies being developed through plant stress physiology research can potentially
contribute to mitigate threats from climate change on vegetable production. However,
farmers in developing countries are usually small-holders, have fewer options and must rely
heavily on available resources. Thus, technologies that are simple, affordable, and accessible
must be used to increase the resilience of farms in less developed countries. Finally, capacity
building and education are key components of a sustainable adaptation strategy to climate
change. Hence, topic "Vegetable production under changing climate scenario" chosen
for the present training under Centre of Advanced Faculty Training in Horticulture
(Vegetables) is appropriate and relevant under the present circumstances of agriculture. I am
sure, the lectures delivered by the faculty of this university, invited speakers as well as the
exposure visits conducted during the training might have benefited the participants . Further,
the giving compilation of lectures in the form of compendium to the participants of training
will also help in strengthening the teaching programmes in their respective institutions in this
area. All the faculty members and staff of the department of Vegetable Science deserve
appreciation for the efforts made in the smooth conduct of the training programme.

(K R Dhiman)
Vice Chancellor

Vegetable being an effective alternative to protective food, have become an
essential component of human diet. Although there has been spectacular increase in the
vegetable production from 15 million tonnes during 1950 to 146 million tonnes during
the current year, but we still need to produce more vegetables to meet the minimum
requirement of at least providing 300 g of vegetables/day/captia. The target can only be
achieved through combined use of growing high yielding varieties having resistance to
various biotic and abiotic stresses with improved nutritional quality and matching
agrotechniques by utilizing available resources. Developing countries like India whose
geographical parts comprises of mountainous regions comprising of Himalayas, central
plateau region, northern plains, coastal regions, deltas etc. are particularly vulnerable for
climate change as little change in the climate will disturb the whole ecology and in-turn
the traditional pattern of vegetables being grown in these regions. Latitudinal and
altitudinal shifts in ecological and agro-economic zones, land degradation, extreme
geophysical events, reduced water availability, and rise in sea level are the factors which
effect the vegetable production. Unless measures are undertaken to adapt to the effects of
climate change, vegetable production in the developing countries like India will be under
threat. Hence, the present training programme organised by Centre of Advanced Faculty
Training in Horticulture (Vegetables) on "Vegetable production under changing
climate scenario" is important as it will sharpen the focus on production of vegetables
under changing climatic conditions. The Centre of Advanced Faculty Training in
Horticulture (Vegetables) gratefully acknowledges the patronage provided by Dr. KR
Dhiman, Hon'ble Vice-Chancellor of this University. The financial assistance received
from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in conducting the training and
generating useful instructional material along with assistance for need based postgraduate research is also highly acknowledged. The Centre also appreciates sincere
efforts of all the resource personnel within and outside this university for interaction with
the participants. All the faculty members and staff of Department of Vegetable Science,
Deans and Directors of the University, other Statutory Officers and Heads of the
Departments deserve special thanks for their help and co-operation in making this
training programme a success.

(M L Bhardwaj)
Director, CAFT





Effect of climate change on vegetable production in India

ML Bhardwaj



Challenges and opportunities of vegetable cultivation under

changing climate scenario
ML Bhardwaj



High altitude protected vegetable production

Brahma Singh



Protected cultivation of vegetables in Indian plains

Mathura Rai



Relevance of conservation agriculture under climate change

RK Sharma



Production technology of ginger under changing climate

H Dev Sharma and Vipin Sharma



Production technology of turmeric under changing climate

H Dev Sharma and Vipin Sharma



Protected cultivation of high value vegetable crops

Manish Kumar



Pre and post harvest factors influencing the quality of vegetable

HS Kanwar and DK Mehta



Impact of climate change on quality seed production of important

temperate vegetable crops
Ramesh Kumar, Sandeep Kumar, Ashok Thakur and Sanjeev Kumar



Vegetable production and seed production under temperate conditions 75-82

Amit Vikram


Production technology of cucumber under changed climatic conditions

Ramesh Kumar, Sandeep Kumar, KS Thakur and Dharminder Kumar



Production technology of vegetable crops under changing climate

with reference to organic vegetable production
Kuldeep Singh Thakur, Ramesh Kumar and Dhaminder Kumar



Role of biofertilizers in enhancing the vegetable productivity under

organic farming systems
Kuldeep Singh Thakur and Dhaminder Kumar



Production potential of under exploited vegetable crops

Dharminder Kumar, Ramesh Kumar, KS Thakur, Ashok Thakur,
Prabal Thakur and Sandeep Kumar



Off-season tomato production in North Western Himalayas under

changing climate
Shiv Pratap Singh



Influence of climate change in capsicum production

Santosh Kumari



Efficient irrigation management practices in vegetable crops

JN Raina



Impact of climate change on vegetable crop production vis a vis

mitigation and adaptation strategies
Satish Kumar Bhardwaj



New pathological threats to vegetable crops and their management

under changing climatic conditions
RC Sharma



Biotic factors and their management under changing climate

RC Sharma and Meenu Gupta



Integrated disease management in cole crops

NP Dohroo



Diagnosis and management of vegetable diseases

Sandeep Kansal



Integrated disease management in solanaceous and leguminous

Sandeep Kansal



Disease management scenario in changing climatic conditions

Harender Raj Gautam



Eco-friendly techniques for management of diseases in spice crops

Meenu Gupta



Integrated pest management in solanceous and leguminous

vegetable crops
KC Sharma



Judicious use of pesticides to lower residue in vegetable production

RS Chandel, ID Sharma and SK Patyal



Management of pollinators of vegetable crops under changing

climatic scenario
R K Thakur and Jatin Soni



Vegetable intercropping in sugarcane for greater productivity and

RK Sharma and Samar Singh



Role of crop modelling in mitigating effects of climate change on

crop production
R S Spehia



Physiological disorders in vegetable crops: causes and management 203-208

Santosh Kumari


Weed management in vegetable crops

Dharminder Kumar, Manish Kumar, Ramesh Kumar, KS Thakur,
Amit Vikram and Sandeep Kumar



Biochemical constituents and quality attributes in spices

Vipin Sharma and H Dev Sharma



Techniques of quality analysis in spices

Vipin Sharma and H Dev Sharma



Recent techniques in postharvest management & processing of

PC Sharma, Manisha Kaushal and Anil Gupta


List of participants


Effect of Climate Change on Vegetable Production in India

ML Bhardwaj
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni-173 230 Solan

A significant change in climate on a global scale will impact vegetable

cultivation and agriculture as a whole; consequently affect the world's food supply.
Climate change per se is not necessarily harmful; the problems arise from extreme
events that are difficult to predict. More erratic rainfall patterns and unpredictable
high temperature spells consequently reduce crop productivity. Developing
countries in the tropics will be particularly vulnerable. Latitudinal and altitudinal
shifts in ecological and agro-economic zones, land degradation, extreme
geophysical events, reduced water availability, and rise in sea level and salinization
make it difficult to cultivate the traditional vegetables in particular zones in the
world. Unless measures are undertaken to mitigate the effects of climate change,
food security in developing countries will be under threat and will jeopardize the
future of the vegetable growers in these countries.
Vegetables are the best resource for overcoming micronutrient deficiencies
and provide smallholder farmers with much higher income and more jobs per hectare
than staple crops. The worldwide production of vegetables has doubled over the past
quarter century and the value of global trade in vegetables now exceeds that of
Vegetables are generally sensitive to environmental extremes, and thus high
temperatures and limited soil moisture are the major causes of low yields and will be
further magnified by climate change.
Environmental constraints limiting vegetable productivity
Environmental stress is the primary cause of crop losses worldwide, reducing
average yields for most major crops by more than 50%. The tropical vegetable
production environment is a mixture of conditions that varies with season and region.
Climatic changes will influence the severity of environmental stress imposed on
vegetable crops. Moreover, increasing temperatures, reduced irrigation water
availability, flooding, and salinity will be major limiting factors in sustaining and
increasing vegetable productivity. Extreme climatic conditions will also negatively
impact soil fertility and increase soil erosion. Thus, additional fertilizer application
or improved nutrient-use efficiency of crops will be needed to maintain productivity
or harness the potential for enhanced crop growth due to increased atmospheric CO2.

The response of plants to environmental stresses depends on the plant developmental

stage and the length and severity of the stress. Plants may respond similarly to avoid
one or more stresses through morphological or biochemical mechanisms.
Environmental interactions may make the stress response of plants more complex or
influence the degree of impact of climate change. Measures to adapt to these climate
change-induced stresses are critical for sustainable tropical vegetable production.
High temperatures
Temperature limits the range and production of many crops. In the tropics,
high temperature conditions are often prevalent during the growing season and, with
a changing climate, crops in this area will be subjected to increased temperature
stress. Analysis of climate trends in tomato-growing locations suggests that
temperatures are rising and the severity and frequency of above-optimal temperature
episodes will increase in the coming decades.
Tomatoes are strongly modified by temperature alone or in conjunction with
other environmental factors (Abdalla & Verkerk 1968). High temperature stress
disrupts the biochemical reactions fundamental for normal cell function in plants. It
primarily affects the photosynthetic functions of higher plants. High temperatures
can cause significant losses in tomato productivity due to reduced fruit set, and
smaller and lower quality fruits. Pre-anthesis temperature stress is associated with
developmental changes in the anthers, particularly irregularities in the epidermis and
endothesium, lack of opening of the stromium, and poor pollen formation. In pepper,
high temperature exposure at the pre-anthesis stage did not affect pistil or stamen
viability, but high post-pollination temperatures inhibited fruit set, suggesting that
fertilization is sensitive to high temperature stress. Symptoms causing fruit set
failure at high temperatures in tomato; includes bud drop, abnormal flower
development, poor pollen production, dehiscence, and viability, ovule abortion and
poor viability, reduced carbohydrate availability, and other reproductive
abnormalities. In addition, significant inhibition of photosynthesis occurs at
temperatures above optimum, resulting in considerable loss of potential
Unpredictable drought is the single most important factor affecting world
food security and the catalyst of the great famines of the past. The world's water
supply is fixed, thus increasing population pressure and competition for water
resources will make the effect of successive droughts more severe. Inefficient water
usage all over the world and inefficient distribution systems in developing countries
further decreases water availability. Water availability is expected to be highly
sensitive to climate change and severe water stress conditions will affect crop

productivity, particularly that of vegetables. In combination with elevated

temperatures, decreased precipitation could cause reduction of irrigation water
availability and increase in evapo-transpiration, leading to severe crop water-stress
conditions. Vegetables, being succulent products by definition, generally consist of
greater than 90% water (AVRDC 1990). Thus, water greatly influences the yield and
quality of vegetables; drought conditions drastically reduce vegetable productivity.
Drought stress causes an increase of solute concentration in the environment (soil),
leading to an osmotic flow of water out of plant cells. This leads to an increase of the
solute concentration in plant cells, thereby lowering the water potential and
disrupting membranes and cell processes such as photosynthesis. The timing,
intensity, and duration of drought spells determine the magnitude of the effect of
Vegetable production is threatened by increasing soil salinity particularly in
irrigated croplands which provide 40% of the world's food. Excessive soil salinity
reduces productivity of many agricultural crops, including most vegetables which
are particularly sensitive throughout the ontogeny of the plant. According to the
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), onions are sensitive to saline
soils, while cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes, amongst the main crops
moderately sensitive. In hot and dry environments, high evapo-transpiration results
in substantial water loss, thus leaving salt around the plant roots which interferes
with the plant's ability to uptake water. Physiologically, salinity imposes an initial
water deficit that results from the relatively high solute concentrations in the soil,
causes ion-specific stresses resulting from altered K+/Na+ ratios, and leads to a build
up in Na and Cl concentrations that are detrimental to plants. Plant sensitivity to salt
stress is reflected in loss of turgor, growth reduction, wilting, leaf curling and
epinasty, leaf abscission, decreased photosynthesis, respiratory changes, loss of
cellular integrity, tissue necrosis, and potentially death of the plant. Salinity also
affects agriculture in coastal regions which are impacted by low-quality and highsaline irrigation water due to contamination of the groundwater and intrusion of
saline water due to natural or man-made events. Salinity fluctuates with season,
being generally high in the dry season and low during rainy season when freshwater
flushing is prevalent. Furthermore, coastal areas are threatened by specific, saline
natural disasters which can make agricultural lands unproductive, such as tsunamis
which may inundate low-lying areas with seawater. Although the seawater rapidly
recedes, the groundwater contamination and subsequent osmotic stress causes crop
losses and affects soil fertility. In the inland areas, traditional water wells are
commonly used for irrigation water in many countries. The bedrock deposit contains
salts and the water from these wells are becoming more saline, thus affecting
irrigated vegetable production in these areas.

Vegetable production occurs in both dry and wet seasons in the tropics. However,
production is often limited during the rainy season due to excessive moisture brought
about by heavy rain. Most vegetables are highly sensitive to flooding and genetic
variation with respect to this character is limited, particularly in tomato. In general,
damage to vegetables by flooding is due to the reduction of oxygen in the root zone
which inhibits aerobic processes. Flooded tomato plants accumulate endogenous
ethylene that causes damage to the plants. Low oxygen levels stimulate an increased
production of anethylene precursor, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid
(ACC), in the roots. The rapid development of epinastic growth of leaves is a
characteristic response of tomatoes to water-logged conditions and the role of
ethylene accumulation has been implicated. The severity of flooding symptoms
increases with rising temperatures; rapid wilting and death of tomato plants is
usually observed following a short period of flooding at high temperatures.
The Need for Adaptation to Climate Change
Potential impacts of climate change on agricultural production will depend
not only on climate per se, but also on the internal dynamics of agricultural systems,
including their ability to adapt to the changes. Success in mitigating climate change
depends on how well agricultural crops and systems adapt to the changes and
concomitant environmental stresses of those changes on the current systems.
Farmers in developing countries of the tropics need tools to adapt and mitigate the
adverse effects of climate change on agricultural productivity, and particularly on
vegetable production, quality and yield. Current, and new, technologies being
developed through plant stress physiology research can potentially contribute to
mitigate threats from climate change on vegetable production. However, farmers in
developing countries are usually small-holders, have fewer options and must rely
heavily on resources available in their farms or within their communities. Thus,
technologies that are simple, affordable, and accessible must be used to increase the
resilience of farms in less developed countries. AVRDC The World Vegetable
Center has been working to address the effect of environmental stress on vegetable
production. Germplasm of the major vegetable crops which are tolerant of high
temperatures, flooding and drought has been identified and advanced breeding lines
are being developed. Efforts are also underway to identify nitrogen-use efficient
germplasm. In addition, development of production systems geared towards
improved water-use efficiency and expected to mitigate the effects of hot and dry
conditions in vegetable production systems are top research and development

Enhancing Vegetable Production Systems

Various management practices have the potential to raise the yield of
vegetables grown under hot and wet conditions of the lowland tropics. AVRDC The
World Vegetable Center has developed technologies to alleviate production
challenges such as limited irrigation water and flooding, to mitigate the effects of
salinity, and also to ensure appropriate availability of nutrients to the plants.
Strategies include modifying fertilizer application to enhance nutrient availability to
plants, direct delivery of water to roots (drip irrigation), grafting to increase flood and
disease tolerance, and use of soil amendments to improve soil fertility and enhance
nutrient uptake by plants.
Water-saving irrigation management
The quality and efficiency of water management determine the yield and quality
of vegetable products. The optimum frequency and amount of applied water is a
function of climate and weather conditions, crop species, variety, stage of growth and
rooting characteristics, soil water retention capacity and texture, irrigation system
and management factor. Too much or too little water causes abnormal plant growth,
predisposes plants to infection by pathogens, and causes nutritional disorders. If
water is scarce and supplies are erratic or variable, then timely irrigation and
conservation of soil moisture reserves are the most important agronomic
interventions to maintain yields during drought stress. There are several methods of
applying irrigation water and the choice depends on the crop, water supply, soil
characteristics and topography. Application of irrigation water could be through
overhead, surface, drip, or sub-irrigation systems. Surface irrigation methods are
utilized in more than 80% of the world's irrigated lands yet its field level application
efficiency is often 40-50%. To generate income and alleviate poverty of the smallholder farmers in developing countries, AVRDC The World Vegetable Center and
other institutions promote affordable, small-scale drip irrigation technologies
developed by the International Development Enterprises (IDE). Drip irrigation
delivers water directly to plants through small plastic tubes. IDE states that water
losses due to run-off and deep percolation are minimized and water savings of 5080% are achieved when compared to most traditional surface irrigation methods.
Crop production per unit of water consumed by plant evapo-transpiration is typically
increased by 10-50%. Thus, more plants can be irrigated per unit of water by drip
irrigation, and with less labor. In Nepal, cauliflower yields using low-cost drip
irrigation were not significantly different from those achieved by hand watering;
however the long-term economic and labor benefits were greater using the low-cost
drip irrigation. The water-use efficiency by chili pepper was significantly higher in
drip irrigation compared to furrow irrigation, with higher efficiencies observed with
high delivery rate drip irrigation regimes (AVRDC 2005). For drought tolerant crop

like watermelon, yield differences between furrow and drip irrigated crops were not
significantly different; however, the incidence of Fusarium wilt was reduced when a
lower drip irrigation rate was used. In general, the use of low-cost drip irrigation is
cost effective, labor-saving, and allows more plants to be grown per unit of water,
thereby both saving water and increasing farmers' incomes at the same time.
Cultural practices that conserve water and protect crops
Various crop management practices such as mulching and the use of shelters
and raised beds help to conserve soil moisture, prevent soil degradation, and protect
vegetables from heavy rains, high temperatures, and flooding. The use of organic and
inorganic mulches is common in high-value vegetable production systems. These
protective coverings help reduce evaporation, moderate soil temperature, reduce soil
runoff and erosion, protect fruits from direct contact with soil and minimize weed
growth. In addition, the use of organic materials as mulch can help enhance soil
fertility, structure and other soil properties. Rice straw is abundant in rice-growing
areas of the tropics and generally recommended for summer tomato production. The
benefits of rice straw mulch on fruit yield of tomato have been demonstrated in
Taiwan (AVRDC 1981). In India, mulching improved the growth of eggplant, okra,
bottle gourd, round melon, ridge gourd, and sponge gourd compared to the nonmulched. Yields were the highest when polythene and sarkanda (Saccharum spp. and
Canna spp.) were used as mulching materials. In the lowland tropics where
temperatures are high, dark-colored plastic mulch is recommended in combination
with rice straw. Dark plastic mulch prevents sunlight from reaching the soil surface
and the rice straw insulates the plastic from direct sunlight thereby preventing the soil
temperature rising too high during the day. During the hot rainy season, vegetables
such as tomatoes suffer from yield losses caused by heavy rains. Simple, clear plastic
rain shelters prevent water logging and rain impact damage on developing fruits,
with consequent improvement in tomato yields. Fruit cracking and the number of
unmarketable fruits are also reduced. Elimination of flooding and rain damage, as
well as the reduced air temperature, was responsible for the higher yields of the crops
grown under plastic shelters. Another form of shelter using shade cloth can be used to
reduce temperature stress. Shade shelters also prevent damage from direct rain
impact and intense sunlight. Planting vegetables in raised beds can ameliorate the
effects of flooding during the rainy season (AVRDC 1979, 1981). Yields of tomatoes
increased with bed height, most likely due to improved drainage and reduction of
anoxic stress.
Improved stress tolerance through grafting
Grafting vegetables originated in East Asia during the 20th century and is
currently common practice in Japan, Korea and some European countries. Grafting,

in this context, involves uniting of two living plant parts (rootstock and scion) to
produce a single growing plant.
It has been used primarily to control soil-borne diseases affecting the
production of fruit vegetables such as tomato, eggplant, and cucurbits. However, it
can provide tolerance to soil-related environmental stresses such as drought, salinity,
low soil temperature and flooding if appropriate tolerant rootstocks are used.
Grafting of eggplants was started in the 1950s, followed by grafting of cucumbers
and tomatoes in the 1960s and 1970s. it was found that melons grafted onto hybrid
squash rootstocks were more salt tolerant than the non-grafted melons. However,
tolerance to salt by rootstocks varies greatly among species, such that rootstocks
from Cucurbita spp. are more tolerant of salt than rootstocks from Lagenaria
siceraria. Grafted plants were also more able to tolerate low soil temperatures.
Solanum lycopersicum x S. habrochaites rootstocks provide tolerance of low soil
temperatures (10 C to 13 C) for their grafted tomato scions, while eggplants grafted
onto S. integrifolium x S. melongena rootstocks grew better at lower temperatures
(18 C to 21 C) than non-grafted plants.
Vegetables generally are unable to tolerate excessive soil moisture. Tomatoes
in particular are considered to be one of the vegetable crops most sensitive to excess
water. In the tropics, heavy rainfall with poor drainage induces water-logged
conditions that reduce oxygen availability in the soil thereby causing wilting,
chlorosis, leaf epinasty, and ultimately death of the tomato plants. Genetic variability
for tolerance of excess soil moisture is limited or inadequate to prevent losses.
Research at AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center has shown that many accessions
of eggplant are highly tolerant of flooding. Thus, the Center developed grafting
techniques to improve the flood tolerance of tomato using eggplant rootstocks which
were identified with good grafting compatibility with tomato and high tolerance to
excess soil moisture. Tomato scions grafted onto eggplant rootstock grow well and
produce acceptable yields during the rainy season. In addition to protection against
flooding, some eggplant genotypes are drought tolerant and eggplant rootstocks can
therefore provide protection against limited soil moisture stress.
Developing Climate-Resilient Vegetables
Improved, adapted vegetable germplasm is the most cost-effective option for
farmers to meet the challenges of a changing climate. However, most modern
cultivars represent a limited sampling of available genetic variability including
tolerance to environmental stresses. Breeding new varieties, particularly for
intensive, high input production systems in developed countries is required to be

Superior varieties adapted to a wider range of climatic conditions could result

from the discovery of novel genetic variation for tolerance to different biotic and
abiotic stresses. Genotypes with improved attributes conditioned by superior
combinations of alleles at multiple loci could be identified and advanced. Improved
selection techniques are needed to identify these superior genotypes and associated
traits, especially from wild, related species that grow in environments which do not
support the growth of their domesticated relatives that are cultivated varieties. Plants
native to climates with marked seasonality are able to acclimatize more easily to
variable environmental conditions and provide opportunities to identify genes or
gene combinations which confer such resilience.
Tolerance to high temperatures
The World Vegetable Center has developed tomatoes and Chinese cabbage
with general adaptation to hot and humid tropical environments and low-input
cropping systems since the early 1970s. This has been achieved by developing heattolerant and disease-resistant breeding lines. The Center has made significant
contributions to the development of heat-tolerant tomato and Chinese cabbage lines
and the subsequent release of adapted, tropical varieties worldwide. The key to
achieving high yields with heat tolerant cultivars is the broadening of their genetic
base through crosses between heat tolerant tropical lines and disease resistant
temperate or winter varieties. The heat tolerant tomato lines were developed using
heat tolerant breeding lines and landraces from the Philippines (e.g. VC11-3-1-8, VC
11-2-5, Divisoria-2) and the United States (e.g. Tamu Chico III, PI289309).
However, lower yields in the heat tolerant lines are still a concern.
More heat tolerant varieties are required to meet the needs of a changing
climate, and these must be able to match the yields of conventional, non-heat tolerant
varieties under non-stress conditions. A wider range of genotypic variation must be
explored to identify additional sources of heat tolerance. An AVRDC - breeding line,
CL5915, has demonstrated high levels of heat tolerance in Southeast Asia and the
Pacific. The fruit set of CL5915 ranges from 15% - 30% while there is complete
absence of fruit set in heat-sensitive lines in mean field temperatures of 35 C.
Drought tolerance and water-use efficiency
Plants resist water or drought stress in many ways. In slowly developing
water deficit, plants may escape drought stress by shortening their life cycle.
However, the oxidative stress of rapid dehydration is very damaging to the
photosynthetic processes, and the capacity for energy dissipation and metabolic
protection against reactive oxygen species is the key to survival under drought
conditions. Tissue tolerance to severe dehydration is not common in crop plants but
is found in species native to extremely dry environments. Genetic variability for

drought tolerance in S. lycopersicum is limited and inadequate. The best source of

resistance is from other species in the genus Solanum. The Tomato Genetics
Resource Center (TGRC) at the University of California, Davis has assembled a set
of the putatively stress tolerant tomato germplasm that includes accessions of S.
cheesmanii, S. chilense, S. lycopersicum, S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme, S.
pennellii, S. peruvianum and S. pimpinellifolium. S. chilense and S. pennelli are
indigenous to arid and semi-arid environments of South America. Both species
produce small green fruit and have an indeterminate growth habit. S chilense is
adapted to desert areas of northern Chile and often found in areas where no other
vegetation grows. S. chilense has finely divided leaves and well-developed root
system. S. chilense has a longer primary root and more extensive secondary root
system than cultivated tomato. Drought tests show that S. chilense is five times more
tolerant of wilting than cultivated tomato. S. pennellii has the ability to increase its
water use efficiency under drought conditions unlike the cultivated S. lycopersicum
(O'Connell et al. 2007). It has thick, round waxy leaves, is known to produce acylsugars in its trichomes, and its leaves are able to take up dew. Transfer and utilization
of genes from these drought resistant species will enhance tolerance of tomato
cultivars to dry conditions, although wide crosses with S. pennellii produce fertile
progenies, S. chilense is cross-incompatible with S. lycopersicum and embryo rescue
through tissue culture is required to produce progeny plants. Research at AVRDC
and other institutions is in progress to identify the genetic factors underlying drought
tolerance in S. chilense and S. pennellii, and to transfer these factors into cultivated
Tolerance to saline soils and irrigation water
Attempts to improve the salt tolerance of crops through conventional
breeding programs have very limited success due to the genetic and physiologic
complexity of this trait. In addition, tolerance to saline conditions is a
developmentally regulated, stage-specific phenomenon; tolerance at one stage of
plant development does not always correlate with tolerance at other stages. Success
in breeding for salt tolerance requires effective screening methods, existence of
genetic variability, and ability to transfer the genes to the species of interest. Most
commercial tomato cultivars are moderately sensitive to increased salinity and only
limited variation exists in cultivated species.
Genetic variation for salt tolerance during seed germination in tomato has
been identified within cultivated and wild species. In pepper, salt stress significantly
decreases germination, shoot height, root length, fresh and dry weight, and yield.
Pepper genotypes Demre, Ilica 250, 11-B-14, Bagci Carliston, Mini Aci Sivri,
Yalova Carliston, and Yaglik 28 can be useful as sources of genes to develop pepper

cultivars with improved germination under salt stress. Related wild tomato species
have shown strong salinity tolerance and are sources of genes as coastal areas are
common habitat of some wild species. Studies have identified potential sources of
resistance in the wild tomato species S. cheesmanii, S. peruvianum, S pennelii, S.
pimpinellifolium, and S. habrochaites. Attempts to transfer quantitative trait loci
(QTLs) and elucidate the genetics of salt tolerance have been conducted using
populations involving wild species. Elucidation of mechanism of salt tolerance at
different growth periods and the introgression of salinity tolerance genes into
vegetables would accelerate development of varieties that are able to withstand high
or variable levels of salinity compatible with different production environments.
Climate-Proofing through Genomics and Biotechnology
Increasing crop productivity in unfavorable environments will require
advanced technologies to complement traditional methods which are often unable to
prevent yield losses due to environmental stresses. In the past decade, genomics has
developed from whole genome sequencing to the discovery of novel and high
throughput genetic and molecular technologies. Genes have been discovered and
gene functions understood. This has opened the way to genetic manipulation of
genes associated with tolerance to environmental stresses. These tools promise more
rapid, and potentially spectacular, returns but require high levels of investment.
Many activities using these genetic and molecular tools are in place, with some
successes. National and international institutes are re-tooling for plant molecular
genetic research to enhance traditional plant breeding and benefit from the potential
of genetic engineering to increase and sustain crop productivity.
QTLs and gene discovery for tolerance to stresses
Genetic enhancement using molecular technologies has revolutionized plant
breeding. Advances in genetics and genomics have greatly improved our
understanding of structural and functional aspects of plant genomes.
The use of molecular markers as a selection tool provides the potential for
increasing the efficiency of breeding programs by reducing environmental
variability, facilitating earlier selection, and reducing subsequent population sizes
for field testing. Molecular markers facilitate efficient introgression of superior
alleles from wild species into the breeding programs and enable the pyramiding of
genes controlling quantitative traits. Thus, enhancing and accelerating the
development of stress tolerant and higher yielding cultivars for farmers in
developing countries. Molecular marker analysis of stress tolerance in vegetables is
limited but efforts are underway to identify QTLs underlying tolerance to stresses.

Prioritizing Vegetable Research to Address Impact of Climate Change

It is unlikely that a single method to overcome the effects of environmental
stresses on vegetables will be found. A systems approach, where all available options
are considered in an integrated manner, will be the most effective and ultimately the
most sustainable, particularly for developing countries in the tropics under a variable
climate. This holistic strategy will need global integration of efforts; the resulting
synergies will produce impact more quickly than the individual institutions working
in isolation could accomplish. For this to succeed, adequate and long-term funding is
necessary, scientific results have to be delivered, best approaches utilized and
effective methods sustained to deliver global public goods for impact.
AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center, as the world's leading international
center focused on vegetable research and development, has expanded its research to
further address the potential challenges posed by climate change. The Center's
success in its major objectives of reducing malnutrition and alleviating poverty in
developing countries through improved production and consumption of safe
vegetables will involve adaptation of current vegetable systems to the potential
impact of climate change. Vegetable germplasm with tolerance to drought, high
temperatures and other environmental stresses, and ability to maintain yield in
marginal soils must be identified to serve as sources of these traits for both public and
private vegetable breeding programs. This germplasm will include both cultivated
and wild accessions possessing genetic variation unavailable in current, widelygrown cultivars. Genetic populations are being developed to introgress and identify
genes conferring tolerance to stresses and at the same time generate tools for gene
isolation, characterization, and genetic engineering.
Furthermore, agronomic practices that conserve water and protect vegetable
crops from sub-optimal environmental conditions must be continuously enhanced
and made easily accessible to farmers in the developing world. Finally, capacity
building and education are key components of a sustainable adaptation strategy to
climate change.
Enhancing adaptation of tropical production systems to changing climatic
conditions is a huge undertaking. It requires the combined efforts of many national
and international institutions and an effective and efficient strategy to be able to
deliver technologies that can mitigate the effects of climate change on the diverse
crops and production systems. The scientific information and technologies
developed through these initiatives must be readily accessible, consolidated and
utilized in a strategic way. This can only be achieved through collaboration,
complementarily, and coordinated objectives to address the consequences of climate
change on the world's crop production.

Abdalla AA, Verderk K (1968) Growth, flowering and fruit set of tomato at high
temperature. The Neth J Agric Sci 16:71-76.
AVRDC (1990) Vegetable Production Training Manual. Asian Vegetable Research
and Training Center. Shanhua, Tainan, 447 pp.
AVRDC (1979) Annual Report. Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center.
Shanhua, Taiwan. 173 pp.
AVRDC (1981) Annual Report. Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center.
Shanhua, Taiwan. 84 pp.
AVRDC (2005) Annual Report. AVRDC The World Vegetable Center. Shanhua,


Challenges and Opportunities of Vegetable Cultivation

under Changing Climate Scenario
ML Bhardwaj
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni-173 230 Solan

The world's farmers are challenged with growing abundant, safe and
nutritious food for an increasing global population in the face of changing climate
and pest pressures. To enable them to continue to produce food sustainably, they need
to have broad access to appropriate innovations, as well as the knowledge and skills
to make these new tools valuable on the farm. India produces 133.5 millions tones of
vegetables from an area of 7.9 million hectares (NHB, 2010). According to statistics
release by Ministry of Agriculture, there has been 13.5% increase in area and 13.4%
increase in vegetable output during the period 1996 to 2010. India is the second
largest producer of vegetables in the world, next to China. India's share of the world
vegetable market is around 14%. India is endowed with quite a diverse climatic
condition, which enables production of more than 50 indigenous and exotic
vegetables. India ranks first in peas and cauliflower production and is the second
largest producer of onion, brinjal and cabbage. In spite of all these achievements, per
capita consumption of vegetables in India is very low against WHO standards (180
g/day/capita against 300 g/day capita recommended by FAO). Iron deficiency,
anaemia is quite wide spread in our country, the prevalence varying from 45 per cent
in adult males to 70 per cent or more in women and children. There is an urgent need
for providing health security to our population by supplying nutrition through
balanced diet.
Vegetables are rich source of vitamins, carbohydrates, salts and proteins.
With increased health awareness in the general public and changing dietary patterns,
vegetables are now becoming an integral part of average household's daily meals. In
addition, high population growth rate has also given rise to high demand in basic
dietary vegetables. Increased health awareness, high population growth rate,
changing dietary patterns of increasingly affluent middle class and availability of
packaged vegetables, has therefore generated a year round high demand for
vegetables in the country in general and in major city centres in particular. However,
our farmers have yet not been able to in cash this opportunity and still follow
traditional sowing and picking patterns. This results in highly volatile vegetable
supply market wherein the market is flooded with seasonal vegetables irrespective of
demand presence on one hand and very high priced vegetables in off-season on the

other. Lack of developed vegetable processing and storage facility robs our farmers
from their due share of profit margins. In natural season local vegetables flood the
markets substantially bringing down the prices. In the absence of storage
infrastructure and vegetable processing industry in the country, off-season
vegetables farming is the only viable option that can add value to the farmer produce.
There is a huge demand for fresh vegetables in the local as well as
international markets, which includes Europe, Middle East, and Far Eastern markets
but due to their perishable nature it is difficult to export this commodity. The facility
of growing off-season vegetables also allows for growing non-conventional varieties
of vegetables, which are in high demand in the international market. Vegetables can
be cultivated in off-season, with the induction of an artificial technique like
greenhouse technology, in which temperature and moisture is controlled for specific
growth of vegetables. The production of vegetables all around the year enables the
growers to fully utilize their resources and supplement income from vegetable
growing as compared to other normal agricultural crops. Hybrid seeds that provide
higher yield can lead to lower unit cost. Higher prices can be obtained by producing
the right crops, at the right times and of better quality. They may also depend on
negotiating skills and targeting high price buyers. Since, the land holding of farmers
is decreasing, there is a need to increase the productivity of available land, off-season
vegetable farming is a measure through which we can attain higher profit margins
from the crop.
Climate change poses significant challenges and negative impacts upon for
the present vegetable production. There is mounting evidence that smallr farmers in
developing countries are experiencing increased climate variability and climatic
change include more extreme events like average means of temperature and
precipitation which is clearly linked to increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Extreme Weather
High temperatures in

Physiological impact
Reproductive (flower)
development impaired
Crop development and
yield impaired
Crop quality impaired

High temperatures in

Cold hardiness limited


Crops affected
Peas, Tomatoes, Seed
Vegetable Brassicas,
Tomatoes, Vegetable
Seed production

Global climate change especially erratic rainfall pattern and unpredictable

high temperature spells will reduce the productivity of vegetable crops. Developing
countries in the tropics will be affected very much. Latitudinal and altitudinal shifts
in different agro ecological zones, land degradation, extreme geophysical events,
reduced water availability, rise in sea level and salinization are postulated.
Among vegetable crops, tomatoes are the most important vegetable crops
worldwide and grown over 4 million hectare of land area. Tomato, cabbage, onion,
hot pepper and egg plant are important in Asia. In Asia, yields are highest in the east
because of temperate and sub-temperate climate and the productivity is lowest in the
hot and humid low lands of South East Asia. The extreme climatic conditions will
affect soil fertility and increase soil erosion. So, additional fertilizers application or
improved nutrient efficiency of crop will be needed to harness the potential for
enhanced crop growth due to increased atmosphere CO2. In the tropical areas, high
temperature conditions are prevalent in the growing season and with the changing
climate crops will be subjected to temperature stress. High temperature affects the
photosynthetic functions of plants and cause irregularities in the epidermis and
endothesium, lack of opening of the stromium and poor pollen formation especially
in case of tomato. In pepper, high post-pollination inhibits fruit set. In tomato, overall
productivity is reduced by high temperatures due to bud drop, abnormal flower
development, poor pollen production, dehiscence and viability, ovule abortion, poor
viability, reduced carbohydrate availability, other reproductive abnormalities and
above all inhibition of photosynthesis.
Unpredictable drought affects world food security and cause great famines.
Insufficient use of water all over the world and inefficient distribution system in
developing countries decrease water availability. High temperature in combination
with low precipitation could reduce the irrigation water availability and increase the
evapo-transpiration leading to severe crop water stress particularly in vegetables
which contain more than 90% water and ultimately influences the yield and quality.
Drought causes an increase in solute concentration in the soil environment leading to
an osmotic flow of water out of the plant cells which subsequently leads to an
increase of solute concentration in plant cells and so, finally lowers the water
potential and disrupts membranes and cell processes such as photosynthesis.
Salt stress in plants is reflected in loss of turgor, growth reduction, wilting,
leaf curling and epinasty, leaf abscission, decrease photosynthesis, respiratory
changes, loss of cellular integrity, tissue necrosis and ultimately death of plants.
Sometimes, vegetable production is also affected by heavy rainfall especially crops
like tomato. Flooding reduces the oxygen level in the root zone inhibiting aerobic
processes. Generally, flooded tomato plants accumulated endogenous ethylene that
causes damage to the plants. Low oxygen levels stimulate an increased of an ethylene

precursor, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxlic acid in the roots. In combination with

high temperatures, flooding causes rapid wilting and death of plants. Yield potential
of majority of vegetable crops is affected by various climatic factors like
temperature, solar radiations, humidity, rainfall, wind, drought, salinity etc
Causes of climate change


Fossil fuel consumption


Land reclamation

Agricultural intensification

Freshwater extraction

Fisheries overexploitation

Waste production

(Ericksen, 2008)

Opportunities of vegetable production

India is endowed with a wide range of agro-climatic conditions from tropical
to temperate which makes it ideal for off-season vegetable production throughout the
year. The hill states offer most congenial climatic conditions for off-season vegetable
production during summer months for vegetables like tomato, capsicum, peas,
beans, cole crops, root crops and cucumber. The main season vegetables of these
hilly regions become off-season in the plains as result growers fetch lucrative returns
from their produce. Off-season vegetables produced in the hills have a special
significance because of specific flavour, aroma, freshness, prolonged self-life and
keeping quality. These being environment specific are primarily confined to hilly
areas of the country. The increase in area and production under off season vegetables
in the last 3-4 decades may be because of increase in income level of consumers,
change in dietary habit inclusion of more vegetables in food menu, urbanization,
awareness of both farmers and consumers etc. Moreover, there exists a scope for
increasing the off-season exotic vegetable production for domestic and international
markets. Further, off-season vegetable production helps to bridge the seasonal gap
between demand and supply and provides more employment opportunities to
marginal and small hilly farmers.
In Himachal Pradesh, agriculture plays an important role in the economy of
Himachal Pradesh as 67 per cent of the total population depends on agriculture for its
livelihood. Only 11 per cent of the total geographical area is available for agriculture,
out of which 80 per cent is rain-fed and the holdings are small and scattered. Despite
all these barring factors, climate of the state, especially in the hilly regions, is
congenial for the cultivation of many off-season vegetables, horticultural and
floricultural crops. In the valley areas of the district Kullu, the acreage of cereal crops

has declined from 59 per cent to 5 per cent but has been recompensed by vegetable
crops over a period from 1990-91 to 2002-03 (Bala and Sharma, 2005). Farmers have
tapped underground water sources through bore wells, tube-wells and hand pumps,
to meet their water requirement.
In the state, several vegetables grown in the summer- kharif season are
harvested at a time when they can't be produced in the plains. These off-season
vegetables have a definite market advantage and provide assured better returns to the
farmers. The valley areas of the state have become famous for the production of
quality peas, cabbage, cauliflower, French bean and capsicum. Also, being shortduration crops, 3-4 crops of vegetables can be taken by the farmers in the mid-hills
per annum to augment their income. According to Thakur (1994) Off-season
vegetable production and marketing is the most profitable farm business giving very
high production and income to farmers per unit area of land. A system approach will
thus be the most effective and sustainable for the developing countries in the tropics
under a variable climate which will cover collection and improvement of wild
species tolerance to drought, high temperature and other environment stresses using
gene isolation, characterization and genetic engineering, stresses on effective
delivery methodology to transfer technologies and disseminate knowledge and
strategies on capacity building and education

Climate change will lead to more periods of high temperature and periods of
heavy rain.

Unseasonal or extreme weather will have an increasing impact on crop


There are already examples of what to expect.

Modelling can help predict consequences and guide adaptation.

Development of production system, improved varieties with improved water

use efficiency.

Screening and validation of the cloned genes in model crops such as tomato.

Patenting elite genes and promoters

In India, diverse climatic conditions, available across the country provide

ample opportunity to grow almost all types of vegetable crops, thus making
our country the second largest producer of vegetables.

An average increase of 1 C could affect the phenology of crop by influencing

degree-day. Understanding, the likely impact of increase in temperature and
CO2 on vegetable crops is the first step in developing sound adaptation
strategies to address the adverse impact of climate change.

Arya Prem Singh. 2000. Off-season vegetable growing in hills. APH Publishing
Corporation, New Delhi. 427p.
Bala Brij, Sharma Nikhil and Sharma R K. 2011. Cost and return structure for the
promising enterprise of off-season vegetables in Himachal Pradesh. Agricultural
Economics Research Review 24: 141-148.
De L C and Bhattacharjee S K. 2011. Handboook of vegetable crops. Pointer
Publishers; Jaipur. pp. 27-31.
Ericksen P. 2008. Climate Change and Food Security. Environmental Change
Institute University of Oxford. UK.
Ghosh S P. 2012. Carrying Capacity Of Indian Agriculture. Current Science. 102 (6):
IPCC. 2001. Climate change 2001: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.
Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change. New York, USA.
Liliana H. 2011. The Impacts of Climate Change on Food Production; A 2020
Perspective. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. ISBN;
Mishra G P, Singh Narendra, Kumar Hitesh and Singh Shashi Bala. 2010. Protected
Cultivation for Food and Nutritional Security at Ladakh. Defence Science
Journal 61 (2): 219-225.


High Altitude Protected Vegetable Production

Brahma Singh
Advisor, World Noni Research Foundation, Chennai
Former Director, Life Sciences, DRDO, New Delhi

The topic has two major aspects. First one is high altitudes meaning inhabited
areas 7000 feet above mean sea level. High altitudes are known for difficult
environment from vegetable production point of view. The second one is protected
vegetable production meaning vegetable production using protected agriculture
technologies where ever necessitated. Both the aspects require brief elaboration
before describing details of the topic.
In Indian Himalaya, high altitudes are of two types from their climate point of
view. First one is cold and humid high altitudes spread over mainly in Uttaranchal,
Sikkim, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh and other North East States. The other
one is cold arid high altitudes mainly spread over in Jammu and Kashmir-the Ladakh
region and Himachal Pradesh-Lahual-Spiti and Kinnaur area. Himachal Pradesh and
Jammu and Kashmir have sizeable area under cold humid high altitudes also. The
climatic conditions in cold humid and cold arid high altitudes are different
necessitating different type of protected agriculture. Altitudes in Indian Himalayas
range between 200 to more than 5000 meter above mean sea level. Winters in high
altitudes are severe and prolonged restricting vegetable production season from 7 to
2.5 months or less as given below.
Table -1. Vegetable production period at different altitudes

Altitude met ers above

mean sea level

May-Mid October
Mid May Mid
Mid June August


Sub-zero temperatures result in snowfall in higher altitudes. It could result in dry

cold or wet along with rainfall or snow. In Ladakh and Lahaul-Spiti cold arid desert
permafrost occurs with frozen upper soil (mostly sandy). In these areas ambient
minimum temperatures are below or near freezing for almost five months. The
relative humidity during this period is in the range of 45-60%. In Leh valley average
minimum temperature from November to April is sub-zero and can be as low as
minus 16 ? C. Wind velocity in the afternoon is very high resulting in dust storm or
snow blizzards. The authors had an opportunity to work in these areas for more than a
decade. This article is based mainly on their experience on cold desert.

The area under greenhouse cultivation, reported by the end of 20 century

was about 110 ha. in India and world over 275,000 hectare (Mishra, et al 2010).
During last decade this area must have increased by 10 per cent if not more. In
Europe, Spain is leading in protected agriculture with 51,000 ha mostly under low
cost poly houses. In Asia, China has the largest area under protected cultivation, 2.5
M ha under poly house/greenhouse. Protected vegetable production is important
component of protected agriculture. Protected vegetable production is practiced
throughout the world irrespective of altitude of the place since several hundred years.
River bed production of early cucurbits prevalent in India since ages , is protected
agriculture. It involves protection of production stages of vegetables mainly from
adverse environmental conditions such as temperature, hail, scorching sun, heavy
rains, snow etc. In fact the need to protect the crops against unfavorable
environmental conditions led to the development of protected agriculture. This is
now becoming important due to climate change. Greenhouse is the most practical
method of achieving the objectives of protected agriculture, where natural
environment is modified by using sound engineering principles to achieve optimum
plant growth and yield. Besides protected technology has potential to produce more
produce per unit area with increased input use efficiency. There is need to increase
nutritionally rich vegetable production and productivity of seasonal and non-season
crops in our country. Research results have shown that by adopting protected
cultivation productivity of vegetable crops can be increased by 3 to 5 times as
compared to open environment. This aspect needs to be extensively exploited in
India as has been done elsewhere in the world. To promote this Indo-Israel protected
vegetable production projects in the country are serving the purpose. NAIP program
of ICAR is giving due importance to this aspects besides different public and private
organizations. Areas having uncongenial environment for vegetable production can
also be converted into potential vegetable production centers with the help of
protected agriculture technologies and techniques as has been discussed in this
article. Needless to emphasize that better quality produce is obtained under protected


Protected vegetable production can reduce the amount of water and chemicals used
in production of high value vegetables compared to open field conditions. The
comparative advantages are:
1. Vegetables can be produced year round regardless of season. Adverse climate
for production of vegetables can be overcome by different systems of
protected production.
2. Multiple cropping on the same piece of land is possible.
3. Off season production of vegetables to get better return to growers is feasible.
4. It allows production of high quality and healthy seedlings of vegetables for
transplanting in open field supporting early crop, strong and resistant crop
5. Protective structures provide protection to high value crops from
unfavorable weather conditions, pests and diseases.
6. Use of protected vegetable cultivation can increase production by more than
five folds and increase productivity per unit of land, water, energy and labour.
7. Protected cultivation supports the production of high quality and clean
8. It makes cultivation of vegetables possible in areas where it is not possible in
open conditions such as high altitudes deserts.
9. It makes vertical cultivation of vegetables possible using technologies like
hydroponics, aeroponics etc and use of vertical beds for production.
10. Disease free seed production of costly vegetables becomes easy under
protected structures.
1. Manual or hand pollination in cross pollinated vegetables like cucurbits or
development of their parthenocarpic hybrids/varieties.
2. Expensive, short life and non-availability of cladding materials.
3. Lack of appropriate tools and machinery.
4. Structure cost initially looks unaffordable. Farmers with zero risk
affordability do not come forward to adopt it.
5. Inadequate support from planners and scientists- suitable varieties/hybrids

and their production packages for protected production systems are either
not available or very few. Protected structures in use are not scientifically
designed; hence potentials of structure are not fully exploited.
The major protected cultivation methods at high altitudes of India in vogue are use
1. Poly houses/Greenhouse/net house/shade house
2. Low tunnels/row Covers
3. Plastic Mulching
Poly house/greenhouse is a framed structure having 200 micron (800 gauges)
UV stabilized transparent or translucent low density polyethylene or other claddings
which create greenhouse effect making microclimate favorable for plant growth and
development. Structure is large enough to permit a person to work inside. The
structure can be made in different shape and size using locally available materials or
steel or aluminum or bricks or their combinations for its frame.
In Ladakh poly houses are made above ground ( poly house), underground
(soil trench) and a combination of two (polyench). Above ground poly houses are
generally made of mud wall or unbaked brick wall on three sides. North side wall is
made 7 feet high, east and west side walls are made with gradual slope to south
having entrance on either side. Southern side is covered with polyethylene supported
on locally available willow or poplar wood frames. Water for irrigation is stored
inside but underground for convenience.
The underground trench type poly house is made with suitable dimensions,
generally 5-10x3-4x 1m with polyethylene cladding supported on wooden poles or
GI pipes.
A combination of both-construction of poly house above trench, known as
polyench is being found better than both in winter months for production of
vegetables where soil and sun heat is harnessed for maintaining required higher
temperature inside. Polyench can be single or double walled.
Poly houses are constructed using GI pipe of 25-75 mm diameter with a wall
thickness of 2mm. These structures are fastened by welding, nuts and bolts or

clamped. Foundation for posts, size of hoops and perlins are worked out on
engineering principles. Good cladding material (low density polyethylene, diffused
or relatively translucent films, cross laminated, anti-fog, anti-drip, anti-sulphur
types, fiber reinforced plastics, polycarbonates etc) is essential to ensure good life of
greenhouse. Poly carbonate and FRP cladding green houses have also been found
useful for covering large area.. During winter month solar heat is harnessed for
production of leafy and other vegetables and vegetable nursery. The temperatures
inside different protected structures during winter are higher than open field to the
extent of supporting plant life.
Insect proof net and shading materials are used to keep insects at bay and to
lower temperatures in summer if considered necessary. Net and shade houses are
used for vegetable production as protected structures elsewhere in lower altitudes in
the country.
Transparent plastic films or nets are stretched over low (1m or so) hoops
made of steel wires, bamboo or willow twigs or cane or any other locally available
suitable material to cover rows of plants in the field providing protection against
unfavorable environment like low temperature, frost, wind, insect-pests etc.
Different types of claddings are available in the market. Low tunnels with plastic
mulch and drip irrigation are becoming popular for several vegetable crops
Mulching is a practice of covering soil around plants which makes growing
conditions more favorable by conserving soil moisture, maintaining higher soil
temperature, preventing weeds and allowing soil micro flora to be favorably active.
In other areas organic mulches such as leaves, bark, peat, wooden chips, straw etc are
used but in high altitudes particularly in arid high altitudes plastic is used for
mulching which has unimaginably significantly contributed to vegetable production
Plastic mulching is one of the widely used practices in protected agriculture
particularly in vegetable production. It has following advantages:
1. It conserves soil moisture by preventing water evaporation from it.
2. It prevents germination of annual weeds because of its opaqueness.
3. Plastic mulches maintain a warm temperature during night which facilitates
an early establishment of seedlings by strong root system or germination of

4. Soil water erosiopn is minimized.

5. Plastic mulches serve for longer period. They can be used for more than one
6. Provides cleaner crop produce.
7. More income through early, higher and quality yields.
Arid high altitudes of Ladakh and Lahaul and Spiti in early sixties used to
grow root vegetables like radish, turnip, carrot, beet root; potato and mongol palak
(beet leaf). After Chinese aggression (1962), induction of Indian defence forces in
these areas necessitated local production of different vegetables. Defence Research
and Development Organization (DRDO) through its laboratory, Field Research
Laboratory now Defence Institute of High Altitude Research, Leh did pioneering
research. With the help of protected agriculture technologies it could have been
possible to grow now all short of vegetables there during agriculture season (May to
September or mid October). Perhaps first glass house in high altitudes of the country
was erected in Leh (11500 ft amsl) in 1964.
Some of the major contributions made by DRDO in developing protected
vegetable production technologies are as follows:
1.Protected vegetable nursery production making cultivation of several
vegetables possible
Early production of vegetable nursery under different protected structures
during March and April ( minimum atmospheric temperature is sub-zero) and
transplanting them in May and June with and without plastic mulch extended
agriculture period and made possible cultivation of cabbage, cauliflower, knoll-khol,
broccoli, brussel's sprouts, tomato, brinjal, chili, capsicum and onion possible. Use
of plastic mulch enabled early, quality and higher yield of these vegetables. In
mulched crop low pressure (gravity/slope) drip irrigation and fertigation is possible
as experimented by DRDO. In this way most of the vegetables are being grown on
large scale making the area surplus in cabbage, something unbelievable. Early and
late production of vegetables with the help of protected technology has also been
standardized which extends availability period of locally produced vegetables-an
important aspect there.
2. Making Cucurbits production possible in cold desert
Till early 1990s cucurbits cultivation in open in Ladakh was considered
impossible. But growing seedlings in poly pouch under poly houses during April24

May and transplanting them in open field with plastic mulch made it possible to grow
almost all cucurbits in Leh. This has not only improved vegetable basket in the area
but also added variety to food basket of local inhabitants and soldiers. Commercial
production of cucurbits in cold desert of India is now possible through protected
cultivation. Sarda melon imported in large quantity in the country can be produced in
these areas with ease. Production of off season (August and September) muskmelon,
watermelon etc in open fields has also become possible. An early crop of cucurbits
like squash, longmelon etc is also taken in poly houses.
3. Sub-zero atmosphere vegetable production
As stated earlier during winter these areas remain cut off with main land due
to heavy snow fall. Only air communication is on during winter months. Through air
transportation of bulky and perishable commodities like vegetables is not only
expensive but very difficult. In Ladakh sector Army alone spends several crores of
rupees only on transportation of vegetables. Cost of transportation is more than the
cost of vegetables. Hence local production through protected cultivation is being
successfully promoted there. This is being encouraged by harnessing solar energy
both thermal and photovoltaic and making heating of greenhouses possible. The
geothermal energy sources available in the area are potential source of heating
greenhouses. Remoteness of these sources is coming in the way of their exploitation
4. Vegetable Seed production
Seed production of biennial crops like temperate varieties of cole crops, root
crops, and onion used to take two years or 18 months in these areas. First year normal
crop is grown and stored underground during long winters. Second year in summer
they are planted for seed production. By the protected agriculture technology now it
has become possible to produce seeds of these varieties in half the time by raising
early crop under protected structure and transplanting them in open fields for seed
production. Pusa Himani radish, long day onions, Nantes carrot and others respond
well to this technique. Production of seeds of temperate varieties of vegetables in
India is a problem due to lack of consorted research and development efforts?
Future Prospects
To ensure nutritional security along with food security to the ever growing
population of the country it is essential to double production of vegetable crops in the
country. Major constraint is increased pressure on cultivable lands near metros where
vegetables are generally grown. This is due to urbanization and industrialization
which is also essential. Therefore, it is at most necessary to improve the productivity
of vegetables adopting protected cultivation in the country in general and high
altitudes in particular.


Protected cultivation of vegetables in high altitudes of Himalaya has been practiced

successfully indicating its potential to deal with conditions created by climate
change scenario in the country. Protection against adverse climatic conditions for
plant growth has become universal necessity. Protection of plant growth and
development against adverse physical (temperature, rain and wind and biological
(insects and diseases) factors through protected agriculture technologies is going to
be uncommon in near future because of climate change and advantages of protected
cultivation. There is need to develop area specific, most appropriate, efficient and
affordable protected structures with cheaper and durable cladding materials.
Emphasis would be shifted on development of suitable varieties and hybrids of
vegetables for protected cultivation under organic and inorganic production
protocols. Vegetable nurseries would be produced under protected structures both at
individual farmer and commercial nurseries level. Tools and machinery for protected
cultivation would be developed and become common. Vertical or multitier farming
of vegetables would be developed to make use of protected space. High altitudes are
likely to be harnessed for large scale vegetable production under protected
structures. Human resource development on protected agriculture and Government
support for its promotion should be taken up through State Agriculture Universities
and department of horticulture. Plastic mulching coupled with drip irrigation in
vegetable production is going to be a common practice because their proven
advantages. There is emphasis on development of suitable varieties of vegetables
which have high production and productivity under protected conditions in high
altitudes and other places. Production protocols of particular variety of a vegetable
like cucumber, capsicum and tomato are being developed for different structures in
different climates and conditions.
High altitudes in India are reasonably populated with local tribes and troops.
Vegetable production for them during winter months when environment mainly
temperature is unfavorable for their growth, has been discussed. Protected
production technologies or green house technologies developed for these areas such
as use of local poly house, both underground and above ground along with
combination of both have been discussed. Production of leafy vegetables under
subzero atmosphere, cucurbits and almost all vegetables in cold arid high altitudes of
Ladakh using protected agriculture technology has been mentioned in brief.
Production of almost all vegetable crops during limited agriculture season from May
to September in cold desert of Ladakh, considered remote possibility has now
become possible with the help of protected agriculture technologies. Future
prospects of protected cultivation of vegetable crops in high altitudes and elsewhere
have been highlighted.

Dhaulakhandi, A. B. and Singh, B. (1999) Winter performance of greenhouse
attached passive solar heated hut at high altitude. SESI, Journal 9(2):105-114.
Mishra, G. P., Singh, N. and Kumar,H. and Singh, S. B. (2010) Protected Cultivation
for Food and Nutritional Security at Ladakh Defence Science Journal, Vol. 61,
No. 2, March 2010, pp. 219-225
NAAS 2010. Protected Agriculture in North-West Himalayas. Policy Paper No.
47, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi. pp16.
Singh, B. (1995) Vegetable Production in Ladakh. Field Research Laboratory, Leh.
Singh, B. and Dhaulakhandi, A. B. (1998). Application of solar greenhouse for
vegetable production in cold desert in renewable energy. Energy Efficiency
Policy and the Environment. Elsevier Science Ltd, UK, P2511-314
Singh, B., Dwivedi, S K. and Chaurasia, O.P.(2004). Improvement in production and
productivity of horticultural crops in cold arid regions of India. Proceedings of
the first Indian Horticulture Congress, 6-9 November, 2004, The Horticultural
Society of India, New Delhi, India, viii+ 764p
Singh, B., Dwivedi, S. K. and Plajor, E. (2000). Studies on suitability of various
structures for winter vegetable production at sub-zero temperatures. Acta Hort.,
Singh, B., Dwivedi, S. K. and Sharma J. P. (2000). Greenhouse technology for winter
vegetable cultivation in cold arid zones. In: Dynamics of cold arid Agriculture
(Eds J. P. Sharma and A. A. Mir) Kalayani Publishers, Judhiana. PP 279-293.
Singh, B., Dwivedi, S.K., Singh, N. and Paljor, E. (1999). Sustainable Horticulture
practices for cold arid areas. In : The Himalayan Environment. eds. SK Dash & J
Bahadur . New age International (P) Ltd, Publishers New Delhi. pp 235 245.
Singh, B. and Dwivedi, S. K. (2002). Vegetable production potential in Ladakh. In:
Vegetable growing in India. Eds. P. S. Arya and Sant Prakash. Kalyani
Publishers, New Delhi. pp 87-93.
Singh, B., Dwivedi, SK. and Sharma, JP. (2000 a). Greenhouse technology for winter
vegetable cultivation in cold arid zones. In: dynamics of cold arid agriculture.
Eds. J.P. sharma and A.A. Mir, kalyani publishers-Ludhiana, pp. 279-293.
Singh,B. (1999) Vegetable production in cold desert of India: a success story on solar
greenhouses. Acta horticulture 534: 205-12.

Singh, N. and Singh, B. ( 2003). Ladakh mein sabji utpadan (Vegetable Production in
Ladakh. Field Research Laboratory, Leh.pp 139
Singh, B. and Singh, N (2011) High altitudes protected cultivation of vegetables.
Seminar on protected cultivation at GB Pant University of Agriculture and
Technology, Pantnagar, Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand.


Protected Cultivation of Vegetables

in Indian Plains
Mathura Rai
Former Director, Indian institute of Vegetable Research Varanasi
1/36 Rashmikhand, Shardanagar, Lucknow-226 002, UP

Vegetable growers can substantially increase their income by cultivation of

vegetables under protected condition during off-season as the vegetables produced
during their normal season generally do not fetch good returns due to availability of
these vegetable in the markets. Off-season cultivation of cucurbits under low plastic
tunnels is one of the most profitable technologies under northern plains of India.
Walk-in tunnels are also suitable and effective to raise off-season nursery and offseason vegetable cultivation due to their low initial cost. Insect proof net houses
provides virus free ideal conditions for productions of tomato, chilli, sweet pepper
and other vegetables mainly during the rainy season. These low cost structures are
also suitable for growing pesticide-free green vegetables. Low cost greenhouses can
be used for high quality vegetable cultivation for long duration (6-10 months) mainly
in peri-urban areas of the country. Polytrenches have also been proved extremely
useful for growing vegetables under cold desert conditions in upper Himalayas in the
country. Poly house/ Greenhouses are frames of inflated structure covered with a
transparent material in which crops are grown under controlled environment
conditions. Greenhouse cultivation as well as other modes of controlled environment
cultivation has been evolved to create favorable micro-climates, which favors the
crop production could be possible all through the year or part of the year as required.
The primary environmental parameter traditionally controlled is temperature,
usually providing heat to overcome extreme cold conditions. However,
environmental control can also include cooling to mitigate excessive temperatures,
light control either shading or adding supplemental light, carbon dioxide levels,
relative humidity, water, plant nutrients and pest control.
Status of Greenhouse Cultivation
Commercial greenhouses with climate controlled devices are very few in the
country. Solar greenhouses comprising of glass and polyethylene houses are
becoming increasingly popular both in temperate and tropical regions. In early
sixties, Field Research Laboratory (FRL) of DRDO at Leh attempted solar
greenhouse vegetable production research and made an outstanding contribution to
the extent that almost every rural family in Leh valley possesses a polyhouse these
days. Indian Petro Chemical Corporation Ltd (IPCL) boosted the greenhouse

research and application for raising vegetables by providing Ultra Violet (UV)
stabilized cladding film and Aluminium polyhouse structures. Several private seed
production agencies have promoted greenhouse production of vegetables. In
comparison to other countries, India has very little area under greenhouses.
Classification of greenhouse based on suitability and cost
a) Low cost or low tech greenhouse
Low cost greenhouse is a simple structure constructed with locally available
materials such as bamboo, timber stone pillars, etc. The ultra violet (UV) film is used
as cladding materials. Unlike conventional or hi-tech greenhouses, no specific
control device for regulating environmental parameters in-side the greenhouse are
provided. Simple techniques are, however, adopted for management of the
temperature and humidity. Even light intensity can be reduced by incorporating
shading materials like nets. The temperature can be reduced during summer by
opening the side walls. Such structure is used as rain shelter as well as to protect from
low temperature for crop cultivation. Otherwise, inside temperature is increased
when all sidewalls are covered with plastic film. This type of greenhouse is mainly
suitable for cold climatic zone.
b) Medium-tech greenhouse
Greenhouse users prefers to have manually or semiautomatic control
arrangement owing to minimum investment. This type of greenhouse is constructed
using galvanized iron (G.I) pipes. The canopy cover is attached with structure with
the help of screws. Whole structure is firmly fixed with the ground to withstand the
disturbance against wind. Exhaust fans with thermostat are provided to control the
temperature. Evaporative cooling pads and misting arrangements are also made to
maintain a favourable humidity inside the greenhouse. As these system are semiautomatic, hence, require a lot of attention and care, and it is very difficult and
cumbersome to maintain uniform environment throughout the cropping period.
These greenhouses are suitable for dry and composite climatic zones.
c) Hi-tech greenhouse
To overcome some of the difficulties in medium-tech greenhouse, a hi-tech
greenhouse where the entire device, controlling the environment parameters, are
supported to function automatically. At present computer based advance technology
with full automaton for temperature, humidity, irrigation control is available which
can be utilized for high value low volume vegetable for local consumption and long
distance supply.
Shade house
Shade houses are used for the production of plants in warm climates or during
summer months. Nurserymen use these structures for the growth of hydrangeas and

azaleas during the summer months. Apart from nursery, flowers and foliages which
require shade can also be grown in shade houses. E.g. Orchids, These shade
structures make excellent holding areas for field-grown stock while it is being
prepared for shipping to retail outlets. Shade houses are most often constructed as a
pole-supported structure and covered with either lath (lath houses) or polypropylene
shade fabric. Polypropylene shade nets with various percentages of ventilations are
used. Black, green, and white colored nets are used, while black colours are the most
preferred as it retains heat outside.
Heating of Polyhouse
Heating is required in winter season. Generally, the solar energy is sufficient
to maintain inner temperature of polyhouse but some times more temperature is
required to be supplied to some crops. For this few methods are as follows:
i. Constructing a tunnel below the earth of poly house.
ii. Covering the northern wall of the house by jute clothing.
iii. Covering whole of the polyhouse with jute cloth during night
iv. Fitting solar energy driven device in polyhouse.
Cooling of Polyhouse
In summer season, when ambient temperature rises above 400C during day
time the cooling of polyhouse is required by the following measures, not only the
temperature but also relative humidity of polyhouse can also be kept within limit.
i. Removing the internal air or polyhouse out of it in a natural manner.
ii. Changing the internal air into external air by putting the fan on.
iii. Installation of cooler on eastern or Western Wall not only keeps temperature
low but maintains proper humidity also.
iv. Running water-misting machine can control the temperature of the
Cladding material
Polythene proves to be an economical cladding material. Now long lasting,
unbreakable and light roofing panels-UV stabilized clear fiber glass and
polycarbonate panels are available. Plastics are used in tropical and sub-tropical
areas compared to glass/fiberglass owing to their economical feasibility.
Plastics create enclosed ecosystems for plant growth. LDPE (low density
polyethylene) / LLDPE (linear low density polyethylene) will last for 3-4 years
compared to polythene without UV stabilizers.

Plant growing structures / containers in greenhouse production

The duration of crop in greenhouse is the key to make the greenhouse
technology profitable or the duration of production in greenhouses should be short.
In this context, use of containers in greenhouse production assumes greater
significance. The containers are used for the following activities in greenhouse
Advantages of containers in greenhouse production
Increase in production capacity by reducing crop time.
High quality of the greenhouse product
Uniformity in plant growth with good vigor
Provide quick take off with little or no transplanting shock.
Easy maintenance of sanitation in greenhouse
Easy to handle, grade and shift or for transportation
Better water drainage and aeration in pot media.
Easy to monitor chemical characteristics and plant nutrition with advance
irrigation systems like drips.
Drip irrigation and fertigation systems in greenhouse cultivation
The plant is required to take up very large amounts of water and nutrients,
with a relatively small root system, and manufacture photosynthates for a large
amount of flower per unit area with a foliar system relatively small in relation to
required production.
Watering system
Micro irrigation system is the best for watering plants in a greenhouse. Micro
sprinklers or drip irrigation equipments can be used. Basically the watering system
should ensure that water does not fall on the leaves or flowers as it leads to disease
and scorching problems. In micro sprinkler system, water under high pressure is
forced through nozzles arranged on a supporting stand at about 1 feet height. This
facilitates watering at the base level of the plants.
Equipments required for drip irrigation system include
i) A pump unit to generate 2.8kg/cm2 pressure
i) Water filtration system sand/silica/screen filters
iii) PVC tubing with dripper or emitters
Drippers of different types are available
i) Labyrinth drippers

ii) Turbo drippers

iii) Pressure compensating drippers contain silicon membrane which assures
uniform flow rate for years
iv) Button drippers- easy and simple to clean. These are good for pots, orchards
and are available with side outlet/top outlet or micro tube out let
v) Pot drippers cones with long tube
Water output in drippers
a. 16mm dripper at 2.8kg/cm2 pressure gives 2.65 liters/hour (LPH).
b. 15mm dripper at 1 kg/cm2 pressure gives 1 to 4 liters per hour
Filters: Depending upon the type of water, different kinds of filters can be used.
Gravel filter: Used for filtration of water obtained for open canals and reservoirs
that are contaminated by organic impurities, algae etc. The filtering is done by beds
of basalt or quartz.
Hydrocyclone: Used to filter well or river water that carries sand particles.
Disc flitersL: Used to remove fine particles suspended in water
Screen filters: Stainless steel screen of 120 mesh ( 0.13mm) size. This is used for
second stage filtration of irrigation water.
Fertigation system
In fertigation system, an automatic mixing and dispensing unit is installed
which consists of three systems pump and a supplying device. The fertilizers are
dissolved separately in tanks and are mixed in a given ratio and supplied to the plants
through drippers.
Fertilizers: Fertilizer dosage has to be dependent on growing media. Soilless mixes
have lower nutrient holding capacity and therefore require more frequent fertilizer
application. Essential elements are at their maximum availability in the pH range of
5.5 to 6.5. In general Micro elements are more readily available at lower pH ranges,
while macro elements are more readily available at pH 6 and higher.
Forms of inorganic fertilizers: Dry fertilizers, slow release fertilizer and liquid
fertilizer are commonly used in green houses.
Slow release fertilizer: They release the nutrient into the medium over a period of
several months. These fertilizer granules are coated with porous plastic. When the
granules become moistened the fertilizer inside is released slowly into the root
medium. An important thing to be kept in mind regarding these fertilizers is that, they
should never be added to the soil media before steaming or heating of media. Heating
melts the plastic coating and releases all the fertilizer into the root medium at once.
The high acidity would burn the root zone.

Liquid fertilizer: These are 100 per cent water soluble. These comes in powdered
form. This can be either single nutrient or complete fertilizer. They have to be
dissolved in warm water to desired concentration.
Fertilizer application methods:
1. Constant feed: sLow concentration at every irrigation are much better. This
provides continuous supply of nutrient to plant growth and results in steady
growth of the plant. Fertilization with each watering is referred as fertigation.
2. Intermittent application: Liquid fertilizer is applied in regular intervals of
weekly, biweekly or even monthly. The problem with this is wide variability
in the availability of fertilizer in the root zone. At the time of application, high
concentration of fertilizer will be available in the root zone and the plant
immediately starts absorbing it. By the time next application is made there
will be less availability of nutrient. This fluctuation results in uneven plant
growth rates, even stress and poor quality crop.
Fertilizer injectors
This device inject small amount of concentrated liquid fertilizer directly into
the water lines so that green house crops are fertilized with every watering.
Multiple injectors
Multiple injectors are necessary when incompatible fertilizers are to be used
for fertigation. Incompatible fertilizers when mixed together as concentrates form
solid precipitates. This would change nutrient content of the stock solution and also
would clog the siphon tube and injector. Multiple injectors would avoid this problem.
These injectors can be of computer controlled H.E. ANDERSON is one of the
popular multiple injector.
Fertilizer Injectors
Fertilizer injectors are of two basic types: Those that inject concentrated
fertilizer into water lines on the basis of the venturi principle and those that inject
using positive displacement
A. Venturi Principle Injectors
1. Basically these injectors work by means of a pressure difference between the
irrigation line and the fertilizer stock tank.
a) The most common example of this is the HOZON proportioner.
b) Low pressure, or a suction, is created at the faucet connection of the Hozon at
the suction tube opening. This draws up the fertilizer from the stock tank and
is blended in to the irrigation water flowing through the Hozon faucet

c) The average ratio of Hozon proportioners is 1:16. However, Hozon

proportioners are not very precise as the ratio can vary widely depending on
the water pressure.
d) These injectors are inexpensive and are suitable for small areas. Large
amounts of fertilizer application would require huge stock tanks due to its
narrow ratio.
B. Positive displacement injectors:
1. These injectors are more expensive than Hozon types, but are very accurate
in proportioning fertilizer into irrigation lines regardless of water pressure.
2. These injectors also have a much broader ratio with 1:100 and 1:200 ratio
being the most common. Thus, stock tanks for large applications areas are of
manageable size and these injectors have much larger flow rates.
3. Injection by these proportioners is controlled either by a water pump or an
electrical pump.
4. Anderson injectors are very popular in the greenhouse industry with single
and multiple head models.
a. Ratios vary from 1:100 to 1:1000 by means of a dial on the pump head for
feeding flexibility.
b. Multihead installations permit feeding several fertilizers simultaneously
without mixing. This is especially significant for fertilizers that are
incompatible (forming precipitates, etc.) when mixed together in
concentrated form.
5. Dosatron feature variable ratios (1:50 to 1:500) and a plain water bypass
. 6. Plus injectors also feature variable ratios (1:50 to 1:1000) and operates on
water pressure as low as 7 GPM.
7. Gewa injectors actually inject fertilizer into the irrigation lines by pressure.
a. The fertilizer is contained in a rubber bag inside the metal tank.Water
pressure forces the fertilizer out of the bag into the water supply.
b. Care must be taken when filling the bags as they can tear.
c. Ratios are variable from 1:15 to 1:300.
8. If your injector is installed directly in a water line, be sure to install a bypass
around the injector so irrigations of plain water can be accomplished.
Pinching operation should be done after one month of transplanting. In
general, maintaining the two shoots per plant has been found effective.

Developing devices for monitoring through internet

Control and monitoring of environmental parameters inside a Polyhouse
farm, so as to ensure continuous maintenance of favorable crop atmosphere is very
essentia. The concept encompasses data acquisition of thermal process parameters
through a sensor network, data storage, post processing and online transmission of
data to multiple users logged on to their respective web-browsers. Further, control of
process parameters of a Polyhouse (for example, toggle on/off control of pumps and
accessories, louvers and ventilators, air flow rate, sunlight management, etc.) from
one or more remote monitoring stations over the web server in real time is also
integrated. A graphical user interface (GUI) is unified for the ease of operations by
the farming community. System also allows transmission of process parameters,
including emergency alarm signals via e-mail client server or alternatively sending a
SMS on a mobile phone. A conventional chat has also been integrated with the GUI to
add vibrancy to inter-user communication. This feature can be embedded in
upcoming 3G mobile technology. Simulations and video tutorials can also be
integrated in the web server for teaching the farming community. Such integrated
approach greatly widens the socio-economic possibilities for farmers through
interaction with modern technological resources (Sonawane et al., 2008)
Sonawane,Y. R. , Khandekar, S., Mishra , B.K. and Soundra Pandian, K. K. (2008).
Environment Monitoring and Control of a Polyhouse Farm through Internet.
World Bank: India Country Overview 2008 pp1-6
Wani, K.P. Pradeep Kumar Singh, Asima Amin*, Faheema Mushtaq and Zahoor
Ahmad Dar (2011). Protected cultivation of tomato, capsicum and cucumber
under Kashmir valley conditions Asian Journal of Science and


Relevance of Conservation Agriculture

under Climate Change
RK Sharma
Directorate of Wheat Research, Karnal 132 001, Haryana, India

Agriculture in India was focused on achieving food security through

increased area under high yielding varieties, expansion of irrigation and increased
use of external inputs like chemical fertilisers and pesticides. With the unabated
increase in population, more and more land will be required for urbanization, and
productivity needs to be increased to meet the increasing domestic and industrial
demand. A decline in land productivity has been observed over the past few years.
Moreover, due to indiscriminate use, or rather misuse, of natural resources especially
water has led to groundwater pollution as well as depletion of groundwater resources
(Nayar and Gill 1994). Depleting soil organic carbon status, decreasing soil fertility
and reduced factor productivity are other issues of concern (Yadav 1998). These
evidences indicate the weakening of natural resource base. If we continue to exploit
the natural resources at the current level, productivity and sustainability is bound to
suffer. Therefore, to achieve sustainable higher productivity, efforts must be
focussed on reversing the trend in natural resource degradation by adopting efficient
resource conservation agriculture practices.
Laser land levelling is a pre-requisite for enhancing the benefits of the
resource conservation practices. Generally, fields are not properly levelled leading to
poor performance of the crop, because, part of area suffers due to water stress and
part due to excess of water. After laser levelling the field, it has been observed that
yield enhances from 10 to 25 per cent. The higher yields are due to proper crop stand,
uniform water distribution, crop growth and uniform maturity. In addition to higher
yield, the savings of water, a scarce resource, is from 35-45 per cent due to higher
application efficiency, increased nutrient use efficiency by 15-25 per cent, reduces
weed problem and increases the cultivable area by 3 to 6 per cent due to reduction in
area required for bunds and channels (Jat et al. 2004).
Conservation agriculture
Conservation agriculture is much more than just reducing the mechanical
tillage. In a soil that is not tilled for many years, the crop residues remain on the soil
surface and produce a layer of mulch. This layer protects the soil from the physical
impact of rain and wind, conserves soil moisture, moderates soil temperature and
harbours a number of organisms, from larger insects down to soil borne fungi and
bacteria. These organisms help convert the crop residues into humus and contribute
to the physical stabilization of the soil structure and buffering of water and nutrients.

Most tillage operations targeted at loosening the soil lead to mineralization and
reduction of soil organic matter, a substrate for soil life. Thus, agriculture with
reduced mechanical tillage is only possible when soil organisms are taking over the
task of tilling the soil. This, however, leads to other implications regarding the use of
chemical farm inputs. In a system with reduced mechanical tillage based on mulch
cover and biological tillage, alternatives have to be developed to control pests and
weeds. Therefore, Integrated Pest Management becomes mandatory. One
important element to achieve this is crop rotation, interrupting the infection chain
between subsequent crops. Synthetic chemical, particularly herbicides, are
inevitable during initial years but have to be used with care to reduce the negative
impacts on soil life. A new balance between pests and beneficial organisms, crops
and weeds, gets established and the farmer learns to manage the cropping system
with reduced use of synthetic pesticides and mineral fertilizer compared to
"conventional" farming.
Hence, Conservation Agriculture (CA) involves a complete change in the
crop production system, although the entry point is reduction of mechanical soil
tillage. It involves modifications in the machinery, which means more
mechanisation, maintenance of surface residues providing at least 30% soil cover,
minimum soil disturbance, adjustment, if required, in the cropping system, minimum
and need based use of chemicals.
Why seeding into crop residues?
Burning of crop residues and ploughing of soil is mainly considered
necessary phytosanitary measures controlling pests, diseases and weeds. Leaving
crop residues on the soil surface seems to be a much better option than incorporation
or burning as it reduces soil erosion and soil water evaporation, avoids short-term
nutrient tie up, and suppresses weeds. Moreover, the slower decomposition also
helps build up soil organic carbon (Unger 1991; Sharma et al. 2008). Tillage is
mainly practised to prepare seedbed and to control already germinated weeds. But
the tillage is also responsible for stimulation of the weed germination and emergence
of many weeds by brief exposure to light (Ballard et al. 1992). Crop residues may
influence the weed seed reserve in the soil directly or indirectly and also the
efficiency of soil-applied herbicides (Crutchfield et al. 1986). Moreover,
incorporated plant residues may release the allelochemicals, which can be toxic to
weeds (Inderjit and Keating 1999). Residue retention on the soil surface in
combination with no till system may also significantly contribute to the suppression
of weeds (Chhokar et al. 2009). No till system reduce the weed emergence by
avoiding exposure to light as well as offering mechanical impedance. Residue
retention also influences soil temperature and soil moisture, which in turn may
increase or decrease the weed germination depending on type of weed flora, soil

conditions, type of crop residue and quantity. At lower residue level, weed flora may
be higher than the residue free conditions but at higher levels definitely the weed will
be reduced considerably.
Goal of CA
Conservation Agriculture aims to conserve, improve and make more
efficient use of natural (soil, water and biological) resources and external inputs and
contributes to environmental conservation along with enhanced and sustained
agricultural production.
Characteristics of CA
Conservation Agriculture maintains a permanent or semi-permanent organic
soil cover. This can be a growing crop or the plant residues. Its function is to protect
the soil physically from sun, rain and wind as well as to feed the soil biota. The soil
micro-organisms and soil fauna takes over the tillage function and soil nutrient
balancing. As the mechanical tillage disturbs this process, the zero or minimum
tillage and direct seeding are important elements of CA. A varied crop rotation is also
important to avoid disease and pest problems. Rather than incorporating biomass
such as green manures, cover crops or crop residues, it is left on soil surface in CA.
The dead biomass serves as physical protection and as substrate for the soil fauna. In
this way mineralization is reduced and suitable soil levels of organic matter are built
up and maintained.
What is not CA?
Zero-tillage: Zero tillage as stand alone is not Conservation Agriculture but is an
important component of CA. Tillage is avoided in CA by forcing the seed with
appropriate direct drills into the soil, by maintaining a soil cover. This also improves
soil structure, facilitates direct planting and uses biological tillage. Nevertheless,
zero tillage can be transition step towards CA.
Conservation tillage: It is a practice to open the soil surface to increase rain water
infiltration and reduce erosion. However, it still depends on tillage as the soil
structure-forming element.
Direct planting/seeding: This is only a technique that refers to seeding/planting
without preparing a proper seedbed. The same equipment is used in Conservation
Agriculture. However, the term direct seeding can also be used for implements,
which combine primary and secondary tillage and seeding in one machine/tractor
operation like the rotary till drills.
Organic farming: Although it is based on natural processes, Conservation
Agriculture is not a synonym of organic farming. CA does not prohibit the use of

chemical inputs. For example, herbicides are important component of Conservation

Agriculture, particularly in the transition phase. However, in view of the importance
of soil life, farm chemicals, including fertilizer, are carefully applied and over the
years, quantities applied tend to decline. In some cases, organic farming can be
practised within the CA framework.
Is CA compatible with IPM?
Conservation Agriculture is not only compatible but also actually works on IPM
principles. CA, like IPM, enhances biological processes. It expands the IPM
practices from crop and pest management to land husbandry. Without the use of IPM
practices the build up of soil biota for the biological tillage would not be possible.
What is the role of Animal Husbandry in CA?
By recycling of nutrients, livestock production can be fully integrated into
conservation agriculture. This reduces the environmental problems caused by
concentrated intensive livestock production. Integration of livestock into
agricultural production enables the farmer to introduce forage crops into the crop
rotation thereby reducing pest problems. Forage crops can often be used as dualpurpose fodder and soil cover crops. However, in arid areas having low biomass
production, the conflict between use of organic matter to feed the animals or to cover
the soil is still to be resolved.
What are the downsides of CA?
During the transition phase, CA may require application of herbicides in case of
heavy weed infestation and certain soil borne pests or pathogens might create new
problems due to the change in biological equilibrium. Once the CA environment
stabilizes, it tends to be more sustainable than conventional agriculture.
Benefits of CA
Conservation Agriculture attracts different people for different reasons.

Reduction in labour, time, farm power and thereby the production cost

Longer lifetime and less repair of tractors due to fewer passes and lower
fuel consumption

More stable yields, particularly in dry years

Better trafficability in the field


Gradually increasing yields with decreasing inputs

Increased profit, in some cases from the beginning, in all cases after a few

More constant water flows in rivers, re-emergence of dried wells

Cleaner water due to less erosion

Less flooding due to increased water infiltration rate

Less impact of extreme climatic situations (hurricanes, drought etc.)

Lower cost for road and waterway maintenance

Better food security

At global level

Carbon sequestration (greenhouse effect): the global potential of CA in

carbon sequestration could equal the human made increase in CO2 in the

Less leaching of soil nutrients or chemicals into the ground water

Less pollution of the water

Practically no erosion (erosion is less than soil build up)

Recharge of aquifers through better infiltration

Lower fuel consumption for agriculture

What are the issues?
Despite its advantages, CA has spread relatively slowly for a number of reasons.
Firstly, there is greater pressure to adopt in tropical, rather than temperate climates.
Over the past 20 years the establishment of local knowledge base has ensured its
spread. Converting to Conservation Agriculture needs higher management skills, the
first years might be very difficult and might need moral support and perhaps even
financial support to invest into new machinery like zero-tillage planters. As it
requires a complete change of understanding, the scientific and technical sectors
must focus on CA as the necessary technologies are often unavailable.


Is Conservation Agriculture real?

CA is being practised on more than 100 million ha, mostly in South and North
America and its adoption is also growing exponentially on small to large farms in
Europe as well as Asia.
New Machines for CA
The Double disc coulters and Punch planter/Star wheel are the machines
being used in South and North America as well as in Europe, where large tractors and
heavy machines are being used. The performance of smaller versions of these
machines was not satisfactory in Asia. In India, two machines namely Turbo Happy
seeder and Rotary Disk Drill (RDD) are developed/ improvised at PAU Ludhiana
and DWR Karnal, respectively for seeding into surface retained residues after
combine harvesting. Both these machines are based on the rotary till mechanism.
The conservation agriculture helps reduce or rather reverse the natural
resource degradation by improving soil health and reducing ground water and
environmental pollution. The soil moisture conservation and soil temperature
moderation can help to a large extent in overcoming the adverse effects of climate
Ballard CL, AL Scopel, RA Snchez and SR Radosevich. 1992. Photomorphogenic
processes in the agricultural environment. Photochemistry and Photobiology
56, 777-788.
Chhokar RS, S Singh, RK Sharma and M Singh. 2009. Influence of straw
management on Phalaris minor control. Indian J. Weed Sci. 41: 150-156.
Crutchfield DA, GA Wicks and OC Burnside. 1986. Effect of winter wheat straw
mulch level on weed control. Weed Science 34, 110-114.
Inderjit and Keating K.I. 1999. Allelopathy: Principles, procedures, processes, and
promises for biological control. Advances in Agronomy 67, 141-231.
Jat, ML, SS Pal, AVM Subba Rao, Kuldeep Sirohi, SK Sharma and Raj K Gupta.
2004. Laser land levelling the precursor technology for resource conservation
in irrigated ecosystem of India. Abstracts. National conference on,
Conservation Agriculture: Conserving resources- enhancing productivity
September 22-23, 2004, New Delhi. Pp 9-10.


Nayar VK and MS Gill. 1994. Water management constraints in rice-wheat rotations

in India. Pp 328-338 in 'Wheat in heat stressed environments: irrigated, dry areas
and rice-wheat farming system' ed. by Saunders D.A., Hattel G.P., CIMMYT,
Mexico DF.
Sharma RK, RS Chhokar, ML Jat, Samar Singh, B Mishra and RK Gupta. 2008.
Direct drilling of wheat into rice residues: experiences in Haryana and Western
Uttar Pradesh. In Permanent Bed and rice-residue management for rice-wheat
systems in the Indo-Gangetic Plain (eds: E Humphreys and CH Roth). ACIAR
Proceedings No. 127. Pp 147-158.
Unger PW. 1991. Organic matter, nutrient and pH distribution in no- and
conventional- tillage semiarid soils. Agronomy Journal 83,186-189.
Yadav RL. 1998. Factor productivity trends in a rice-wheat cropping system under
long-term use of chemical fertilisers. Experimental Agriculture 34,1-18.


Production Technology of Ginger under

Changing Climate
H Dev Sharma and Vipin Sharma
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173 230 HP

Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe), a herbaceous perennial plant 30-100 cm

tall having the underground rhizome that is cultivated as an annual, belongs to the
family Zingiberaceae is an important cash crop and one of the principal spice crop all
over the country and world. It is a crop with very rare flowering (0.5-67%) having
yellow colour with dark purplish spots and in some cases do not flower at all and
natural seed set has not been reported so far. It is native of South East Asia and
originated in Indo-China region. India is the largest producer with more than 50% of
the world production and exporter of ginger besides domestic consumption. China,
Jamaica, Nigeria, Taiwan, Syria and Leone are other major suppliers of ginger in the
global market. The USA, UK, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Japan and Singapore are the
major importing countries. In India it is grown in an area of 149,100 ha with a
production of 702,000 MT mainly in the states like Kerala, NE States, Sikkim, HP,
WB, Odisha, TN, Karnataka, AP and Maharashtra. The crop occupies maximum area
and production in Kerala while maximum productivity in Meghalaya. Kerala
contributes maximum dry ginger i.e. sounth which is marketed internationally under
the trade name Cochin ginger. However, India enjoys from the times immemorial a
unique position in the production and export of ginger but the countries like Jamaica,
Syria, Leone and China have throne a greater challenge to the Indian dried ginger in
the international market. In HP, the ginger is grown in an area of 3,495 ha with a
production of 50,034 MT. It is a cash crop of mid and low hills and more than 3/4 of
the area and production is mainly from District Sirmaur. The other ginger growing
areas are Solan, Bilaspur and Shimla and about 90% of ginger produced in the state is
exported as fresh to the adjoining states like Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, UP and
Chandigarh and generate a good income to the farmers of the state. Ginger of
commerce is the dried rhizome. It is marketed in different forms such as raw ginger,
bleached dry ginger, ginger powder, ginger oil, ginger oleoresin, ginger ale, ginger
candy, ginger beer, brined ginger, ginger wine, ginger squash, ginger flakes etc. It is
useful in gastric, cold and cough.
India is gifted with heterogeneous landforms and variety of climatic
conditions such as the lofty mountains, the raverine deltas, high altitude forests,
peninsular plateaus, variety of geological formations endowed with temperature
varying from arctic cold to equatorial hot and rainfall from extreme aridity with a few

cm (<10 cm) to pre humid with world's maximum rainfall (1120 cm) of several
hundred centimeter. This provides macro relief of high plateau, open valleys, rolling
upland, plains, swampy low lands and barren deserts. These varying environmental
situations in the country have resulted in a greater variety of soils.
Climatic requirements: Ginger is cultivated in almost all states in India. It can be
grown in more diverse conditions than most other spices. Ginger requires tropical,
subtropical, humid climate for its commercial production. It is grown successfully at
sea level to 1500 m amsl and the optimum elevation is 300-900 m in hilly areas where
the climatic conditions are different than plains especially in terms of rainfall and
temperature. It can be grown both under rain fed and irrigated conditions. A well
distributed annual rainfall of 1500-3000 mm during growing season and dry spells
before land preparation and harvesting is required for good growth and yield of the
crop. The favorable temperature range is 19-28oC, temperature lower than 13oC
induces dormancy, higher than 32 C can cause sunburns and poor relative humidity
is also unfavourable. The optimum soil temperature for sprouting is 25-26 C and for
growth 27.5 C at increased day length (10-16 hours) vegetative growth is enhanced
while it is inhibited and rhizome swelling promoted as the day length decreased (1610 hours). The foliage and rhizomes are also destroyed by frost resulting in poor
storability. Cold climate during its resting period does not affect the crop. It thrives
well under partial shade hence can be grown as an intercrop.
Impact of climate change: Climate change is one of the important alerts for present
era. Several recent studies indicated that annual rainfall and diurnal temperature
is in declining trend while maximum and minimum temperature is in warming
trend. Piyasiri et at (2004) stated that in Sri Lanka, the reduction of mean
annual rainfall during 1986-2001 has raised to 9% as compared to the period
1932-85. Ginger requires a warm and humid climate and a heavy rainfall. Peter
et al. (2005) mentioned that "environment being a major factor influencing
productivity in ginger, demarcating areas having ideal soil and climatic factors
is important to achieve high productivity". North-Eastern states naturally have
some good varieties and their climatic suitability is also good leading to high
production. But in states like TN and Gujarat, the climate is only marginally
suitable and the area under cultivation is low. However, the production of ginger in
these two states are apparently due to the use of modern technology. Odisha,
Karnataka, MP and WB which are environmentally suitable should give
importance to varieties having high yield and quality with use of modern
techniques of ginger cultivation to improve the productivity. Lanel and Jarvis
(2006) also projected the future data for 2055 and predicted that climate change
will cause shifts in areas suitable for cultivation of a wide range of crops.


Parthasarathy, et al (2008) used the Geographic information system (GIS) to

assess land suitability of ginger for current and potential regions in changing
scenario of Indian climate and reported that the area, production and productivity of
ginger have consistently shown an increasing trend during the last 3 decades.
Increase in area is not always in proportion with the increase in production. Thirty
years area and production curves of the important ginger growing states were
compared with the Eco-crop suitability model which indicated that suitability
has direct impact on production. Odisha, WB, Mizoram and Kerala are very
highly suitable while North-Western states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP and MP are
marginally suitable or unsuitable. North-Eastern and South-Western states are
ideally highly suitable for ginger cultivation. Future prediction of Eco-crop model
shows, if the temperature increase by 1.5-2.0 C, the suitability of Odisha and WB
will reduce drastically from high suitability to marginally suitable, indicating the
effect of climate change. As a result of which the overall suitable areas will increase,
but most affected by loss of area will generally be regions that are already struggling
from the impacts of irregular and extreme climatic events. There are many other
factors which affect the production of a crop but here we are mainly concerned with
the suitability of climate as an important factor on the crop.
Soil requirements: Ginger can be grown in all types of soils but the ideal one is
sandy loam soil, light, loose, friable, well drained and at least 30 cm depth and new
soils rich in humus are the best having 5.5-8.5 pH however, rhizome growth is better
in slightly acidic soils (pH 6.0-6.5) than neutral soils. Mostly grown as rain fed,
though irrigation is useful. However, it is very sensitive to water logging, frost and
salinity. It is tolerant to drought and wind. Stiff clays and course sandy soils are
unsuitable and can be improved by adding sufficient organic manure.
Site selection: The site should be flat with sufficient slope to avoid water stagnation,
well drained, rich in humus, organic matter and free from diseases and insect pests.
Partial shade conditions are preferred. Ginger crop should not be grown on the same
field for at least three years to avoid infection of rhizome disease a serious problem in
ginger industry.
Varieties: In ginger different materials known by the name of the locality is
mostly grown e.g. Kuruppampadi, Thodophuzha, Wynad, Wynad Local, Emad,
Chemad, Dholka, Maran, Tura, Himachali, etc. Similarly exotic varieties like Riode-Janerio, Jamaica, China etc. Differential performance of these varieties in
different locations is observed. Recently seven cultivars released by AICRP on
Spices Varda, Mahima and Rajetha by IISR, Calicut; Surubhi, Suruchi and Suprabha
by HARS, Pottangi and Himgiri by UHF Solan, mostly for local state cultivation.

Planting time: It is planted in the month of April in all the ginger growing states of
the country, delay in sowing decreases the yield, the early sowing makes sufficient
growth that withstands rains and grows rapidly when there are heavy rains during
July-August. In West coast of India, the best time for planting ginger is during the
first fortnight of May with the receipt of pre-monsoons, first week of April has been
found to be the best time of planting under Kerala condition registering 200%
increase in yield as compared to planting first week of June. In eastern India planting
is done in March. Under irrigated conditions, it can be planted well in advance during
mid February or early March. Sowing in HP is according to the altitude i.e. AprilMay in mid and high hills and May-June in low hills. Burning of surface soil and
early planting with the receipt of good summer showers consistently gives higher
yield and reduces the disease incidence.
Land preparation: The land is ploughed 3-4 times or dug to bring the soil to a
fine tilth. Compost or well rotten FYM should be applied at the time of field
preparation and mixed thoroughly. Beds of convenient size about 3 m long, 1 m wide
and 15 cm raised are prepared with channels of 30-45 cm to avoid stagnation of
water. The alignment of the channels should be in such a way that during rainy season
these should act as drains for excess water and before and after rainy season as
irrigation channels. This space will also help in moving about, while hoeing,
weeding, mulching, top dressing and rouging and inspection of the crop. In plains,
deep drains should be provided to drain-off excess water during rainy season.
Propagation: Ginger is universally propagated from cuttings of seed
rhizomes known as bits. Carefully preserved seed rhizomes are broken or cut into
small pieces i.e. bits of 2.5-5.0 cm long weighing 20-30 g each having at least one or
two good buds/eyes or growing points. While preparing the seed bits, the hands or the
knives used should be washed with detergent powder and the knives be sterilized
after some interval to avoid transmission of disease inoculums to the healthy
rhizomes of seed ginger. Tissue culture technique has also been developed to produce
healthy ginger plants/ plantlets but it has not been exploited commercially because of
higher cost involvement and sophisticated equipment and machinery.
Seed rate: The ginger seed is very costly input and involves about 50 % of the
total cost of production. Seed rate vary with the size or weight of the seed bits and
may be 12.5-25.0 q/ha. Bit size may be 15-150 g or 3-10 cm in length or with 2-8
eyes. There is direct correlation of seed bit size with rhizome yield. Seed bits of 20-25
g having 2-3 eyes are generally recommended. The use of high seed rate may be
advantageous if to compensate the high seed cost involved at the time of sowing the
farmers can recover the healthy mother rhizomes.
Seed treatment: The seed material used must be healthy. Treat the seed
before sowing with a mixture of Dithane M-45 (0.25%) + Bavistin (0.10%) +

Chloropyriphos (0.2%) for 60 minutes and dry in shade for 24 hrs as a safeguard
against soft rot and to induce early sprouting. Rhizomes for seed are also treated in
hot water at 48 C for 20 minutes before planting. Soaking seed rhizomes in water for
24 hours, 10 days prior to planting results in good sprouting.
Spacing: Ginger can be sown on ridges or furrows or flat beds, however, flat sowing
on raised beds is preferred. Depending on the seed rhizome size and weight, agroecological situation etc. the spacing ranges 15-20 x 20-30 cm between plants and
rows. Generally, closer spacing produces the higher yields. Under AICRP on Spices,
general recommendation of spacing for whole of the country is 20 x 25 cm. Seed bit is
placed 3-5 cm deep in the soil.
Manures and fertilizers: Ginger is exhaustive and long duration crop thus requires
reasonable amount of manure and fertilizers. Recommendations vary with soil type,
initial fertility levels, locality and variety. Generally, 25-30 t/ha FYM is
recommended. The heat generated by the manure is helpful in proper germination of
seed rhizomes. The amount of inorganic fertilizers depends on the fertility of soil and
organic manure used. Generally, it ranges between 100-120 Kg of N, 75-80 kg P and
100-120 kg K per hectare. Different fertilizer recommendations e.g. N 30-l00 kg/ha,
P2O5 20-100 kg/ha and K2O 50-200 kg/ha has been reported by different workers. The
general recommendation given by the AICRP on Spices is 100, 50, 50 kg NPK/ha.
The FYM is applied either by broadcasting or by putting in the hole over the seed and
cover with soil. Full dose of P and K applied at the time of field preparation, however,
K can also be given in two splits first half at the time of field preparation and second
half 90 days after sowing. N is applied in three splits first 1/3 at the time of field
preparation, second 1/3 one month after germination and third 1/3 one month after
second split. The beds are to be earthed up after each top dressing with the fertilizers.
In ginger the total period of growth is categorized into three phases: active
vegetative growth (90-128 days after planting; slow vegetative growth (129-180
days after planting) and phase approaching senescence (181 days onwards). Marked
uptake of NPK is during active growth. Use of micronutrients have also been
attempted and Zn and B found useful. B was also reported to reduce soft rot
incidence. Application of neem cake @ 2 t/ha at the time of planting helps in reducing
the incidence of rhizome rot of ginger and increases the yield. The ginger growers
have observed that the rhizomes produced with heavy doses of nitrogenous
fertilizers have a lower storage capability because of the reason that the over dose of
the nitrogenous fertilizers helps in inducing more tenderness, delicacy leading to
proneness to rhizome rot disease, insects like maggots and nematode infection both
in field and storage.
Mulching: Mulching of ginger is essential as it enhances sprouting, increase
infiltration and organic matter, conserves soil moisture, maintains optimum

temperature and prevents weeds, evaporation and washing of soil due to heavy rains.
In addition, it enhances microbial activity and improves soil fertility. Different
mulch materials are used keeping in view the easy availability and economic
feasibility. Preferably locally available material like green or dry grass/ leaves,
paddy straw, cane trash, banana leaves, mango leaves, oak leaves, pine needles,
FYM etc. can be used. One or two applications can be given; one at the time of
sowing and the second 6-8 weeks after sowing. A range of 5-30 t/ha has been tried by
different workers and generally 20-25 t/ha is recommended. The first mulching is
done at the time of planting or just after planting in 4-5 cm thick uniform layer with
green leaves @ 10-12 t/ha or dry leaves @ 5-6 t/ha. Mulching is to be repeated @ 5
and 2.5 t/ha green and dry leaves, respectively, at 40 and 90 days after planting,
immediately after weeding, hoeing, earthing up and application of fertilizers. An
increase in yield with mulching may be 50-100%. Under low shade mulching may be
reduced without affecting the yield.
Inter-cropping and cropping systems: Ginger is a long duration crop and takes 8-9
months. The field remains occupied for longer duration. Other crops are planted to
get maximum returns per unit area. Ginger can be planted in young citrus and forest
plantations/orchards up to 5-6 years of mango, litchi, citrus, apple, peach, pear, plum,
coconut, coffee, areca nut, etc. These also provide shade as it prefers partial shade.
Annual crops like maize, chilli, okra, Colocassia, amaranths, gram, etc are also
found to be the best companion crops. Avoid solanaceous crops especially tomato
and brinjal as these are highly susceptible to root knot nematodes. In this way, more
income is obtained and in case of natural hazards like cloud-burst, hail-storms,
unusual rains or snowfall etc. if the fruit crop is damaged, ginger crop is safe and
vice-versa. Sometimes when the ginger crop is wiped-off because of the appearance
of rhizome rot disease or maggots or nematodes, growers will earn from the fruit/
forest produce. The ginger crop is not cultivated on the same piece of land for at least
2-3 years and rotated with other crops like paddy etc. depending on the severity of the
diseases-rhizome rot, ginger yellow and pests-maggots and nematodes. Commonly
rotated with turmeric, onion, garlic, chillies, other vegetables and maize and
groundnut in irrigated conditions. In NE States, ginger is grown under jhoom/
shifting cultivation system, where ginger rhizomes are planted on a virgin land after
preparation and shifting to the new site to make use of the forest land rich in organic
Shade requirement: Crop when grown in open condition there is lower leaf number,
leaf area index, chlorophyll content, growth rate and dry matter production, bulking
rate and green ginger yield when compared to 25 to 50% shade levels. Under 75%
shade vegetative growth and rhizome yield are reduced in comparison to 25-50%.
Cropunder 25% shade performed better. Maize growing in alternate inter row space

has been found beneficial in comparison to sole cropping in terms of tillering and
yield. Shade tolerance varies from cultivar to cultivar.
Irrigation: The ginger crop grown under irrigated conditions is watered
immediately after sowing as it helps in early sprouting. Usually ginger crop needs
frequent irrigation where the soil has less water retention capacity. During rainy
season there is no need for irrigation. In hilly areas where ginger is grown as rain fed
crop if the rains are well distributed 2-3 irrigations are sufficient and given at
fortnightly interval or as and when required. The total water requirement of ginger
crop ranges between 1320-1520 mm during the complete crop cycle. The rhizomes
from rain fed crop has more fibre than irrigated one raised under lower elevations.
Studies have shown that sprouting, rhizome initiation (90 DAP) and rhizome
development (135 DAP) are critical stages of irrigation.
Drainage: The excess water in the field whether it comes from over irrigation or
from natural source or rain/ snow water accumulation need to be immediately
removed from the field to ensure normal crop growth, as poorly drained soils not
only harm the ginger crop directly but create various problems in scheduling the
mechanical farm operations, invite and promote the development of diseases and
Earthing-up: It helps in pulverizing the soil leading to proper aeration, suppresses
the weed growth and covers the growing rhizomes for better enlargement; besides,
provide mechanical support to the growing stem. The main aim of earthing-up is to
make the plant base strong/ stable to avoid lodging of the plants even if there happen
to be strong wind. At least two earthing-ups one after 45- 90 days and another after
135 days after planting should be done.
Weed management: Ginger is very conducive to weed growth except when
mulched and adequate weed control is essential during stages of crop growth. The
field should be kept neat and clean free from weeds. Weeding is done just before
fertilizer application and mulching, 2-3 weedings are required depending on the
intensity of weed growth, the first is done just before the first mulching and repeated
at monthly interval. While doing hoeing every care should be taken that the rhizomes
are not disturbed, injured or exposed. Weeding is, however, done manually. The use
of chemical weedicides like Simazine @ 1.5 L/ha or Basalin @ 2.0 L/ha or Attrazine
applied immediately after planting as pre-emergence have been reported effective in
controlling most of the weeds.
Harvesting and yield: The stage of harvesting depends upon the purpose for which
crop is grown, price trend, variety and agro-climatic conditions. For tender rhizome
sold as green ginger for preserve or making pickle, murabba, ginger candy, soft
drinks an immature crop is harvested from 5th month after planting (MAP) when there

is minimum of crude fiber, maximum of volatile oil, oleoresin and starch. For making
dry ginger, maturity indices are: shriveling, yellowing, withering of leaves,
accompanied by drying and lodging of aerial stems i.e. 8-9 MAP, gives more fibrous
and pungent rhizomes. Highest dry ginger recovery was recorded at 270 days after
planting (DAP) and maximum percent of oil, oleoresin and fibre was recorded at 165
DAP. Between 5.5-6 MAP fiber per day increases @0.12%. As the physiological age
of rhizome increases, so does the diameter and strength of fibre. Fibre development is
rapid between 180-270 DAP. Fibrous ginger is not acceptable to confectioners due to
its reduced palatability. Oleoresin and oil contents rise up to 165 to 180 DAP beyond
which there is decline. For seed ginger, rhizomes are left in field as such for 3-4
weeks more when the skin of rhizome ripens, thickens and become stiff i.e. fibrous
with pungency and leaves and pseudo stem completely dry and fall down. In hills
harvesting must be done before appearance of frost. The clumps are lifted carefully
with a spade or digging fork or on a large scale the field is ploughed and the rhizomes
are collected. The rhizomes are then separated from the dried up leaves, roots and
adhering soil and washed thoroughly in water to remove the soil and sun dried for a
The yield of ginger varies with variety, care and management of crop and
agro-climatic conditions of locality, where it is grown. Maximum yield to the tune of
30-40 t/ha has been reported, however, 12-15 t/ha is generally obtained. The yield of
dry ginger is 15-25 % of the fresh ginger depending upon the variety and locality.
Storage of rhizome: Rhizome is highly perishable and susceptible to soil borne
fungi and insects, thus needs to be stored appropriately. Poor storage causes rotting,
dehydration and sprouting. Ginger may be stored in cool and dry environment, to
keep the material for the next season sowing and also if price is not adequate. Fully
mature and disease free rhizomes are stored. Conventionally the storage is done
above or below ground. In above ground, the rhizomes are kept in heap on sand layer
or paddy husk and covered with dry leaves and plastered with cow dung. In below
ground, pits of size l x l x l m or as per requirement are made under shade/ shed. The
walls of this pit are plastered with cow dung with a layer of sand at the base. Healthy
and disease free rhizomes treated in solution of Dithane M-45 + Bavistin +
Chloropyriphos are placed loosely. Filling is done up to 10-15 cm below from the
top. This top is covered with dry grass. The pit is closed with the help of wooden
plank. Plaster the space between the planks with soil or cow dung. Keep or place a
perforated PVC pipe of 2 inches diameter in the centre of the pit for removal of gases.
The material is stored for 3-4 months and taken out from the pits at least 20-25 days
before sowing. Controlled storage is not followed in our country only report from
Hawaii indicates that quality of ginger remains stable for 28 weeks if stored at 1213C and 65 % RH.

a) For green ginger: Green rhizomes harvested after 8-12 months are stored at 12o
18 C and 60-80% RH. Various fungi, bacteria, nematode and insects have been found
to be associated with ginger rhizome causing rot and decay resulting in heavy post
harvest loss. Oil and oleoresin yield decrease with storage. The refrigerated storage
up to 4 weeks has no adverse effect on quality but storage at room temperature may
generate the problems like rhizome rot, sprouting, rooting and shriveling of
rhizomes. Fresh ginger can be stored in 200 gauge thick poly-bags of 35 x 25 cm with
125 punch holes each with 4 mm diameter. The ginger is cleaned and dried and sealed
with stapler or rubber band. Bags should be kept in cool dry places with air
circulation and be inspected at fortnightly intervals. After around 4 months, the
weight of 1 kg bag will remain around 700 g.
b) For seed ginger: Seed ginger has to be stored for about 3-4 months from
harvesting to its further planting. For seed purpose, fully mature, big, plump
rhizomes, free from diseases are selected after harvesting. The rhizomes are treated
before storage. A drum of 200 liters capacity is filled with 100 liters of water. Few
liters of water is taken in a bucket added with 250 g Dithane M-45+100 g
Bavistin+200 ml of Chloropyriphos and mixed thoroughly. Then 80 kg rhizomes are
steeped in the drum for 30 minutes. Solution is drained off and rhizomes are dried
under shade and stored. Rhizomes are best stored by pit method.
Arya, P.S. 2001. Ginger Production Technology, Kalyani Publishers, New Delhi.
Lane1, A. and Jarvis, A. 2006. Changes in Climate will modify the Geography of
Crop Suitability: Agricultural Biodiversity can help with Adaptation. An Open
Access Journal published by ICRISAT http:// Journal Special
Project/ sp2.pdf
Peter, K.V.; Nybe E.V. and Kurien A. 2005. Yield gaps and constraints in ginger. In:
Ravindran P.N. and Nirmal Babu K. (Eds.) Ginger The genus Zingibel 527-532.
Tiwari R.S., Agarwal A. 2004. Production technology of spices. International book
distributing co. Lucknow India.
Utpala Parthasarathy, K. Jayarajan, A.K. Johny and V.A. Parthasarathy (2008).
Identification of suitable areas and effect of climate change on ginger - a GIS
study. Journal of Spices and Aromatic Crops 17 (2) : 61-68


Production Technology of Turmeric under

Changing Climate
H Dev Sharma and Vipin Sharma
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173 230 HP

Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) an erect herbaceous perennial 60-100 cm tall

having rhizome with fingers is one of the important spice crops in India belonging to
the family Zingiberaceae and plays a vital role in the national economy. It has been
originated from Southern Asia, probably India in the slopes of hills in the tropical
forests of West Coast of South India (Stahl, 1980). About 18 species occur in India of
which a few are important spice plants. C. longa is cultivated in large area and C.
aromatica popularly known as Cochin turmeric or Kasturi manjal, used for the
preparation of kum-kum is also grown in some parts. C. amada the flesh of which has
the taste and flavor of raw mango and therefore it is known as mango ginger.
Turmeric is very much identified with human civilization, religion, customs and it
finds use both in developed and underdeveloped countries. It is grown for
underground stem called as rhizomes, which are used to impart flavour and colour to
foodstuffs after clearing, drying, polishing and powdering. It is a principal ingredient
in curry powder. Turmeric oleoresin is used in brine pickles and to some extent in
non-alcoholic beverages, gelatins, butter and cheese, etc. The colour curcumin
extracted from turmeric is used as a colorant. Turmeric is also used as a dye in textile
industry. It is used in the preparation of medicinal oils, ointments and poultice. It is
stomachic, carminative, tonic, blood purifier and an antiseptic. It is also used in
cosmetics. The aqueous extracts have bio-pesticidal properties.
It is grown on a large scale in India, China and East Indies. About 18 states in
India cultivate turmeric; however, turmeric cultivation is largely confined to South
and Eastern India. AP followed by Odisha, TN and Maharashtra states in India
constitutes the lion's share in India's turmeric production. It is grown to a small extent
in the lower and mid-hill altitudes in Meghalaya and HP. India has a prime position in
the world and is largest producer, consumer and exporter of turmeric and accounts
for more than 50 % of the world trade. The area under turmeric in India is 195,100 ha
with an annual production of 992,900 m t and productivity 5.1 t/ ha. Out of the total
turmeric produced in India 90% is consumed locally and remaining 10% is exported
to various countries like USA, UK, Middle East, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, South
Africa, Australia and other countries. One of the most important problems facing the
turmeric crop is its duration of 7-9 months. Therefore, the main objective of breeding
work on turmeric is evolving short duration varieties with high yield, oil and
curcumin content. In HP, turmeric has not attained significant status among spice
crops probably due to poor yield and being a long duration crop, however, some
growers especially in lower hills have started showing interest in the crop and the

area is steadily increasing as the crop can be successfully planted under rain fed
conditions under minimal care and attention. Moreover, increasing monkey menace
and engagement of farmers in other occupations offer better opportunities for
increasing acreage under this crop in the state.
India is gifted with heterogeneous landforms and variety of climatic
conditions such as the lofty mountains, the raverine deltas, high altitude forests,
peninsular plateaus, variety of geological formations endowed with temperature
varying from arctic cold to equatorial hot and rainfall from extreme aridity with a few
cm (<10 cm) to pre humid with world's maximum rainfall (1120 cm) of several
hundred centimeter. This provides macro relief of high plateau, open valleys, rolling
upland, plains, swampy low lands and barren deserts. These varying environmental
situations in the country have resulted in a greater variety of soils.
Climatic requirements: The crop requires a hot and moist climate with a liberal
water supply. Turmeric is mostly a tropical plant cultivated throughout India in
tropical and sub-tropical humid climate. In most valleys and hill sides of peninsular
India both in Eastern and Western Ghats, wild forms of turmeric are found. In the
delicate tracts and interior regions of South India and the North Punjab, from sea
level up to an altitude of 1500 m with an optimum range of 450-900 m turmeric is
cultivated. It tolerates an annual rainfall of 640 to 4290 mm. Moderate rainfalls of
1500 mm at sowing, fairly heavy and well distributed rain during growing period and
dry weather about0 one month before harvest are much suitable. The temperature
range of 18.2-27.4 C is optimum. The crop is raised rain fed where rainfall is bimodal
and with irrigation in plains where rainfall is unimodal and low. In general, mean
minimum air temperature, total rainfall, and number of rainy days, mean minimum
relative humidity showed positive and mean evaporation, mean sunshine hours,
mean solar radiation and mean maximum air temperature showed negative
relationship with yield. Turmeric cultivated in the hills is reported to be a better
quality than that raised in the plains. It is stated that the same variety when grown in
the plains and on the hills shows distinct differences in quality and yield.
Climate change is one of the important alerts for present era. Several recent
studies indicated that annual rainfall and diurnal temperature is in declining
trend while maximum and minimum temperature is in warming trend. Piyasiri et
al (2004) stated that in Sri Lanka, the reduction of mean annual rainfall during
1986-2001 has raised to 9% as compared to the period 1932-85. Lanel and Jarvis
(2006) also projected the future data for 2055 and predicted that climate change
will cause shifts in areas suitable for cultivation of a wide range of crops.
Soil requirements: Turmeric can be grown on various soils but thrives best in well
drained, friable, rich sandy or clay loam soils having pH range of 4.3 to 7.5. Crop
stands neither water logging nor alkalinity. Loamy soils are best suited for the
development of rhizomes. It requires a highly fertile soil and areas having drainage
facilities are also suitable. The soils should be devoid of stones or gravels or too
coarse fractions.

Varieties: A number of cultivars are available in the country and are known mostly
by the name of locality where they are cultivated. Some of the popular cultivars areDuggirala, Cuddapah, Tekurpeta, Sugandham, Amalapuram, Erode local, Alleppey,
Wynadan, Moovattupuzha, Rajapuri, and Lakadong. The improved varieties of
turmeric are- Suvarna, Suguna, Sudarsana, Prabha, Prathibha, Krishna, Sugandham,
Roma, Suroma, Ranga, Rasmi, Rajendra, Sonia, Alleppey, Supreme, Kedaram, Co1, BSR-1 and BSR-2. Among the clonal selections Suguna, Sudarshana and Suvama
yielding 25-35 t/ha and IISR Prabha with a curcumin content of 6.52% are important.
Three categories of turmeric varieties viz. long duration types i.e. 9 months duration:
Duggirala, Tekurpeta, Armoor and Mydukur,; medium duration types i.e. 8 months
duration: Kothapet, Krishna, Kesari and short duration types i.e. 6-7 months
duration: Amalapuram, Dindigram, Suguna, Sudarshan are available.
Planting time: The time of planting of turmeric varies with the cultivar as well as the
agro climatic condition of the area. It is generally planted between mid-April and
August. Studies conducted at Tamil Nadu revealed that turmeric planted at 1st June
gave highest yield of 40 t/ha. In general yield decreased with late planting. Turmeric
can be planted during April-May with the receipt of pre-monsoon showers. However,
time of sowing for short duration varieties is second fortnight of May, for mid
duration varieties first fortnight of June and for long duration varieties second
fortnight of June to second fortnight of July.
Land preparation: The land is ploughed 3-4 times or dug to bring the soil to a fine
tilth. Compost or well rotten FYM should be applied at the time of field preparation
and mixed thoroughly. Beds of convenient size about 3 m long, 1 m wide and 15 cm
raised are prepared with channels of 30-45 cm to avoid stagnation of water. The
alignment of the channels should be in such a way that during rainy season these
should act as drains for excess water and before and after rainy season as irrigation
channels. This space will also help in moving about, while hoeing, weeding,
mulching, top dressing and rouging and inspection of the crop. In plains, deep drains
should be provided to drain-off excess water during rainy season.
Propagation: Turmeric is commonly propagated by rhizomes. Mother rhizomes as
well as fingers are used as planting materials. Studies conducted to determine the
most suitable planting material have revealed that generally mother rhizome is the
most suitable planting material. Whole or split mother rhizomes are used for
planting. Well developed healthy and disease free rhizomes are to be selected.
Planting primary fingers has become a common practice in A.P., because they keep
better in storage, more tolerant to wet soil and involve low seed rate. The
conventional method of propagation has a number of drawbacks, viz. 2 months
dormancy period of rhizomes, only 5-6 plants can be obtained from each rhizome;
and a sizeable percentage of the produce has to be put aside as seed material. To
overcome these problems tissue culture technique was tried for propagation of some
high yielding cultivars- Duggirala, Tekurpeta, BSR-1 and Co-1 giving high success


Seed rate: Seed rate vary between 20-25 q/ha.The seed rhizome pieces of 30 g with 2
to 3 eyes are planted. Rhizomes are treated with 0.25% Dithane0 M-45 + 0.10%
Bavestin for 30 minutes before sowing. Hot water treatment at 50 C for 30 minutes
without affecting germination eradicates all fungi associated with turmeric seed
Spacing: Seed rhizomes are planted in small pits made with a hand hoe in the beds in
rows with spacing of 30 x 20 cm and covered with soil or dry powdered cattle
manure. Germination starts in 10-20 days and will be over by 60 days.
Manures and fertilizers: Farmyard manure or compost @ 30-40 t/ha is applied by
broadcasting and ploughed at the time of preparation of land or as basal dressing by
spreading over the beds or in to the pits at the time of planting. Zinc @ 5 kg/ha may be
applied at the time of planting and organic manures like oil cakes can also be applied
@ 2 t/ha and in such case, the dosage of FYM can be reduced. In Simla hills, due to
scarcity of FYM in the hilly regions, a fertilizer requirement of 150:50:50 kg/ha NPK
proved to be the best and significantly increased the yield of the crop. Integrated
application of compost @ 2.5 t/ha combined with FYM, biofertilizer (Azospirillum)
and half of recommended dose of NPK is also recommended. Fertilizers @ 60 kg N,
50 kg P2O5 and 120 kg K2O per hectare are to be applied in split doses as given below.
Compost/cow dung
Basal application
0 kg
30-40 t
After 45 days
0 kg
60 kg
After 90 days
30 kg
60 kg
Mulching: Mulching is essential as it enhances sprouting, increase infiltration and
organic matter, conserves soil moisture, maintains optimum temperature and
prevents weeds, evaporation and washing of soil due to heavy rains. In addition, it
enhances microbial activity and improves soil fertility. Different mulch materials are
used keeping in view the easy availability and economic feasibility. Preferably
locally available material like green or dry grass/ leaves, paddy straw, cane trash,
banana leaves, mango leaves, oak leaves, pine needles, FYM etc. can be used.
Generally, 20-25 t/ha is recommended. The first mulching is done at the time of
planting or just after planting in 4-5 cm thick uniform layer with green leaves @ 1012 t/ha or dry leaves @ 5-6 t/ha. Mulching is to be repeated @ 5 and 2.5 t/ha green and
dry leaves, respectively, at 90 days after planting, immediately after weeding,
hoeing, earthing up and application of fertilizers.
Inter-cropping and cropping systems: Turmeric is a long duration crop and takes
8-9 months. The field remains occupied for longer duration. Other crops are planted
to get maximum returns per unit area. It can be grown as an intercrop with many other
crops because it comes up well in partial shade conditions, although thick shade
affects the yield adversely. Therefore, it is recommended as an intercrop in coconut
and areca nut gardens. Turmeric can be grown as an inter crop with chillies,

colocasia, onion, brinjal, arhar or sunhemp and cereals like maize, ragi, etc. In this
way, more income is obtained and risk of loss in case of natural hazards is reduced. It
is commonly rotated with onion, garlic, chillies, other vegetables and maize and
groundnut in irrigated conditions.
Irrigation: A good soaking irrigation is given immediately after sowing. Thereafter,
irrigate at weekly interval. The number of irrigations may be varied with the soil
types. 15 to 20 irrigations are given for clayey soils and about 40 for sandy loams.
During the period of rhizome development and maturity, frequent irrigations are
necessary. In organic system quality of irrigation water is important, sewage water,
waste water from industry is not allowed.
Drainage: The excess water in the field whether it comes from over irrigation or
from natural source or rain/ snow water accumulation need to be immediately
removed from the field to ensure normal crop growth, as poorly drained soils not
only harm the turmeric crop directly but create various problems in scheduling the
mechanical farm operations, invite and promote the development of diseases and
Earthing-up: It helps in pulverizing the soil leading to proper aeration, suppresses
the weed growth and covers the growing rhizomes for better enlargement; besides,
provide mechanical support to the growing stem. The main aim of earthing-up is to
make the plant base strong/ stable to avoid lodging of the plants even if there happen
to be strong wind. Usually practiced during 45-60 days after planting (DAP) 90-105
DAP, additional if required done on 120-135 DAP. This helps to form and enlarge
rhizomes and also protect rhizome from insects.
Weed management: The growth of turmeric during initial phase is slow and weed
management during this time is must. Mulching reduces the weed emergence and
intercropping with quick growing crops also smothers the weeds. The field should be
kept neat and clean free from weeds. Weed intensity vary with location and
traditionally manual weeding is done three to four times, the first is done just before
the first mulching and repeated at monthly interval. Weeding is generally done just
before fertilizer application and mulching; while doing hoeing every care should be
taken that the rhizomes are not disturbed, injured or exposed. The use of chemical
weedicides like Simazine @ 1.5 L/ha or Basalin @ 2.0 L/ha or Attrazine applied
immediately after planting as pre-emergence have been reported effective in
controlling most of the weeds.
Harvesting and yield: Depending upon the varieties, the crop comes to harvest in 79 months. Main season of harvesting falls in January to April. Maturity indication is
complete yellowing and drying up of plants. Above ground parts are cut close to the
ground level. Field is irrigated 1-2 days in advance of harvesting the crop. Crop is
harvested by ploughing or digging. Rhizomes are gathered by hand picking and
cleaned. Rhizomes are washed. Mother rhizomes are separated from the fingers
before they are cured. Indian average yield is 20-22 t/ha.


Storage of seed rhizomes: Turmeric may be stored in cool and dry environment, to
keep the material for the next season sowing. Poor storage causes rotting,
dehydration and sprouting. Fully mature and disease free rhizomes are stored.
Conventionally the storage is done above or below ground. In above ground, mature,
healthy rhizomes are heaped over a layer of 5-10 cm sand under shade of a tree or
shed. These are covered with turmeric leaves. Then heaps are plastered with earth
mixed with cow dung. The rhizomes are treated with Dithane M-45 @ 0.25% +
Bavistin @ 0.10% solution for 30 minutes and shade dried before heaping. Remove
rotten rhizomes at the end of storage period. Rhizomes for seed purpose are generally
stored by heaping in well ventilated rooms and covered with turmeric leaves. In
below ground, pits of size l x l x l m or as per requirement are made under shade/ shed.
The walls of this pit are plastered with cow dung with a layer of sand at the base.
Healthy and disease free rhizomes treated in solution of Dithane M-45 + Bavistin are
placed loosely. Filling is done up to 10-15 cm below from the top. This top is covered
with dry grass. The pit is closed with the help of wooden plank. Plaster the space
between the planks with soil or cow dung. Keep or place a perforated PVC pipe of 2
inches diameter in the centre of the pit for removal of gases. The material is stored for
3-4 months and taken out from the pits at least 20-25 days before sowing. The seed
rhizomes can also be stored in pits with saw dust and sand.
Parthasarathy,V.A., Kandiannan, K. and Srinivasan, V. 2008. Organic Spices. New
India Publishing Agency, Pitam Pura, New Delhi, India.
Shanmugavelu, K.G., Kumar, N. and Peter, K.V. 2002. Production Technology of
spices and Plantation Crops. Agrobios, Jodhpur, India.
Tiwari R.S., Agarwal A. 2004. Production technology of spices. International book
distributing co. Lucknow India.


Protected Cultivation of High Value Vegetable Crops

Manish Kumar
Department of Vegetable Science,
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan HP 173 230
Vegetable growing is becoming an industry in the country because of its
increasing demand and per capita requirement. The Indian scenario has changed
tremendously during the last decade because of change in the life style and food
habits. The people are becoming more aware to eat healthy foods. Vegetables are an
important component of health food and provide nutritional and health security. The
commercial production also derives the monitoring benefits to the growers. Hence it
is pertinent to grow more vegetables with good quality and clean and green produce.
This can be achieved by employing improved agro techniques of precision farming
and greenhouse technology.
Protected cultivation, which in the past was considered only as a means of
production only for affluent western countries having unfavorable environments, is
now very much needed under Indian conditions to improve the productivity and
quality of the vegetables to remain competitive in the global markets (Kohli et al.,
2007). After the green revolution more emphasis has been laid on the quality along
with quantity of the produce to meet the ever-growing food requirements. Both these
demands can be met when the growing environment for the plant is suitably
modified. The need to protect the crops and to sustain production even under
unfavorable climates led to the development of protected cultivation. To increase
quality of produce of high value cash crops having export potential, the only
potential approach is perfection and promotion of Green House Technology.
The practice of protected cultivation of vegetable crops is also becoming
popular in the hilly regions of the country, which offers a great scope for use of low
cost naturally-ventilated polyhouses because of mild climate. Himachal Pradesh is
also not an exception to this cultivation and most of the growers in the lower mid hills
and mid hills are adopting this technology. The use of structures like solar green
houses, walk-in-tunnels and soil trenches have already made a breakthrough in the
popularization of this technology in dry and cold desserts of the country paving a way
for attractive remuneration generation at the farmer's level.
Growing of crops under protection has many advantages but nowadays it is
specifically gaining more importance for raising high value cash crops with offseasonality and superior quality of the produce. Protected cultivation also enables
vegetable growers to realize greater returns per unit of land and offer other benefits,

like early harvest, longer harvest duration, reduced leaching of fertilizers and ecofriendly management of pests, weeds and diseases (Kumar et al. 2007)
In India, in the present scenario of perpetual demand of vegetables and
shrinking land holdings drastically, protected cultivation is the best alternative and
drudgery-less approach for using land and other resources more efficiently (Sirohi
and Bahera, 2000). Controlled environmental conditions are used for early raising of
nurseries, off-season production of vegetables, there seed production and protecting
the valuable germplasm (Mangal and Singh, 1993). Greenhouse is the most practical
method of accomplishing the objectives of protected cultivation (Nagarajan et al.,
2002). Tomato, Capsicum and cucumber are the most extensively grown vegetables
under green houses and give higher returns (Chandra et el. 2000). Growing of
cucumber using cost effective plastic greenhouses provides an alternative for raising
crop in the period of scarcity in Himachal Pradesh. This also ensures to meet year
round supply of fresh produce with more efficient resource utilization. (Sharma et al.
India is having 74,809 km2 of cold desert area in states of Jammu & Kashmir
and Himachal Pradesh. The region is characterized by high altitude sandy
mountains, extremely low temperatures and short cropping season (MaySeptember). It is difficult to grow anything here in winter. Different greenhouse
structures viz. glasshouse, polyhouse, local mud polyhouse and trench (underground
greenhouse) were evaluated for vegetable production at Field Research Laboratory,
Leh (Singh, 1998).
For round the year production of vegetables, scientists of FRL-Leh have
developed a new cost effective protected cultivation structures like Solar
Greenhouses and under ground green house technology.
Major advantages of this technology

Raising of vegetable nursery or transplants under protection.

The potential of polyhouse production technology to meet the demand of

producing good nutrition and healthy foods and quality vegetables free from
pesticides can be fully exploited.

Vegetable crops can be grown under adverse weather conditions round the
year and off-season.

The vegetables can be produced with higher productivity and uniform quality
of produce than open field cultivation.

Management and control of insect-pests, diseases and weeds is easier.

There is efficient resource management.


In the hilly terrains, the farmers generally have small land holdings and this
technology provided a useful impetus to their farming livelihood by more
productivity and more money from less land.
Future needs
Polyhouse vegetable production in the country is still in infancy and for its rapid
commercialization, there is urgent need to redress the following issues related to this

Standardizing proper design of construction of polyhouses including cost

effective and indigenously available cladding and glazing material.

Developing cost effective agro-techniques for growing of different vegetable

crops in the different types of polyhouses and lowering energy costs of the
green house environment management.

Major research activities on growing of vegetables under protected covers

should be launched by ICAR and SAU's.

Import of planting materials, structural designs and production technologies

which are not relevant under Indian conditions should be stopped and in turn
emphasis should be given to develop own F1 hybrid varieties so that seed are
made available to the growers in time and at cheaper rates.
Popular Structures

Plastic greenhouses with natural ventilation

Greenhouses with fan and pad cooling system

Solar greenhouses (Leh design)

Walk-in tunnels (Dry temperate areas in HP)

Plastic low tunnels

Net houses and Anti-insect cages

Under ground trenches (Leh and Ladakh region)

Site selection
If possible, locate the greenhouse where it will receive at least 6-8 hours of
direct sunlight during the winter months. A good site would also be sheltered from
high winds, close to water and electricity, and easily accessible from your home and
garden. Avoid deep slopes, gorge areas and areas shaded by buildings or trees during
the winters. The best orientation of the greenhouse construction is East-West. This
will result in receiving more solar radiations during the winter.

Standardizing production technology

When a greenhouse comes in place, the next important step is to select the
right crop for its growing with optimum agro-techniques. The technology developed
should be simple, easily understandable by growers and cost effective. The initial
experiments at YSPUH&F-Nauni and CSKHPKV-Palampur have led to the
development of simple growing techniques for tomato and sweet pepper which are
adopted by growers. The further refinement in existing technology will definitely go
a long way to harness the full potential of greenhouses in vegetable production in the
hilly regions.
Chandra P., P.S. Sirohi, T.K. Behera and A.K.Singh. 2000. Cultivating vegetables in
polyhouse. Indian Horticulture. 45: 17-25.
Kohli U. K., Manish Kumar, N.P. Dohroo and K.C. Sharma. 2007. Growing media
and substrate. InProtected cultivation of vegetable crops, CAS in Horticulture
(Vegetables), Dr. YSPUH&F- Nauni, Solan, H.P. PP: 37-40.
Kumar Manish., U.K. Kohli, S.K. Gupta and A.Vikram. 2007. Effect of growing
media, irrigation regime, fertigation and mulching on productivity of tomato in
naturally-ventilated polyhouses in hills. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences
77(5): 302-4.
Mangal J.L. and G.R.Singh. 1993. Off-season vegetable production. In: Adv. In
Hort. Vol. 6. Vegetable crops: part 2. Pp.673-685.
Nagarajan M., S.Senthilvel and D.Planysamy. 2002. Material substitution in Green
house construction. Kisan World. 11:57-58.
Sharma Manish, S. Negi and S. Kumari. 2009. Effect of different growing media and
fertigation levels on production of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) under
protected conditions in the hills. Indian journal of Agricultural sciences. 79 (10):
Singh B.1998. Vegetable production in cold desert of India: a success story on solar
greenhouses. Acta Horticulturae: 534.
Sirohi P.S. and T.K. Bahera. 2000. Protected cultivation and seed production in
vegetables. Indian Horticulture.45: 23-25.


Pre and Post harvest Factors in Influencing the

Quality of Vegetable Seeds
HS Kanwar and DK Mehta
Seed Technology & Production Centre
Dr YSP University of Horticulture & Forestry Nauni, Solan 173230 HP

Seeds are regarded as the parent source to bring change in country's economy.
A good quality seed is good looking, viable, vigorous, genetically pure, bold and
uniform size of the desired type, free from diseases, insect pests, weed seeds, foreign
matter, fairly priced, better longevity with high germination percentage, good
yielding ability and have wider adaptability. The planting of good seed is essential for
the success in crop production. However, producers cannot achieve success with
poor seed, even when they give their closest attention on other factors of production.
Without healthy and quality seed our all expenditure on irrigation, labour, cultural
practices, fertilizers and manures have no value. In addition, seeds need to have good
storage quality to ensure that it maintains condition until it is used for sowing.
Concept of quality seed
Genetic quality
It govern the yield potential of a variety
This can be achieved through adopting seed chain and production
practices like isolation distance, rouging etc .
Physical quality
It can be achieve through seed processing
Physiological quality i.e. Germination, vigour and health
It can be improved through various pre and post harvest practices
Seed Enhancement technologies like seed priming, pelleting, coating etc
can be used to further improve the physiological quality of seed before
Classes of Seed
In the Indian generation system of seed multiplication, there are primarily
three categories of seed i.e. breeder seed followed by foundation seed and certified
seed. Certified seed is actually sold to the farmers to raise the commercial crop. There
is another category of seed known as Labeled Seed in which case there is no
certification but labeling is compulsory. Label colour and size have also been
specified for each category of seed.

Class of Seed
Labelled Seed

Label Colour
Golden Yellow
Azure Blue
Opel Green

Label Size
12 cm x 6 cm
15 cm x 7.5 cm
15 cm x 7.5 cm
15 cm x 10 cm

In India seed certification standards have been prescribed for foundation and
certified seed. There are two types of standards; field standards, which apply to
standing crop and seed standards which are applicable at seed level. Field standards
include isolation requirement, maximum permissible level of off types, inseparable
other crop plants, objectionable weed plants, pollen shedders (in male-sterile or A
lines), plants infected by seed borne diseases etc. Seed standards relate to genetic
purity, physical purity, germination, other crop seeds, weed seeds, moisture content
Land Selection
Land to be used for seed production should be fertile, well drained and free of
volunteer plants (self sown plants). Volunteer plants are a very serious problem in
Brassica species. Self-sown plants continue to appear for 3 to 4 years. Fields heavily
infested with objectionable weeds should be avoided unless effective weed control
measures are available.
The seed production plot must be isolated from various sources of
contamination by a certain minimum distance known as isolation distance. Isolation
is more important in cross-pollinated crops to avoid genetic contamination through
cross pollination by wind/insect borne pollen whereas in strictly self-pollinated
crops it is mainly to avoid mechanical mixture from adjoining plots. Isolation
requirement varies from a few meters in self-pollinated crops to hundreds of meters
in cross-pollinated crops.
Genetic purity of a seed crop can be maintained by keeping the variety in
isolation from other varieties of the same crop and other cross compatible crops.
Isolation can be of

Space isolation

Time isolation

Barrier isolation

Discarding border rows


Rouging is the removal of off type plants and is an important aspect of seed
production to maintain varietal purity. Any plant which does not conform to the
characteristics of the variety is called an off type. Off types are generally considered
to arise from segregation of residual heterozygosity, out-crossing with other
varieties, admixtures or natural mutations. Off types could be w.r.t. any character
such as plant height, days to flowering, waxiness, pigmentation, ear shape, ear size,
ear density, ear colour etc. It is essential that off types are removed before they
flower, particularly in cross-pollinated crops, to avoid contamination from off type
plants. Rouging may need to be carried out several times during the crop season.
Composite, synthetic and open pollinated varieties of cross-pollinated crops
generally have broad genetic base and some amount of variability is desirable.
Therefore, rouging in such varieties should not be very rigid so that the varietal gene
pool is not disturbed. Only obvious off types and diseased plants etc. should be
In addition to rouging all plants that do not conform to the variety description,
inseparable other crop plants, objectionable weeds as well as plants infected with
seed-borne diseases should also be removed. As a general rule, the off types should
be removed and taken away from the seed production plot and destroyed. Light
levels are important and dull, excessively bright and windy days should be avoided.
The back of the person doing rouging should be towards the sun. This facilitates
easier detection of off types.
Field Inspection
The production of foundation and certified seed is supervised and approved
by State Seed Certification Agencies. The seed production plots are inspected by the
certification staff. The number of inspections varies from a minimum of two to four.
Those plots which conform to field standards of certification are approved. Breeder
seed has been kept out of the purview of certification as it is not meant for public sale.
Moreover, its production is under the direct supervision of a qualified plant breeder.
However, breeder seed crop is monitored by a joint inspection team of plant breeders
and officials of State Seed Certification Agency and National Seeds Corporation.
Seed Processing

Removal of excess moisture

Enhancement Physical purity and Freedom from pest

Removal of impurities, immature seeds, plant materials (dockages),

mechanically damaged seed

Enhance storability


Principles of seed processing

Physical difference

Suitable machineries

Seed Size- small to bold

Air Screen cleaner

cum grader

Density- ill filled, immature, light to

dense seed

Specific gravity

Shape Round to oval

Spiral separator

Surface texture- Smooth to wrinkled and


Roll mill/ dodder mill

Colour of the seed Light to dark

Electronic colour

Seed vigour- Size of the plumule,

internal status of the seed (Hollowness,
insect infestation, impact damage or seed

Soft X- ray sorter

Physiological quality of seed

Germination: High germination is essential to maintain optimum plant
population with recommended seed rate.
Seed Vigour: Vigorous seed is pre-requisite to establish optimum plant
population even under adverse conditions.
Seed Health: Seed free from seed-borne pathogens and insects are
essential to maintain plant population and soil health.
Cultural Practices
Cultural practices such as seed bed preparation, fertilization, weeding,
irrigation etc. are usually the same for seed crop as recommended for commercial
crop. All recommended agronomic practices should be followed to provide
conditions for optimal growth and development of plant and seeds which favour
production of healthy and vigorous seed. Clean cultivation with proper weed control
during seed production makes subsequent cleaning and grading easier. Phosphate
and potassium are generally more important for seed crops than for commercial
crops and recommended doses must be applied. However, slightly less than the
recommended amount of nitrogen should be used in the seed crop especially of
cereals to minimize lodging. A crop that lodges badly cannot be effectively rouged
and inspected and will not be approved.

Harvesting and Post-harvest Handling of Seed

The germination of seed is of vital importance and the threshers, combine
harvesters etc. must be properly set up to thresh the seed without inflicting damage to
the seed. The crop should be harvested at proper moisture so as to minimize the
damage to the seed. In hybrid seed production, where two parents are involved, the
male parent rows are harvested first and moved to a distant place. The whole field is
then inspected and broken or lodged male parent plants are removed from the female
parent rows. The hybrid seed on the female parent rows is then harvested.
All our efforts in rouging and care during earlier stages may go waste if
proper care is not taken during harvesting, threshing, processing, seed treatment,
packaging etc. to avoid mechanical mixing. Correct labelling is very important. The
threshers, combine harvesters, trailers, threshing floors, processing machinery etc.
should be thoroughly cleaned in between handling of different varieties.
Seed Testing, Labeling and Storage
After processing of a given lot, the representative sample is sent to
notified seed testing laboratory for analysis. Seed testing is done as per ISTA
Rules. If the seed test report is satisfactory i.e. the seed meets the prescribed seed
standards then a given seed lot is approved and tags and certificates are issued by
the certification agency to the seed producer. The validity period is nine months
from the date of test at the time of initial certification. The validity period can be
further extended for six months provided on retesting the seed conforms to the
prescribed standards w.r.t. physical purity, germination and insect damage for all
seeds except vegetatively propagating material for which lot shall be examined
for seed standards specified for respective crop.
Seed being a living entity is highly sensitive to ambient weather conditions
viz. high relative humidity and temperature, which deteriorates its viability and
vigour. Improper handling of seeds also causes mechanical injury and lower down its
germination and storability. Therefore, during post-harvest processing and storage
seed must be handled properly and protected from high relative humidity and
temperature, insect pests and rodents.
Aggrawal RL. Seed Technology. Oxford and IBH Publishing, New Delhi, India.
Kanwar H S, Bhattarai D R and Mehta D K. 2010. Seed Technology: Processing,
storage and marketing, Jain Brothers, New Delhi, 203p.
Khare D and Bhale MS. 2011. Seed Technology. Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur, 260
McDonald M B & Copeland L O.2005. Seed Production: Principles & Practices,
Chapman and Hall, New York, 749 p.


Impact of Climate Change on Quality Seed Production of

Important Temperate Vegetable Crops
Ramesh Kumar, Sandeep Kumar, Ashok Thakur and Sanjeev Kumar

Department of Vegetable Science

Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni-173 230, Solan
Division of Vegetable Science and Floriculture

Faculty of Agriculture, Main Campus, Chatha, SKUAST-Jammu 180 009, India

Climate change is one of the most important global environmental challenges

in the history of mankind. It is greatly affecting the pattern of crop growth in various
agro-climatic zones throughout the world, which in-turn is changing the socioeconomic conditions of the people. Vegetable production is also not untouched by
the changing climatic scenario, it has also affected the seed production of the various
temperate vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel's sprouts, knolkhol, kale, European carrots, radish, turnip, beetroot etc. which have specific low
temperature chilling requirements. Various marginal areas are becoming unsuitable
for seed production of different vegetables viz., late cauliflower, cabbage and other
temperate vegetables due to increasing temperature. The problems arise from
extreme events that are difficult to predict. More erratic rainfall patterns and
unpredictable high temperature spells will consequently reduce crop productivity.
Climate change is projected to increase the global temperatures, causes variations in
rainfall, increases the frequency of extreme events such as heat, cold waves, frost
days, droughts, floods etc. with immense impact on agriculture sector. Moreover,
variables of the environment donot act in isolation, but also in combination with one
other and with other pressures such as habitat degradation and loss or the
introduction of exotic species. All the crop species are likely to be not only directly
impacted by the changes in environmental conditions, but also indirectly through
their interactions with other species. While direct impacts may be easier to predict
and conceptualize, it is likely that indirect impacts are to be equally important in
determining the response of plants to climate change.
The hilly areas in India are primarily situated in western Himalayan range
extending from Jammu and Kashmir in the west to Arunachal Pradesh in the East.
These are represented by states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim,
Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Parts of Uttar Pradesh,
Kumaon, Gadhwal, West Bengal, Darjeeling, Tripura and Mizoram. Temperate
vegetables require temperate climate especially during a specific stage of their
growth for successful seed production. During this period these vegetables meet the

vernalization (chilling) requirement, a pre-condition necessary for breaking

dormancy of plant, thus stimulating the conversion of the vegetative phase into the
reproductive phase i.e. induction of flowering and bolting.
Brief history of seed production
For the first time, Government of India encouraged the seed production of
temperate vegetables in 1942-43 at Quetta in Baluchistan (now in Pakistan). At the
same time initial trials on seed production were also initiated in Kashmir. With the
partition of India in 1947, Quetta centre of temperate vegetable seed production went
to Pakistan and the supplies of seed were cut off. Thus, it becomes necessary to
strengthen the temperate seed programme also at some other suitable locations in
India. So, after independence, Govt. of India established a Research Station at
Katrain (Kullu valley) Himachal Pradesh in 1949. This station was transferred to
Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi in 1955 with the sole objective of
intensifying the improvement work on temperate vegetables and was renamed as
IARI Vegetable Research Station and later on as IARI, Regional Station. Till date,
the station has been making steady progress in the area of vegetable improvement
and seed production resulting in development of large number of varieties and
multiplication of their seeds to cater the need of the entire country for breeder and
foundation seed especially of temperate vegetables.
Suitable areas for seed production
Our country is gifted with a wide range of agro-climatic conditions, which
enables the seed production of different vegetable crops throughout the country in
one or the other part. The winter temperature of Kullu and Kashmir valleys is so
congenial that neither protection from cold in the field nor provision of storage
facilities for over wintering is required. The crops under these conditions can be left
in the open for overwintering without any damage. Winter and summers suit to
produce seeds of not only temperate vegetables, but also of summer's vegetables.
Besides the Kullu and Kashmir valleys, fulfilling the necessary requirement for seed
production of temperate vegetable, there are some other areas viz., Vegetable
Research Station, Kalpa, Kinnaur where climatic conditions (severe winters and dry
hot spring-summers) are quite congenial for quality seed production of temperate
vegetable crops. These areas widen the scope for expending the seed industry not for
indigenous consumption, but also for export to even some European and western
countries, where seed production becomes expensive day by day with the increase in
cost of labour.
Methods of seed production
Seed production of temperate vegetables requires high chilling of 4-7 0C for a
period of about 4-6 weeks. The mild summer and low rainfall of hills especially
during flowering and seed setting stages are beneficial. In root crops, 'root to seed'

and 'seed to seed' methods can be used for seed production, but preferable 'root to
seed'. In root to seed method, fully matured roots (before pith development) are
harvested, true to the type roots are selected and after giving proper root and shoot
cuts are transplanted in a well prepared field. The selection and rouging are done on
the basis of foliage characters, root shape, size, color, flesh color, pithiness, and
pungency and bolting behavior. Small, deformed, diseased and other undesirable
roots are discarded. Hairy forked roots and early or late bolters are also removed. The
sowing time should be so adjusted that the roots become available and their
stecklings could be set in before chilling months. In heavy snowfall areas where
chilling period is long, the roots after uprooting are stored in trenches before the
onset of winters and replanting is done in the month of March- April. In such case
stecklings are prepared just before planting. The seed is ready for harvesting from
July-August in the hills and from May to June in the plains depending upon the
weather, crop and cultivar. In case of cole crops 'head to seed' method is mostly
followed. When cabbage head are grown for seed, the time of planting is adjusted to
obtain full maturity of crop just prior to the normal maturity time. It is being done at
Vegetable Research Station, Kalpa, Kinnaur. In Kalpa, transplanting of cabbage for
seed crop is done at 1st fortnight of July and heads get ready for transplanting with the
onset of winters (October-November). The earlier matured heads will not have
satisfactory storage condition. Large seed yield of cabbage can be obtained by
planting crop in 1 fortnight of July under conditions but in case of Kullu valley
condition we can go up to 15 August. Off type plants are roughed when the crop is
nearly at maturity. Plants are removed when they don't confirm to excepted standard
of non-wrapper leaves, shape, size and appearance of basal and outer leaves. After
harvesting the crop, the heads are stored in the trenches and require 4 to 60C
temperature for transformation from vegetative to reproductive phase. Before
storage cabbage head are treated with Dithane 0.25% and Malathion 0.1% to avoid
the disease and insect pest damage during storage. Cabbage plants are stored in
trenches having the size of 3 m x 1 m x 1 m. Cabbage plants are stored in slanting
position in a 1m width position and cabbage roots should be covered with the 1-2
inch soil. The trenches are covered with the wooden planks. Small holes/openings
are kept in the both sides of trench for proper aeration and to maintain almost similar
temperature in outside and inside of trench. These holes must be covered with wire
mesh to avoid the entry of rats and other rodents. The matured cabbage heads are
removed from the trenches during March-April and are replanted in the field at a
distance of 60 x 45 cm. After proper establishment of heads in the field, 2-5 cm deep
cross-cut is given on the head for initiation of seed stalk from the centre. In 'seed to
seed' method plant is allowed to grow in the same place where it was transplanted in
the field for head crop. Plants are either allowed to form partial head or they may
enter full maturity after winter. In this method typical roughing both for root and
shoot portion is not possible and is used for the production of foundation seed.

Harvesting is usually done when a noticeable proportion of the pods have become
yellow. After the harvesting, pods curing may require 1-2 weeks depending on the
weather conditions.
Impact of climate change on pollination
Pollination is a crucial stage in the reproduction of most flowering plants
including vegetable crops (Kearns et al. 1998). Change in the Climate may be a vast
threat to pollination services due to reduced activity of pollinating agents (Memmott
et al. 2007; Hegland et al. 2009; Schweiger et al. 2010). Among all the climatic
factors, increase in temperature has highest adverse effect on pollinator interactions.
Warming may actually enhance the performance of insects living at higher altitudes,
thereby resulting into increased seed setting and yields in the temperate crops
growing in these areas. But, rise in temperature in low lying hills adversely affects
the activity of pollinating agents and hence the low seed yields.
Hybrid seed production
Cole crops and root vegetables form an important group of cool season
vegetables. In general, these are highly cross-pollinated crops and show
preponderance of non-additive gene action for most of the economic traits. Hence,
heterosis breeding has turned out to be of more relevance. The genetic phenomena of
sporophytic self incompatibility and male sterility (particularly cytoplasmic male
sterility) have proved instrumental in commercialization of hybrid seed production
in these crops.
Use of self incompatibility: Self incompatibility mechanism has been reported by
the various workers in kale (Thompson, 1957), sprouting broccoli (Sampson. 1957),
cabbage (Adamson, 1965), cauliflower (Hoser-Krauze, 1979), radish and turnip.
Commercial hybrid seed production using self incompatibility mechanism is done
by way of developing single cross, three-way cross or double cross. In single cross,
two self-incompatible but cross-compatible best combiners are planted in alternate
rows in isolated plots. The hybrid seed is harvested on both the lines. In three way
cross, one single cross and a self-incompatible line are planted in alternate rows.
Similarly in double cross, two single crosses are used. In USA, for hybrid seed
production of cabbage, top cross is being used. For every 2 or 3 rows of a self
incompatible line, one row of a good open pollinated (OP) cultivar as a pollen parent
is provided. However, the hybrid seed is harvested from the self incompatible plants
only. The main problems being faced in hybrid seed production are depression in Sallele lines by continuous inbreeding, pseudo-compatibility, the effect of
environmental factors on the level of self-incompatibility and higher proportion of
selfs/sibs in hybrid seed due to lack in proper synchronization of flowering. These

could be managed by resorting to vegetative propagation, using the S-allele lines

which behave stable under diverse environments and selecting the parental lines
which have perfect synchronization in flowering.
Use of male sterility: Genetic male sterility, which is governed by recessive nuclear
genes has been reported in cabbage (Rundfeldt, 1960), Cauliflower (Nieuwhof,
1961) and other members of cole group as well. But, during these days Ogura male
sterility (Ogura, 1968) i.e., cytoplasmic male sterility has become popular for hybrid
seed production in cole crops. Ogura male sterility has been transferred from Japnese
radish into cabbage through broccoli with the help of protoplast fusion. R-cytoplasm
(Ogura) induced male sterility already present/introduced in any genotype of a cole
crop can be transferred into the desired genetic background through backcross
method. Beside this, male sterility has also been exploited for hybrid seed production
in carrot, radish and beetroot. Hybrid seed production using male sterility
mechanism on commercial scale is carried out in the open by providing
recommended isolation distance of at least 1000m. Usually for every 2 or 3 rows of
A-line, one row of C-line is planted. The lines A and C must have perfect synchrony
in flowering for good pollination and seed set. The hybrid seed is harvested from the
plants of A-line only. The main problem being faced is the lower quantity of hybrid
seed on account of honey-bees preference for the pollen fertile C-line. This could be
overcome to a certain extent with appropriate flower morphology and manipulating
the ratio of plants of A and C lines, spacing and planting design. Inbreeding
depression is another problem which results in low seed production of inbred
parental lines and also that of single cross hybrids. Three-and four way (double
cross) crosses may prove economic.
Impact of climate change on seed production of cabbage: a case study
A study was conducted during 1981 to 2004 in Kullu valley for the impact of
climatic change on the seed yield of cabbage var. Golden Acre (Kumar et al., 2009).
It was observed that the average maximum temperature of May rose by 1.58 C. The
minimum temperatures for the months of April and August rose by 2.03 and 2.16 0C,
respectively. From 1981 to 2004, around 40% reduction in seed production per unit
area was noticed. The relative humidity during the month of May did not have any
significant effect on seed yield. Correlation coefficients between mean monthly
rainfall during May and seed yield (r= -0.49), mean maximum temperature during
April and seed yield (-0.36) and maximum temperature during May and seed yield (0.39) indicate that when temperature rise, it affects seed production of cabbage
adversely. Also, if rainfall increases during May, the seed yield is reduced. It has also
been observed that the rainfall during August has decreased and during September it
has increased resulting in late onset of autumn thereby suggesting that the planting of

cabbage should also be delayed at least by a fortnight to avoid incidence of soft rot
and increased seed yield.
Future strategies
Climate change is serious constraint, which accounts for enormous losses in
terms of seed yield and quality of temperate vegetable crops. So, there is an urgent
need to focus our attention on studying the impacts of climate change on growth,
development, seed yield and quality of these crops. However, the promotion of
modern technology and crop diversification should be tailored according to local
conditions. Efforts should be made to uplift the socio-economic condition farmers
through rigorous research and development. Researchers, extension personnel,
gardeners and farmers should be trained on the issues of climate change. Temperate
vegetable crops, which are tolerant to high temperatures, flooding, drought and soil
salinity must be identified form the available resources. Uses of bbiotechnological
interventions for introgression of important genes, which are adapted to climatic
changes, have been widely acknowledged. Some of simple, but effective adaptations
strategies include change in the sowing date, use of efficient technologies like drip
irrigation, soil and moisture conservations measures, fertilizers management
through fertigation, change of crop/alternate crop, increase in input efficiency, pre
and post harvest management of economic produce can not only minimize the losses,
but also increase the positive impacts of climate change. All these measures can
make the horticultural farmer more resilient to climate change. In conclusion,
climate change will decrease crop yields in the long-term, unless one slows climate
change and/or adapts new management practices and improved cultivars.
Adamson R M. 1965. Self-and cross-incompatibility in early round-headed cabbage.
Canadian Journal of Plant Science 45:493-497.
Hegland S J, Nielsen A, Lzaro A, Bjerknes A L and Totland O. 2009. How does
climate warming affect plant pollinator interactions. Ecology Letters 12: 184195.
Hoser-Krauze J. 1979. Inheritance of self-incompatibility and the use of it in the
production of F hybrids of cauliflower. Genetica Polonica 20: 341-367.
Kearns C A, Inouye D W and Waser N M. 1998. Endangered mutualisms: the
conservation of plant pollinator interactions. Annual Review of Ecology System
29: 83-112.


Kumar P R, Yadav S K, Sharma S R, Lal S K and Jha D N. 2009. Impact of climate

change on seed production of cabbage in North Western Himalayas. World
Journal of Agricultural Sciences 5 (1): 18-26.
Memmott J, Craze P G, Waser N M and Price M V. 2007. Global warming and the
disruption of plant pollinator interactions. Ecology Letters 10: 710-717.
Nieuwhof M. 1961. Male sterility in Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage.
Euphytica 10:351-356.
Ogura H. 1968. Studies of the male sterility in Japanese radish with special reference
to the utilization of this sterility towards the practical raising of hybrid seeds.
Memoirs of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kagoshima University 6:39-78.
Reynolds M P (ed.). 2010. Climate change and crop production. CABI, Wallinford,
UK. 285p.
Rundfeldt H. 1960. Untersuchungen zur zuchtung des koptkohls (B. oleracea L. var.
capitata). Z. Pflanzenz 44:30-62.
Sampson D R. 1957. The genetics of self-and cross-compatibility in Brassica
oleracea. Genetics 42:253-263.
Schweiger O, Biesmeijer J C, Bommarco R, Hickler T, Hulme P, Klotz S, Kuhn I,
Moora M, Nielsen A, Ohlemuller R, Petanidou T, Potts S G, Pysek P, Stout J C,
Sykes M, Tscheulin T, Vila M, Wather G R and Westphal C. 2010. Multiple
stressors on biotic interactions: how climate change and alien species interact to
affect pollination. Biological Review 85: 777-795.
Thompson, K F. 1957. Self-incompatibility in marrow stem kale Brassica oleracea
var. acephala L. Demonstration of sporophytic system. Journal of Genetics


Vegetable Production and Seed Production under

Temperate Conditions
Amit Vikram
Directorate of Extension Education
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry Nauni-173 230, Solan (HP)

Temperate regions can broadly be defined as those areas of the planet falling
between either of two intermediate latitude zones of the earth, the North Temperate
Zone, between the Arctic Circle and the Tropic of Cancer, or the South Temperate
Zone, between the Antarctic Circle and the Tropic of Capricorn. However, within
this broad zone many variations of climate from sub-tropical to sub-arctic can be
found. Up to 40o north and south latitude the temperate regions are comparatively
warmer and altitude has profound impact on temperature conditions. One of the
characteristic features of temperate regions is low temperature of less than 10 C
during winters and moderate temperature between 20-35oC during summers.
India has geographical areas in Himalayas and some in the Nilgiris where
climatic conditions are quite close to the temperate regions of the world particularly,
with regard to summer and winter temperatures. This offers an opportunity to grow
temperate vegetables and produce their seed in the hills, particularly in the dry
temperate regions of western Himalayas. The production technology of some of
these vegetables as followed in the temperate regions of India particularly Himachal
Pradesh is described below:
Cabbage is the most important crop of this group after cauliflower. Its
cultivation was limited till sixties but with increasing popularity of fast food and
awareness about its high nutritive value, tremendous increase in its area has come
about. Moreover, it is more hardy and easier to grow than cauliflower. The open
pollinated varieties of cabbage are slowly loosing their demand, except Golden Acre
and Pride of India.
Varieties: The cabbage cultivars can be classified into three groups i) White
Cabbage ii) Red Cabbage iii) Savoy Cabbage. Of these, only White cabbage is of
commercial importance in India. Very few red or savoy cabbages are grown in the
country. The white cabbages are available in three shapes: pointed, round and flat or
drum head. Among these round cultivars are more popular in India.

Early: The best known cultivars in this group are Golden Acre and Pride of India. In
the recent past, Pusa Mukta, a variety resistant to black rot has been released. The
heads weigh 1-2 kg, are round and take 60-70 days to maturity.
Mid season: The most popular cultivar in Nilgiris is September. It produces round
heads, weighing 3-5 kg, takes 85-95 days to maturity and the average yields are 3035 t/ha.
Late: The most of the cultivars grown in this country are drum shaped viz. Pusa
Drum Head, Large Late Drum Head. The heads weigh 5-8 kg, require 110-120 days
to maturity and the average yields vary from 35 to 40 t/ha. However, such varieties
are not liked because of smaller family size and longer growth period.
Climate: Cabbage is grown as summer crop in hills and in winter in north India. The
optimum temperature for seed germination is 12-16oC and for growth and heading
between 15-20 C, since the growth is arrested above 25 C. Young plants can
withstand higher temperatures and short spells of frost. Many tropical hybrids bred
in Japan, form tight heads even above 25o C, thus staggering the availability over
longer periods.
Soil: Cabbage can be grown on all types of soil. For early crop, sandy loam are
considered best, while late crop thrives better on heavier soils, since soil moisture is
retained. The plants on heavier soils grow more slowly and thus keeping quality is
improved. The optimum pH is 5.5 to 6.5 as the availability of phosphorus is
maximum. At lower pH yield is substantially reduced while in saline soils, the plants
are more susceptible to diseases particularly club root.
Raising of seedlings: The seed cost of hybrid varieties is very high. Therefore,
every seed should be grown judiciously thus, limiting the seed requirement to 150250g for one hectare of area. Normally one gram of seed is sown per square meter.
Before sowing seed should be treated with captan/bavistin/thiram @ 3g/kg. The
nursery beds should also be drenched after preparation with three per cent solution of
either of these fungicides or the soil is fumigated with formalin to check damping of
diseases. Sowing should be done in lines 5 cm apart 1.5 to 2.0 cm deep, to avoid
crowding and waste of seed. Normal cultural practices be followed to raise healthy
Sowing time: The sowing time depends upon the prevailing temperatures at a
particular place. In high hills, the crop is sown from April to June, in mid hills from
August to October and in North-Indian plains from September to November
depending upon variety. Available heat tolerant hybrids can be grown during
summers in mid-hills and plains. In South Western and Southern Peninsula hybrid
cabbage can be grown all the year round.

Transplanting: Four to six week old seedling should be transplanted, since the delay
leads to poor head set, late maturity and low yields for early crop. Plant spacing be
kept at 45x45 cm, for late 60x45 cm and for in situ sowings 60x30 cm. For early
plantings, when rains are prevalent ridge plantings perform better than flat plantings.
Fertilizers and manures: Cabbage is a heavy feeder especially of nitrogen and
potash. The plant nutrient doses largely depend upon soil status, availability of soil
moisture and the variety grown. Normally hybrids require higher doses since they
remove large amounts of plant nutrients for producing high yields. The manurial
schedule of 30 tonnes FYM, 200 kg N, 125 kg P2O5 and 150 kg K2O per hectare is
followed for hybrid varieties. If crop is poor a foliar application of 2% urea may be
Irrigation: Seedlings should be watered with can for a week for setting in field and
thereafter the interval of 10-15 days is followed to keep the soil moist. At the time of
maturity irrigation may be stopped, since it may cause splitting of heads. Splitting
may also be avoided by shaking heads for partially disturbing the roots.
Hoeing and weeding: Two hoeings and three weedings are sufficient for crop
growth and the control of weeds. The hoeingmay be avoided during major growth
period as it may damage roots and lower yields.Basalin (0.5 l/ha) as pre-emergence
spray has been found quite effected for the control of monocot and dicot weeds.
Black polyethylene mulch has also been found effective in controlling weeds,
conserving moisture, inducing growth and high yields.
Harvesting and Yield: The crop is harvested when the heads attain a good size and
are firm. The harvesting is staggered in OP varieties and uniform in hybrids. The
heads are carefully cut with a knife with few non-wrapper leaves. For long distance
transport, all the outer leaves are removed.The yield of particular hybrid or OP
varieties depends upon growing conditions, management of crop and the season. It
may vary between 20-30 t/ha in OP varieties and 50-80 t/ha of hybrid varieties.
Carrots (Daucus carota L.) originated in south Asia, in what are now
Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. Orange carrots soon displaced other colours and
today predominate throughout the world. However, in India majority of carrot
production is still of red type which is very low in -carotene, a pre-cursor of vitamin
A. There are two distinct groups of carrot, viz. tropical or Asiatic and European or
temperate. The European types set seeds only under temperate conditions as they
need low temperature of less than 7 C for 50-70 days for flower stalk induction.
Climate: Carrot is a biennial crop grown as an annual for its root. It is a cool season


vegetable, but will tolerate warm temperatures early in the growing season. Roots
attain their optimal colour when the air temperature is 60 to 700? F. Root colour can
deepen rapidly when temperatures are within this range three weeks before harvest,
but colour can decline at higher temperatures.
Soils: Deep well drained, sandy loam or much soils of pH 5.5 to 7.0 are desirable.
Varieties: Several cultivars of European carrots have been recommended for
cultivation in H.P. These are Early Nantes, Chantenay, Pusa Yamdagni and Solan
Sowing and season: The soil should be thoroughly pulverised to obtain a fine tilth.
Otherwise, it will result in deformed roots.The seeds are sown directly in the field on
flat beds or on both sides of the ridges formed at a spacing 30-40cm. The seed
requirement is 5-6 kg per hectare. The seeds should be rubbed prior to sowing to
remove the fine hair on their surface. Within rows a spacing of 5cm should be
maintained so that final plant population comes to about 100-130 per square metre.
Seed should not be sown deeper than one centimetre. European carrots can be
produced during September onwards in the mid hills while in the high hills and dry
temperate zone these are produced during summers and fetch excellent price in the
Irrigation: To facilitate quick germination a pre-sowing irrigation is desirable.
Irrigation should be done frequently depending upon soil type. Frequent irrigation
encourages the growth of taproot and prevents secondary root development.
Manures and fertilizers: Adequate nutrient supply is necessary for superior quality
carrot production. 20-30 tonnes per hectare well-decomposed FYM should be
applied at the time of land preparation.The carrot crop needs around 40-50kg
nitrogen, 40-50kg phosphorous and 80-100kg potassium per hectare. Half of
nitrogen and full dose phosphorous are applied as a basal dose. The remaining
nitrogen is applied at first hoeing, that is, 30-35 days after sowing.
Harvesting and handling: Summer fresh market carrots are harvested from early
July to September. Winter fresh market carrots are harvested from November to
December. Fresh market carrots must be over 5 inches long and between 0.75 and
1.5 inches in diameter. A light irrigation should be given just before harvest to
facilitate safe removal of roots. Under ambient temperature carrots can be stored
only for 2-3 days.
Yield: The yield may vary from 20-35 tonnes per hectare depending upon the season
and variety.


Of the six Raphanus species, only R.sativus is cultivated. Most cultivated
forms are annuals. The thickened fleshy hypocotyl and upper portion of the root is
the primary edible portion, secondary roots branch from the lower taproot. Storage
root length and width range from short to very long and slender to thick and shapes
may be spherical, cylindrical and tapering or combinations of these.
European varieties: White Icicle, Pusa Himani, Rapid Red White Tipped, Scarlet
Globe, Scarlet Long.
Climate: Radish is predominantly a cool-season crop but Asiatic types can tolerate
higher temperature. The roots develop best flavour, texture and size at cooler
temperature of 10o-15oC.
Soil: Radishes do best on either light mineral soils or muck soils but may be grown on
a wide range of soils. However, for good root quality soils should be deep, friable
and well drained.
Seed: Radishes are seed propagated and directly sown. Radish seeds are larger than
those of Brassica sp., about 100 seeds weigh 1g. Seed rate ranges from 6.25 to 7.5
kg/per hectare. Spacing of 30x7.5 cm for obtaining well sized roots is
recommended. Garden radishes are grown at high densities such as 2-5 cm between
plants in rows and from 10-20 cm between rows.
Methods of sowing: Radish is sown on ridges. Radish is grown as a companion crop
with other vegetable crops also. Seeds are sown on ridges about 23 cm high in small
furrows with fine sand or soil mixed by hand. The seed is covered and the soil is
made firm around it. For continuous supply, the seeds are sown in succession at an
interval of around 12 days.
Nutrient requirements: Being a quick growing root crop, the soil should be heavily
fertilised, so that nutrients may be readily available to the plants. A basal dressing of
25 to 40 tonnes per hectare of well rotten FYM or compost is added in the field at the
time of soil preparation. Fertilizer dosage may vary due to differences in fertility of
soil. However for Himachal Pradesh, 100 quintals FYM, 400 kg CAN, 315 kg SSP
and 60 kg MOP per hectare has been recommended.
Irrigation:If the moisture is not enough in the field after sowing the seeds, light
irrigation is given and later on the crops is irrigated when the plants are 5 to 7.5 cm
long and three to four leaves are formed. Generally, irrigation should be carried out
every four days.
Inter-cultivation: Two or three weeding may be necessary to minimize the seasonal
weeds. The third weeding, if necessary, is carried out 15 days after second weeding.

At the time of second weeding, thinning of thick sown plots should be done which
may vary depending upon the root size of the cultivars.
Harvesting: All harvesting is done by hand. Radishes are pulled and tied in
bunches. Radishes should be kept moist and cool at all times to prevent dehydration.
Black spot is reduced by washing radishes in chlorinated water. Yield of European
radishes is lesser and may range between 7-10 tonnes per hectare.
The turnip (Brassica rapa L.) possibly originated in eastern Afghanistan and
western Pakistan, the mediterranean region may be another primary centre. There
are two types of turnips cultivated in India: European type (biennial and mostly self
incompatible) and Asiatic types (annual).
Cultivars: Temperate cultivars are quick growing, good in quality and possess early
maturity. Some cultivars of this group are Purple Top White Globe (PTWG), Golden
Ball, Early Milan Red Top (EMRT) and Pusa Chandrima.
Soil: Use deep loam or sandy loam soil types that have good drainage. It is desirable
to have a good amount of organic matter in the soil as well. Soils with good drainage
are essential for fall and winter harvested crops.
Sowing: The seed rate is 3-4 kg per hectare. Turnip contains about 450 seeds per
gram. Hot water or fungicide treated seed should be sown. Hot water treatment is
carried out at 52oC for 25-30 minutes, the net seed is then immediately cooled and
dried. In mid hills, August-October and high hills, March-August.
Spacing: For fresh or vegetable production turnips should be spaced 30 cms apart
between the rows and 10 cm apart within the rows.
Fertilizer: FYM should be applied a year before seed sowing. FYM application has
been recommended to be 100 quintals per hectare, CAN 250 kg per kha, SSP 315 kg
per ha and MOP 65 kg per hectare. CAN should be applied in three split doses. First
at the time of sowing and second and third at the time of earthing up and another
month after that.
Irrigation: Apply water for tender growth and maximum availability of nutrients.
This crop may require 8-12 inches of water depending upon the planting date,
seasonal variation, and variety. Soil type does not affect the total amount of water
needed, but does dictate frequency of water application. Lighter soils need more
frequent water application, but less water applied per application.
Harvesting: Harvesting time depends upon cultivars which may mature in 50 days
to as long as 100 days from sowing. For fresh market, harvest by hand pulling when

the soil is comparatively dry so that a minimum of dirt adheres to the roots. For
processing purposes, harvesting can also be carried out by mechanical methods (if
available). During harvest, roots should be handled with care to reduce injury and
rots during storage.
Yield: Yield varies from 20-25 tonnes per hectare depending upon cultivar and
Seed production of temperate vegetables is the most important aspect, which
delineates temperate vegetables from other vegetables. For successful seed
production, most temperate vegetables are required to be subjected to vernalization/
chilling at vegetative stage before they can form flower-stalk. Moreover, some of the
varieties of cauliflower particularly the late cauliflowers though are capable of
setting seeds without chilling yet at the time of seed setting moderate summer
conditions prevalent in temperate zone are required.
Some essential practices for seed production of temperate vegetables are
given below:
1. Cabbage

Head production: Heads are produced in hills during May to October

planting is done slightly later than the normal crop so that oversized heads are
not formed.


Pulling of heads with roots: In the month of November-December, true to

type heads are pulled along with stumps and roots and their non-wrapper
leaves are removed.


Storage of heads in the trenches: Cabbage heads along with intact stump
and roots are stored in trenches of the size 6'x3'x4'. These trenches are
covered with GI sheets and soil taking precaution that rain or snow water
does not enter the trench. Heads are allowed to vernalize at a temperature of
2-4oC for 2 to 3 months.


Replanting the heads in spring: In the months of March, holes are made in
the field with the help of a crow bar, heads are replanted in these holes, and
soil is pressed around it. A 2-3 deep cross cut is given at the top of the head to
facilitate easy emergence of flower stalk.


Seed harvesting and curing: The branches bearing the siliques are cut on
different dates depending upon their maturity with sickle and left for curing
in shade. The seed is extracted by beating the shoots with sticks.

European carrots, turnip and radishes

Stecklings slightly less than full size roots are raised by planting seeds in the
month of June-July in high hills and the roots are pulled out in the month of
November. The roots are selected on the basis of root shape and other true to type
characters. The leaves of the roots are chopped off and the stecklings stored in
trenches at 2-5oc temperature for 2 to 21/2 months in trenches similar to cabbage. In
the month of March, the selected roots are replanted in the field. Flower shoots start
emerging in April. Seed bearing umbels and shoots are harvested periodically from
August to September. It is cured and threshed subsequently for extraction.
Bassett, M.J. 1986. Breeding Vegetable Crops. AVI Publishing Co. Inc., Westport
Connecticut USA
Nieuwhof, M. 1969. Cole Crops: Botany Cultivation and Utilisation. World Crops
Books, Leonard Hill, London
Ryder, E.J. 1979. Leafy Salad Vegetables. AVI Publishing Co. Inc., Westport
Connecticut USA
Thompson, H.C. and Kelly, W.C. 1979. Vegetable Crops. Tata Mcgraw Hill
Publishing Co. Ltd. New Delhi
Wein, H.C. (Ed.) 1997. Physiology of Vegetable Crops. CABI Publishing, London


Production Technology of Cucumber under Changed

Climatic Conditions
Ramesh Kumar, Sandeep Kumar, KS Thakur and Dharminder Kumar
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni-173 230 Solan (HP)

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is one of the most important cucurbitaceous

vegetable crop grown extensively in tropical and sub-tropical parts of the country. It
is considered as 4 most important vegetable crop after tomato, cabbage and onion.
Cucumber is a thermophilic and frost susceptible crop species, growing best at a
temperature above 20C. It is grown for its tender fruits, which are consumed either
raw as salad, cooked as vegetable or as pickling cucumber in its immature stage. It is
a rich source of vitamin B and C, carbohydrates, Ca and P.
In the recent years, due to changing climatic conditions in the country,
production and quality of most vegetable crops have been directly and indirectly
affected by high temperatures and exposure to elevated levels of carbon dioxide and
ozone. In general, the vegetables those require hot temperatures to grow, have faster
growth and better quality as the temperatures rise until it reaches the growth
inhibition limit (35? ). The temperature in the hilly as well as in the plain regions of
the country is increasing rapidly due to global warming, which has resulted in poor
yield and reduced quality of cucumber. Rise in the temperature during summer
months has affected the sex expression, flowering, pollination and fruit setting in
cucumber. Extremely high temperatures can even cause early flower drop in
cucumber. Moreover, exposure of cucumber plants to heat stress during fruit
development stage causes bitterness of fruits. Various other climatic factors like
humidity, rainfall, light intensity etc. also affect the normal growth and development
in cucumber if they are not provided in optimum range during the growing season.
The various strategies/techniques developed to overcome the adverse effects of
climate change on cucumber production have been given here under:
Improved varieties/hybrids:
The main goal of research on cucumber in India is to improve productivity on
sustainable basis through developing biotic and abiotic resistant varieties/hybrids
coupled with quality attributes. In India, several research institutes and universities
have utilized a number of cultivated and wild species of cucumber to develop
improved varieties/hybrids. But, due to changing climatic conditions, existing
varieties of cucumber are becoming susceptible to various biotic and abiotic stresses.
Hence, there is an immense need to develop new varieties/ hybrids of cucumber
which are resistant/tolerant to high and low temperatures, water logging, soil salinity

Improved agro-techniques:
The yield potential of cucumber could be increased by adopting the
standardized agro-techniques and plant protection measures. Mulching has been
very effective for hybrid crops as it moderate the soil temperatures. During summer
and rainy seasons, straw mulch has been found effective. Use the PGR has been
proven to be beneficial for earliness, quality and yield in cucumber. Foliar spray of
ethephon (100-500 mg/l), GA (10 mg/l) and TIBA (25-50 mg/l) increases the yield in
cucumber. Staking in cucumber has been found to be very effective in getting
maximum yield and better quality of fruits. In this regard, pruning i.e., single stems
are allowed to grow with 2-3 fruiting branches in cucumber is also beneficial. In
general, 25-30 tones of farm yard manure, 25 kg nitrogen, 40 kg phosphorus and 4060 kg potassium as basal dose is sufficient for healthy crop stand in cucumber.
Use of grafting techniques
Grafting is the uniting of two living plant parts so that they grow as a single
plant. Grafting of vegetable plants is a common practice in Japan, Korea, and several
European countries; its main purpose is to control soil-borne diseases and
nematodes. In addition, grafted plants may have higher yields, improved tolerance to
environmental stresses such as high boron, soil salinity, and low soil temperatures
under changing climatic scenerio. Grafting in cucumber was first used commercially
in 1960's. There are various manual grafting methods in cucumber viz., hole
insertion, modified hole, tongue approach, slant-cut, splice and double splice
grafting which are being used on commercial scale and recently, grafting machines
have been developed to produce the huge amount of grafted plants required.
Cucumber can be grafted on inter-specific squash and fig leaf gourd rootstocks. In
Japan, cucumber rootstock is often selected based on its influence on fruit quality, as
certain rootstocks reduce the deposition of silicon over the fruit epidermis or bloom
and therefore improve the fruit quality. Rootstock efficacies are influenced by
compatibility to the selected scion, existing disease pressure, and climate conditions.
Hence, it is very important to test the selected candidate rootstocks at a small scale
before introducing the rootstock for larger scale. In spite of its advantages, there are
some problems associated with grafting. These include the additional cost, graft
incompatibility that commonly appears to cause physiological disorders, and
reductions in yield, fruit quality, and flower formation. Therefore, initiating or
increasing the use of grafted plants should be done only after the benefits and risks of
grafted seedlings have been fully understood (Edelstein, 2004).
Protected cultivation
The productivity and quality of cucumber grown under open field conditions
is generally low. Cucumber under open fields is grown in two seasons; one in
summer and second in rainy season. During winter season, it cannot be grown under
open field conditions. Keeping in view the abiotic stresses in changing climate under
open field, production technology of cucumber has been developed and standardized

for cultivation under two types of protected structures namely, naturally ventilated
greenhouse and insect-proof net house. The yield of cucumber in protected
structures can be increased manifold as compared to their open field cultivation.
Moreover, production of cucumber in greenhouse or net house has led to the
minimum use of pesticides, which is not possible under open field cultivation. The
demand of fresh salad varieties of cucumber is increasing day by day and growing
this crop under protected conditions is becoming profitable proposition. Vegetable
growers, for getting higher prices from their off-season produce, often try to send
their produce to the market early in the season and also try to extend the growing
season for selected vegetable crops for the purpose of obtaining marketing advantage
of their off-season produce. The production technology of parthenocarpic cucumber
has been developed and standardized for its cultivation under naturally ventilated
greenhouse conditions. Three crops of parthenocarpic cucumber can be grown over a
duration of 10-11 months under naturally ventilated greenhouse conditions with
productivity ranging between 120-130 t/ha with very high quality fruits. This
technology eliminates stresses due to biotic and abiotic factors and the use of
pesticides can be minimized. The technology is highly remunerative for the growers
of Jammu and Kashmir (up to Jammu region), Himachal Pradesh (low hills and
Plains), Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, U.P., Uttrakhand (low hills and Tarai region), NE
states, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Plastic low tunnel technology
Plastic low tunnels provide the best way for off- season cultivation of
cucumber during winter season by modifying the microclimate around the plants.
Low tunnels also offer several advantages like protection of the crop from frost,
hails, and crop advancement from 30-40 days over their normal season of
cultivation. This low cost technology for off season cultivation of cucumber is highly
suitable and may be quite cost effective for the growers in northern parts of the
country, where the night temperature during winter season goes below 8 0C for a
period of 30-40 days. This technology has been developed for off-season cultivation
of cucumber for taking full advantage of the prevailing high market prices of the offseason produce. The major steps involved in this technology are as under:
Nursery raising for off-season cultivation of cucumber
In India, cucumber is mainly sown by seeds during their normal season of
cultivation. Seedlings of cucumber cannot be raised through traditional system of
nursery raising on soil beds, because it does not tolerate against slightest damage to
its root and shoot system during their uprooting and transplanting. Thereafter, a
method of nursery raising was evolved in which off-season seedlings were raised in
small polyethylene bags and plastic plug trays by using coco-peat, vermiculite and
perlite as soil-less media in 3:1:1 ratio on volume basis. This technique is not only
efficient in vigorous root development but also suitable to avoid any damage to the
roots and shoots of the seedlings at the time of transplanting. This technology is
economical and suitable for the cucumber growers in northern plains of India,

because with the introduction of this technique, farmers can grow large number of
seedlings as per requirement for off-season cultivation for fetching high price of their
off-season produce. Seedlings are raised in the nursery greenhouse in plastic protrays having 1.5" cell size in soil-less media in month of December or January and
28-32 days old seedlings at four leaf stage are transplanted under row covers or
plastic low tunnels in the open field from mid January to mid February, when the
night temperature is very low in northern parts of the country. Nursery can also be
raised even in polythene bags under very simple and low cost protected structures
like walk-in tunnels or in locally available plastic trays in soil less media as per the
need of the area.

Preparation of beds, transplanting of seedlings and covering of plastic

Transplanting of the seedlings is done in a single row on each bed at a

planting distance of 50 cm on drip system of irrigation. Distance between the rows in
usually kept 1.5 to 1.6 m. Before transplanting of the seedlings on beds, flexible
galvanized iron hoops are fixed manually on a distance of 1.5 m to 2.5 m. The width
of two ends of hoop is kept 40-60 cm with a height of 40-60 cm above the levels of the
beds for covering the plastic on the rows or beds for making low tunnels.
Transparent, 30 micron, IR grade plastic is generally used for making low tunnels,
which reflects infra-red radiation to keep the temperature of the low tunnels higher
than outside field. Now-a-days with the introduction of biodegradable plastic for
making low tunnels and for mulching purposes, it is not only eco-friendly but it may
be sustainable technology for off-season vegetable production. This biodegradable
plastic is available according to the requirement of the duration one want to cover the
crop or use as mulch in the crop. After that period the plastic after receiving
sufficient sunlight, it becomes brittle. The film eventually breaks down into small
flakes and finally completely composted in the soil. The plastic is usually covered in
the afternoon after transplanting. The plastic can be vented or slitted during the
growing season as the temperature increase within the tunnels during the peak day
time. Generally, 3-4 cm size vents are made on eastern side of the tunnels just below
the top on a distance of 2.5 to 3.0 m after transplanting, and later on the size of the
vents can be increased by reducing the distance between two vents with the increase
in the temperature and ultimately the plastic is completely removed from the plants in
month of February and March depending upon the date of transplanting growth of the
crop and prevailing night temperature in the area.

Pollination under plastic low tunnel crops

Cucumber is monoecious in sex form and needs pollination, which is usually

performed by honeybees (Apis melifera). When there is complete flowering bees can
work in tunnels easily through the vents, made on the plastic. For effective
pollination in cucumber, one beehive, having 30000-50000 workers is sufficient for
one-acre area. The beehive box is always kept on the northwest side of the field for
effective working of the bees.


Harvesting and crop advancement

Cucumber can be transplanted from first week of December to first week of

February and can be advanced 30-60 days over their normal season of cultivation. If
the crop has been transplanted in first week of February, the fruits will be ready for
harvesting in third week of April. Fruits from the mid January transplanted crop can
be harvested in first week of April, which is normally 30-40 days early than the
normal season. Off-season fruits produced under low tunnels can fetch very high
price in the market. This technology is quite economical for growing off-season
vegetables in peri-urban areas of the northern plains of the country under changing
climatic conditions.
Chaudhary, B. 1971. Vegetables. National Book Trust, India, New Delhi.
Edelstein M. 2004. Grafting vegetable-crop plants: pros and cons. Acta
Horticulturae 659 (1): 235-238.
Fageria M S, Chaudhary B R and Dhaka R S. 2003. Vegetable Crops Production
Technology.Vol. II . Kalyani Publishers: New Delhi. 283 p.
Kalbarczyk Robert. 2010. Climatic Risk of Field Cultivation of Cucumber (Cucumis
sativus L.) in Poland. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca 38 (3):
Rai N and Yadav D S. 2005.Vegetable Science and Technology in India. IBH
Publication, New Delhi. 567 p.
Swarup Vishnu. 2006. Vegetable Science and Technology in India. Kalyani
Publishers, New Delhi. 656 p.


Production Technology of Vegetable Crops under

Changing Climate with Reference to Organic
Vegetable Production
Kuldeep Singh Thakur, Ramesh Kumar and Dhaminder Kumar
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173 230

Agriculture today faces the challenge of having to adapt and respond to climate
change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This challenge can be met through
organic agriculture.
On a global scale, the potential for food production is projected to increase
with increases in local average temperature over a range of 1-3oC, but above this it is
projected to decrease (IPCC, 2007). Given that warming by the end of the 21st
century (2090-2099) will be worse than expected and that the best estimates project a
rise of 1.8-4oC, and a likely range of 1.1-6.4oC, the world is likely to see a decline in
food production.
For developing countries, including where some of the poorest people live
and farm, the projections of climate change's impacts on agriculture are dire. Climate
change will cause yield declines for the most important crops and result in additional
price increases for the world's staples - rice, wheat, maize and soybeans (Nelson et
al., 2009).
The relationship between climate change and agriculture is however a twoway one; climate change in general adversely affects agriculture and agriculture
contributes to climate change in several major ways.
Agriculture releases a significant amount of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane
(CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) into the atmosphere amounting to around 10-12% of
global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions annually, mostly methane from
livestock raising, biomass burning and wet cultivation practices, and nitrous oxides
from the use of synthetic fertilizers. If indirect contributions (e.g., land conversion to
agriculture, fertilizer production and distribution and farm operations) are factored
in, some scientists have estimated that the contribution of agriculture could be as
high as 17-32% of global anthropogenic emissions (Bellarby et al., 2008).

Organic agriculture has both adaptation and mitigation potential

The challenge is therefore to design an agriculture that adapts and responds to
the changes in climate experienced, as well as reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
This challenge could be met through organic agriculture.
By increasing resilience within the agro-ecosystem, organic agriculture
increases its ability to continue functioning when faced with unexpected events such
as climate change (Borron, 2006). Resiliency to climate disasters is closely linked to
farm biodiversity; practices that enhance biodiversity allow farms to mimic natural
ecological processes, enabling them to better respond to change and reduce risk.
Thus, farmers who increase inter-specific diversity via organic agriculture suffer less
damage compared to conventional farmers planting monocultures (Borron, 2006;
Ensor, 2009; Niggli et al., 2008). Moreover, the use of intra-specific diversity
(different cultivars of the same crop) is insurance against future environmental
Organic farming practices that preserve soil fertility and maintain or increase
organic matter can reduce the negative effects of drought while increasing
productivity (ITC and FiBL, 2007; Niggli et al., 2008). Water-holding capacity of
soil is enhanced by practices that build organic matter, helping farmers withstand
drought (Borron, 2006). In addition, water-harvesting practices allow farmers to rely
on stored water during droughts. Other practices such as crop residue retention,
mulching and agro-forestry, conserve soil moisture and protect crops against
microclimate extremes. Conversely, organic matter also enhances water capture in
soils, significantly reducing the risk of floods (ITC and FiBL, 2007; Niggli et al.,
Indigenous and traditional knowledge are a key source of information on
adaptive capacity, centred on the selective, experimental and resilient capabilities of
farmers (ITC and FiBL, 2007; Niggli et al., 2008). Many farmers cope with climate
change in different ways: by minimizing crop failure through increased use of
drought-tolerant local varieties, water-harvesting, extensive planting, mixed
cropping, agro-forestry, opportunistic weeding and wild plant gathering. Traditional
knowledge, coupled with the right investments in plant breeding, could yield new
varieties with climate adaptation potential.
On the other hand, agriculture has the potential to change from being one of
the largest greenhouse gas emitters to a much smaller emitter and even a net carbon
sink, while offering options for mitigation by reducing emissions and by
sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere in the soil. The solutions call for a shift to
more sustainable farming practices that build up carbon in the soil and use less
chemical fertilizers and pesticides (Bellarby et al., 2008; ITC and FiBL, 2007).


There are a variety of organic farming practices that can reduce agriculture's
contribution to climate change. These include crop rotations and improved farming
system design, improved cropland management, improved nutrient and manure
management, improved grazing-land and livestock management, maintaining fertile
soils and restoration of degraded land, improved water management, fertilizer
management, land use change and agro-forestry (Bellarby et al., 2008 and Niggli et
al., 2008).
Niggli et al. (2008) estimated that a conversion to organic agriculture would
considerably enhance the sequestration of CO2 through the use of techniques that
build up soil organic matter, as well as diminish N2O emissions by two-thirds due to
no external mineral nitrogen input and more efficient nitrogen use. Organic systems
have been found to sequester more CO2 than conventional farms, while techniques
that reduce soil erosion convert carbon losses into gains (Bellarby et al., 2008; ITC
and FiBL, 2007; Niggli et al., 2008). Organic agriculture is also self-sufficient in
nitrogen due to recycling of manures from livestock and crop residues via
composting, as well as planting of leguminous crops (ITC and FiBL, 2007).
Redesigning agriculture in an era of climate change entails investing more
resources, research and training into, providing appropriate policy support to, and
implementing national, regional and international action plans on organic
agriculture. Doing so will not only be beneficial in terms of climate adaptation and
mitigation, but will also be a paradigm shift towards increasing productivity while
ensuring sustainability and meeting smallholder farmers' food security needs.
Maximizing the synergies between adaptation and mitigation means that
these strategies should be developed simultaneously. In particular:

There should be more research and action on adaptation measures in

agriculture, especially in developing countries in order to assist farmers there
to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change on agriculture.

Action plans for mitigation measures for agriculture should be urgently

researched and implemented.

Financing assistance for adaptation and mitigation measures in the

agriculture sector in developing countries should be prioritized.

Arrangements should be made for the sharing of experiences and the transfer
of good practices in agriculture that can constitute mitigation and adaptation.

Given the many advantages of organic farming and sustainable agriculture,


in terms of climate change as well as social equity and farmers' livelihoods,

there should be a much more significant share of research, personnel,
investment, financing and overall support from governments and
international agencies that should be channeled towards sustainable
agriculture. Promotion of sustainable agriculture can lead to a superior
model of agriculture from the environmental and climate change
perspective, as high-chemical and water-intensive agriculture is phased out,
while more natural farming methods are phased in, with research and
training programmes also promoting better production performances in
sustainable agriculture.
With appropriate focus on organic agriculture as providing adaptation,
mitigation and increased productivity options, a 'win-win-win' scenario for
agriculture is possible. Importantly, organic agriculture approaches are also
accessible to small-scale and poor farmers who depend on biodiversity, soil health
and locally-available resources in agricultural production.
Bellarby, J., Foereid, B., Hastings, A. and Smith, P. 2008. Cool farming: Climate
impacts of agriculture and mitigation potential. Greenpeace International,
Borron, S. 2006. Building resilience for an unpredictable future: How organic
agriculture can help farmers adapt to climate change. FAO, Rome.
Ensor, J. 2009. Biodiverse agriculture for a changing climate. Practical Action, UK.
IPCC. 2007. Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2007: Impacts,
Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth
Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. [M.L.
Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson (eds.)].
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 7-22.
ITC and FiBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture). 2007. Organic Farming
and Climate Change. ITC, Geneva.
Niggli, U., Fliessbach, A. and Hepperly, P. 2008. Low Greenhouse Gas Agriculture:
Mitigation and Adaptation Potential of Sustainable Farming Systems. FAO,


Role of Biofertilizers in Enhancing the Vegetable

Productivity under Organic Farming Systems
Kuldeep Singh Thakur and Dhaminder Kumar
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173 230

Application of bio-fertilizer is of great significance in organic farming. As

they play a nutritional stimulatory and the therapeutic role in improving growth,
yield and quality of vegetable crops. Inoculations of vegetable crops with different
bio-fertilizers have depicted an encouraging response both in terms of increasing
yield, quality and soil fertility. The field response of Rhizobium is encouraging as
reported by a number of research workers. Azotobacter and Azospirillum depicted a
significant influence on vegetable crops, resulting in nitrogen economy of 25-50%
and increase in yield 20-30 %. Similarly phosphorus solubilizers can also save in
general 20-40% phosphorus fertilizers and can enhance the crop yields by 25-30%.
Biofertilizers are microbial inoculants or carrier based preparations
containing living or latent cells of efficient strains of nitrogen fixing, phosphate is
solublizing and cellulose decomposing microorganisms intended for seed or soil
application and designed to improve soil fertility and plant growth by increasing the
number and biological activity of beneficial microorganisms in the soil.
The objective behind the application of biofertilizers /microbial inoculants to
seed, soil or compost pit is to increase the number and biological / metabolic activity
of useful microorganisms that accelerate certain microbial processes to augment the
extent of availability of nutrients in the available forms which can be easily
assimilated by plants. The need for the use of biofertilizers has arisen primarily due to
two reasons i.e. though chemical fertilizers increase soil fertility, crop productivity
and production, but increased / intensive use of chemical fertilizers has caused
serious concern of soil texture, soil fertility and other environmental problems, use of
biofertilizers is both economical as well as environment friendly. Therefore, an
integrated approach of applying both chemical fertilizers and biofertilizers is the best
way of integrated nutrient supply in vegetable crop production.
Biofertilizers used in vegetable crops:
i) Symbiotic nitrogen fixers Rhizobium sp.
ii) Non-symbiotic, free living nitrogen fixers Azotobacter, Azospirillum etc.
iii) Phosphate solubilizing microorganisms (PSM) Bacillus Pseudomonas,
Penicillium Aspergillus etc.
iv) Mycorrhiza

Role of Biofertilizers in enhancing soil fertility and crop productivity

Biofertilizers are known to play a number of vital roles in soil fertility, crop
productivity and production in agriculture as they are eco friendly and cannot at any
cost replace chemical fertilizers that are indispensable for getting maximum crop
yields. Some of the important functions or roles of Biofertilizers in agriculture are:
1. They supplement chemical fertilizers for meeting the integrated nutrient
demand of the crops.
2. They can add 20-200 kg N/ha year (eg. Rhizobium sp 50-100 kg N/ha year;
Azospirillum , Azotobacter: 20-40 kg N/ha /year) under optimum soil
conditions and thereby increases 15-25 percent of total crop yield.
3. They can at best minimize the use of chemical fertilizers not exceeding 40-50
kg N/ha under ideal agronomic and pest-free conditions.
4. Application of biofertilizers results in increased mineral and water uptake,
root development, vegetative growth and nitrogen fixation.
5. Some Biofertilizers (eg, Rhizobium, Azotobacter sp) stimulate production of
growth promoting substance like vitamin-B complex, Indole acetic acid
(IAA) and Gibberellic acids etc.
6. Phosphate mobilizing or phosphorus solubilizing biofertilizers /
microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, mycorrhiza etc.) converts insoluble soil
phosphate into soluble forms by secreting several organic acids and under
optimum conditions they can solubilize / mobilize about 30-50 kg P2O5/ha
due to which crop yield may increase by 10 to 20%.
7. Mycorrhiza when used as biofertilizers enhance uptake of P, Zn, S and water,
leading to uniform crop growth and increased yield and also enhance
resistance to root diseases and improve hardiness of transplant stock.
8. They liberate growth promoting substances and vitamins and help to
maintain soil fertility.
9. They act as antagonists and suppress the incidence of soil borne plant
pathogens and thus, help in the bio-control of diseases.
10. Nitrogen fixing and phosphate mobilizing in bio-fertilizer enhance the
availability of plant nutrients in the soil and thus, sustain the agricultural
production and farming system.
11. They are cheaper, pollution free and renewable energy sources
12. They improve physical properties of soil, soil tilth and soil health in general.

13. They improve soil fertility and soil productivity.

14. Bio-inoculants containing cellulolytic and lignolytic microorganisms
enhance the degradation/ decomposition of organic matter in soil, as well as
enhance the rate of decomposition in compost pit.
15. Azotobacter inoculants when applied to many non-leguminous crop plants,
promote seed germination and initial vigor of plants by producing growth
promoting substances.
16. Plays important role in the recycling of plant nutrients.


Production Potential of Under Exploited Vegetable Crops

Dharminder Kumar, Ramesh Kumar, KS Thakur, Ashok Thakur*,
Prabal Thakur and Sandeep Kumar
Department of Vegetable Science
*Department of Seed Science and Technology
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan, HP 173 230

India exhibits extreme variations in agro-climatic regions and floristic

diversity. Twenty agroclimate regions occur in India based on physiographic,
climate and cultural feature (Sehgal et al., 1992). Out of the estimated 75,000 species
of edible plants (Gautam and Singh, 1998), only about 150 have been widely used.
Of these about 30 species provide 90% of the world's food. The Indian subcontinent
represents one of the richest diverse genetic resources. The Indian center of origin
and diversity enjoys a rich gene pool of economically important species including
both annual perennial plants. More than 15,000 species of flowering plants are
indigenous to this region including over 160 domestic species of economic
importance, 320 species of wild ancestral forms and approximately 800 species of
ethno botanical origin. Global diversity in vegetable crops is estimated at about 400
species, with about 80 species of major and minor vegetables reported to have
originated in India (Chadha, 2009).
The use of the term underutilized to refer to categories of wild and cultivated
plants invariably gives rise to a discussion of what the word actually means. In
general it is commonly applied to species whose potential has not been fully realized.
Here we define underutilized species as those non-commodity crops, which are part
of a larger biodiversity portfolio, once more popular and today neglected by users'
groups for a variety of agronomic, genetic, economic, social and cultural factors.
(Padulosi and Hoeschle-Zeledon, 2004). Underutilized vegetables are the species
with under-exploited potential for contribution to food security, health (nutritional /
medicinal ) , income generation, and environmental services ( Jaenicke and
Hoeschle-Zeledon, 2006) . Underutilized crops are often presented as 'new crops',
not because they are 'new' but because they have been taken up by commercial
companies and researchers for a new market. In reality, local communities have used
these species for generations but the current loss of local knowledge means that their
traditional uses are being forgotten. The leaves of black nightshades (Solanum
nigrum) provide appreciable amounts of minerals including calcium, iron and
phosphorous, Vitamins A and C as well as proteins and amino acids such as
methionine, scarce in other commonly marketed vegetables.


Highly adapted to agro-ecological niches and marginal areas

Represented by ecotypes or landraces.

Cultivated and utilized drawing on indigenous knowledge.

Hardly represented in ex situ gene banks.

Require only limited external inputs for production.

Suitable for organic production

Suitable for cultivation on marginal land (poor soil fertility, etc.)

Fit into small-scale farming systems

Possess traditional, local and/or regional importance

Easy to store and process by resource-poor communities

Local Market opportunities available

Possess high nutritional and/or medicinal value

Offer multiple uses (Global Facilitation Unit (GFU), 2002)

Many Indigenous vegetables (IVs) are underutilized, planted mainly in home
gardens, used only by a small group of people in very limited geographical area and
some are grown only for a very special purpose. (Engle and Faustino, 2007).Very
often IVs are underutilized in spite of their growing importance. Possible reasons for

Lack of available germplasm for widespread use,

Lack of seeds,

Lack of information on use and importance,

Lack of information about their performance and input requirements and lack
of information on how they can fit into production systems.
Amaranthus tricolor, A. dubius and A. tristis- major ones cultivated as
vegetables Amaranth greens, poor man's spinach,Leaves good source of vit. A, B6,
C, riboflavin, folate, and dietary minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium,
phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese.Enhydra fluctuans; Water
cress, Marsh herb,Tender twigs eaten as vegetables; laxative, demulcent.
Fagopyrum esculentum; common buckwheat,F. tataricum; bitter buckwheat Leaves
and young shoots consumed as a potherb. Contains rutin, which reduces haemophilia
and heart attack chances. Ipomoea aquatica;Kangkong, water spinach,Tender twigs
used as vegetable or added to sauces and soups.Rich in iron, calcium, vit. B and
C.Mildly laxative, used to cure diabetes; juice used as emetic, dried latex purgative.

Rumex vesicarius, R. acetosella, R. patientia, R. scutatus; Sheep sorrel, Khatta

palak,Mostly consumed raw; considered a famine food. Leaves rich in calcium,
carotene, and vit. C; astringent and slightly purgative. Sauropus androgynus;
Chekkurmanis, Star gooseberry,Tender shoots and leaves used as vegetable. Rich in
protein, carbohydrate, fat, fibre, carotene, vit. C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and
minerals. Momordica dioica; Spine gourd, Kakrol,Green fruits, rich in proteins, used
for curing ulcers, piles, sores, obstruction of liver & spleen, cough, digestive
problems and diabetes and Seeds used for chest problems and to stimulate urinary
discharge. M. balsamina; Balsam Apple, Green fruits rich in vit. A, C, Fe and Ca and
Plant's infusion used as anti-emetics, for stomach/intestinal complaints and diabetes.
Basella alba (green), B. alba var. rubra (red); Indian spinach, Poi,Edible parts:
Tender shoots/leaves/stem used as vegetable, soups and stews,Used in digestive
disorders and contain antiviral substances and Sap of mature fruit used as a colouring
agent in pastries and sweets. Diplazium esculentum; Lungru,Most commonly
consumed fern, quite tasty, giving it the name "vegetable and Young fronds, rich in
iron, manganese and zinc, eaten as salad, vegetable, or pickle. Nasturtium officinale;
Watercress, Edible parts: tender shoots or leaves used in soups, salad or as a
garnish,Leaves exceptionally rich in vitamin C, folic acid, ascorbic acid and
minerals, especially iron and Used as a detoxifier, antiscorbutic, diuretic and
stimulant. Moringa oleifera; Drumsticks, Horse Radish tree,Mineral packed
(calcium, phosphorus, and iron) perennial vegetable, rich in vit. A and C and Leaves,
flowers and immature pods used in various vegetable dishes, curries, pickle, and as
fresh mesocarp powder. Sesbania grandiflora; Agathi,Tender leaves, fruit, and
flowers eaten as vegetable, curries or salad,Diuretic, aperient, emetic, laxative,
febrifuge and tonic and Remedy for bruises, catarrh, dysentery, fever, headache,
sores, smallpox, sore throat, stomatitis and night blindness. Solanum indicum; Bush
tomato, Indian nightshade,Half ripe fruits used in preparation of curries, pastes or
pickles; leaves used as vegetable and Fruits digestive and eaten to cure dysentery,
malaria and gastritis. Trichosanthes dioica; Pointed gourd,Edible parts: Immature
fruits and leaves used as vegetable, in soup, stew, curry, sweet, or fried and Used for
overcoming constipation, fever, skin infections, and wounds and also Improves
appetite and digestion. Carissa carandas; Karonda,Fruits sour, astringent, rich in
iron, vit. C; used as pickles, chutney and Fruits antiscorbutic, useful to cure
anaemia,Ripe fruit sweet, cooling, appetizer; useful in anorexia, burning sensation,
skin diseases and scabies. Cordia myxa; Lasora, Indian cherry,Unripe fruits eaten as
vegetable, pickles while ripe fruits used in making country liquor and Fruits useful in
gastric problems, ulcer, leprosy, skin diseases, dry cough, bronchitis, chronic fever,
and arthritis. Sechium edule; Chayote, choko,Fruits rich in amino acids and used as
vegetable and snacks and Infusion of leaves used in treatment of arteriosclerosis,
hypertension and to dissolve kidney stones.

Himachal Pradesh is a treasure house of traditional, locally adapted Indigenous

vegetables, which are mostly underexploited.There are several lesser known plant
species, which have tremendous potential to be used as vegetables and they do not
require high input technology and can thrive well on marginal and sub marginal lands
and therefore, could be exploited for meeting the protein requirement of the
predominantly vegetarian population of the country. Moreover vegetables greens
like amaranth and chenopods possess of the very high protein along with higher
content of lysine and essential amino acids. Increased use of these greens of high
nutritive value could be great significance towards solving the problem of
malnutrition, to some extent. Since IVs could help undercut the food insecurity at the
household level, therefore there is need to promote their conservation, production,
processing and utilization. (Kalia et al., 2007).
There is growing interest worldwide in, how farmers can benefit from
emerging market opportunities, particularly in how they can access complex value
chains associated with changes in the global agricultural economy

Market access is seen as an opportunity both to reduce poverty and contribute

to in situ conservation.

Heritage marketing' of superior selections of UUV is also helping to link

small-scale farmers and traders with growing urban markets.

Commodity chains' are being established that generate new and sometimes
lucrative income opportunities for poor farming households in rural, periurban, and urban settings and thus alleviating poverty.

Underutilized vegetables and fruits offer huge potential to prepare various

value- added products. These products are nutritious and high in fiber and

With proper awareness on benefits of processed products and market

promotion the demand for underutilized fruit/vegetable products, market
share, and profits could be increased.

Demand for high value agricultural products is expected to grow faster in

domestic , regional and export markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America
Access to these markets is also likely to lead to greater poverty reduction and
conservation through use among smallholder producers of underutilized

There are several strategic factors that need to be taken into account if we are
to successfully promote underutilized species and, at the same time, ensure that
benefits are equally shared among community members. These include:
Focusing on local values, indigenous knowledge and uses: such an approach
will strengthen the link between diversity and sustainable uses and is
important in considering marketability.
Recognizing underutilized species as a public good to ensure the continued
availability and accessibility of plant genetic material to present and future
Focus on groups of species as models through case-study approaches to make
the best use of limited resources and facilitate for scaling-up and
mainstreaming results.
Promote cooperation among stakeholder groups and create national, regional
and international synergies: this is not an option but a necessity, isolated
efforts and success stories need to be linked and disseminated.
Analyze and enhance demand using market-oriented strategies: such an
approach will create sustainable markets and reduce the risk of overestimating economic potential.
Empower rural poor and strengthen their capacity to negotiate with the
private sector and government: such interventions will ensure that the poor
and underprivileged receive their rightful share of the benefits resulting from
our promotion process. This is an important part of the livelihood approach
and essential because many underutilized species are cultivated in poor areas
where they represent one of the few - if not the only - asset of the local
Mainstream gender-sensitive approaches in management and use: these will
allow groups like women - who are too often marginalized - to enhance their
capacity to manage, conserve and use underutilized species in a sustainable
way and - in doing so - strengthen their economic status.
Inter-disciplinary work: such an approach is critical if the opportunities of
underutilized species - including nutritional, economic and social aspects are to be tapped at all levels.

Need to broaden the range of plants species utilized by man.
Global awareness is required not only amongst the researchers but equally
among the planners, policy makers, growers and users all over the world.
Specific exploration programmes to collect genetic variability, conserve it
and utilized for development of improved cultivars.
Public awareness drives should be carried out in rural area to educate people
about the nutritional value of the niche based UUVs and their probable role in
eradicating poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
Popularization of potential and economics of UUVs.
Characterization and documentation of germplasm.
Developing infrastructure for processing the product as wel as their
Chadha, M.L.2009. Indigenous Vegetables of India with Potentials for Improving
Livelihood. ISHS Acta Horticulturae 806: pp 579-585.
Engle, Liwayway M. and Faustino, Flordeliza C. 2007. Conserving the Indigenous
Vegetable Germplasm of Southeast Asia. AVRDC, Acta Hort. 752. ISHS . pp 5559.
Gautam, P.L. and Singh, A.K. (1998) Agro-Biodiversity and Intellectual Property
Rights (IPR) Related Issues. Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources 11(2),
Jaenicke, H and Hoschle-Zeledon, I. (eds.) 2006. Strategic Framework for Research
And Development of Underutilized Plant Species with Special Reference to
Asia, The Pecific And Sub- Saharan Africa. International Centre for
Underutilized Crops (ICUC), Colombo, Sri Lanka and Global Facilitation Unit
for Underutilized Species (GFU), Rome ,Italy.
Kalia Pritam, Sharma Akhilesh, Singh Sharda and Singh Yudhvir.2007. Locally
Adapted Indigenous Vegetables of Himachal Pradesh and Their Role in
Alleviating Poverty, Hunger and Malnutrition. Acta Hort. 752, ISHS :239-242.
Sehgal, J.L., Mandal, D K., Mandal, C. and Vadivelun, S. 1992. Agro-ecological
Regions of India. Tech. Bull. No.24.NBSS &LUP(ICAR).New Delhi.


Off-season Tomato Production in North Western

Himalayas under Changing Climate
Shiv Pratap Singh
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni Solan - 173 230

Tomato is one of the most popular vegetables grown in north western

Himalayas. In the mid hills of north western Himalayas it is usually grown during the
summer months when in the rest of the tropical parts of the country the temperature
shoots up very high making tomato cultivation difficult. During this period tomato
grown in the mid hills of north western Himalayas fetches good price due to the offseason advantage in the adjoining plains where this crop is in shortage during this
period. Tomato thrives best between 1-30C and is neither tolerant to frost, nor to
waterlogged condition. The optimum range of temperature is 20-24C, mean
temperatures below 16C and above 27C are not desirable. Soil which is well
drained, fairly fertile, rich in organic matter with a fair water holding capacity is
ideal. The crop performs well in soil having pH 6.0-7.0 and is moderately tolerant to
acid soil (pH 5.5). The changing climate due to global warming is effecting the offseason tomato production in the hills. The temperature in the mid hills is increasing
which in-turn is affecting the quality as well as the yield of tomato thereby putting a
lot of impact on the socio-economic life of the farmers living here, as majority of
farmers in mid hills of western Himalayas rely on tomato and fetch remunerative
returns from this crop.
Impact of changing climate on tomato production in Western Himalayas
Changing climate has to some extent changed the summer temperature in
mid hills and it has increased slightly in comparison to past decades, which has
greatly affected the fruit setting and flowering in tomato. The various factors like
temperature (both day and night), humidity, rainfall, light intensity etc greatly reduce
the tomato yield if they are not in normal range during the crop growing season
(Abdulla and Verkert, 1968). At higher temperature, the probability of floral
abscission is high after anthesis (Iwahori, 1967). High day and night temperatures
above 32C and 21C, respectively, are reported as limiting factors for fruit-set due
to an impaired complex of physiological process in the pistil, which results in floral
or fruit abscission ( Picken, 1984). High temperature associated with high night
temperature during summer affects fruit-set of tomatoes in the country. Most of the
regions in mid hills rely on monsoon for irrigation and only limited areas have some

irrigation facilities as a result due to erratic behaviour of the climate the crop gets
exposed to water logged and drought stress conditions. The water logged conditions
makes the crop more susceptible to various fungal pathogens and insect pests
whereas the drought conditions lead to impaired plant growth and reduced yields.
Thus due to changing climate and drift in average temperature to higher side have
made many areas at low altitude marginal for successful off-season tomato
cultivation during summer months.
Strategies for mitigating the effects of climate change for successful cultivation
of tomato in North western Himalayas
Use of plant growth regulators
Use of plant growth regulators in tomato has been found beneficial for yield,
quality, earliness, fruit setting under low and high temperatures and to develop
resistance to diseases like TLCV etc. Growth regulators activate the root growth,
increase fruit set and yield. They also effect the physiological process hasten
maturity and help in getting better quality fruits. Foliar application of GA3 at 10 ppm,
NAA 1000 ppm, PCPA (Parachloro-phenoxy acetic-acid) at 50 ppm, 2,4-D at 0.5
ppm or cytozyme at 1.25% is reported to increase the fruit yield. Spraying of PCPA at
50 ppm, IAA 50 ppm or Borax 1% gave better fruit set in higher temperature. The
foliar application of PCPA 50-100 ppm at the flowering stage increases the fruit set at
low and high temperatures.
Use of grafting techniques
Grafting tomato onto flood and disease-resistant rootstock is a potential
technology to overcome the abiotic and biotic problems. This technology can be used
for successful cultivation of tomato in adverse climatic conditions. High yielding
and heat-resistant tomato scions like Apollo and CL 5915 and flood and bacterial
wilt-resistant rootstocks like H7996 (tomato) and EG203 (eggplant) have been found
to be superior. Provision of rain shelter to grafted tomato increased the yield by 340%
over grafted plants grown in open field. Grafting and rain shelter significantly
improved the yields of CL5915 and Apollo (Claritap et al., 2004).
Development of new climate resilient tomato varieties/Hybrids
Climate change leads to depression in yield of the various crops due to
unfavourable environmental conditions posed by it; tomato is no exception to the
climate change and its off-season cultivation is becoming difficult due to erratic
climatic conditions being faced during its growth period in the hills. Thus there is
need to develop new technologies and climate-resilient varieties/ hybrids of tomato
which are tolerant to heat, cold stress and resistant to water logged conditions.

Protected cultivation
Protected cultivation though costly can be adapted to mitigate the climate
change. Growing tomato in naturally ventilated polyhouse with fan pad system and
shading net is widely being used in mid hills of Western Himalayas. Farmers are also
getting subsidy for building of the polyhouse for successful tomato cultivation. The
climate inside polyhouse can be regulated by cooling the polyhouse with fan pad
system and by obstructing the sun light with the help of shading nets for specific time
during day. The additional advantage of the polyhouse grown tomato is that the
produce is of high quality and free from excessive pesticides as very limited sprays
are done in polyhouse grown vegetables. Though fully climate controlled
polyhouses can be made which will make the year round cultivation of tomato
feasible but the cost of the construction and operation of such polyhouses is very
high which makes them un-economical therefore more emphasis is given only on the
cultivation of tomato in partial climate controlled naturally ventilated polyhouses.
Development of new improvised cultural practices
Climate change creates lot of strain on natural resources like water by making
the availability of water uneven during the growing period as a result sometimes it is
in plenty, while there are occasions when there is water drought conditions. The
western Himalayan region is also experiencing the erratic rains due to global climate
change as a result there is a need to employ improvised irrigation methods like
sprinkler and drip irrigation etc. which minimize the use of water and increase the
water use efficiency. The technology of growing tomatoes on raised beds and use of
improvised training system comprising of iron wire and iron angle can help the crop
to perform better during the rainy season as the off-season crop is greatly affected by
the water logging conditions during this particular time of the year.
Abdulla, A.A., and Verkerk, K. 1968. Growth flowering and fruit-set of the tomato at
higher temperature. Neth. J. Agric. Sci.16. 71-76.
Iwahori 1967. Auxin of tomato fruit set at different stages of its development with a
special reference to high temperature injuries. Plant and Cell Physiol. 8. 15-22.
Picken, A.J.F. 1984. A Review of pollination and fruit set in the tomato
(Lycopersicon esculentum Mill). Journal of Horticultural Science. 55: 1-13.
Claritap Aganon, Lun G Mateo, Dennis Cacho, Anacleto Bala J R and Teotimom
Aganon. 2004. Philippine Journal of Crop Science. 27(2): 3-9


Influence of Climate Change in Capsicum Production

Santosh Kumari
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173230 HP

All vegetable crops are sensitive to temperature and most have specific
temperature requirements for development of optimum yield and quality. Climate
change will impact capsicum in following ways:

Increase in pollination failures under higher temperature during flowering

Floral abortion will occur under higher temperature

Increased heat stress will adversely affect fruit size and quality of the fruit

Cultivars are currently not as adaptable to higher or more variable

temperatures as they were before

Increased incidence of physiological disorders like blossom end rot and sun

Increased incidence of insect pests under higher temperature

Increased risk of spread and proliferation of soil borne diseases like leaf
blight and fruit rot, as a result of more intense rainfall events coupled with
warmer temperatures

An increasing incidence of out of season and extreme rainfall events will

affect the timing of cultural practices and negative effects on yield and
product quality

Increasing temperatures will impact greenhouse crop production, especially

production in sub-tropical regions, where summer temperatures is high and
restrict production to the cooler months of the year

In temperate areas there will be less effect and sowing time can adjusted

More irrigational water will be required because of higher evaporative


Sowing dates of the crop can be adjusted according to changing temperature

Selection of the cultivars which are more adaptable to a changing and

variable climate

Crop should be grown under polyhouses to avoid losses due to unfavourable

climatic conditions like high temperature, heavy rains, strong winds and
hailstones etc.

Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPDM) will be an important tool to

adapt to changing climate

Mulching with different mulching materials will help in reducing the

incidence of soil born diseases like leaf blight and fruit rot

Scientists have to breed the cultivars, suitable to grow under changing

temperature, resistant to insect, pest and diseases
To cope up with the effects of climate change we have to follow good
production technology in capsicum and also to increase the yield and for good quality
of the produce.
Sweet pepper is botanically known as Capsicum annuum L. It belongs to
family Solanaceae. South America, especially Brazil is thought to be the original
home. It is grown in Central and South America, Peru, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Mexico
and in almost all European countries. In India, it is cultivated commercially in Tamil
Nadu, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh and in some parts of Uttar Pradesh. In Northern
India it is also known as 'Simla Mirch' and is an important crop grown expensively in
mid hills of Himachal Pradesh to supply to plains. Sweet pepper is rich in vitamin A
and C. Fruits may be eaten cooked or raw, sliced in salads.
Cultivars: There are several cultivars of bell shaped, non-pungent, mild, thick
fleshed sweet peppers or simla mirch. The important cultivars are California Wonder,
Solan Bharpur, Yolo Wonder, King of North, Early Giant, World Beater, Chinese
Giant, Arka Gaurav and Arka Mohini. Important hybrids are Bharat, Indira, Hira,
Solan Hybrid-1 and Solan Hybrid-2 etc.
Soil: Sweet pepper can grow in almost all types of soil, but well drained clay loam
soil is considered as ideal for cultivation of sweet pepper. It can withstand acidity to
some extent. For commercial cultivation, levelled and raised beds were found more
suitable than sunken beds. On sandy loam soil, crop can successfully be grown
provided manuring is done heavily and the crop is irrigated properly and timely. The
sweet pepper plant produced best when soil pH was 6-6.5.
Climate: Sweet pepper is a warm season crop. It requires 250C day and 180C night
temperature for higher yield, fruit weight, length, girth, number of fruits per plant and
pericarp thickness. Fruit development is found to be adversely affected at
temperature of 37.80C or above. High temperature and low humidity at the time of
flowering increase the transpiration pull resulting in abscission of buds, flowers and
small fruits (Cochran, 1936). High night temperature has found to be responsible for
the higher capsaicin content (Ohta, 1962).

Raising of seedlings and transplanting: Seedlings are first raised in the nursery
beds and then transplanted in the main fields. Normally, 6-8 nursery beds (300 x 100
x 15 cm) are sufficient for one hectare cultivation. Seeds should be sown in rows to
get healthy seedlings. The seeds should be dressed with Thiram or Captan at the rate
of 2g per kg of seeds before sowing to prevent seed born diseases. Seed rate of 750900 g/ha (OP varieties) and 200-250 g/ha (hybrids) is required for one hectare
cultivation. The seeds should be covered with a layer of FYM or soil manure mixture
and irrigate everyday to maintain optimum soil moisture. In hills the sowing time for
sweet pepper is March- April and in southern states October November. The
seedlings having 4-5 leaves should be transplanted. The nursery beds should be
irrigated before lifting of seedlings. Transplanting is done in evening hours followed
by irrigation. The seedlings are transplanted to the field in rows at a distance of 60 cm
and plant to plant distance is kept 45 cm.
Manures and fertilizers: Application of balanced dose of fertilizers is necessary for
proper growth and development of the plants. FYM-200-250 q/ha, CAN- 400 kg ,
SSP- 475 kg, MOP- 90 kg per hectare is applied in capsicum crop. Full dose of FYM,
SSP, MOP and half dose of CAN should incorporated at the time of field preparation
and remaining dose of CAN is applied in two split doses at one month interval after
Irrigation: The first irrigation should be given just after transplanting. Later, the
field should be irrigated as and when required. Optimum soil moisture should be
maintained in the soil at the time of flowering, fruit set and fruit development.
Weed control: Weeds can be removed manually by hand. Two weedings 30 and 60
days after planting are sufficient. Pre-plant incorporation of weedicides like
Fluchloralin @0.5-1.0 kg/ha and Alachlor @2.5 kg/ha can also be done to control the
Harvesting: The sweet pepper fruits are usually picked while they are still green in
colour, firm and crispy. Yield varies from 300-400 q/ha.
Capsicum production under greenhouse: Growing capsicum under greenhouses
is proving to be very remunerative venture to greenhouse growers as it fetches
maximum returns in the market. Coloured varieties of sweet pepper like red and
yellow are being grown by farmers and sold in the markets at distant places. Agro
techniques to grow capsicum under greenhouse are as under

In mid hills of Himachal Pradesh, two crops of capsicum can be taken, one
spring summer crop (January to June) and another autumn winter crop (July
to December).

In capsicum generally those varieties and hybrids are grown which give

maximum productivity with good shape and size of fruits and suits to year
round production. These cultivars should have longer harvest duration.
Indira (green), Orebelle (yellow), Bomby (red) are suitable varieties for
cultivation under polyhouse.

To raise nursery, seeds are sown in well prepared nursery beds or plastic trays
having uniform growing media comprising of soil and compost/FYM. The
seedlings are ready after 4-5 weeks for transplanting depending upon the
season of growing. The transplanting of seedlings after their hardening is
done in an existing greenhouse in the evenings for the better establishment of
plants in a growing media comprising of soil, FYM/compost and sand
(2:1:1). Closer spacing of 45 x 30 cm is kept in polyhouse.

Training and pruning is an essential operation in greenhouse crops for better

management and providing uniform light to the plants. It also helps in
efficient utilization of resource and greenhouse environment by crops. In
capsicum, two stem and four stem training system is followed.

Temperature between 18-27 C and relative humidity ranging from 60-80 %

with more CO2 (900-1200 ppm) is considered ideal for good quality fruit

Irrigation is done every day in summers and every third day in winters by drip

Before transplanting, N, P and K are incorporated in soil @ 50 kg/ha.

Fertigation is done using water soluble fertilizers like polyfeed @ 150 kg/ha
(19:19:19) twice in a week and is started from third week after transplanting
up to 15 days before last harvest.

When fruits start attaining proper colour may be harvested and firm and
crispy. For long distance markets the fruits should be packed in good
containers to avoid any damage in transit and storage. Generally harvesting
starts 55 days after transplanting in most of the varieties. A well managed
crop of bell pepper under greenhouse conditions is expected to give a yield of
10-13 kg/m2.
Bose, T K, Som M G and Kabir J.Vegetable Crops. Naya Prokash Calcutta.
Chaudhary A K, Fageria M S and Arya P S. Vegetable Crops Production
Technology. Kalyani Publishers.


Efficient Irrigation Management Practices in

Vegetable Crops
JN Raina
Department of Soil Science &Water Management
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry Nauni, Solan 173230

When, how much and how to irrigate are important questions for
farmers/growers, mainly because of the increasing energy costs and lack of adequate
water resources. The rational management of irrigation is, therefore, an
indispensable process in irrigated crop production. Many interacting factors
determine the frequency of application and the amount of water to be applied. Some
of these factors include: the plant's inherent water requirements based on species; the
climate of the region (macro climate) and the environment around the specific area
(micro climate); the season of year; the type of water delivery (irrigation) system;
and the desire or necessity to conserve water. The present paper embodies
information on irrigation water management approaches, advantages of hi-tech
irrigation systems and future needs related to efficient water management in
vegetable crops
The conventional method of irrigation (flooding, furrow, flat bed, corrugation,
boarder, ring etc.) revolves around the concept of replenishing the moisture level to
field capacity (FC) after 50 to 60% depletion. The plants actually use only 40-50% of
the water delivered through these methods. The low efficiencies are attributed
mainly to the conveyance losses resulting from seepage, percolation and
evaporation. On the other hand, drip irrigation system is for efficient (Table1) owing
to precise and direct application of water in the root zone. (Raina 2000; 2002)
Table 1 Irrigation efficiencies (%) under different methods of irrigation

Irrigation method efficiency

Conveyance efficiency
Application efficiency
Overall efficiency

Methods of irrigation
40-50 (Canal)
60-70 (well)


Drip irrigation is a technique in which water is applied in small and precise

amount at frequent intervals, directly near the root zone, through emitting devices via

a network of PVC/HDPE mains, sub mains, filtration unit, control valves and
LLDPE laterals. The technology has the greatest potential where water is either very
expensive or scarce or the soils are coarse textured. The technology assumes a
special significance in Himalayan regions, which are endowed with undulating
topography, are difficult to level and having higher runoff rates. Micro-irrigation was
practiced in India through indigenous methods such as bamboo pipes, perforated
clay pipes and pitcher/porous cup irrigation. To promote the concept of dripirrigation, efforts have been made at the research level by Indian Council of
Agriculture Research, Agricultural Universities, and National Committee on Use of
Plastics in Agriculture, Ministry of Water Resources and Drip Manufacturing
Association. Drip-irrigation also enables the use of fertilizers, pesticides and other
soluble chemicals along with the irrigation water more economically .Different
components of drip system are shown in figure1
Advantages of Drip Irrigation: Every irrigation method has its own merits and
demerits. For the drip system, the advantages, however, far outweigh the

Water Saving: Due to partial wetting of the soil volume, reduced surface
evaporation, decreased runoff and controlled deep percolation losses, the water use
efficiency under drip irrigation is markedly higher than traditional flood or furrow
irrigation. With drip irrigation water savings to the extent of 52 % in garlic; 50.0 to
70.0% in pea and tomato: 37% in cauliflower and 30% in okra has been reported.
(Sivanappan and Padamkumari 1980; Pawar et al., 1993; Raina et al 1998, 1999).
The comparative results on drip and surface irrigation in some vegetable crops are
cited in table 2 and 3.
Table 2: Water use and yield under two methods of irrigation.


Yield Q ha -1

Water use (cm)


Source; Sivanappan and Padamkumari 1980

Table 3: Effect of irrigation methods on yield and water use efficiency of garlic
Irrigation Bulb yield Clove No bulb-1 Seasonal Cu Water use
(Mg ha-1)
Source: Pawar et al 1993

Irrigation water requirement under drip has reported to be for lower than
conventional surface irrigation resulting in more than 50% savings in water besides
improving the fruit yield by 40 per cent (Table4)
Table 4: Irrigation requirement of tomato crop under surface and drip
irrigation methods


Amount of irrigation applied



savings by
drip (%)

Increase in
fruit yield by
drip (%)


Source: Bafna et al. 1993

Enhanced plant Growth and Yield: Slow and frequent watering eliminates wide
fluctuations in soil moisture content resulting in better growth and yield. Application
of mulch in conjunction with drip system proved more beneficial in saving the
irrigation water and improving the yield. Raina et al (1988, 1999) tried drip irrigation
levels at 'V', 0.8 V, 0.6 V i.e. at 100, 80 and 60% ETC both with and without mulch
and compared the treatments with conventional surface irrigation (Table 5). Drip
irrigation increased pea and tomato yield by 30-40% over surface irrigation.
Application of mulch further raised the yield both under drip and surface irrigation.
The higher yields under mulch may be attributed to the moderation in soil thermal
conditions, moisture conservation besides considerable weed control.
Table-5: Effect of different treatment on crop yield of tomato and pea (q/ha)
Pooled 1995-96 1996-97 Pooled
T3(0.60 DV)
T6(0.8 DV+M)
T7 (0.6 DV+M) 208.5
T8 (S+M)

Saving in labour and Energy: There is a considerable saving in labour as the
well designed system needs labour only to start and stop the system. Because of high
irrigation efficiency much time is not required to supply the desired quantity of
water, thus, it also saves energy.
Weed Control: Due to partial wetting of soil, weed infestation is very less in
comparison to other methods of irrigation.
Most Suitable for poor Soils: Very light (sandy) soils are difficult to irrigate due to
deep percolation of water. Like- wise, very heavy soils are difficult to irrigate, even
by sprinkler methods because of low infiltration rates.
Salinity Hazards: Less moisture content due to frequent irrigations and lesser water
requirement over the surface method keep saline concentration below the
detrimental levels.
Soil Erosion: There is no soil erosion due to drip irrigation.
Fertilizer use efficiency: Because of reduced loss of nutrients through leaching,
runoff and volatization and also local placement in the root zone, FUE is
considerably improved.
Disease incidence: Easy installation, minimum tillage and incidence of diseases and
pests are added advantages of drip irrigation.
Constraints of drip system: There is no second opinion about the immense
potential and prospects of drip system. But, there are some constraints listed below,
which need to be solved by multi- pronged effort:

It requires high initial investment.

Frequent clogging of drippers. The clogging could be due to algae, salt

accumulation or foreign particles.

Non availability of technical manpower.

Inadequacy of technical input for efficient management of drip irrigation


It is not suited for frost protection or for cooling during periods of hot

They are not suited for supplemented irrigation of large areas.

Availability of components and cost of spares.


Future Needs: With the ever increasing demand for water in the domestic and
industrial sector, the allocation of water for agriculture is likely to decline
considerably. This calls for judicious use of water adopting strictly the recommended
irrigation schedules and efficient water injection systems such as drip/sprinkler.
Application of irrigation water through high tech systems such as sprinkler/ drip is an
integral component of protected cultivation. Irrigation water requirement is expected
to vary markedly for different vegetable crops being raised under open and
polyhouse conditions in different parts of the country and also with the type of
irrigation system being used. So for, scanty information on these aspects has been
generated and documented. There is thus, a need to determine drip/ sprinkler
irrigation water requirement and their schedules for different vegetable crops being
raised in different agro-climatic zones of the country. Crop coefficient values for
different growth stages of different vegetable crops also need to be documented for
specific agro climatic conditions. Such values are of utmost importance to compute
tentative water requirement of corps using various mathematical models. There is
also a need to popularize the high tech irrigation systems among farmers and growers
through demonstrations pin pointing the advantages of such systems related to water
savings and improvement in yield and quality of flowers.
Bafna, A.M. Dafatdar,S.Y. Khade,K.K. and R.S.Rathor (1993) Utilization of
nitrogen and water by tomato under drip irrigation J. Water Managment. (1): 6-9.
Raina, J.N. and B.C. Thakur and A. R. Bhandri (1998) Effect of drip irrigation and
plastic mulch on yield, water use efficiency and benefit-cost ratio of Pea
cultivation. J. Indian Society Soil Science 46: (4) 562-67.
Raina, J.N., Thakur, B.C. and M.L. Verma (1999) Effect of drip irrigation and
mulch on yield, quality and water use efficiency of tomato.
(Lycopersicon esculentum) Indian J. Agric. Sci. 69 (6): 430-33.
Raina, J.N. (2000) Drip irrigation and fertigation in vegetable crops. :
HorticultureTechnology (Eds.) V.K. Sharma and K.C. Azad. Deep and Deep
Publications, New Delhi,Vol. II: pp339-346
Raina, J.N. (2002) Drip irrigation and fertigation: Prospects and retrospect's in
temperate fruit production: In: Enhancement of temperate fruit production in
changing climate (Eds.) K.K. Jindal and D.R. Gautam Publn. UHF, Solan pp
Sivanappan, P.K. and O. Padamkumari (1987) Drip irrigation Keerthi Pub. House
Pvt.Ltd. Coimbatore.


Impact of Climate Change on Vegetable Crop Production

vis a vis Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies
Satish Kumar Bhardwaj
Department of Environmental Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni- 173230, Solan, HP

Climate change has been recognized as the single most challenge that
humans and the mother Earth is facing today. The problems would further aggravate
in the years to come if no corrective measures are taken. This change has happened
due to years of over exploitation of natural resources, faulty practices in agriculture
and industries. The change in climate is mainly caused by increasing concentration
of the Green House Gases in the atmosphere. In 1980s, scientific evidences linking
GHGs emission due to human activities causing global climate change, started to
concern everybody. Subsequently, United Nations General Assembly in 1992
formed Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) which finally adopted the framework for addressing
climate change concerns.
Climate is defined as the average weather, or more precisely, as the
statistical description of the weather in terms of the mean and variability of relevant
quantities over periods of several decades (typically three decades as defined by
WMO). Climate change according to Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) refers to 'a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (using
statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties that
persist for an extended period, typically decades or longer. However, UNFCCC in
its Article 1 defines climate change as a change of climate which is attributed
directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global
atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over
comparable time periods. The UNFCCC thus makes a distinction between climate
change attributable to human activities altering the atmospheric composition, and
climate variability attributable to natural causes.
Climate Change Situation
Climate of the planet earth is always in a state of change as a natural process
influenced by both natural variability and induced environmental changes due to
anthropogenic reasons. Natural causes include continental drift, volcanoes, earth's
tilt, solar output variations and ocean current while human causes are green house
gas emissions and land use change etc. However, the reason for worry is that climate
change is taking place at a much faster rate than expected by the human interference.

The IPCC has been publishing periodic assessment reports on atmospheric

carbon concentration and its likely impact on the environment. According to this
International scientific body the CO2 concentration has increased from a value of
about 280 ppm during pre-industrial era to 393 ppm in 2010. Similarly, the global
atmospheric concentration of methane and nitrous oxides and other important
GHGs, has also increased considerably. Accordingly to the IPCC, this has resulted
in warming of the climate system by 0.74 C 18 C between 1906 and 2005. Global
average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year over 1961-2003. The
IPCC has projected a temperature increase in the range 1.1 to 6.4 C by the end of this
century. For South Asian including Indian region, the IPCC has projected 0.5 to
1.2 C rise in temperature by 2020, 0.88 to 3.16 C by 2050 and 1.56 to 5.44 C by
2080, depending on the scenario of future development (IPCC 2007). Climate
change is projected to increase the global temperatures, cause variations in rainfall,
increase the frequency of extreme events such as heat, cold waves, frost days,
droughts, floods, etc with immense impact on agriculture sector.
Influence of Elevated CO2
In climate change impact studies CO2 concentration is important as it is the
principal driver of climate change. In studying the impact of climate change on
gardens, as with agriculture, forestry and nature conservation, carbon dioxide itself
has a significant impact by its involvement in photosynthesis. Plants with C3
photosynthetic metabolism benefit due to increase in atmospheric CO2
concentrations and will be able to accumulate more biomass. Increases in
atmospheric CO2 concentration affect how plants photosynthesise, resulting in
increases in plant water use efficiency, enhanced photosynthetic capacity and
increased growth. Increased CO2 has been implicated in 'vegetation thickening'
which affects plant community structure and function. Controlled environment
studies indicated that elevated CO2 at 550 ppm improved the bulb size and yield of
onion. Tomato plants grown at 550 ppm CO2 environment produced 24% more
fruits. Elevated CO2 is reported not only to improve the yield but also alters the
quality of the produce. The quality (carotene, starch and glucose content) and tuber
yield of sweet potatoes increased in elevated CO2 conditions. Increased CO2 can also
lead to increased Carbon: Nitrogen ratios in the leaves of plants or in other aspects of
leaf chemistry, possibly changing herbivore nutrition.
Increased concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide stimulates crop
growth by the so called Carbon fertilization effect (Rogers and Dahlman, 1993). A
doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration increases plant growth and
marketable yield by 30-40% in C3 plants (Kimball, 1983). Most plants growing in


enhanced CO2 exhibit increased rates of net photosynthesis brought about by

increased CO2 availability at the chloroplasts and reduced photorespiration resulting
from an increased ratio of O2 to CO2
Effect of Rise in Temperature
The positive effect of elevated CO2 might be offset by the adverse effect of
associated global warming. Increases in temperature raise the rate of many
physiological processes such as photosynthesis in plants, to an upper limit. Extreme
temperatures can be harmful when beyond the physiological limits of a plant. Even
though elevated CO2 will cause positive impacts, these may be nullified by increased
temperature and less water availability resulting decreased production under the
current level of management. Temperature affects vegetable crops in several ways by
influencing crop duration, flowering, fruit growth, ripening and quality.
Weather conditions during flowering and pollination and subsequent fruit
growth determine the production quantity and quality. It has been reported that the
increased temperature beyond optimum range caused delayed curd initiation in
cauliflower. Temperature above 300C induced maximum flower and fruit drop and
high temperatures after pollen release decreased fruit set and fruit yield in tomato.
Temperature above 400C reduced the bulb size in onion. In beans high temperature
delay flowering because the enhance short day photoperiod.
Low temperatures during extreme winters also influence vegetable crop
production. For example cold wave during December 2002 and January 2003 caused
considerable damage to brinjal, tomato and potato crops. In cucumber sex expression
is affected with low temperatures leading to more female flowers and high
temperatures lead to more male flowers.
Effects of Water
In some areas rainfall has increased in the last century, while some areas have
dried. As water supply is critical for plant growth, it plays a key role in determining
the distribution of plants. Changes in precipitation are predicted to be less consistent
than for temperature and more variable between regions, with predictions for some
areas to become much wetter, and some much drier. Unprecedented changes in the
rainfall pattern leading to drought like situation in some areas could have serious
implications on crop production in general and in small and marginal farms in
Changes in Distributions of Plants
If climatic factors such as precipitation and temperature change in a region
beyond the tolerance of a species phenotypic plasticity, then distribution changes of

the species may be inevitable (Lynch and Lande 1993). There is already strong
evidence that plant species are shifting their ranges in altitude and latitude as a
response to changing regional climates (Permeson and Yohe 2003, Walther et al.
2002). When compared to the reported past migration rates of plant species, the rapid
pace of current change has the potential to not only alter species distributions, but
also render many species as unable to follow the climate to which they are adapted.
The environmental conditions required by some species, such as those in alpine
regions may disappear altogether. The result of these changes is likely to be a rapid
increase in extinction risk (Thomas et al. 2004). Changes in the suitability of a habitat
for a species drive distributional changes by not only changing the area that a species
can physiologically tolerate, but how effectively it can compete with other plants
within this area. Changes in community composition are therefore also an expected
product of climate change.
Indirect Impacts of Climate Change
A pathogen or parasite may change its interactions with a plant, such as a
pathogenic fungus becoming more common in an area where rainfall increases.
Under the changing climate situations existing fungal pathogen, bacteria, viruses
may cause more damage. Some of the minor pests may become major pests in future.
Advancement in appearance of aphids by two weeks with increase in 10C
temperature reduced growing period for seed potato crop.
Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture
The environmental changes projected due to climate change are likely to
increase the pressures on Indian agriculture, in addition to the on-going stresses of
yield stagnation, land-use, competition for land, water and other resources, and
globalization. Recent report of the IPCC and a few other global studies indicate a
probability of 10-40% loss in crop production in India with increases in temperature
by 2080-2100 (IPCC 2007). The year 2002 was a suitable example to show how
Indian food grain production depends on rainfall of July and it was declared as allIndia drought, as the rainfall deficiency was 19% against the long period average of
the country and about 30% area was affected due to drought. The kharif food grains
production was adversely affected by a steep fall of 19.1% due to all India drought
during monsoon 2002. Similar was the case during all India drought in 1979 and
1987 as well as during kharif season 2009 in Himachal Pradesh. It reveals that the
occurrence of droughts and floods during the Southwest monsoon across the country
affects foodgrains production to a greater extent.
Agricultural productivity is the ultimate determinant for the carrying
capacity of the Earth. With present food grain production of about 1800 million
tonnes, world is still short of required food supply by about 90 million tonnes every

year. Despite technologically advances like improved varieties, fertilizers,

irrigation methods, biotechnology, etc; weather is still the key determining factor for
agricultural productivity. The possible impacts of climate change on agriculture are:

Rise in temperature increases transpiration and in drier regions leads to water

stress causing yield reduction. In India only about 40% area is irrigated and
remaining 60% is rainfed. Even if we realize full irrigation potential in the
country, nearly 50% area will still remain rainfed. Under such circumstances
increase in temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns are likely to reduce
agricultural productivity in rainfed areas.


The climate change will probably lead to a decrease in crop productivity, but
with important regional differences (McCarty et al., 2001). In tropical and
sub-tropical regions like in India where the crops are already near the limit of
their temperature tolerance, even a slight increase in temperature will result
in drastic fall in crop productivity. However, crop productivity is expected to
rise slightly in mid to high latitudes for mean temperature increases of upto
3 C. Coupled with enhanced CO2 concentration, food productivity in these
areas is expected to increase with rise in temperature up to 3oC and fall with
further rise in temperature.


The rate of development in plants increases with rise in temperature. A short

life cycle, though less productive, can be beneficial for escaping drought and
frost and late maturing cultivars could benefit from faster development rate.
In colder regions, global warming could lead to lengthening of growth period
and optimal assimilation at elevated temperate.


Extreme events like droughts, floods, tropical cyclones, heavy precipitation

and heat waves will negatively impact agricultural productions.


The fertilizer use efficiency that ranges currently between 2 to 50% in India is
likely to be reduced further with increasing temperatures. Greater fertilizer
use to boost agricultural production will in turn lead to higher emission of
greenhouse gases.


Small changes in temperature and rainfall will have significant impact on

quality of food grains, vegetables, tea, coffee and medicinal plants with
resultant implications in domestic and external trade.


Changes in temperature and humidity will also change pest population. New
and aggressive pests including weeds are likely to invade our crops.


Adaptation to Climate Change

There have been several technologies which are already available and can be
useful for reducing the impact of climate change. Development of adverse climate
tolerant varieties may take more time but already known agronomic adaptations,
crop management and input management practices can be used to reduce the climate
related negative impacts on crop growth and production. Some of simple but
effective adaptations strategies include change in the sowing date, use of efficient
technologies like drip irrigation, soil and moisture conservations measures,
fertilizers management through fertigation, change of crop/alternate crop, increase
in input efficiency, pre and post harvest management of economic produce can not
only minimize the losses but also increase the positive impacts of climate change.
There is a lot of a scope to improve the institutional support systems such as weather
based agro-advisory. Input delivery system, development of new land use patterns,
community storage facilities for perishable produce of vegetable crops, community
based natural resource conservation, training farmer for adopting appropriate
technology to reduce the climate related stress on crops etc. All these measures can
make the horticultural farmer more resilient to climate change.
Mitigation Measures
Most of the vegetables being annual crops do not have any carbon
sequestration potential, the scope for reducing emissions in their cultivation is highly
limited and moreover the information on these aspects is lacking. Resource
conservation techniques and organic farming are the other mitigation measures
which can be followed.
Research Thrusts
Some of the researchable issues include:
Breeding vegetable hybrids and varieties tolerant to heat and drought stress
Quantification of impacts of elevated temperature and CO2 on growth,
development, yield and quality of crops.
Biotechnological approaches for multiple stress tolerance
Development of suitable agronomic adaptation measures for reducing the
adverse climate related production losses
Development of crop simulation models for crops for enabling regional impact,
adaptation and vulnerability analysis
Identification and refinement of indigenous technological knowledge to meet
the challenges of weather related aberrations

Development of eco-friendly and water use efficient irrigation systems

Development of eco-friendly and efficient fertilizer application systems
Development of pre and post harvest produce storage systems which can meet
the challenges of climate related risks
Recycling/usage of vegetable biomass should be emphasized
Capacity Building
There is an urgent need to train the researchers, extension personnel,
gardeners and farmers on climate change issues. Infrastructural development also
needs to be taken to make the Indian agriculture resilient to climate change. More
storage structures and training on making of value added products can augment the
farm income to make farmer more resilient to adverse situations. Training also needs
to be provided on eco-friendly adaptation technologies.
Currently, the world agriculture especially the vegetable production is
passing through a difficult situation and faced with the challenge of food/nutritional
security to meet the requirement for ever growing population. We have to produce
more and more food from less and less land. The problem gets aggravated because of
the growing biotic and abiotic stresses and decline in the quality of environment and
along with the menace of increasing global warming caused by the green house
gases. The succulent vegetable crops are highly sensitive to climatic conditions of
heat, drought and flooding. Therefore, there is an urgent need to focus attention on
studying the impacts of climate change on growth, development, yield and quality of
crops. The focus should also be on development of adaptation technologies and
quantify the mitigation potential of the crops. Elevated CO2 has positive effect
ranging from 24-51% on productivity of vegetable crops. However, rise in
temperature affects crop duration, flowering, fruiting, fruit size and ripening of
vegetable crops with reduced productivity and economic yield. Therefore, overall
impact of climate change and global warming will depend on interaction effect of
elevated CO2 and temperature rise. Development of new cultivars of crops tolerant to
high temperature, resistant to pests and diseases should be the main strategies to meet
this challenge. Accurate impact analysis of global warming on vegetable crops is
required to evolve adaptation measures and future strategies to cope with climate
change and global warming.


Fitter AH and Fitter RS. 2002. Rapid changes in flowering time in British plants.
Science 296 (5573): 168991.
IPCC. 2007. Climate change 2007: Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and
Vulnerability.Summary for Policymakers. Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change.
Kimball BA. 1983. Carbon dioxide and agricultural yield: an assemblage and
analysis of 430 prior observations. Agron. J. 75: 779-88
Lynch M and Lande R. 1993. Evolution and extinction in response to environmental
change. In Huey, Raymond B.; Kareiva, Peter M.; Kingsolver, Joel G. Biotic
Interactions and Global Change. Sunderland, Mass: Sinauer Associates. pp.
McCarty JJ, Canziani OF, Leary NA, Dokken DJ and White KS. 2001. Climate
change 2001. Impacts ,adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of Working
Group II to the third Assessment Report of The IPCC. Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge, UK.
Parmesan C and Yohe G. 2003. A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change
impacts across natural systems. Nature 421 (6918): 3742.
Rogers HH and Dahlman RC.1993.Crop responses to CO2 enrichment.
Thomas CD, Cameron A and Green RE. 2004. Extinction risk from climate change.
Nature 427 (6970): 145148.


New Pathological threats to Vegetable Crops and their

Management under Changing Climatic Conditions
RC Sharma
Directorate of Research
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan173 230

The Impact of global climate change on vegetable crops has recently become
a subject of increasing importance. Majority of the studies, however, confine their
enquires to the biological and physical domains, concentrating mainly on
representing the responses of vegetable crops to various changes in climate. Most of
studies are dependent on the broad scale predictive ability of general circulation
models on which they are based, reducing the utility of these models in fine scale
studies at regional and local scale levels. There have been reductions in the intensity
of snowfall as well as changes in the timing of snowfall. No discernible change in the
intensity of rainfall has occurred. The temperature distribution has undergone a
significant shift in addition to an overall increase in temperatures. The perception of
climate change is shaped mainly by the associated impact of changed climatic
conditions on the diseases of vegetable crops.
New pathological threats have been seen in the last few years on vegetable
crops under changing climatic conditions. It has been observed that the vegetable
crops have now become more prone to viral, bacterial and fungal diseases. In some of
the vegetable crops like tomato, spotted wilt virus, bacterial wilt and fungal wilts
have been seen to be of common occurrence. The situation, however, is entirely
different under greenhouse conditions. Under protected conditions, the severity and
incidence of powdery mildew and root rots were found more alarming. Among viral
diseases of tomato, tospo virus and leaf curl virus have occupied a significant
position. Sclerotium, Rhizoctonia and Pythium root rots of tomato and capsicum are
of significant importance in greenhouses or protected structures like polyhouses. In
bacterial diseases, Ralstonia solanacearum has become more devastating than ever
before. Vegetable Crops suffer badly from this bacterial disease in summer, rainy and
winter season.
Infested soil and surface water, irrigation water are the main sources of
spread of inocula of the pathogens and can infect undisturbed roots of vegetable
crops through microscopic wounds caused by the emergence of lateral roots. After
infection, the wilt causing bacteria colonizes the cortex and makes its way towards
the xylem vessel from where it rapidly spreads throughout the plant. It has been
reported that infected roots present in soil release vast number of bacterial cells into

the rhizosphere and secondary spread thereby occurs. The race 1 of this bacterium
can survive for more than 6 months on the seeds surface and in the soil. The bacteria
are also reported to spread through seed.
It is important that the diseases of vegetable crops are managed on
immunization-prophylaxis system comprising of management of soil through
microbes, plant extracts and cakes. The microbes may include mycorrhiza,
Trichoderma, Pseudomonas and Azotobacter etc. It has been reported that
Azotobacter has ability to produce anti fungal antibiotics and also to fix nitrogen
which improves the fertility of soil and also act as bioagent. In plant extracts,
asfoetida, turmeric, onion, garlic and among cakes, karanj, mustard and neem cake
are effective for the control of soilborne diseases of vegetable crops.
Out of about 51 fungicides which have been registered in India, mancozeb,
sulphur, copper oxychloride, carbendazim and thiram constitute 87 per cent use in
vegetable crops. The consumption of mancozeb is maximum followed by sulphur
compounds, copper oxychloride, carbendazim and thiram. Mancozeb use accounts
for 25 per cent followed by carbendazim (7.4%) and thiram (3.8%). A few new
generation fungicides are also being used for the control of fungal diseases of
vegetable crops. Important among these are strobilurin, Monceren, Fluazinaur and
Famoxadone. Out of total fungicide market of about Rs. 430 crores in India,
maximum fungicides use is on pome fruits (12.7%) followed by potatoes. The
proportion in chillies is 7.6% and in vegetables 4.6 %. Despite some adverse effects,
use of fungicides is likely to continue against vegetable diseases.
Generally, pathogens have been identified on visual basis on microscopic
examination tests. Monoclonal antibodies and enzyme linked immunosorbant assay
predominantly are used for detection of viruses. Nucleic acid based detection is
precise and more accurate to detect pathogens. In India, most of the work is
concentrated on development on PCR based diagnostic tools. Moreover, there is a
need to develop the use of single nucleotide polymorphisms by making use of unique
sequence polymorphisms. Molecular techniques can be used for indirect selection of
disease resistance genes for their use in plant breeding programmes. Exploitation of
host plant resistance against pathogens of vegetable crops has been widely used for
the control of diseases. The conventional breeding for disease resistance in vegetable
crops has mostly utilized major resistance genes based on the classical gene for gene
The legislations pertaining to plant protection were developed in India in
early part of the 20 century. Of late with WTO coming in place, the country has
challenges to appropriately compliance with the governing rules of WTO. There is
urgent need for developing national standard for survey, surveillance and pest free

areas as well as process for carrying out pest risk analysis and to develop necessary
research report for generating required scientific data.
Simulation of disease epidemic and management strategies developed in
response to natural climate extremes may be useful in adopting long term climate
changes. There is need to develop more effective disease surveillance and experts
system for farmers advisory system in the management of vegetable diseases.
Research was conducted world over on the effect of incorporated crucifer tissues on
activity of the soil borne plant pathogens. There exists a great potential in the use of
cruciferous plant residue for suppression of soil borne plant pathogens as an
alternative to expensive and environmentally hazardous chemical means of control.
There is thus a need to concentrate on diseases of economic importance
after undertaking accurate disease diagnosis for multiple diseases control based on
the principles of evasion, exclusion, eradication, protection and crop improvement
through conventional and molecular breeding programmes.


Biotic Factors and their Management under

Changing Climate
RC Sharma and Meenu Gupta*
Dean, College of Horticulture,
*Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan 173 230

Plant diseases can be infectious (caused by biotic factors) or noninfectious

(caused by abiotic agents). Infectious plant diseases are caused by pathogens, living
microorganisms that infect a plant and deprive it of nutrients. Bacteria, fungi,
nematodes, mycoplasmas, viruses and viroids, algae, protozoa are the living agents
that cause plant diseases. Fungi are the largest of these agents, while viruses and
viroids are the smallest. None of these pathogens are visible to the naked eye, but the
diseases they cause can be detected by the symptoms of wilting, yellowing, stunting,
and abnormal growth patterns.
Biotic factors


Fungi are small, generally microscopic, usually filamentous, branched, spore

bearing organisms that lack chlorophyll. They have cell walls containing chitin and
glucans (but no cellulose) as the skeletal components.
A group of fungal like organisms, the Oomycota generally referred to as
(oomycetes), until about 1990 were earlier considered to be fungi. Majority have cell
wall composed of glucans and small amount of cellulose, but not chitin. Now the
members of the kingdom Chromista (also known as Straminopila) rather than Fungi;
but continued to be treated as fungi because of their many other similarities to them,
especially the way they cause disease in plants.
Most of the more than 1, 00,000 known fungus species are strictly
saprophytic and they live on dead organic matter. About 50 species cause diseases in
humans. About 50 species cause diseases in animals. More than 10,000 species of
fungi can cause diseases in plants. All plants are affected by some kinds of fungi and
each of the parasitic fungi can attack one or many kinds of plants.


Bacteria are second most important organisms which cause plant disease.
They are prokaryotic single celled mostly achlorophyllous organisms whose body is

surrounded by cell wall and contain membranous genetic material (or chromosome).
They lack membrane bound organelles such as mitochondria or plastids and also a
visible endoplasmic reticulum.
Most of the bacterial species are saprophytes living on dead organic matter.
There are about 200 bacterial species which are plant pathogenic. Morphologically
the bacteria are rod shaped (bacilli), spherical (cocci), spiral (spirrilli), coma shaped
(vibrios) or thread like (filamentous). Mostly plant pathogenic bacteria are rod
shaped except streptomyces which have a filamentous branched hypha-like
structure, sometimes mistakenly called as ray fungi; and mycoplasma have no
definite shape due to lack of cell wall. In young cultures the rod shaped bacteria range
from 0.6 to 3.5 m in length and from 0.5 to 1m in diameter (0.6-3.5 x 0.5-1 m
size). Single bacterium mostly appears as hyaline or yellowish white under the
compound microscope. When grown on a medium, soon a colony is formed. The
colonies of most of bacteria have a whitish or greyish appearance but some of them
develop yellow red or other colours.


Viruses are submicroscopic, intercellular, infectious entities and are

composed of nucleic acid and proteins. Some viruses attack humans, animals or both
and cause diseases like mumps, measles, chicken-pox, HIV, H1N1, polio, rabies etc;
others attack plants. In plants, tulip breaking was reported in 17th century. Viral study
was started by Adolf Mayer in 1886. He proved that the sap from tobacco leaves
infected with mosaic could transmit the disease to healthy leaves.
Characteristics of viruses which separate them from other causes of plant diseases

They lack lipid membrane system and energy production.

They are acellular.

They are submicroscopic and intracellular.

They use host machinery for their replication.

Viruses are of different shapes and sizes. They may be elongated (rigid rods
or flexuous threads), spherical (isometric or polyhedral), cylindrical (bacillus-like
rods). Some elongated viruses are rigid rods about 15 x 300 nm but most appear as
long, thin, flexible threads that are usually 1-10 nm wide and 480-2000 nm in length.
Rhabdoviruses are short bacilus-like, cylindrical rods approximately three to five
times as long as they are wide ( 52-75 by 300-380 nm).
Most spherical viruses are actually polyhedral, ranging in diameter from
about 17 nm (tobacco necrosis satellite virus) to 60 nm (wound tumor virus). Tomato

spotted wilt virus is surrounded by a membrane and has a flexible, spherical shape
about 100 nm in diameter. Many plant viruses have spilt genome consisting of two or
more distinct nucleic acid strands encapsidated in different-sized particles made of
the same protein subunits


Bipartite- e.g. tobacco rattle virus consisting of two rods, a long one (195 x
25 nm) and a shorter one (43 x 25 nm).

Multi-partitite- alfalfa mosaic virus, consist of four components of different


Parasitic green algae are green in colour. Cephaleuros is the best known
genus. It is a plant parasite living under leaf cuticle. It was first reported from in India
in 19th century, causing damage to tea and coffee plantations. Now, over 400 hosts of
Cephaleuros are recorded all over the world infecting hibiscus, orchids, euphorbias,
citrus and forest trees. Ninety percent of the hosts are dicots.


Certain protozoa, such as trypanosomatid flagellates belonging to class

Mastigophora, order Kinetoplastida, family Trypanosomatidae are accepted as
plant parasites even though Koch's postulates could not be established for them. The
evidence supporting the pathogenicity is more evident than that available for the
fastidious bacteria and mollicutes, and so they are accepted as plant pathogens. Only
the flagellates among the protozoa have been found to be associated with plant

Parasitic Flowering Plants

The pathogenic flowering plants, also called angiosperms can be classified as

root parasites or stem parasites. Root parasites (witchweed and broomrape) are more
common and more diverse taxonomically. Stem parasites include the dodders
(Cuscuta) and mistletoes (Arceuthobium). The angiospermic parasites can also be
classified as holoparasites (total parasites) or hemiparasites (semi-parasites). The
holoparasites lack chlorophyll and are totally dependent on the host for nutrition.
Thus, they are obligate parasites. The hemiparasites contain chlorophyll and make
their own food and absorb water and minerals from their host. But, in some cases e.g.
Arceuthobium, the photosynthesis is negligible and the parasite draws nutrition from
the host. Practically, it is an obligate parasite.
It is the average weather in a place over more than thirty years. Climate
encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind,

precipitation, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental

measurements in a given region over long periods. Climate can be contrasted to
weather, which is the present condition of these elements and their variations over
shorter periods.
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of
weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a
change in average weather conditions, or in the distribution of weather around the
average conditions.
Causes of climate change

Natural causes

Continental drift

ii. Volcanoes
iii. The earth's tilt
iv. Ocean currents

Human causes

Greenhouse gases

ii. Carbon dioxide

iii. Methane
iv. Nitrous oxide
v. Ozone
vi. Water vapour
Effects of climate change on diseases

The range of many diseases will expand or change.

New combinations of pests and diseases may emerge as natural ecosystems

respond to altered temperature and precipitation profiles.

Disruption in the BCA- pathogen relationships that normally keep pathogen

populations in check.

It may add to the effect of other factors such as the overuse of pesticides and the
loss of biodiversity that also contribute to plant pest and disease outbreaks.

Direct effects on plant diseases

Influence spatial and temporal dispersal of propagules.

Synchrony of pathogen propagules with sensitive crop growth stages,

Frequency of suitable infection conditions (most fungal plant pathogens

require wetness or high humidity for infection),

Host resistance (some resistance genes are temperature sensitive),

Speed of disease development (pathogen growth and for polycyclic

pathogensnumber of disease cycles)

Pathogen survival (frost periods, length of intercrop period, etc.), which

affects whether the disease is epidemic following importation of propagules
from elsewhere, endemic or absent.

Plant disease occurs when three factors combine: a susceptible host,

sufficient effective pathogen inoculum and suitable environmental conditions. If the
three components of the disease triangle could be quantified, the area of triangle
would represent the amount of disease in a plant or a plant population. Understanding
the factors that trigger the development of plant disease epidemics is essential if we
are to create and implement effective strategies for disease management. The
interaction of three components of disease triangle with time forms the disease
tetrahedron. The time is important factor in disease tetrahedron. Duration and
frequency of favourable temperature and rains, the time of appearance of vector, the
duration of infection cycle of particular disease and so on affects the disease
Effect of climate change on fungal diseases

Survival structures of soil borne fungi are not affected significantly.

Increased survival of host or debris borne fungi.

Increased survival of host or debris borne fungi.

Early migration of air borne fungi-early infection.

Monocyclic diseases those caused by Uromyces and Sclerotinia spp. are not

Climate change affects polycyclic diseases caused by Peronospora,

Colletotrichum and Phytophthora.


Elevated CO2 increases canopy size and density of plants resulting in a

greater biomass production and microclimates may become more conducive
for rusts, powdery mildews, blights and leaf spot diseases.

Late blight severity and control costs may be increased by climate change.

Higher temperatures will speed up the life cycle of many pathogenic fungi,
multiplying inoculum in a shorter time and consequently increasing the
infection pressure.

Prolonged generations of diseases will be able to infect crops at a later growth

stage then at present.

Affect the expression of the plant resistance traits in a positive or negative


When over a large cropping area the genetic variation of the crop is low and a
new or adapted strain is becoming dominant in the pathogen population, the
effects can be dramatic.

Effect of climate change on bacterial diseases

Abundant moisture increases multiplication, oozing and spread of bacteria.

Expected increase in frequency and intensity of summer storms with high

winds, rain and hail will increase wounding of plants and increased bacterial

Host or debris borne and vector borne survival is expected to increase.

Milder, shorter winters will have little effect on soil borne bacterial

Warmer drier summers expected limit bacterial diseases.

Effect of climate change on viral diseases

Increased survival of vectors in milder winter temperatures.

Increased survival of alternate weed hosts of viruses.

Increased wounding of plants and therefore increased transmission by

mechanical means.

Viruses that are present in green houses such as pepipo mosaic virus may
establish infection in the field


Effect of climate change on Phytoplasma

Milder winter increases survival of infected perennial weed host.

Survival of insect vector is increased in milder winter temperatures and

higher summer temperatures will increase their reproductive rates.

Effect of climate change on parasitic plants

Changes in photosynthesis and stomatal functioning.

Enhanced photosynthesis of the hemiparasite and host will increase parasite

carbon gains but may also increase the demand for host mineral nutrients.

Disrupt the match between host and parasite range and migration.

Agrios, GN. 2005. Plant Pathology. Fifth edition. Academic Press, Massachusetts,
Coakley, Stella Melugin, Scherm, Harald and Chakraborty, Sukumar. 1999.
Climate change and plant disease management. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol.
Ghini, Raquel, Hamada, Emlia and Bettiol, Wagner. 2008. Climate change and
plant diseases. Sci. Agric. 65: 98-107.
Singh, RS. 1984. Introduction to the principles of Plant Pathology. Oxford and IBH
Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., Calcutta, 534p.


Integrated Disease Management in Cole Crops

NP Dohroo
Directorate of Research
Dr YSP University of Horticulture & Forestry Nauni, Solan 173230 HP
Cole crops are affected by different fungal, bacterial and viral diseases. The
important diseases are Pythium/ Rhizoctonia damping off, wire stem, downy
mildew, Alternaria leaf spots, Sclerotinia rot, black rot, white rust or blisters, Phoma
black leg, cabbage yellows, Ring spot and cauliflower mosaic. Among these
diseases, damping off, Sclerotinia rot and black rot are important ones. All these
diseases should be managed by following integrated disease management practices.
Emphasis should be given to eradicate cruciferous weeds from around the field, use
of well drained disease free plots, use of disease free seedlings and very long crop
Damping off
Plants show damping off symptoms. The causal organisms for the disease are
Pythium, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, Sclerotium and Sclerotinia. For the control of the
disease, seeds should be treated with thiram or captan. Formaldehyde solution
drench may be made for the control of pre-emergence damping off and mancozeb
and carbendazim drench for post emergence damping off. Besides, change of nursery
site, soil solarization, soil fallowing and soil biodisinfestation are also recommended
for the control of the disease.
Wire stem
It is a seedling disease. Rhizoctonia solani is the causal oraganism. The
disease can be controlled by transplant dipping in carbendazim solution and is
Downy mildew
Purplish brown spots appear on the leaves and stalks are abruptly bent. Floral
buds are atrophied. The causal organism is Hyaloperonospora parasitica. Conidia
germination (10 C), infection (15 C), Lesion development (20 C) and colonization
(25 C) take place during the disease development. Cabbage (January King and Wall,
Spitzkool), Cauliflower (Igloo, Snowball Y and Snowball 7) show resistance to the
disease. HWT, Ridomil MZ or mancozeb are important management practices.

White rust or blisters

Local and systemic infection results in development of isolated white
pustules. Hypertrophy, cruciform nuclear division, akaryotic phase, Acidic soils are
important features of the disease. Albugo candia/A. cruciferum is the causal
organism. Disease development take place at 15-25 C (20 C). COC and Ridomil are
recommended as sprays for the control of the disease.
Club roots
Woronin (1877) reported the disease for the first time. Flagging of leaves and
formation of spindles in roots are important symptoms. The pathogen is an obligate
endoparasites named Plasmodiophora brassicae. The disease is managed by
decreasing acidity by adding hydrated lime or slaked lime Ca (OH)2 @ 20 t/ha. Soil
solarisation/ Benomyl drenching also checks the disease. Some Cabbage varieties
(Badget Shipper, Kilaxy), Cauliflower (Clapton) show resistance to the disease.
Sclerotinia rot
The disease was reported for the first time from Saproon valley of Solan
district in H.P. during 1973. It reduces seed yield by 70-80 %. Sclerotia have
myceliogenic, sporogenic and carpogenic germination. Favourable conditions of the
disease are 20-25 C temperature and 90 % RH. Flooding (6 wks) before planting
manages the disease. Janavon, EC 178303, EC178307) are resistance sources. Other
management practices are paddy rotation and removal of lower yellow leaves.
Black Rot
Wedge shaped symptoms appear on the leaves. Xanthomonas campestris pv.
campestris is the causal bacterium which survives through seed. HWT+
Bactrinashak (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol) @3 g/10 l water may be used for
seed treatment.
Alternaria leaf spots
The pathogen is seed borne. A. brassicae form very small light spots while A.
brassicicola forms small and dark spots. HWT (50 C/30 min) is recommended to
exclude the bacterium from the seed. Mancozeb sprays control the disease.
Ring spot
Spots are bordered by green bands. The causal organism is Mycosphaerella
brassicicola. 15-22 C temperature favours the disease. HWT is recommended for
the control of the disease.


Black Leg
The disease forms characteristic canker symptoms at 18.3 C. Phoma lingam
(=Leptosphaeria maculans) is the causal organism. Asci are bitunicate. Conidia are
released in cirrhus. Toxin named sirodesmin is formed by the pathogen. The
pathogen is seed borne, Accordingly, Thiram and Captan are recommended for seed
Cabbage Yellows
A lateral curling of stem and leaves occur due to the disease. Fusarium
oxysporum f. sp. conglutinans is the causal organism.
Cauliflower Mosaic
Vein clearing and banding besides mosaic are the common symptoms.
Caulimovirus (CaMV) is the causal virus. Virions are isometric (50 nm). Aphids
(Brevicoryne brassicae and Myzus persicae) transmit the disease. Control of aphid
vectors, use of virus free seed and application of neem derivatives are important
management practices.
The diseases of cole crops should be managed by following IDM practices
right from seed and seedbeds. Only sterilized soil or soil that has not previously had
brassicas for several years should be used. Seeds should be hot water treated and also
treated with a suitable fungicide. Plant density should permit adequate light and air
penetration. Factors such as deep planting, reduced seed vigour and excessively
cold, hot, moist or saline soils that delay seed emergence should be avoided.
Deficiencies of calcium, potassium and nitrogen or excessive nitrogen may promote
disease. A field rotation with non-brassica crops should be practiced for at least three
years. Avoid mounding of soil onto lower leaves when cultivating. Isolate (if
possible) or avoid the use of infested fields for brassica crops for about atleast few
years. Do not apply clubroot infested manure on land to be used to grow brassicas.
Cattle fed infected plant material can pass the fungus spores in manure, therefore it is
best not to put contaminated manure back on the field. Rotate crops and fields as a
preventative measure before soil borne diseases appear. Allow at least three years
rotation between growing susceptible crops. Clean and disinfect all equipment used
on infested land before using on a non-contaminated field. Control susceptible
weeds whenever possible. Weeds of the mustard family will maintain or increase the
level of infestation of soil borne diseases in a field. Use disease free transplants. The
only way to ensure clean transplants is to use sterile soil. In the early stages of
infection, plants may not show any signs of disease, so it is essential to purchase
plants from a reliable source or to follow the procedures for producing healthy plants.
Use clean, certified seed or a hot water seed treatment if certified seed is not

available. Practice long rotations between Cole crops, avoid over head irrigation and
make sure to incorporate plant debris.
Bhagat, S., and Pan, S. (2008). Biological management of root and collar rot of
cauliflower (Rhizoctonia solani) bya talc-based formulation of Trichoderma
harzianum Rifai. Journal of biological control, 22 (2), 483-486.
Dabbas, M. R. Singh, D.P., and Yadav, J. R. (2009). Management of Rhizoctonia root
rot of cauliflower through IDM practices. International journal of plant
protection, 2 (1), 128-130.
Dennis, C., and Webster, J. (1971a). Antagonistic properties of species groups of
Trichoderma. I. Production of non-volatile antibiotics. Transactions of the
British Mycological Society, 57, 25-39.
Dennis, C., and Webster, J. (1971b). Antagonistic properties of species groups of
Trichoderma. II. Production of volatile antibiotics. Transactions of the British
Mycological Society, 57, 41-48.
Dennis, C., and Webster, J. (1971c). Antagonistic properties of species groups of
Trichoderma. III. Hyphal Interaction. Transactions of the British Mycological
Society, 57, 363-369.
Fajola, A.O., and Alasoadura, S.O. (1975). Antagonistic effects of Trichoderma
harzianum on Pythium aphanidermatum causing the damping-off disease of
tobacco in Nigeria. Mycopathologia, 57:47-52.
Fourie, P.H., Halleen, F. J., van der Vyver, and W. Schreuder. (2001). Effect of
Trichoderma treatments on the occurrence of decline pathogens in the roots and
rootstocks of nursery grapevines. Phytopathologia Mediterranea, 40, 473478.
Harman, G. E., Petzoldt, R., Comis, A., and Chen, J. (2002). Interactions between
Trichoderma harzianum strain T22 and maize inbred line Mo17 and effects of
these interactions on diseases caused by Pythium ultimum and Colletotrichum
graminicola. Phytopathology, 94 (2), 147153.
Kohl, J., Tongeren, C.A.M., van Groenenboom de Haas, B. H., Hoof, R. A., van
Driessen, R., and Heijden, L. van der. (2010). Epidemiology of dark leaf spot
caused by Alternaria brassicicola and Brassicae in organic seed production of
cauliflower. Plant Pathology, 59, (2), 358-367.
Mukherjee, P. K., and Mukhopadhyay, A.N. (1995). Evaluation of Trichoderma
harzianum for biocontrol of Pythium damping-off of cauliflower. Indian
phytopathology, 48: 101-102.

Mukherjee, P.K., Upadhyay, J.P., and Mukhopadhyay, A.N. (1989). Biological

control of Pythium damping-off of cauliflower by Trichoderma harzianum.
Journal of biological control, 3, 119-124.
Sharma, P., Sain, S. K., and James S. (2003). Compatibility Study of Trichoderma
Isolates with Fungicides against Damping-off of Cauliflower and Tomato
Caused by Pythium aphanidermatum. Pesticide Research Journal, 15: 133-138.
Sivan, A, Elad, Y., and Chet I. (1984). Biological control effects of new isolate of
Trichoderma harzianum on Pythium aphanidermatum. Phytopathology, 74,
Tran, N. H. (2010). Using Trichoderma species for biological control of plant
pathogens in Vietnam. Journal of International Society for Southeast Asian
Agricultural Sciences, 16, (1), 17-21.


Diagnosis and Management of Vegetable Diseases

Sandeep Kansal
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan, HP 173 230

Diagnosis is the process of determining the cause of a problem. It can be a long or

short process depending on one's ability and the nature of the problem. Once the
cause is known, an appropriate control strategy can be developed.
Disease Diagnosis
Plant pathologists take many different approaches to diagnosing plant disease
problems. The first step is to decide whether the problem is a plant disease. The
broadest definition of plant disease includes anything that adversely affects plant
health. This definition can include such factors as nutrient deficiencies, mechanical
damage, air pollution, and pathogens. A stricter definition usually includes a
persistent irritation resulting in plant damage. This excludes mechanical damage
such as tool injury to plants or natural events such as hail or lightning. A very strict
definition includes only those (living) things that replicate themselves and spread to
adjacent plants. This includes such biological organisms as nematodes, fungi,
bacteria, and viruses. Plants damaged by macroscopic organisms, such as deer,
rodents, and birds usually are not considered to be diseased.
Many novices use the picture-book method of diagnosis: looking at textbook
pictures of problems and attempting to match the problem with the picture. Although
this method is useful for simple and common problems, it is usually inefficient and
inaccurate for more complex or difficult problems.
Symptoms and signs are used to diagnose the condition of a plant. Symptoms are the
physical characteristics of disease expressed by the plant. Symptoms can include
wilt, galls, cankers, rots, necrosis, chlorosis, and general decline. Signs are physical
evidence of the pathogen causing the disease. Signs can include fungal fruiting
bodies (such as mushrooms or pycnidia), mycelia, bacterial slime, presence of
nematodes or insects, or the presence of insect holes accompanied by sawdust or
frass. Again, these terms are defined in the glossary.
There is no one key set of questions or techniques for diagnosing plant diseases.
Experience and practice are the best teachers. It is easier to diagnose plant problems
by making a personal, on-site inspection. Subtle influences of the site, plant
environment, and possible management practices can be seen that may have been
overlooked by the grower. Difficulties arise when the diagnostician is presented only

a portion of the plant because that portion may or may not indicate the real problem.
The worst situation is a request for a diagnosis by phone, because misunderstandings
and an inaccurate diagnosis can easily occur. However, sometimes this is the only
contact someone may have with a diagnostician.
The Systematic Approach
The approach involves defining the real problem and distinguishing between living
and nonliving causes of plant damage by looking for patterns, determining the
development of the damage, and building a case history of the problem. With these
steps, it is usually easy to narrow the possibilities and to turn to appropriate reference
materials including textbooks, herbarium samples, and knowledgeable specialists.
Define the Real Problem Identify the plant and what it should look like at this time
of year. A grower or gardener may mistake a normal stage of development for a
diseased plant. Describe the abnormality in terms of symptoms and signs. Although a
plant may exhibit symptoms of wilting, the real problem may be due to rotted roots, a
girdled stem, or lack of water. Determine what part(s) of the plant is/are affected. The
rest of the procedure involves distinguishing between living and nonliving factors.
Look for Uniform or Non uniform Patterns Uniform damage is indicative of
nonliving factors. Damage may occur on many plant species in the same area, on all
the plants in a particular row or block, on all the leaves or shoots on one side of the
plant, or on the same-age portion of each leaf. Non uniform damage to plants is
indicative of living factors such as pathogens or insects. This damage shows up as
scattered affected plants among a community of plants, scattered leaves or shoots on
a single plant, or scattered spots on a single leaf.
Determine the Time Development of the Damage If damage does not spread or
there is a clear line of demarcation between damaged and non damaged tissues, this is
indicative of nonliving factors. Spread of the damage from plant to plant or to other
plant parts over time indicates damage by a living organism.
Look for Specific Symptoms and Signs Look for signs such as fungal fruiting
bodies, mycelial threads, bacterial slime, presence of insects, mites, or holes with
frass. Look for symptoms of nonliving factors that may be caused by extremes of
temperature, light, water, mechanical factors or chemical factors as indicated by
uniform patterns. Check references for probable diseases of the identified plant. The
samples may have to send to an appropriate laboratory to continue to identify
Once it is determined that a real problem exists and is caused by a living organism, it
need to decide what type of organism may be causing the damage. There are many

fungal and viral diseases of plants and a few caused by bacteria and nematodes. Some
insect problems can mimic diseases.
Begin by establishing which plant part or growth stage is showing symptoms. Are
symptoms showing on roots, tubers, bulbs, corms, seedling, foliage, stem, branches,
flowers, fruit, or on the entire plant? Often, one must next decide whether the
symptoms are on the outside of the plant or whether you need to cut into it to see the
Root Symptoms
External root symptoms include galls, discoloration, or death of roots or parts of
roots. Some fungal diseases, such as club root of cabbage, also cause galls. Root-knot
nematodes, Meloidogyne spp., can cause large or small irregular galls. Small
discolored, dead areas may be caused by a large variety of fungi and root-lesion
nematodes, Pratylenchus spp. General death of the entire root system or just feeder
roots is indicative of many fungi. Injury to the root system often includes yellowing,
stunting, or wilting of aboveground parts. Many fungi, such as Verticillium and
Fusarium, will cause an internal vascular discoloration as will some bacterial wilts.
Symptoms on Storage Organs (Tubers, Bulbs, Corms, etc.)
Discolored or dead areas that penetrate deep into the storage organs are caused by
many fungi and some bacteria. Dry rots are often caused by fungi which may produce
mycelia or spores. Soft rots are usually associated with bacteria such as Erwinia and
can be accompanied by strong, repulsive smells. Many times bacterial soft rots will
closely follow rots caused by fungi, making diagnosis difficult. Scurfy dead tissue on
the surface may be caused by a variety of myxomycetes, such as powdery scab of
potato. The filamentous bacterium Actinomyces scabies causes common scab of
potato. Galling of storage organs can be caused by both fungi and nematodes.
Internal problems, such as ring rot of potato, can be caused by bacteria fungi or by
several viruses.
Seedling Diseases
If seedlings fail to emerge, or fall over and die, this is usually referred to as dampingoff. Fungi such as Rhizoctonia, Pythium, and Fusarium are common and affect
seedlings just at or below the soil line.
Leaf Symptoms
Discoloration (yellowing or shades of green), which is localized or in distinct
patterns, usually indicates a virus. Other leaf symptoms may occur with viral
infections. A general or uniform yellowing may indicate a root rot of some kind, so

there is need to examine the entire plant. Dead areas on leaves can be caused by fungi
or bacteria. Necrotic areas caused by fungi may contain hyphae or fruiting bodies,
particularly after incubation in a warm, moist environment. Necrotic areas caused by
bacteria may be distinguished by water-soaked margins or bacterial streaming. Small
rusty red, brown, or black spots or stripes may be caused by rust and smut fungi.
Distinctive spores can usually be found in these spots. Leaf distortion (elongated,
dwarfed, etc.) can be caused by several viruses. Leaf galls usually are caused by
fungi, such as peach leaf curl and azalea leaf gall. Viruses and nematodes rarely cause
galls on the leaf. Moldy white appearance of leaves indicates powdery or downy
mildew. Wilting indicates lack of water which may be due to one of the vascular wilt
fungi, root rots, or bacterial wilts. Other parts may need to be examined for an
accurate diagnosis.
Stem and Branch Disorders
Complete or partial death of woody stems or branches, usually referred to as cankers,
can be caused by a large variety of fungi and a few bacteria. Cutting into the wood
with a knife may reveal a sharp border between healthy and infected tissue. Look for
spore-bearing structures of fungi or induce sporulation in a moist chamber. Some
bacterial cankers will excrete a sticky ooze in the spring.
Flower Symptoms
Abnormal color changes and/or distortions can be caused by several different
viruses. Partial or complete death of flower parts can be caused by fungi and bacteria.
Fungi usually produce characteristic spores; bacterial infections can appear water
Fruit Symptoms
Fungi cause a wide variety of decays, rots, and superficial spotting or russetting.
Important symptoms include specific color of rotted tissue, firmness of the tissue,
and signs such as spores or spore-bearing structures. Viruses can cause
discolorations and malformations. Bacteria may cause discrete spots on fruit in
certain field situations or soft rots in storage.
Principles of Plant Disease Management
After a plant disease is diagnosed, the job is only half finished. The equally
challenging task of designing the proper control recommendation is next.
Understanding the specific disease or the life cycle of the pathogen involved is
necessary to make an adequate control recommendation.


The Disease Triangle

Three major factors contribute to the development of a plant disease: a susceptible
host, a virulent pathogen, and a favorable environment. A plant disease results when
these three factors occur simultaneously. If one or more of these factors do not occur,
then the disease does not occur. The genetic makeup of the host plant determines its
susceptibility to disease. This susceptibility or resistance may be determined by
various physical and biochemical factors. Plant stature, growth habit, cuticle
thickness, and stomatal shape are a few physical factors that influence disease
development. The plant's developmental stage also may influence disease
development. Pathogens differ in their ability to survive, spread, and reproduce.
Environmental extremes of temperature, light, or moisture can accentuate many
diseases. Cool, moist conditions are ideal for many fungal pathogens.
The Disease Cycle
Understanding the disease cycle is important when considering control options.
Learning the chain of events that contribute to a disease helps point out the weakest
links. Control measures can then be used to break the cycle. Most pathogens must
survive an adverse period, usually winter, when they do not actively incite plant
diseases. This overwintering inoculum re-infects or continues infecting the plant
host in the spring. Some diseases are characterized by a single cycle during the year.
Other diseases continually produce new inoculum, repeating the cycle many times
during the course of a single growing season.
Disease Control
The five basic principles of plant disease control are: exclusion, avoidance,
eradication, protection, and resistance. These principles work at federal, state,
county, and personal levels.
Exclusion This includes quarantines, inspections, and certification. Plant material is
examined to prevent entry of a disease that does not already occur in a particular
country, state, or geographic area.
Avoidance If the disease does occur in an area, there are techniques to avoid disease
development. Choice of planting site, time of planting, storage conditions, or
avoiding wounds is a few of these techniques. Phytophthora root rots can be avoided
by not planting in heavy, poorly drained soils. Planting later in the year when soils are
dryer and warmer will avoid some damping-off diseases common to many
vegetables. Wounding can cause entry points for pathogens or weaken a plant to the
point that it cannot defend itself. Avoiding wounds also helps to control the bacterial
diseases which need an injury to begin the infection process. Planting certified virusfree stock is a good way to avoid virus-related diseases.

Good horticultural practices such as proper fertility, pruning, watering, and proper
training will go a long way to help control plant diseases.
Eradication When a plant is infected or an area is infested with a plant pathogen,
eradication can eliminate or reduce the disease threat. Rotation, sanitation, heat
treatment, eliminating the alternate host, and certain chemicals can be used to reduce
or eliminate diseases. Crop rotation is a common method in commercial vegetable
production. It is necessary to know the pathogen and its host range. Rotation reduces
soil populations of fungi or nematodes only if non-host plants are used.
Removing plant debris (sanitation) is important where pathogens may overwinter.
Raking leaves, removing rotted fruit and picking up old vines all are part of
sanitation. Once collected, dispose of debris by burning, burying, or hot composting.
Field burning is another method of sanitation which destroys grass stubble where
plant pathogens may overwinter.
Rusts are a group of fungi that can complete their life cycle on two or more different
hosts. Eliminating an alternate host may help reduce pressure from these diseases.
Heat treatment is usually used to eliminate viruses from propagation material.
Certain chemicals can be used to eliminate infections or infestations. Soil can be
fumigated to reduce populations of certain fungi and nematodes. Some fungicides
have kickback activity, meaning that infections of some fungi can be stopped if the
chemical is applied within a few days after the infection has started.
Protection: Protection is treating a healthy plant before it becomes diseased. There
are both biological and chemical means of protection.
Chemical protection is one of the most widely used means of control. Some
fungicides (such as copper and sulfur products) are allowed for use under several
"organic" growing guidelines. It is necessary to know the disease cycle and host
susceptibility to get good control using fungicides. Proper timing, coverage, and
selection of fungicides is also needed.
Resistance: Resistance is a term sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably or in
conjunction with "immunity," "tolerance," and "susceptibility." These terms
describe the inherent genetic makeup of the plant and thus its reaction to plant
pathogens. Resistance and its opposite, susceptibility, are levels or degrees of a
plant's reaction. Some cultivars of a plant can be more or less resistant (or
susceptible) than another cultivar. Resistant cultivars can still become diseased but
not as much as (or more than) another. If a plant does not ever become diseased, then
the term "immune" can be used. Tolerance describes a plant (usually a food crop) that
may become diseased but produces yields similar to a healthy plant.

Lists of resistant plants can be found in many texts and seed catalogues. Planning
ahead is essential and planting resistant cultivars is the easiest means of disease
Knowing what diseases a plant is susceptible or resistant to can help in the diagnostic
process. One can eliminate possibilities by knowing which diseases are likely to
Experience and practice are the best teachers of plant disease diagnosis. Examination
of the plants physical environment and management history are essential. Observing
patterns and specific symptoms and signs are important in arriving at a correct
diagnosis. Once diagnosed, the proper control measures can be formulated.
Knowledge of the host, pathogen life cycle and environmental factors also aid
selection of the most effective control measures. A combination of exclusion,
avoidance, resistance, eradication, and protection will control most plant diseases.
Agrios, G. N. 1997. Introductory Plant Pathology. 4th ed. Academic Press, New York,
Alfieri, S. A., Jr., K. R. Langdon, J. W. Kimbrough, N. E. El-Gholl, and C. Wehlburg.
1994. Diseases and Disorders of Plants in Florida. Fla. Dep. Agric. Consumer.
Serv. Div. Plant Ind. Bull. No. 14.
Hansen, M. A. and R. L. Wick. 1993. Plant disease diagnosis: present and future
prospects. Advances in Plant Pathology 10:65-126.
Holmes, G. J., E. A. Brown, and G. Ruhl. 2000. What's a picture worth? The use of
modern telecommunications in diagnosing plant diseases. Plant Dis. 84:12561265.
Putnam, M. L. 1995. Evaluation of selected methods of plant disease diagnosis. Crop
Protection 14:517-525.

Sherf, A.F., and A.A. MacNab. 1986. Vegetable Diseases and Their Control, 2 ed.
John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York.
Shutleff, M. C. and C. W. Averre. 1997. The plant disease clinic and field diagnosis of
abiotic diseases. American Phytopathological Society, St. Paul, MN.


Integrated Disease Management in Solanaceous

and Leguminous Vegetables
Sandeep Kansal
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan, HP 173 230

Amongst the vegetable crops, solanaceous and leguminaceous vegetables

are the most remunerative crops which have ameliorated the economic conditions of
the farmers of Himachal Pradesh. The intensive cultivation of these crops year after
year also ensures the survival and cumulative build up of the inocula of various
pathogens posing threat to the successful cultivation. As the methods of management
vary with the nature and cause of individual disease, therefore an accurate diagnosis
is essential to prevent waste of time and material inputs. Besides, the information on
nature of diseases occurring at various stages during the cycle of a crop is also
necessary for developing integrated management schedule of multiple disease for a
given geographical area. Thus the adoption of such a schedule which is crop
protection oriented, efficient and cost effective is almost essential along with other
inputs for the sustenance and realization crops to the extent of the genetic potential.
This write up describes the list of the diseases affecting tomato and peas and their
integrated management.
Diseases of Tomato & their Management
Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) can be grown on almost any
moderately well-drained soil type. A good supply of organic matter can increase
yield and reduce production problems. Tomatoes and related vegetables, such as
potatoes, peppers and eggplants, should not be planted on the same land more than
once in three years. Ideally, any cover crop or crop preceding tomatoes should be
members of the grass family. Corn, an excellent rotation crop with tomatoes, supplies
large amounts of organic matter and does not promote the growth of disease
organisms that attack tomatoes. Certified seeds and plants are recommended and
should be used whenever possible.
Bacterial wilt or Southern bacterial blight is a serious disease caused by
Ralstonia solanacearum (formerly Pseudomonas solanacearum). This bacterium
survives in the soil for extended periods and enters the roots through wounds made
by transplanting, cultivation or insects and through natural wounds where secondary

roots emerge. Disease development is favored by high temperatures and high

moisture. The bacteria multiply rapidly inside the water-conducting tissue of the
plant, filling it with slime. This results in a rapid wilt of the plant, while the leaves
stay green. If an infected stem is cut crosswise, it will look brown and tiny drops of
yellowish ooze may be visible.
Prevention and Treatment: Control of bacterial wilt of plants grown in infested soil
is difficult. Rotation with non-susceptible plants, such as corn, beans and cabbage,
for at least three years provides some control. Do not use pepper, eggplant, potato,
sunflower or cosmos in this rotation. Remove and destroy all infected plant material.
Plant only certified disease-free plants. Chemical control is not available against this
Early Blight
This disease is caused by the fungus Alternaria solani and is first observed on
the plants as small, black lesions mostly on the older foliage. Spots enlarge and
concentric rings in a bull's eye pattern can be seen in the center of the diseased area.
Tissue surrounding the spots may turn yellow. If high temperature and humidity
occur at this time, much of the foliage is killed. Lesions on the stems are similar to
those on leaves, sometimes girdling the plant if they occur near the soil line (collar
rot). On the fruits, lesions attain considerable size, usually involving nearly the entire
fruit. Concentric rings are also present on the fruit. Infected fruit frequently drops.
The fungus survives on infected debris in the soil, on seed, on volunteer tomato
plants and other solanaceous hosts, such as Irish potato, eggplant, and black
Prevention and Treatment: Use resistant or tolerant cultivars. Use pathogen-free
seed and do not set diseased plants in the field. Use crop rotations, eradicate weeds
and volunteer tomato plants, fertilize properly, and keep the plants growing
vigorously. If disease is severe enough to warrant chemical control, select one of the
following fungicides: maneb, mancozeb, chlorothalonil, or fixed copper. Follow the
directions on the label.
Late Blight
Late blight is a potentially serious disease of potato and tomato, caused by the
fungus Phytophthora infestans. Late blight is especially damaging during cool, wet
weather. The fungus can affect all plant parts. Young leaf lesions are small and appear
as dark, water-soaked spots. These leaf spots will quickly enlarge and a white mold
will appear at the margins of the affected area on the lower surface of leaves.
Complete defoliation (browning and shriveling of leaves and stems) can occur
within 14 days from the first symptoms. Infected tomato fruits develop shiny, dark or

olive-colored lesions, which may cover large areas. Fungal spores are spread
between plants and gardens by rain and wind. A combination of daytime
temperatures in the upper 70 F with high humidity is ideal for infection.
Prevention and Treatment: The following guidelines should be followed to
minimize late blight problems:

Keep foliage dry: Locate your garden where it will receive morning sun.


extra room between the plants, and avoid overhead watering,

especially late in the day.


certified disease-free seeds and plants. There are no late blightresistant tomato cultivars.


volunteer tomato and potato plants and nightshade family weeds,

which may harbour the fungus.

Do not compost rotten, store-bought potatoes.

Pull out and destroy diseased plants.

If disease

is severe enough to warrant chemical control, select one of the

following fungicides: chlorothalonil, fixed copper, maneb or mancozeb.
Follow the directions on the label.

Bacterial Spot
This disease is caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas vesicatoria, which
attacks green but not red tomatoes. Peppers are also attacked. The disease is more
prevalent during wet seasons. Damage to the plants includes leaf and fruit spots,
which result in reduced yields, defoliation and sun- scalded fruit. The symptoms
consist of numerous small, angular to irregular, water-soaked spots on the leaves and
slightly raised to scabby spots on the fruits. The leaf spots may have a yellow halo.
The centres dry out and frequently tear.
The bacteria survive the winter on volunteer tomato plants and on infected
plant debris. Moist weather and splattering rains are conducive to disease
development. Most outbreaks of the disease can be traced back to heavy rainstorms
that occurred in the area. Infection of leaves occurs through natural openings.
Infection of fruits must occur through insect punctures or other mechanical injury.
Bacterial spot is difficult to control once it appears in the field. Any water
movement from one leaf or plant to another, such as splashing rain drops, overhead
irrigation, and touching or handling wet plants, may spread the bacteria from
diseased to healthy plants.

Prevention and Treatment: Only use certified disease-free seed and plants. Avoid
areas that were planted with peppers or tomatoes during the previous year. Avoid
overhead watering by using drip or furrow irrigation. Remove all diseased plant
material. Prune plants to promote air circulation. Spraying with fixed copper will
control the disease. Follow the instructions on the label.
Buckeye Rot
Buckeye rot is a disease of the fruit caused by the fungus Phytophthora
parasitica. The first fruit symptoms appear as brownish spots, often at the point of
contact between the fruit and the soil. As the spots enlarge, dark, concentric rings can
be seen. Lesions of buckeye rot resemble those of late blight, except that the former
remain firm and smooth, whereas late blight lesions become rough and are slightly
sunken at the margins. Under moist conditions, a white, cottony fungal growth
appears on the buckeye rot lesions. With time, the entire fruit will rot. The fungus
does not affect the foliage. The disease is most common during periods of prolonged
warm, wet weather and in poorly drained soils. The fungus survives in the soil and is
spread by surface water and rain. Peppers are also susceptible to this disease.
Prevention and Treatment: Avoid compacted, poorly drained soils (grow plants in
raised beds). Rotation, sanitation, staking and mulching will help reduce the disease.
Fungicides applied for late blight control will also control buckeye rot.
Fusarium Wilt
This is a warm-weather disease caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum.
The first indication of disease in small plants is a drooping and wilting of lower
leaves with a loss of green color followed by wilting and death of the plant. Often
leaves on only one side of the stem turn golden yellow at first. The stem of wilted
plants shows no soft decay, but when cut lengthwise, the woody part shows a dark
brown discoloration of the water-conducting vessels. The fungus is soil-borne and
passes upward from the roots into the water-conducting system of the stem. Blocking
of the water-conducting vessels is the main reason for wilting. Invasion occurs
through wounds in roots growing through infested soil. Long-distance spread is
through seed and transplants.
Prevention and Treatment: Control can be obtained by growing plants in pathogenfree soil, using disease-free transplants and growing only varieties resistant to races 1
and 2 of Fusarium wilt. Raising the soil pH to 6.5-7.0 and using nitrate nitrogen rather
than ammonical nitrogen will retard disease development. No chemical control is

Seedling Disease (Damping-Off)

The fungi Pythium and Rhizoctonia cause damping-off of tomato seedlings.
Seedlings fail to emerge in the greenhouse or small seedlings wilt and die soon after
emergence or transplanting. Surviving plants have water soaked areas on the stem
close to the soil line.
Prevention and Treatment: Damping-off is often a problem in plants that are
planted too early in the spring. The fungi are more active in cool, wet, rich soils. To
prevent damping-off, take these precautions:

Start seeds indoors in sterilized potting mix.

Do not start seeds in soil that has a high nitrogen level. Add Nitrogen fertilizer

after the seedlings have produced their first true leaves.

Allow the surface of the soil to dry between waterings.

Different viruses cause different symptoms on tomato. Symptoms of virus
infection may appear as light and dark green mottling of the leaves. With tomato
spotted wilt virus (TSWV), plants are stunted, bronzed or spotted, or have prominent
purple veins. Fruits may have yellow spots. Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) causes
mottling of older leaves and may cause malformation of leaflets, which may become
shoestring-like in shape. Viruses are highly infectious and readily transmitted by any
means that introduces even a minute amount of sap from infected into healthy plants.
Prevention and Treatment: There are no chemical controls for viruses. Destroy
infected plants promptly. Wash hands thoroughly after smoking (the tobacco mosaic
virus may be present in certain types of tobacco) and before working in the garden.
Eliminate perennial weeds near the garden. Control insects (thrips and whiteflies)
that carry viruses. Rotate tomatoes with crucifers (such as cabbage, broccoli and
Peas Diseases & its management
Ascochyta Blight
Blight symptoms caused by the three different Ascochyta species are difficult
to distinguish from each other in the field. However, identifying which fungus is
causing the symptom is not usually necessary, as the control measures are similar.
Most symptoms observed in pea fields are due to mycosphaerella blight caused by


Mycosphaerella pinodes. Early symptoms are most commonly observed under the
plant canopy, on lower leaves, stems, and tendrils, where conditions are more humid.
Symptoms first appear as small, purplish-brown, irregular flecks. Under continued
humid conditions, the flecks enlarge and coalesce, resulting in the lower leaves
becoming completely blighted. Severe infections may lead to girdling of the stem
near the soil line, which is known as foot rot . Foot rot lesions are purplish-black in
colour and may extend above and below the soil line. Foot and stem lesions girdle
and weaken the stem, leading to crop lodging and yield loss.
Disease lesions develop on pods under prolonged moist conditions or if the
crop has lodged. Pod lesions are initially small and dark, but may become extensive
and lead to early pod senescence . Severe pod infection may result in small, shrunken
or discoloured seed; or alternatively, seed may show no symptoms
Ascochyta fungi overwinter in seed, soil or infested crop residue. Infested
crop residue is the primary source of infection in the main pea production regions.
Ascochyta blight is favoured by wet weather, particularly frequent showers. The
optimal temperature for infection and lesion development is around 20C. If the
canopy remains dense and wet into the flowering stage, lesions will continue to
develop on lower leaves and stems. In the absence of rain, both spore dispersal and
lesion growth will be slowed or completely arrested.
1. Use disease free seed
2. Follow three to four year rotation
3. Treaty the seed with carbendazim or thiram @ 2g/kg seed or with
Trichoderma @ 5 g/kg seed
4. Spray carbendazim @ 0.05% during the disease development period at 7-10
days interval
Fusarium wilt ( Fusarium oxysporum f sp. pisi)
1. Yellowing of lower leaves and stunting of plants
2. Internal woody stem tissue is often discolored turning lemon brown to orange
3. Seed and soil borne
4. Wet soil and temperature range 24-28 C favour disease development
1. The cultural operation adopted for ascochyta blight should be followed


2. Apply Trichoderma @ 2.5 kg/ 50 kg FYM at the time of sowing

3. Drench the affected plant with benomyl (benlate) @ 0.1 %
Bacterial blight (Pseudomonas syringeae pv. pisi, P. syringeae pv. Syringeae)

Affects all above ground plant parts

Produces water soaked spots which later become darker and finally necrotic
Mainly seed borne
Disease spread through splashes (overhead irrigation, rains)

1. Use of clean and disease free seed and resistant variety
2. Seed should be procured from arid area
3. Soak the seed for two hours in streptocycline solution (250 ppm) before
4. Avoid overhead irrigation
5. Spray copper oxychloride @0.25% during the disease development period at
7-10 days interval
Powdery mildew (Erysiphe pisi)
1. Formation of white powdery patches on leaves, stems and pods
2. Perenates through leguminous weeds and flowers viz., Pisum, Meliotus
indica, Vicia faba, Lens, Vetches and perennial tree Robinia pseudoacaia
3. Also survive as perithecia on infected palnt debris (dry temperate area)
4. Disease is favoured by dry and high temperature (more then 20C)
1. Cultural practices like sprinkler irrigation and early sowing
2. Folira spray of fungicides which Sulfex @0.3 % or with Carathane,
Bayleton, Topas, Score and Contaf each @ 0.05% at periodic interval of 7-10
Enation Mosiac (Penation mosaic virus- PEMV)
1. Early infection cause plant distortion and death before bloom
2. Later infection cause plant stunting, chlorotic flex, leaf and pot distortion and
reduced seed size and quality


3. PEMB transmitted by several species of aphids in a persistent manner

4. PEMV has wide host range in legumes
1. Use tolerant variety
2. Use insecticides (Metasystox)
Pea Seed borne Mosaic Virus (PSbMV)
1. Symptoms include chlorosis and stunting of the infected plants
2. Leaflets appear narrow and shorten and start rolling downward
3. At later stages plant shows apical malformation in the form of resetting and
tendril curling
4. The virus has a wide host range and transmitted through seed and aphids
1. Use of certified seeds
2. Use resistant variety
3. Use insecticides (Metasystox)
Anand, N.Deshpande, A.A. and Ramachander, P.R. 1987. Intra group geometry in
Capsicum annuum. Genetica Agraia. 41(4) : 453-460.
Black,L.L., Green, S.K., Hrtman, G.l. and Poulos, J.M.1991. Pepper Diseases a field
guide AVRDC. Publication. No. 91-347, 98pp.
Espinosa, J.,Despestre, T. and Camino, V.1991. A new resistant sweet pepper variety.
Capsicum-Newsletter. No. 10, 49.
Fadeev, I.N. and Novozhilov, K.V.1987. Integrated Plant Protection. Oxonian Press.
Pvt. Ltd. 333 pp.
Merrero, T.A and Gonzalez, B. J. 1985. Reaction of Capsicum annuum cultivars to
Xanthomonas vesicatoria. Ciencias-de-la-Agricultura. No.23, 14-19.
Reifschnieder, F.J.B., Caf, F.A.C. and Rego, A.M. 1986. Factors affecting
expression of Resistance in pepper to blight caused by Phytophtora capsici in
screening trials. Plant Pathology. 35: (4) 451-456.
Ullasa, B.A., Rawal, R.D., Sohi, H.S., Singh, D.P. and Joshi, M.C. 1981. Reaction of
Sweet pepper genotype to anthracnose, cercospora leaf spot and Powdery
mildew. Plant disease 65: 600-601.

Disease Management Scenario in Changing

Climatic Conditions
Harender Raj Gautam
Department of Plant Pathology
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173230, HP

The survival of life on earth depends on the blanket of atmosphere that covers the
surface of the planet. In the absence of the warming effect created by the blanket of
atmosphere around the earth, our planet would be a cold orb with an average temperature
of 18 C and would be quite inhospitable for life. Our atmospheric blanket raises the
average temperature to about + 14 oC. But, at any given level of concentration of
greenhouse gases, the average temperature of the earth settles at a level at which the
energy that comes in with solar radiations is balanced by the energy radiated out.
Throughout the 21 century, India is projected to experience warming above global
means. India will also begin to experience more seasonal variation in temperature with
more warming in the winters than summers (Christensen et al., 2007). The longevity of
heat waves across India have extended in recent years with warmers temperature at
nights and hotter days and this trend is expected to continue (Cruz et al., 2007). These
heat waves will lead to increased variability in summer monsoon precipitations, with
drastic effect on agriculture sector in India. The question whether climate change will
cause more devastating plant disease epidemics to occur cannot be answered in general
terms. Climate change is not the same as weather change. Climate models predict a
gradual rise CO2 concentration and temperature all over the world, but are not very
precise in predicting future changes in local weather conditions. Local weather
conditions such as rain, temperature, sunshine and wind in combination with locally
adapted plant varieties, cropping systems and soil conditions can maximize food
production as long as plant diseases can be controlled. Currently we are able to secure
food supplies under these varying conditions. However, all climate models predict that
there will be more extreme weather conditions, with more droughts, heavy rainfall, and
storms in agricultural production regions. Such extreme weather events will influence
where and when disease will occur, and therefore impose severe risks on crop failure. In
developing countries like India, climate change is an additional burden because
ecological and socioeconomic systems are already facing pressures from rapid
population, industrialization and economic development. India's climate could become
warmer under conditions of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide . The average
temperature change is predicted to be in the range of 2.33 C to 4.78 C with the doubling
in CO2 concentrations. Agriculture production is direct dependence on climate change
and weather, is one of the widely studied sector in the context of climate change. The

possible changes in temperature, precipitation and CO2 concentration are expected to

significant impact on crop growth. So that overall impact of climate change on
worldwide food production is considered to be low to moderate with successful
adaptation and adequate irrigation, global agricultural production could be increased
due to the doubling of CO2 fertilization effect.
Effect of increased CO2 concentrations on pathogens
The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 379 ppm in 2005, which
exceeds the natural range of values of the past 650,000 years (IPCC, 2007). An
increase in CO2 levels may encourage the production of plant biomass; however,
productivity is regulated by water and nutrients availability, competition against
weeds and damage by pests and diseases. Consequently, a high concentration of
carbohydrates in the host tissue promotes the development of biotrophic fungi such
as rust (Chakraborty et al., 2002). Thus, an increase in biomass can modify the
microclimate and affect the risk of infection. In general, increased plant density will
tend to increase leaf surface wetness duration and regulate temperature, and so make
infection by foliar pathogens more likely. Experimental research on the effects of
high atmospheric CO2 concentrations on plantpathogen interactions has received
little attention, and conflicting results have been published. Elevated levels of CO2
can directly affect the growth of pathogens. Chakraborty et al. (2002), reported that
the growth of the germ tube, appressorium and conidium of C. gloeosporioides fungi
is slower at high concentrations of CO2 (700 ppm). Germination rates of conidia on
leaves were lower at CO2 concentrations of 700 ppm than those observed at 350 ppm.
However, once the pathogen infects the plant, the fungus quickly develops and
achieves sporulation. In contrast, the rate of germination sporulation was greater at
high concentrations of CO2 (700 ppm). In another study Hibberd et al. (1996)
evaluated powdery mildew in barley, and found that an acclimation of
photosynthesis at elevated CO2 and an infection-induced reduction in net
photosynthesis caused larger reductions in plant growth at elevated CO2; also, the
percentage of conidia that progressed to produce colonies was lower in plants grown
in high CO2 (700 ppm) than in low CO2 (350 ppm) and lower percentage of conidia
producing hyphae in 700 ppm CO2, it was due to a higher proportion of the spores
being arrested at the appressorial stage. Tiedemann and Firsching (2000) analyzed
the direct effects of elevated ozone and carbon dioxide on spring wheat infected with
Puccinia recondita f. sp. tritici and reported that ozone damage to leaves is largely
dependent on both carbon dioxide concentrations as well as disease. Models can then
be used to extrapolate, predict and validate potential impacts. Some authors suggest
that elevated CO2 concentrations and climate change may accelerate plant pathogen


evolution, which can affect virulence. Researches in this direction have been carried
out. In this regard, Mulherin et al. (2000), evaluated the response of tobacco grown
under elevated CO2 to inoculation with tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) in two
concentration of CO2 (360 and 720 ppm) and found that plants grown at 720 ppm CO2
produced fewer TMV lesions per leaf versus plants grown at 360 ppm CO2. Eastburn
et al. (2010) evaluated the effects of elevated CO2 and O3 on three soybean diseases
namely downy mildew (Peronospora manshurica), Septoria (Septoria glycines) and
sudden death syndrome (Fusarium virguliforme) and reported that changes in the
composition of the atmosphere altered the expression of the disease, and plant
responses to the diseases varied considerably. The severity of downy mildew damage
was significantly reduced at high levels of CO2. In contrast, high levels of CO2, alone
or in combination with high concentrations of O3, increased the severity of Septoria
glycines. The concentration of CO2 and O3 did not have an effect on sudden death
syndrome. The authors concluded that high levels of CO2 and O3 induced changes in
the soybean canopy density and leaf age, likely contributed to disease expression
modification. Kobayashi et al. (2006) evaluated the effects of elevated CO2
concentrations on the interactions between rice, Pyricularia oryzae and Rhizoctonia
solani and found that rice plants were more susceptible to injury. Thus, the authors
concluded that rice cultivated at sites with high concentrations of CO2 may have an
increased risk of infection by the above mentioned pathogens.
The effects of an increase in temperature and ultraviolet radiation on pathogens
Due to changes in temperature and precipitation regimes, climate change
may alter the growth stage, development rate and pathogenicity of infectious agents,
and the physiology and resistance of the host plant (Charkraborty et al., 1998;
Charkraborty and Datta, 2003). A change in temperature could directly affect the
spread of infectious disease and survival between seasons. Ultraviolet radiation
plays an important role in natural regulation of diseases. Evidence suggests that
sunlight affects pathogens due to the accumulation of phytoalexins or protective
pigments in host tissue. A change in temperature may favour the development of
different inactive pathogens, which could induce an epidemic. Increase in
temperatures with sufficient soil moisture may increase evapotranspiration resulting
in humid microclimate in crop and may lead to incidence of diseases favoured under
these conditions (Mina and Sinha, 2008). Temperature is one of the most important
factors affecting the occurrence of bacterial diseases such as Ralstonia
solanacearum, Acidovorax avenae and Burkholderia glumea. Thus, bacteria could
proliferate in areas where temperature-dependent diseases have not been previously
observed (Kudela, 2009). As the temperature increases, the duration of winter and
the rate of growth and reproduction of pathogens may be modified (Ladnyi and

Horvth, 2010). Similarly, the incidence of vector-borne diseases will be altered.

Climate can substantially influence the development and distribution of vectors.
Changes may result in geographical distribution, increased overwintering, changes
in population growth rates, increases in the number of generations, extension of the
development season, changes in crop-pest synchrony of phenology, changes in
interspecific interactions and increased risk of invasion by migrant pests. Because of
the short life cycles of insects, mobility, reproductive potential, and physiological
sensitivity to temperature, even modest climate change will have rapid impacts on
the distribution and abundance of vectors. Thus, increase in temperature may be
result in high rate of development of insect, obtaining a greater number of insect
generations per cycle. Furthermore increase in temperature could determine the
distribution of areas favorable for overwintering (Garrett et al., 2006), or even more
lethal zones where the insect cannot survive.
Effect of Climate Change on Plant Diseases
The climate influences the incidence as well as temporal and spatial
distribution of plant diseases. The main factors that control growth and development
of diseases are temperature, light and humidity and water. Similarly, these factors
also affect type and condition of host crop. The climate is becoming increasingly
extreme and unpredictable and climate change is affecting plants in natural and
agricultural ecosystems. Climate change also disrupts and alters the distribution of
pests and diseases, which poses a threat to agriculture. Changes in rainfall patterns
and temperature can induce severe epidemics in plants because some types of
pathogens will tend to favour others. Moreover if these changes cause unfavorable
condition for pathogens diseases could be reduced or not present. Severity will
depend on the characteristics of each pathogen and its development as a function of
environmental factors as well as the magnitude of changes in temperature and
wetness in agro-ecological areas. The range of many pathogens is limited by climatic
requirements for infection and development. Studies in this order have been carried
out and in many cases have been predicted to lead to geographic expansion
(Chakraborty et al., 2002; Salinari et al., 2006; Evans et al., 2007). In the presence of
susceptible hosts, pathogens with short life cycles, high reproduction rates and
effective dispersion mechanisms respond quickly to climate change, resulting in
faster adaptation to climatic conditions (Coakley et al., 1999). Harvell et al. (2002)
demonstrated that warm winters with high night temperatures facilitate the survival
of pathogens, accelerate life cycles of vectors and fungi, and increase sporulation and
aerial fungal infection. Moreover, the results of the aforementioned study suggested
that the number of pathogens moving northward will increase as increasing
temperature makes that previously inclement areas are more conducive.


Climate change will also modify host physiology and resistance, and alter the
stages and rates of the development of pathogens. There are many reports to
corroborate this fact. Eastburn (2010) found that elevated CO2 and O3 induced changes
in the soybean canopy density and leaf age. Kobayashi et al. (2006) found increased
number of tillers per plant in rice under elevated CO2. New disease complexes may
arise, and some diseases may cease to be economically important. But, pathogens
will follow migrating hosts and infect vegetation in natural plant communities not
previously exposed to the often more aggressive strains from agricultural crops
(Mina and Sinha, 2008). Evans et al. (2007) conducted a study in the UK to assess the
effects of climate change on Phoma on oilseed rape (Leptosphaeria maculans). A
model of the prognosis of the disease was used in combination with a climate change
model predicting UK temperature and rainfall under CO2 emission scenarios for the
2020 and 2050's. It was also found that epidemics will not only increase in severity
but also spread northwards by 2020's. Such predictions can be used to guide policy
and practice in adapting to the effects of climate change on food security and wildlife.
Salinari et al. (2006) used two climate change models to simulate future scenarios of
downy mildew on grapevine (Plasmopara viticola). This empirical model predicted
an increase of the disease pressure in each decade and more severe epidemics were
direct consequence of more favorable air temperatures and rainfall reduction
conditions during the months of May and June. The simulation analysis suggests
that the impact of increased temperatures on enhancing disease pressure exceeded
the limiting effect of reduced rainfall, and from a biological point of view, this result
can be explained by considering that temperature and wetness act together on the
pathogen. Thus, the production of grapes in northwestern Italy would decrease.
Kocmnkov et al. (2007) conducted a study where a model was developed allowing
the risk assessment of early outbreaks or increases in the intensity of Potato late
blight (Phytophthora infestans) under the climate change in central Europe. Under
all climate change scenarios a marked change was noted in the infestation pressure of
evaluated disease and in the higher number of favorable days for Potato late blight
outbreak. The results show the shift of the infestation pressure to the beginning of the
year and describe an increasing trend of critical number reaching to the detection of
the first P. infestans occurrence for 2025 and 2050.
Climate change is an important phenomenon that is surely going to affect
agricultural production. The present knowledge in the area and also by simulating
various models in important pathogen-host combinations, we can prepare ourselves
to counter the threat on our crop production and productivity. It is presumed that
global warming may modify areas affected by pests and diseases and studies must be

performed to assess pest and disease stages under the effects of climate change to
determine the magnitude of disease and identify measures to minimize the risk of
infection. Exposure to altered atmospheric conditions can modify fungal disease
expression. Studies had shown that exposure at elevated CO2 increases disease
incidence or severity in some cases but in other cases decreased. So increase or
decrease disease will be in function of the host and pathogen. Hence the importance
of conducting studies on main crops and major disease for each region. Temperature
is one of the main factors in conjunction with the rain to determine the incidence and
severity of disease, but the effect could be positive and negative. Disease risk
analyses based on host-pathogen interactions should be performed, and research on
host response and adaptation should be conducted to understand how an imminent
change in the climate could affect plant diseases.
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Eastburn DM, Degennaro MM, Delucia EH, Dermody O, Mcelrone AJ (2010).

Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and ozone alter soybean diseases at
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effects on plant disease: genomes to ecosystems. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. 44:
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security. Open Learning (July- December): 49-51.
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production and better environment. Kurukshetra 59 (9): 3-7.
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(2002). Climate warming and disease risks for terrestrial and marine biota.
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on infection of barley by Erysiphe graminis. Physiol. Mol. Plant Pathol. 48: 3753.
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J (2007). The climate niches of colorado potato beetle and potato late blight in
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Gullino ML (2006). Downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) epidemics on
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Eco-friendly Techniques for Management of

Diseases in Spice Crops
Meenu Gupta
Department of Vegetable Science,
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan (HP) 173 230

Economic losses arising from crop diseases caused by plant pathogens are
principally associated with yield reductions. However, crop quality and safety may
also be adversely affected, undermining both consumer confidence and profitability
to the producer. Hence protection of plants from pathogens is the preoccupation of
agricultural scientist around the world and it is the unifying goal of plant pathology to
control plant disease and chemicals play a major role in accomplishing that goal in
contemporary agricultural production. Pesticides which are incessantly used on
plants to manage these disease cause serious damage to agricultural and natural
ecosystems. Thus, there is a need to curtail pesticide use and reduce the
environmental impacts of pesticides.
In the early stages of development of agriculture, farmers had realized from
observation and experience that crops look sick when grown on the same land year
after year, when land was not left fallow, or when there was excess of moisture and
other mismanagement. By proper adjustment of practices in the cultivation of the
crop they had been avoiding these situations. However, for effective control of plant
diseases through adjustment of crop management procedures we have yet to learn
more about the ecology of the pathogens. Successful use of cultural practices for
disease control can be made only when a complete knowledge of nature of the
pathogen and its behavior in different conditions of the environment-climate,
cropping system etc. is available. Although resistant varieties and fungicides are very
important tools in management of diseases, their efficacy can be further improved
and they can be made more lasting and economical by modification of cultural
practices. Often cultural practices are the only feasible methods of disease control
especially in spice crops where resistant varieties are not known. Under this concept,
all possible modes of plant disease control methods are integrated to minimize the
excessive use of synthetic pesticides. Exploitation of naturally available chemicals
from plants, which retards the reproduction of undesirable microorganisms, would
be a more realistic and ecologically sound method for plant protection and will play a
prominent role in the development of future commercial pesticides for crop
protection strategies, with special reference to the management of diseases in spice

Eco friendly techniques of disease management


Cultural management


Infected host eradication

Certain pathogens of annual spice crops overwinters only or mainly in
perennial wild plants. Eradication of host in which the pathogen overwinters
is sometimes enough to eliminate completely or to reduce drastically the
amount of inoculum that can cause infection the following season. It is
routinely carried out in nurseries, greenhouses, and fields.


Crop rotation
Soil borne pathogens that infect plants of one or few species or even families
of plants can sometimes be reduced in the soil by planting non-host crops for
3 or 4 years. In this case, crop rotation can reduce population of pathogen
(e.g. Verticillium). Ginger can be rotated with cruciferous crops.


Sanitation consists of all activities aimed at eliminating or reducing the
amount of inoculum present in a plant, field or a warehouse and at preventing
the spread of the pathogen to other healthy plants and plant products. Thus,
ploughing under infected plants after harvest, such as leftover infected fruit,
rhizomes or leaves, helps cover the inoculum with soil and speed up its
disintegration and concurrent destruction of most pathogens carried in or on


Creating conditions unfavourable for the pathogen

In the production of many crops, particularly containerized stock, using
decomposed tree bark in the planting medium has resulted in the successful
control of diseases caused by several soil-borne pathogens. e.g.
Phytophthora, Phythium and Thielaviopsis causing root rots, Rhizoctonia
causing damping off and crown rot, Fusarium causing wilt and nematode
diseases of several spice crops.


Evasion or avoidance of the pathogen

For several spice crop diseases, control depends on attempts to evade
pathogens. For example, chilli anthracnose, caused by the fungus
Colletotrichum capsici, and the bacterial blight of coriander, caused by
bacteria Pseudomonas syringae are transmitted through the seed. They can
be successfully controlled by using disease free seed and seed treatments.



Use of pathogen free material/seeds

Seed may carry internally one or a few fungi such as those causing yellows
and soft rots, certain bacteria causing bacterial wilts, spots and blights and
certain viruses.


Physical and legislative management

The physical agents used most commonly in controlling plant diseases are
temperature (high or low), dry air, unfavourable light wave lengths and the
various types of radiations. With some crops, cultivation in glass or plastic
green houses provides physical barriers to pathogens and their vectors and in
that way protects the crop from some diseases.


Soil sterilization by heat

Soil can be sterilized in green houses, and sometimes in seed beds and cold
frames, by the heat carried in live or aerated steam or hot water. The soil is
steam sterilized either in special containers (soil sterilizers), into which
steam is supplied under pressure, or on the greenhouse benches, in which
case steam is piped into and is allowed to diffuse through the soil. At about
50C, nematodes, some oomycetes, and other water moulds are killed
whereas most plant pathogenic fungi and bacteria, along with some worms,
slugs, centipedes, are usually killed at temperatures between 60 and 72C.


Soil solarization:
When clear polythene sheet is placed over moist soil during sunny summer
days, the temperature at the top 5 cm of soil may reach as high as 52C
compare to a maximum of 37C in unmulched soil. If sunny weather
continues for several days or weeks, the increased soil temperature from solar
heat, known as solarization, inactivates or kills many soil borne pathogens,
viz., fungi, nematodes, and bacteria near soil surface, thereby reducing the
inoculum and the potential for disease.


Hot water treatment of propagating organs:

Hot water treatment of certain seeds, bulbs, rhizomes and nursery stock is
used to kill any pathogens with which they are infected or which may be
present in seed coats, bulbs, scales, and so on, or which may be present in
external surfaces or wounds.
Treatment of ginger rhizomes at 45oC against rhizome rot for 30 minutes has
been recommended against rhizome rot (Fusarium oxysporum) followed by
streptocycline dip (100 ppm) for 30 minutes.


Disease control by refrigeration

Refrigeration is probably the most widely used and the most effective
method of controlling post harvest diseases of fleshy plant products.
Although low temperature at or slightly above the freezing point do not kill
any of the pathogen that may be on or in the plant tissues, they do inhibit or
greatly retard the growth and activities of all such pathogens, thereby
reducing the spread of existing infection and the initiation of new ones.


Biological management
Biological control of plant pathogens refers to the total or partial destruction
of pathogen population by other organisms. It occurs routinely in nature but
manipulations by human being have resulted in enhanced benefits. It is
achieved by suppressive soils, reducing amount of inoculum through
antagonistic microorganisms or by direct protection by biological control


Suppressive soils
Many soil borne pathogens, such as Fusarium oxysporum (causing yellows),
Pythium spp. (causing soft rot) develop well and cause severe diseases in
some soils, known as conducive soils, whereas they develop much less and
cause much milder diseases in other soils, known as suppressive soils. Many
kinds of antagonistic microorganisms have been found to increase in
suppressive soils; most commonly, pathogen and disease suppression has
been shown to be caused by fungi, such as Trichoderma, Penicillium, and
Sporidesmium, or by bacteria belonging to the genera Pseudomonas,
Bacillus, and Streptomyces.


Reducing amount of inoculum through antagonistic microorganisms


Control of soil borne pathogens: Several non-plant pathogenic oomycetes

and fungi, including some chytridiomycetes and hyphomycetes, and some
pseudomonad and actinomycetous bacteria infect the resting spores of
several plant pathogenic fungi. Among the most common mycoparasitic
fungi are Trichoderma sp., mainly T. harzianum. It parasitizes mycelia of
Rhizoctonia and Sclerotium, and inhibits the growth of many oomycetes such
as Pythium, Phythophthora, and other fungi, e.g., Fusarium


Control of aerial pathogens: Many fungi have been shown to antagonize

and inhibit numerous fungal pathogens of aerial plant parts. For example,
Ampelomyces quisqualis parasitizes powdery mildew fungi. Darluca filum,
and Verticillium lecanii parasitizes several rust.


Control through trap plants: If a few rows of rye, corn, or other tall plants
are planted around a field of peppers or ginger many of the incoming aphids
carrying viruses that attack the peppers, and ginger will stop and feed on the
peripheral taller rows of rye or corn. Trap plants are also used against
nematodes which are sedentary endo- or ecto-parasites. For example,
Crotalaria plants trap the juveniles of root- knot nematodes.


Control through antagonistic plants: Plants such as asparagus and

marigold are antagonistic to nematodes because they release substances in
the soil that are toxic to several plant parasitic nematodes.


Chemical management
Chemical pesticides have been used generally in plant protection
programmes to overcome the diseases caused by various pathogens.
Normally, chemical treatments are aimed to eradicate the general inoculum
before it comes in contact with the plant hosts. In eco-friendly management
of diseases, new and safer fungicides like elemental form of copper and
sulphur are used. Depending upon the pathogens they affect, they may be
classified as fungicides, bactericides, nematicides, viricides etc. Out of these,
some chemicals are broad-spectrum and they are toxic to all pathogens. Most
of the chemicals used in plant protection are foliar and are used on the
aboveground parts of the plants. Some of them are soil disinfectants, and
some are used as protectants on seed, tubers, culms etc. There are some of the
chemicals which are used for curing diseases and are called curative or

Types of chemical compounds used for plant disease control


Inorganic chemicals


Copper compounds
The Bordeaux mixture is the product reaction of copper sulphate and calcium
hydroxide. It controls diseases like bacterial leaf spot, blights, anthracnose,
downy mildews and cankers. Phytotoxicity of Bordeaux mixture can be
reduced by increasing the ratio of hydrated lime to the copper sulphate.


Inorganic sulphur:
Elemental sulphur (oldest fungicide) is used as a dust, wettable powder, paste
or liquid sulphur. It controls powdery mildews, certain rusts, leaf blights and
fruit rots. It is available in trade names like Wettasul, Cosavet etc.



Carbonate compounds:
Sodium carbonate as well as bicarbonate salts of ammonium, potassium and
lithium plus 1 per cent superfine oil are inhibitory and fungicidal to the
powdery mildew fungi, gray mould etc.


Phosphate and phosphonate compound:

Spraying cucurbit with either of monopotassium phosphate or dipotassium
phosphate gives satisfactory control of powdery mildew disease.


Systemic Fungicides: among systemic fungicides, traizoles and

strobilurins are used as these are comparatively safer fungicides and
have low toxic residues.


Triazoles include triadimefon, bitertanol, difenconazole, propiconazole,
myclobutanil, cyperconazole, tebuconazole etc. these show long protective
and curative activity against broad-spectrum of foliar, root and seedling
diseases like leaf spots, blights, powdery mildews and rusts caused by fungi.
These can be applied as foliar as well as seed and soil treatments.


Strobilurins or QoI fungicides

These are the new generation and important fungicides. The most important
are azoxystrobin, trifloxystrobin and kresoxim methyl. These strobilurins
can be used against cucurbit diseases.


Host resistance
Use of resistant varieties in crop cultivation provides undoubtedly the most
cost-effective, logistically the easiest, and also the safest of all the methods
used for disease control. Both from the economic point of view and the
possible health hazards involved in some of the methods used for disease
control, this can probably termed as the painless method. This approach
costs little to the farmer and is, therefore, suitable for the developing
countries like India. Use of resistant varieties not only reduces environment
pollution and eliminates hazards to human health, but also checks disease
epidemics and thus helps to maintain the biological balance in the ecosystem.
For many diseases like the vascular wilts and those caused by viruses, which
are difficult to control effectively by some other means, and others like rusts,
powdery mildews, and root rots, which do not appear to be economically
practical to be controlled by other methods, the cultivation of resistant
varieties provides the only means of producing acceptable yields without

using toxic compounds. Several other kinds of fungal diseases and also many
others caused by bacteria, nematodes, and viruses are best controlled by this
Some examples of resistant varieties




Black pepper



Suguna and Sudarshan
IISR Kedaram
IISR AJleppey Supreme
Punjab Lal
IISR Shakti
IISR Thevam
IISR Avinash
IISR Vijetha

Ttolerant to rhizome rot

Tolerant to rhizome rot
Resistant to leaf blotch
Resistant to leaf blotch
Tolerant to Phytophthora
Field tolerant to Phytophthora
Wilt and grey mold
Root rot
Rhizome rot tolerant
Resistant to Katte

Integrated Disease Management

Integrated disease management (IDM) came under focus in 1960's when
chemicals especially, fungicides and insecticides came under the attack from
environmentalists due to the overuse of chemicals that created the problems
of environmental pollution, chemical residues in food stuff, land, water and
air, and the associated health hazards. Thus, it focused on the other methods
of disease control. It involved cultural, biological, epidemiological and
alternative means to achieve the disease control.
Integrated disease management can be defined as the disease management
system that in the context of associated environment and population
dymamics of microorganisms, utilizes all suitable techniques and method in
a manner as compatible as possible and maintains the disease below
economic level. In general, it is the integration of all possible and suitable
management techniques for the control of diseases.

Integrated disease management in ginger

1. Select healthy and disease free seed.
2. Treat the seed for one hour in a mixture of Dithane M-45 (0.25%) +
carbendazim (0.1%) and shade dry for 48 hours.
3. Ensure proper drainage in the field.

4. Destroy the infected parts and drench the infected plants with copper
oxychloride (0.3%).
5. Spray copper oxychloride (0.3%) against Phyllosticta leaf spot at an interval
of 10 days.
6. Follow crop rotation for five years.
S.L. Godara, B.B.S. Kapoor, B.S. Rathore. 2010. Disease management of spice
crops. DK Agencies Pvt. Ltd.
H. Panda. 2010. Handbook on Spices and Condiments (Cultivation, Processing and
Extraction). Asia Pacific Business Press Inc. 640p.
E.A. Weiss. 2002. Spice crops. CabiPublishing. 399p.


Integrated Pest Management in Solanceous and

Leguminous Vegetable Crops
KC Sharma
Department of Entomology
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173 230 HP

Integrated Pest Management (IPM): It is the blending of all the suitable control
measures against the pest species in as compatible manner as possible so as to avoid
the pests population in reaching the economic injury level.
Components of IPM:

Physical methods
Mechanical methods
Cultural control
Use of bio pesticides
Regulatory methods
Genetic control
Chemical control

The details of Solanceous and Leguminous crops are given below:

i) Solanceous vegetable crops: Potato, Tomato, Brinjal, Capsicum, Chilies
ii) Leguminous vegetable crops: Pea, Beans
The insect pests attacking these vegetable crops are tabulated under the following
i) Solanceous crops: Potato, Tomato, Brinjal, Capsicum
Insect pests of potato
Common name

Scientific name



Potato tuber moth

Phthorimaea operculella



White grub

Brahmina coriacea, B. cirnicolli,



Hadda beetles

Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata



Cut worms

Agrotis spp.




Myzus persicae and Aphis gossypii



Insect pests of Tomato

Common name

Scientific name



Cut worm

Agrotis segetum



Fruit borer

Helicoverpa armigera



Greenhouse whitefly

Trialeurodes vaporariorum



Serpentine leafminer

Liriomyza trifolii



Phytophagous mite

Tetranychus urticae



Fruit fly

Bactrocera tau



Insect pests of Brinjal

Common name

Scientific name



Brinjal shoot & fruit

Brinjal stem borer

Leucinodes orbonalis



Euzophera perticella



Brinjal lace wing bug



Leaf hoppers

Urentius sentis ,
U. hystricellus
Amrasca biguttula biguttula




Tetranychus sp.



Insect pests of Capsicum

Common name

Scientific name



Phytophagous mite

Tetranychus urticae




Myzus persicae Sulzer



Greenhouse whitefly

Trialeurodes vaporariorum




Insect pests of chilies

Common name

Scientific name



Green peach aphid

Myzus persicae



Greenhousse whitefly

Trialeurodes vaporariorum



Tobacco caterpillar

Spodoptera litura



Scientific name



Pea leafminer

Chromatomyia horticola



Pea pod borer

Helicoverpa armigera



Eteilla zinckenella




Thysanoplusia orichalcea



Pea blue butterfly

Lampides boeticus



Pea thrips

Caliothrips indicus

Thysanoptera Thripidae

Common name

Scientific name



Bihar hairy caterpillar

Spilartia obliqua



Leguminous crops: Pea, French bean

Insect pests of Pea
Common name

Insect pests of beans

The management practices given below are the General Management

Practices, thus necessarily do not reflect the university recommendations.
Insect pests of potato:
Potato tuber moth:
Damage: The larva of the potato tuber moth mines into the leaf, eventually killing
the terminal section of the plant. Management: Plant tubers slightly deeper (10cm)
and follow proper earthing up
i) Harvested potatoes should be lifted to cold stores immediately, however if
cold store facilities are not available, only healthy tubers should be stored.

ii) Mass trapping of adults with sex pheromones.

iii) Spray of crop with acephate (0.05%)
iv) In stores dusting the tubers with 5% malathion and alternatively, dipping of
tubers before storage with 0.0028% deltamethrin
White grub:
Damage: Initially young grubs feed on mother tuber, roots of developing potato
plants. After tuber formation, the older second instar and third instar grubs feed on
the underground potato tubers.
i) Apply well rottened FYM.
ii) Deep ploughing immediately after harvest and collection and killing of
iii) Use of light trap to collect adult beetles during May-June.
iv) Application of phorate10G (25-30Kg/ha) near plant base at the time of
earthing up or drenching of ridges with chlorpyriphos 20 EC.
Insect pests of tomato
Damage: Soon after transplanting, larvae attack the tomato seedling.

Use of sex pheromone traps for monitoring.


While preparing field mix follidol M-2 dust 5% @ 1 -2 kg/bigha.


Use well rottened FYM.


Drenching with chlorpyriphos (0.04%) should be done in the basin of the


Tomato fruit borer:

Damage: Larva feeds on foliage, flower buds and flowers for some time and later
enters into the developing fruits

Use of sex pheromone for monitoring and early detection.



Releasing two species of egg parasitoids, viz., Trichogramma

brasiliensis and T. pretiosum at weekly intervals from flower initiation
with 5-6 releases. Both the species of egg parasitoids at 2.5 lakh adults/ha
can effectively check the population of H. armigera.


Planting of marigold as trap crop.


Spray of HaNPV @ 250LE/ha


It can also be managed by spray of cypermethrin (0.0075%) or

deltamethrin (0.0025%) at 15-day interval.

Serpentine leafminer:
Damage: Damage is caused by larva which feeds in the tissues in between the layer
of the leaf. It makes galleries which are prominent on leaves.

Use of neem seeed kernel extract @ 4%.


Judicious use of nitrogenous fertilizers.


The pest can be managed by spraying of deltamethrin (0.0056%)

followed by another spray of triazophos (0.15%) at 15-day interval.

Greenhouse whitefly:
Damage: Nymphs and adults cause damage by sucking sap from foliage resulting in
yellowing of leaves which fade and dry away.

Install yellow traps for monitoring.


Neem formulations (@1-3 ml/lt of water can also be used against this


As soon as the pest appears, spray the crop with imidacloprid (0.01%) or
acetamiprid (0.02%).

Red spider mite:

Damage: Nymphs and adults cause damage by feeding on underside of leaves due
to which leaves show characteristics blotching and bronzing.

Destruction of infested plant parts in the initial stage of infestation.


Use pongamia oil @ 1ml/10 lts



Use neem seed kernel extract @ 5-6%


Among bio control agents, phytseiid mite, Amblyseius tetranychvorous

can be mass reared on caster pollen grains and released when the spider
mite population begins to appear on the crop.


Spray of ethion (0.05%), fenazquin (0.0025%), propergite (0.057%)

malathion (0.05%) or dicofol (0.05%).

Fruit fly: Bacrocera tau

Damage: Damage is caused by larvae which feed inside the tomato fruit on fruit
pulp due to which the fruit is rendered unfit for human consumption.

All the infested fruits that fall to the ground should be collected and
buried deep (at least 2 feet) in the soil followed by drenching malathion
to avoid the escape of emerging adults.


Bagging of fruits in smaller areas.


Use lure to attract male flies for monitoring and mass trapping.


Fruit flies can be managed by applying bait spray which consists of

malathion (10ml), gur (50 grams) and water (5 lts).

Insect pests of brinjal:

Brinjal hadda beetle:
Damage: The damage is caused by the beetles and the grubs which feed on leaves.
i) Collection and destruction of various stages of the pest.
ii) The pest can be controlled by spraying the crop with malathion (0.05%) or
carbaryl (0.1%).
Brinjal shoot and fruit borer:
Damage: It damages the crop from seedling stage till the harvest.
i) Use pheromone traps.
ii) Application of neem based pesticides.
iii) Same crop should not be harvested in the same field and destruction of
infested shoots along with the larvae at 15 days interval.

iv) Use sex pheromones @ 100/ ha (10x10m)

v) Spray fenvalerate (0.01%) or carbaryl (0.1%)
Jassid: Damage is caused by nymphs and adults which suck sap from leaves.
i) Apply malathion (0.05%)
ii) Predators, like Chrysoperla sp., spiders etc. predate upon nymphs and
adults of this pest.
Insect pests of pea:
Pea leafminer
Damage: More serious damage is caused by larvae.
i) Pluck the older leaves and burn.
ii) Application of oxy-demeton methyl (0.025%) or dichlorvos (0.04%) during
the second week of February help in reducing the population of this pest.
Pea pod borer:
Damage: Damage is caused by caterpillars which in the earlier stages feed on leaves
and later on they enter into the pods of pea.
i) Apply carbaryl (0.1%) or deltamethrin and repeat the spray after 15-day
Pea thrips, Caliothrips spp.
Damage: Damage is caused by adults and nymphs which lacerate the surface and
suck the sap from leaves and flowers.
i) Monitor thrips adults and larvae by branch beating or shaking foliage or
flowers onto a sheet of paper or a beating tray or sheet. Adult thrips can also
be monitored using bright yellow sticky traps.
ii) Neem based pesticides can be somewhat effective for temporary reduction of
iii) Apply lambda cyhaothrin (0.004%) or cypermethrin (0.0075%).

Insect pests of French bean

Black bean bug:
Damage: Both adults and nymphs suck sap usually from lower side surface of
leaves. As a result of sap sucking, the chlorophyll content is reduced.
i) During rainy season, predatory spiders feed on nymphs of this pest.
ii) Before flower initiation and pod formation stage, spray the crop with oxydemeton methyl (0.025%) or dimethoate (0.03%).
iii) Rainy season crops are more prone to the damage by this pest so the early
sowing can help in protection of crop.
Blister beetle:
Damage: Damage is caused by adults which feed on foliage, flowers and
developing pods.
The beetles can be managed by spraying carbaryl (0.1%) or deltamethrin
Sharma, KC, Usha Chuhan, and Verma AK. 2004. Insect pests of vegetable crops:
Identification and management manual
Atwal, AS and Dhaliwal. 2009. Agricultural pests of South Asia and their


Judicious Use of Pesticides to Lower Residue in

Vegetable Production
RS Chandel, ID Sharma and SK Patyal
Department of Entomology and Apiculture
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni-173 230 Solan, HP

Vegetables are typically associated with good nutrition and fresh produce, in
particular, is often thought of as healthy. However, media attention related to
contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables with pesticides has heightened
consumer awareness for having safe food. The frequently asked questions like 'Are
all vegetables and fruits I purchase from market contaminated with pesticide
residues? Am I being exposed to pesticide residues by eating fruits and vegetables?
And above all consideration of pesticides as only 'Sarva Roga Nirvani'- i.e. A cure of
all crop ailments?
Pesticides used to control the pests are toxic in nature and are equally harmful
to human beings if applied injudiciously. The over, mis and unapproved use of
chemicals have become most disturbing environmental issues, today. These have
been presented as the main culprit in the agriculture production scenario, causing
hazards to human health and the surrounding environment. Despite the fact, it is also
true that pesticides have played an important role in increasing the crop productivity
by protecting them from insect-pests and diseases. Hence, they still continued to be
an important input for crop health, hygiene and increasing the productivity.
However, ignorance causes many farmers to use more than the recommended
amount in the hope that it will benefit the crops more.
Out of the 228 pesticides registered in the country, 85 technical grade
pesticides are manufactured in India having approx. demand of 90,000 MT per
annum. India's pesticide industry is largest in the Asia and 12 largest in the world.
The major demand is in cotton (45%) followed by rice (22%), plantation crops (7%),
vegetables (6%), wheat (4%), pulses (4%) and others (9%). Pesticide production and
use in the country shows a different pattern from global trendsinsecticide use is
around 75% in the country, compared to 32% in the world. Herbicide use is only 12%
in the country while worldwide, consumption is 47%. Similarly, while carbamate
and synthetic pyrethroid compounds are used the most globally (45% together), in
India, organophosphates constitute 50% of the consumption. Similarly, biopesticides are used only upto 1% amongst all pesticides in India, while worldwide, it
is 12%.

With the increase in demand for vegetables round the year vis-a-vis
cultivated area to meet the growing demand for domestic as well as export market,
the use of pesticides on these crops has also increased to manage the menace of
various insect-pests, thus started affecting man and his environment (Jayaraj and
Ignacimuthu, 2005). Though, the importance of IPM in sustainable agriculture has
been well recognized, very little is being adopted at the field level (Jayaraj, 2002).
The traders dealing with different chemicals being used on different vegetables and
other food commodities have further exaggerated the problem by supplying different
unauthorized and non-recommended chemicals to farmers by ensuring better
qualitative and quantitative hike in their produce.
Residue free crop production
Safe vegetable production is a concept that it will not cause harm to the
consumer when it is taken as raw or prepared/consumed according to its intended
use. It includes production, post harvest handling and storage of vegetables in a way
that prevent the entry of pesticide residues to human through their consumption. The
share of our country in the global export basket is less than 3% due to several key
issues which require attention. These include lack of technical skill and equipments
while applying pesticides, lack of updated standards, an absence of a responsive crop
monitoring system and the lack of awareness of safety and quality control issues on
the part of farmers and traders in the organized and unorganized marketing system.
Three developments have contributed significantly to the increase in both, the
quantity and quality of vegetable moving in national and international trade. The 1
has been the increase in life style of general consumers within the country, the
dramatical increase in the number of countries, especially developing countries
involved in production of vegetables for export and 3rd one is internatiolization of
food taste and habits.
Hence, the demand for pesticide free produce can be achieved by managing
pest population not only by using insecticides alone but also by incorporating other
methods in the IPM module for each crop against each pest. The various techniques
for managing pest population can be grouped in the following ways:
1. Physical methods: These methods aim to reduce the pest's population by using
devices which affect them physically or alter their physiological environment.
a. Cold treatment: Cold treatment in some vegetables is lethal to the harboring
insect-pests. A temperature of 100C for several days kills fruit fly larvae.
Similarly cold storage of potato helps in escaping potato tuber moth.

b. Super heating: A temperature of 50-55 C kills almost all the stages of insects.
Super heating can be successfully used against the larvae of fruit flies.

2. Mechanical methods: The reduction of insect population by manual devices is

called mechanical method of pest control. It involves:
a. Hand picking: Some species of insects which are large and conspicuous can be
removed from the plant by hand or by crushing on the plant part.
b. Trapping: Trapping of insect pests attacking vegetable crops can be done by
using various traps viz. sticky traps, light traps, bait traps, pheromone traps etc.
3. Cultural methods: Cultural practices are among the oldest techniques used fro
insect pest suppression in traditional agriculture system. These methods consist of all
the agronomic practices which are used to reduce the pest population and include
those methods of planting, growing and harvesting a crop will prevent or lessen
insect damage. It includes various practices as: tillage, intercropping, mulching,
fertilization, use of trap crops, destruction of refuges, time of planting and
harvesting, flooding and irrigation, crop rotation.
4. Utilization of natural enemies: The use of natural enemies against the insect
pests is one of the useful methods for safe vegetable production. These include
parasitoids, parasites and predators. Mostly insects parasitic upon other insects are
protelean parasites i.e. they are parasitic only in their immature stages and lead free
lives as adults. They unusually consume all or most of the hosts body and then pupate
either within or external to the host. A predator is free living organism which kills its
prey and requires more than one prey to complete its development. Among insects,
several species of lace wings, lady beetles, mantids and syrphids are good examples
of predators of insects. Similarly, bacteria, fungi, viruses etc. have been recognized
as the important pathogens for the management of various pests.
5. Safe use of pesticides: Injudicious use of chemical pesticides have resulted in the
development of resistance in pests, resurgence of target and non-target pests,
destruction of beneficial organisms like honeybees, pollinators, parasitoids,
predators, etc., and residues in food, fodder and feeds. Use of unapproved pesticides
has been emerged as one of the current issues for having pesticide contamination in
fresh produce. It has been observed that farmers purchase one or more recommended
pesticides to be used on crops. However, for other crops he is growing, the same
pesticide is being used by them. This situation leaves harmful residues due to lack of
dose recommendations and safe waiting periods on those crops.
Pesticide consumption: The consumption of pesticides for pest control in
agriculture picked up after the introduction of high yielding varieties in 1966-67. The
total amount of pesticides used in the country increased from 154 metric tones in
1953-54 to nearly than 84,095 metric tones in 1993-94 and rose nearly to 100,000
metric tones by the year 2000. But in view of the ban on DDT, HCH, aldrin etc, high
potency (and consequently lower required dosages) of new insecticides especially

synthetic pyrethroids and high priority being accorded to IPM, the pesticides
consumption has shown a decreasing trend (41350 MT) during the year 2004-05
(Anonymous, 2008).
Residues in different commodities: The leading chemical used in India during
1995-96 was HCH (BHC), followed by malathion, methyl parathion, endosulfan,
carbaryl and dimethoate. During 1999-2000, monocrotophos was the top insecticide
followed by endosulfan, malathion and methyl parathion. Among fungicides,
consumption of mancozeb was the highest followed by sulphur compounds, copper
oxychloride and carbendazim (Jayaraj, 2005). DDT and BHC are highly lipophiclic,
accumulate in the different component of the environment and disturb the
ecosystem. Keeping in view this problem, Govt. of India banned 12 pesticides in
June 1993 and placed DDT under restricted use only in public health programe.
During the usage of POP era, residues of these persistent pesticides were detected
most frequently in food commodities. However, thereafter the shift in pesticide
usage trend has indicated the more use of OP and SP compounds.
The excessive use of pesticides in Himachal Pradesh has also been observed
on main cash crops being grown as main and off-season crops. A total of 842 samples
of different vegetable crops collected from different parts of the State since 1990
revealed >70% contamination of EBDC (mancozeb, zineb, maneb, antracol etc.)
residues followed by 2% MBC (carbendazim) and 1% organochlorines. A decline in
pesticide residue contamination has been observed after 2001.
Table1. List of pesticides/pesticides formulations banned in India

Pesticides Banned for manufacture, import and use

Benzene Hexachloride
Calcium Cyanide
Copper Acetoarsenite
Ethyl Mercury Chloride
Ethyl Parathion
Paraquat Dimethyl Sulphate
Pentachloro Nitrobenzene




Phenyl Mercury Acetate
Sodium Methane Arsonate
Maleic Hydrazide
Ethylene Dibromide
TCA (Trichloro acetic acid)
Endosulfan (Interim ban by SC)
Lindane (To be banned w.e.f. April 2013)
Pesticide/Pesticide formulations banned for use but their
manufacture is allowed for export
Nicotin Sulfate
Captafol 80% Powder
Pesticide formulations banned for import, manufacture and use
Methomyl 24% L
Methomyl 12.5% L
Phosphamidon 85% SL
Carbofuron 50% SP
Pesticide Withdrawn
Nickel Chloride
(Source: Anonymous, 2008)

In order to assure the absence or presence of pesticide residues below MRL in

a particular commodity, supervised field trials are conducted on that commodity and
then post harvest interval or a safe waiting period is suggested. Different waiting
periods suggested are tabulated in the table 2 for the safety of consumers.

Table 2. Waiting period for vegetables










Cabbage Tomato







Under the present consumer awareness situation, the production of
vegetables is under scanner of consumers who are scared of their contamination with
pesticide residues. It is the urgent need to convince them with data that all vegetables
available in the market do not always carry pesticide load and there is a difference
between contamination below MRL and above MRL. The mere presence of a trace
amount of a pesticide does not mean that the product is unhealthy. Thus, not eating of
vegetable and fruits would pose bigger risk to health than eating low level
contaminated food. Food containing residues below MRL do not cause health risk.
Following the pre harvest interval, residues go down below legal permissible limit.
The use of recommended pesticide with right dose and interval and more importantly
observing recommended pre harvest interval is the only way to convince consumers
and to ensure our farmer's credibility in export market. Hence establishment of MRL
for each pesticide on each vegetable is required. Further, cooking of vegetables
followed by washing provide a satisfactory relief from pesticide residues.


Anonymous (2008) Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee, Ministry
of Agriculture,NH4, CGO Complex, Faridabad, 121001,
Jayaraj, S. (2002). Prudent management of pests; In: The Hindu Survey of Indian
Agriculture 2002. 232pp.
Jayaraj, S. (2005). Use and abuse of chemical pesticides: need for safer pesticides for
sustainable integrated pest management. (In): Sustainable Insect Pest
Management (ed. Ignaciuthu, S. and Jayaraj, S.), Narosa Publishing House, New
Delhi, 2005,253-265p.
Jayaraj, S. and Ignaciuthu, S. (2005) Progress and perspectives of sustainable
integrated pest management.(In) Sustainable Insect Pest Management (ed.
Ignaciuthu, S. and Jayaraj, S.), Narosa Publishing House, New Delhi, 2005,118p.


Management of Pollinators of Vegetable Crops under

Changing Climatic Scenario
R K Thakur and Jatin Soni
Department of Entomology and Apiculture
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni-173230, Solan

Continuous declining weather conditions and changes in climate due to the
escalating temperature, erratic rainfall, more demand for water and enhanced
incidence of diseases are all set to affect the production trend of various vegetable
crops. The increasing temperature day-by-day due to global warming is 0.76C since
1850. The rate of warming in the last 50 years is double than that for the last century.
As many as 11 of the past 12 years were the warmest since1980. The increase in
temperature is of 1.8-4C by the next century (Rowntree, 1990). The threshold value
of temperature rise is 2C for devastating, dangerous and irreversible consequences
of warming to manifest the world over. Global warming is occurring along with
shifting pattern of rainfall and increasing incidence of extreme floods, droughts and
frosting. The rapid industrialisation, intensive agriculture, indiscriminate use of
chemicals and fertilisers, deforestation and increasing use of fossil fuels during the
past 150 years are major factors for the climate change. The continued effect of these
activities results in increasing emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, leading
to global warming as a greenhouse effect (Porter et al., 1991;).
There are considerable uncertainties about agronomic implications of vegetable
crops. Predicting impact of climate change on vegetable crops accurately on regional
scale is a big problem. Current estimates of changes in climate indicate an increase in
global mean annual temperatures of 1 C by 2025, and 3 C by the end of the next
century (IPCC, 1999a; b). The date at which an equivalent doubling of CO2 will be
attained is estimated to between 2025 and 2070depending on the level of emission
of greenhouse gasses (IPCC, 1990a; b).
Pollination and status of pollinators
Pollination is a crucial stage in the reproduction of most flowering plants, and
pollinators are essential for transferring genes within and among populations of wild
plant species (Kearns et al. 1998). Although the scientific literature has mainly
focused on pollination limitations in wild plants, in recent years there has been an
increasing recognition of the importance of pollination in food production. Klein et

al. (2007) found that fruit, vegetable or seed production from 87 of the world's
leading food crops depend upon animal pollination, representing 35 percent of
global food production. Roubik (1995) provided a detailed list for 1330 plant
species, showing that for approximately 70 percent of crops, at least one variety is
improved by pollination. Sutherst, 1991 also emphasized that flower-visiting insects
provide an important ecosystem function to global crop production through their
pollination services.
Pollinators are vital to agriculture. Most fruit, vegetable, and seed crops and
some crops that provide fiber, drugs and fuel are pollinated by animals. Pollination
by animals also is essential for maintaining the structure and function of a wide range
of natural communities. In view of that economic and ecological importance, the
putative causes of decline of the pollinators and potential consequences of those
declines are:
Temperature increases associated with climatic changes could result in:
Extension of geographical range of pollinators
Increased over-wintering and rapid population growth
Impact on pollinator diversity and extinction of species
Climatic change will result in increased problems with pollinators. These
changes will have major implications for crop protection and food security,
particularly in the developing countries, where the need to increase and sustain food
production is most urgent. Improved techniques for managing pollinators require
weather and insect data from thoroughly maintained monitoring as well as climate
information and forecast to determine their suitability. Climatic change, including
global warming and increased variability require improved analyses that can be used
to assess the risk of the existing and the newly developed pollinators management
strategies and techniques, and to define the impact of these techniques on
environment, productivity and profitability (Lee et al.,2009 a; b)
Insect pollinators are valuable and limited resources (Delaplane and Mayer
2000). Currently, farmers manage only 11 of the 20 000 to 30 000 bee species
worldwide (Parker et al. 1987), with the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) being
by far the most important species. Depending on only a few pollinator species
belonging to the Apis genus has been shown to be risky. Apis-specific parasites and
pathogens have lead to massive declines in honey bee numbers. Biotic stress
accompanied with climate change may cause further population declines and lead
farmers and researchers to look for alternative pollinators. Well-known pollinators to
replace honey bees might include the alfalfa leaf-cutter bee (Megachile rotundata)
and alkali bee (Nomia melanderi) in alfalfa pollination (Cane 2002), mason bees

(Osmia spp.) for pollination of orchards (Bosch and Kemp 2002; Maccagnani et al.
2003) and bumble bees (Bombus spp.) for pollination of crops requiring buzz
pollination (Velthuis and van Doorn 2006). Stingless bees are particularly important
pollinators, visiting approximately 90 crop species (Heard 1999). Some habits of
stingless bees resemble those of honey bees, including their preference for a wide
range of crop species, making them attractive for commercial management.
Pollinators' sensitivity to elevated temperatures
Bees are the most important pollinator worldwide (Kearns et al. 1998) and
like other insects, they are ectothermic, requiring elevated body temperatures for
flying. The thermal properties of their environments determine the extent of their
activity (Willmer and Stone 2004). The high surface-to-volume ratio of small bees
leads to rapid absorption of heat at high ambient temperatures and rapid cooling at
low ambient temperatures. All bees above a body mass of between 35 and 50 mg are
capable of endothermic heating, i.e. internal heat generation (Stone and Willmer
1989; Stone 1993; Bishop and Armbruster 1999). Examples of bee pollinators with a
body weight above 35 mg are found in the genera Apis, Bombus, Xylocopa and
Megachile. Examples of small bee pollinators are found in the family Halictidae,
including the genus Lasioglossum. All of these groups are important in vegetable
crop pollination. In addition to endothermy, many bees are also able to control the
temperatures in their flight muscles before, during and after flight by physiological
and behavioural means (Willmer and Stone 1997). Examples of behavioural
strategies for thermal regulation include long periods of basking in the sun to warm
up and shade seeking or nest returning to cool down (Willmer and Stone 2004). With
respect to the potential effects of future global warming, pollinator behavioural
responses to avoid extreme temperatures have the potential to significantly reduce
pollination services (Corbet et al. 1993).
Conservation and management of pollinators
Pollinators are an element of crop associated biodiversity, and provide an
essential ecosystem service to both natural and agricultural ecosystems. In the case
of agricultural ecosystems, pollinators and pollination can be managed ("planned"
crop associated biodiversity) to maximize or improve crop quality and yield. The
negative impact of the loss of pollinators is strongly felt in agricultural biodiversity.
The role of pollinators is, among other things, to ensure reproduction, fruit set
development and dispersal in plants, both in agro ecosystems and natural
ecosystems. The principle factor which determines the effectiveness of such
pollinators for a particular vegetable crop or plant species depends upon the bee
abundance, bee flight period, bee flight hours per day and the number of flowers
visited per day. The factors which contribute to bee survival in nature and their

propagation depends upon the availability of natural or manmade nesting devices of

preferred dimensions, abundance of natural parasitic, or predators, incidence of
disease or pesticide poisoning, and the natural brood mortality during active or the
dormant season. Most important is the synchronization of the bee flight period with
the major blooming period of the crop. This is achieved through appropriate
provisions of nesting devices and regulating development of adults so that there is
synchrony in adults formation with crop blooming. Following are the characteristic
features of such bee management programmes for crop pollination.
i) Provision of appropriate nesting devices of brood cell formation.
(ii) Collection and safe storage of brood nest of cells at low temperature.
iii) Checking/controlled emergence of parasites or removal diseased cells.
iv) Incubation of cells at appropriate temperature to regulate formation
Implication of climate change in vegetable production
The climate change will have many impacts on horticulture and a few
examples are given below.
i. A rise in a temperature of above 1C will have shifted a major area of potential
suitable zones.
ii. Production timing will change. Because of rise in temperature, crops will
develop more rapidly and mature earlier.
iii. While temperature rises, photoperiods may not show much variation.
Onions, a photosensitive crop, will mature faster leading to small bulb size.
iv. The winter regime and chilling duration will reduce in temperate regions
affecting the temperate crops.
v. The faster maturity and higher temperature induced ripening will make the
produce a less storage period in trees/ plants. They will overripe.
vi. Pollination will be affected adversely because of higher temperature. Floral
abortions will occur.
vii. Soil temperature will increase much earlier in spring hence the planting time
also will advance. This can be catastrophic if late frosts occur.
viii.The requirement of annual irrigation will increase, not because of higher
evaporation, because the trees develop more fasters during the 12 month
ix. Higher temperatures will reduce tuber initiation process in potato, reduced
quality in tomatoes and poor pollination in many crops. In case of crucifers, it
may lead to bolting; anthocyanin production may be affected in capsicum.


Adapting to changing climate

Crops produce optimally with a suite of pollinators possibly including, but
not limited to managed honeybees. A diverse assemblage of pollinators, with
different traits and responses to ambient conditions, is one of the best ways of
minimizing risks due to climatic change. The "insurance" provided by a diversity of
pollinators ensures that there are effective pollinators not just for current conditions,
but for future conditions as well. Resilience can be built in agro-ecosystems through
biodiversity. Pollination management practices can also be undertaken to respond to
climate change. Examples of how farming communities may best adapt to climate
change impacts on pollinators include giving consideration to the seasonal
availability of resources needed by pollinators, and ensuring connectivity of natural
habitats in farming areas (allowing easier pollinator dispersal for range shifts in
response of climatic change.
Table 1. Important non - Apis bee pollinators of some vegetable crops in India


Sweet potato
Egg plant




Field mustard


Cabbage &




Pumpkin &





Bee species
X. fenestrata X. pubescens Megachile lanata
Braunsapis spp
X. fenestrata X. pubescens M.cephalotes M.flavipes
B.albopleuralis Bombus asiaticu Lasioglossum spp
X. fenestrata B.albopleurali Bombus asiaticus s
B. asiaticus
X. fenestrata Ameigilla delicata A.subcosrulea
Nomia caliphora Pithitis spp
Nomioides spp
Lasioglossum spp Nomioides spp X. fenestrata
Nomioides Megachilids Andrenids Halictids
Andrena ilerda A.leaena
Andrena ilerda Lassioglossum spp Pithitis
Anthophora spp Nomia spp Lassioglossum spp
Colletes spp
X. fenestrata X. pubescens Halictus spp Nomioides
Nomia spp P. smaragdula Nomioides variegata
Lasioglossum spp
Nomioides spp Halictidae X. fenestrate
Lasioglossum spp Sphecoides Hyleaus Nomioides
Braunsapis Pithitis smaragdula

Sustainable farming helps endangered insect pollinators using sustainable

The sustainable farming helps endangered insect pollinators using
sustainable farming techniques, which balance environmentally and economically
agriculture method has show that more vegetable plant pollinators are present under

these conditions. Their ecological farming programmes combine the benefits of the
modern agricultural techniques with organic and sustainable practices including
providing healthy environment for native insect pollination. These sustainable
farming practices may show the decline in beneficial insect population and improve
vegetable crop production.
The phenology, geographic distribution and local abundance of plants and
pollinators appear to be affected by recent climate change. Nevertheless, the current
knowledge of the potential ecological consequences of increasing temperatures is
limited and often must be deduced from indirect evidence or basic ecological
knowledge of pollination interactions or studies of the mutualistic partners
separately. Timing of both plant flowering and pollinator activity appears to be
strongly affected by temperature, and their response appears to be linear within the
limits of temperature fluctuation observed during recent decades. Thus, plant and
pollinator responses to climate warming may act in concert, although there may be
considerable variation in the thermal sensitivity across species.
Bishop, J.A. & Armbruster, W.S. 1999. Thermoregulatory abilities of Alaskan bees:
effects of size, phylogeny and ecology. Funct Ecol, 13: 711-724.
Bosch, J. & Kemp, W.P. 2002. Developing and establishing bee species as crop
pollinators: the example of Osmia spp. (Hymenoptera : Megachilidae) and fruit
trees. Bull Entomol Res, 92: 3-16.
Cane, J.H. 2002. Pollinating bees (Hymenoptera : Apiformes) of US alfalfa
compared for rates of pod and seed set. J Econ Entomol, 95: 22-27.
Corbet, S.A. Fussell M., Ake R., Fraser A., Gunson C., Savage A. & Smith K.
1993.Temperature and the pollinating activity of social bees. Ecol Entomol, 18:
Delaplane, K.S. & Mayer, D.F. 2000. Crop pollination by bees. New York, CABI.
Heard, T.A. 1999. The role of stingless bees in crop pollination. Annu Rev Entomol,
44: 183-206.
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Panel on Climate Change. Geneva and Nairobi, Kenya: World Meteorological
Organization and UN Environment Program, 365p.
Kearns, C.A., Inouye, D.W. & Waser, N.M. 1998. Endangered mutualisms: the
conservation of plant pollinator interactions. Annu Rev Ecol Syst, 29: 83-112.
Klein, A.M., Vaissiere, B. E., Cane, J. H., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Cunningham, S. A.,
Kremen, C. & Tscharntke, T. 2007. Importance of pollinators in changing

landscapes for world crops. Proc R Soc Lond [Biol], 274: 303-313.
Lee, J.H., Stahl, M., Sawlis, S. and Suzuki, S. 2009b. A potential risk assessment of a
dengue outbreak in North Central Texas, USA( Part 2 of 2): development of a
practical prevention strategy. Journal of Environmental Health. 71:36-39.
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abundance and temporal variation of dengue vectors. Journal of Environmental
Health. 71:24-29
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(Hymenoptera, Megachilidae) as a pollinator of pear (Pyrus communis): fruitand seed-set. Apidologie, 34: 207-216.
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Vol. 34. San Diego, CA, Elsevier Academic Press Inc. pp. 347-466.


Vegetable Intercropping in Sugarcane for Greater

Productivity and Profitability
RK Sharma1 and Samar Singh2

Directorate of Wheat Research and 2 CCSHAU Regional Station, Karnal, Haryana

Sugarcane is a wide row spacing autumn, spring and late spring season
planted important sub-tropical commercial crop of India. The autumn planted
sugarcane gives 15-20% and 25-30% higher cane yield compared to spring and late
spring planting, respectively (Verma et al.1981; Singh et al. 1997). Autumn planting
is not popular among farmers due to late harvesting of kharif crops (Paddy, sorghum
etc.), myth of losing Rabi crop and limited transfer of technology.
The growth of sugarcane during initial stages (90-100 days) is slow
providing sufficient uncovered area for intercrops to efficiently utilize space,
nutrients, water and solar energy thereby increasing land use efficiency, reducing the
production cost and making the system profitable and sustainable. Recently, the
emphasis is not only on yield but also on maintaining or rather improving the natural
resource base and maximizing the profit by efficient utilization of various inputs.
Intercropping sugarcane with short duration crops is advantageous and provides
additional income (Ayyer 1963). Several workers (Rathi and Singh 1979 and Rana et
al. 1999) observed that potato, peas, toria, mustard, wheat, winter maize, mentha and
sunflower can be profitably intercropped with autumn sugarcane.
The intercropping is the necessity owing to increasing demand for food, fibre
and fodder. Wheat is an important crop for national food security and farmers are also
not ready to leave it for autumn planted sugarcane. Hence, intercropping wheat with
autumn planted sugarcane is a suitable option for enhancing farmers' income as well
as area under autumn planted sugarcane in sub-tropical India. Cane yield is low with
farmer's practice of intercropping on flat check basins and planting sugarcane after
Rabi crops. For higher sugarcane yield, bed planting provides the option for
mechanized sowing of intercrops followed by manual planting of sugarcane in the
furrows besides saving of water and other inputs. Moreover, intercropping potato,
pea, lentil, green gram and black gram helps maintain soil fertility and natural
resources whereas intercropping fenugreek and coriander also repel insects.
Advantages of Intercropping

Augment sugarcane farmers' income with little additional cost.

Offers opportunity to engage nature's principle of diversity.

Better utilization of soil moisture, nutrients and solar radiation than sole
Additional employment for the agricultural labourers and farm families.
Meeting the farmer's need for other crops like cereals, oilseeds, pulses and
Various leguminous intercrops fix atmospheric nitrogen.
Reduced total water requirement of both crops and enhanced water use
Substantial energy saving (60 litres diesel/ha) due to concurrent planting.
Better weed management especially in the inter spaces.
Enhanced biodiversity, biological control of insect pests and long term
Higher cane yield due to autumn planting and greater sugar recovery.
Creating additional acreage under cereals, oilseeds, pulses and vegetables.
Crop residue recycling vis--vis maintenance of the soil health.
Mid-season income generation from intercrops.

Small farmers show a preference for intercropping because the system

provides a greater stability of production by minimizing climatic risks, and it allows
for a more equal distribution of labour throughout the season, thus encouraging the
farmer to stay on the land. Intercropping can provide a higher productivity per unit
area of land, and it tends to provide a greater diversity of food and income sources.
About the technology
The most important requirement for the successful intercropping system is
the laser land levelling and a multiple crop bed planter. Bed planter need to be
adjusted in such a way that it makes two beds at a time with row to row distance of 90
cm i.e. 90 cm distance form centre of the furrow to the centre of the adjoining furrow
with bed top of about 55 cm. Intercrops are sown/planted with bed planter on the beds
with the recommended crop geometry. The recommended doses of fertilizers for
intercrops except P are applied in the soil at the last ploughing before making beds,
whereas, P is drilled using bed planter while seeding the crops. The recommended
doses of fertilizers for sugarcane are applied in the furrows then put the cane sets and
cover them with one to two inches of soil. Apply light irrigation in furrows two to
three days after planting of sugarcane to maintain soil moisture. If required apply one
more light irrigation after 10-12 days for proper germination and crop establishment.


Why intercropping using bed planters?

Water saving (30-40%)

More yield of intercrops

Reduction in seed rate (22-25%)

Facilitate light irrigations to sugarcane during intercrop's maturing period

Proper aeration and sunlight to sugar cane crop

Efficient utilization of nutrients

Reduced adverse effects of heavy rains

Aspects of successful intercropping

Five distinct aspects to successful intercropping are proper planning, timely
planting of each crop, adequate fertilization at the optimal times, effective weed &
pest control and efficient harvesting. Planning covers selection of crop species and
appropriate cultivars, water availability, plant populations and spacing, labour
requirements throughout the season, tillage requirements, and predicted profitability
of the intercrop. These and other parameters, if any, need to be considered and
evaluated before spending money on inputs.
Selection of compatible crops and genotypes

Short duration, erect and dwarf intercrops/genotypes

Should have no allelopathic effect

Easy to manage having assured market

Should not attract more pest and diseases

Input requirement not too different than sugarcane

Should have uniform maturity


Sugarcane planting immediately following intercrop sowing/planting

North-South row arrangement to avoid shading effects

If pulse/leguminous intercrop, inoculate with Rhizobium

Decide seed rate based on net area under intercrop


Planting density and geometry

Proper plant density and geometry of intercrops is important to realize the
full yield advantage accruing from the intercropping system.
Fertilizer dose and management
Fertilizer management is a major key to harvest full yield potential of the
intercropping system since the intercrops are of different nature of growth and
nutrients need. The nutritional requirement of both the crops should be fully met
separately. For intercrop, the fertiliser should be applied based on the net area under
intercrop for optimum use efficiency and greater profitability followed by full dose
to the main sugarcane crop. The time of fertilizer application is very important in
deciding fertilizer use efficiency and yield of the cropping system. The dose and time
of fertilizer application to intercrop may be similar to its sole cropping. To sugarcane,
one third nitrogen, full doses of phosphorus, potash and zinc sulphate should be
applied at the time of planting and the remaining doses of N application to sugarcane
should be made after the harvesting of intercrop.
Irrigation in the intercropping system should be applied as per the
requirement of intercrop until its harvesting and as per the sugarcane requirement
after intercrop harvesting.
Pest management
Coriander and garlic are the most effective intercrops to control the pest (top
borer) infestation in sugarcane due to their pest repellent properties (Verma et al.
1981). The 1st and 2nd brood of top borer was also drastically reduced when sugarcane
was intercropped with wheat probably due to physical barrier. Infestation of pink
borer was much less when sugarcane was intercropped with potato. Intercropping
sugarcane with mustard or wheat is effective in arresting the dispersal of smut spores
with in the field. Sugarcane wilt was reduced when coriander, rai, wheat and potato
were intercropped with sugarcane.
Weed management
Weed management in intercropping system is a major problem as almost all
the recommended herbicide for sugarcane are harmful to leguminous intercrops. The
herbicide which is selective to both the crops needs to be used. However,
pendimethalin @ 1000 g/ha followed by one hoeing at 45 days after planting/sowing
has been found effective in controlling weeds in wheat, chickpea, garlic, onion, pea,
potato, cabbage, cauliflower, knol-khol, lentil, coriander, green gram, black gram,
cucumber, long melon, round melon, lady finger and muskmelon.

Economics of intercropping
Economics is an important factor to favour any intercropping system which
depends on the various factors such as reduction in cane yield, intercrop yield and its
market price, etc. Goni and Paul (2005) reported that intercropping one or more crops
with sugarcane cultivation could profitable by earning higher net profit and keep
abreast besides crop competition. Yadav and Verma (1984) have reported that
intercropping of sugarcane with other crops was found profitable particularly in the
sub tropical region of India. Imam et al. (1982) reported that sugarcane + Potato +
Amaranth was more profitable followed by Sugarcane + Onion than the sole
sugarcane crop. Hossain et al. (1995) conducted that soybean and some pulses and
oil seed crops as intercropped with paired row transplanted sugarcane gave
additional economic return and added about 3.5 to 4.5 t ha biomass to soil which is
useful for soil organic matter. Ali et al. (1989) found that short duration winter crops
like potato, garlic, onion, tomato, cabbage, chilli and mustard are grown in vacant
space between two rows of sugarcane before canopy development to get an
additional crop with minimum investment without affecting of main crop sugarcane
and also found that intercropping potato with sugarcane increased cane yield
compared of different row adjustment. Singh and Singh (1973) also found increased
cane yield by 64.3% from intercropping potato with sugarcane. Kabir (1988) also
observed that potato, mustard and gram are most compatible intercrops with
sugarcane. Islam et al. 2009 reported that intercropping of potato, chilli, garlic and
other suitable crops is superior to only cane cultivation and the practice helps to earn
additional income. However some points which may be kept in mind to realize
higher economic returns from intercropping are;
a) Management of intercropping system in a way that there is no cane yield
reduction when compared with sole sugarcane crop.
b) Intercrop should be easily manageable, high value and have assured market.
c) The labour and input requirement of the intercrop should not be very high so
that the variable cost of cultivation is relatively low leading to higher net
Reason for low adoption of intercropping

Additional labour is required for raising an intercrop in sugarcane and its

availability is becoming scarce and costly. For the success of intercropping
timely operation is important which become difficult due to labour scarcity.
Intercrop management is a somewhat inconvenient practice.
No serious efforts are made to popularize intercropping system.
Narrow planting period

Harvesting during cooler months


Suggestions for improved productivity

Well levelled field

Perfection of bed-planter

1-2 light irrigation after planting cane

Gap filling of sugar cane just after harvesting of intercrops

Apply irrigation and remaining fertilizer to sugarcane just after harvesting of


Conclusion: Intercropping in sugarcane is feasible. For greater productivity and

profitability, choice of appropriate intercrops and their varieties coupled with
suitable crop management practices is a must.
Ali M, AHMD Hossain, SA Imam and M Shaheen. 1989. Row adjustment of
sugarcane on the yield of intercropped cane and potato. Bangladesh J.
Sugarcane. 11: 78-82.
Ayyer AKYN. 1963. Principles of crop husbanding in India, Banglore Press, Edition
4th pp. 250-257.
Goni MO and SK Paul. 2005. Sustainability of sugarcane cultivation through paired
row planting system with wide spacing and double intercropping. Bangladesh J.
Sugarcane. 24-27: 26-32.
Hossain AHMD, MK Rahman, ML Kabir, MA Matin and MJ Alam.1995.
Performance of soybean and some other crops as intercrops with paired row
transplanted sugarcane. Bangladesh J. Sugarcane, 17: 119-122.
Imam SA, A Ali and MA Razzaque. 1982. Performance of intercropping with
sugarcane under several crop combinations. Bangladesh J. Sugarcane, 4: 32-41.

Islam MA, MNA Miah, MA Rahman, MA Kader and KMR Karim. 2009.
Performance of Sugarcane with Different Planting Methods and Intercrops in
Old Himalayan Piedmont Plain Soils. Int. J. Sustain. Crop Prod. 4(1):55-57

Kabir MH. 1988. Economics of intercropping with sugarcane in selected areas of

North Bengal Sugar Mills Zone. Bangladesh J. Sugarcane, 10: 81-86
Rana NS, Saini, SK and Singh, TP. 1999. Production potential and economics of
sugarcane based cropping systems. Indian journal of sugarcane technology 14
(2): 85-88.


Rathi KS and RA Singh. 1979. Companion cropping with autumn planted sugarcanea critical review: 1. intercropping of mustard with autumn planted sugarcane.
India sugar crops journal. 6 (4): 76-82.
Singh PP and K Singh. 1973. Studies on the intercropping of sugarcane multiple
cropping. Indian Soc. Agron. New Delhi, India
Singh, SN, JP Shukla, ML Agarwal and GP Singh. 1997. Productivity of sugarcane
and sugar as influenced by season of planting and dates of Harvesting in U.P.
Indian sugar.47 (1): 35-42.
Verma, RS, MP Motiwale, RS Chauhan, and RK Tewari. 1981. Studies on spices and
tobacco with autumn sugarcane. Indian Sugar. 31 (7): 451-456.
Yadav RL and RP Verma. 1984. Transfer of the intercropping technique to sugarcane
growers. Indian Sugar Crops J., 10: 1-2.


Role of Crop Modelling in Mitigating Effects of Climate

Change on Crop Production
R S Spehia
Department of Soil Science and Water Management
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173 230

Despite technological advances, such as improved varieties, genetically

modified organisms, and irrigation systems, weather is still a key factor in
agricultural productivity, as well as soil properties and natural communities. The
effect of climate on agriculture is related to variabilities in local climates rather than
in global climate patterns. The Earth's average surface temperature has increased by
0.83C since 1880. On the other hand, agricultural trade has grown in recent years,
and now provides significant amounts of food, on a national level to major importing
countries, as well as comfortable income to exporting ones. Consequently,
agronomists consider any assessment has to be done individually considering each
local area. A study published in Science suggests that, due to climate change,
"southern Africa could lose more than 30% of its main crop, maize, by 2030. In South
Asia, losses of many regional staples, such as rice, millet and maize could top 10
Specifically, it is very early to imply the effect of climate change on vegetable
crops and more studies are required to be undertaken before any conclusion can be
drawn. Therefore, the present paper deals with effect of climate change on
agricultural crops in general. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) has produced several reports that have assessed the scientific literature on
climate change. The IPCC Third Assessment Report, published in 2001, concluded
that the poorest countries would be hardest hit, with reductions in crop yields in most
tropical and sub-tropical regions due to decreased water availability, and new or
changed insect pest incidence. In Africa and Latin America many rainfed crops are
near their maximum temperature tolerance, so that yields are likely to fall sharply for
even small climate changes; falls in agricultural productivity of up to 30% over the
21st century are projected. Marine life and the fishing industry will also be severely
affected in some places. Climate change induced by increasing greenhouse gases is
likely to affect crops differently from region to region. For example, average crop
yield is expected to drop down to 50% in Pakistan according to the UKMO scenario
whereas corn production in Europe is expected to grow up to 25% in optimum
hydrologic conditions. More favourable effects on yield tend to depend to a large
extent on realization of the potentially beneficial effects of carbon dioxide on crop

growth and increase of efficiency in water use. Decrease in potential yields is likely
to be caused by shortening of the growing period, decrease in water availability and
poor vernalization. In the long run, the climatic change could affect agriculture in
several ways.
Most agronomists believe that agricultural production will be mostly
affected by the severity and pace of climate change, not so much by gradual trends in
climate. If change is gradual, there may be enough time for biota adjustment. Rapid
climate change, however, could harm agriculture in many countries, especially those
that are already suffering from rather poor soil and climate conditions, because there
is less time for optimum natural selection and adaption.
Observed impacts
So far, the effects of regional climate change on agriculture have been
relatively limited. Changes in crop phenology provide important evidence of the
response to recent regional climate change. Phenology is the study of natural
phenomena that recur periodically, and how these phenomena relate to climate and
seasonal changes.[5] A significant advance in phenology has been observed for
agriculture and forestry in large parts of the Northern Hemisphere.
Crop development models
Models for climate behavior are frequently inconclusive. In order to further
study effects of global warming on agriculture, other types of models, such as crop
development models, yield prediction, quantities of water or fertilizer consumed, can
be used. Such models condense the knowledge accumulated of the climate, soil, and
effects observed of the results of various agricultural practices. They thus could
make it possible to test strategies of adaptation to modifications of the environment.
Because these models are necessarily simplifying natural conditions (often based on
the assumption that weeds, disease and insect pests are controlled), it is not clear
whether the results they give will have an in-field reality. However, some results are
partly validated with an increasing number of experimental results.
Types of models
Depending upon the purpose for which it is designed the models are
classified into different groups or types. Of them a few are :
a. Statistical models: These models express the relationship between yield or yield
components and weather parameters. In these models relationships are measured
in a system using statistical techniques Example: Step down regressions,
correlation, etc.

b. Mechanistic models: These models explain not only the relationship between
weather parameters and yield, but also the mechanism of these models (explains
the relationship of influencing dependent variables). These models are based on
physical selection.
c. Deterministic models: These models estimate the exact value of the yield or
dependent variable. These models also have defined coefficients.
d. Stochastic models: A probability element is attached to each output. For each set
of inputs different outputs are given along with probabilities. These models define
yield or state of dependent variable at a given rate.
e. Dynamic models: Time is included as a variable. Both dependent and independent
variables are having values which remain constant over a given period of time.
f. Static: Time is not included as a variable. Dependent and independent variables
having values remain constant over a given period of time.
g. Simulation models: Computer models, in general, are a mathematical
representation of a real world system. One of the main goals of crop simulation
models is to estimate agricultural production as a function of weather and soil
conditions as well as crop management. These models use one or more sets of
differential equations, and calculate both rate and state variables over time,
normally from planting until harvest maturity or final harvest.
h. Descriptive model: A descriptive model defines the behaviour of a system in a
simple manner. The model reflects little or none of the mechanisms that are the
causes of phenomena. But, consists of one or more mathematical equations. An
example of such an equation is the one derived from successively measured
weights of a crop. The equation is helpful to determine quickly the weight of the
crop where no observation was made.
i. Explanatory model: This consists of quantitative description of the mechanisms
and processes that cause the behaviour of the system. To create this model, a
system is analyzed and its processes and mechanisms are quantified separately.
The model is built by integrating these descriptions for the entire system. It
contains descriptions of distinct processes such as leaf area expansion, tiller
production, etc.
Future Projections of climate change in different Continents
As part of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report, Schneider et al. (2007)
projected the potential future effects of climate change on agriculture.[6] With low to
medium confidence, they concluded that for about a 1 to 3 C global mean


temperature increase (by 2100, relative to the 19902000 average level) there would
be productivity decreases for some cereals in low latitudes, and productivity
increases in high latitudes. In the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, "low confidence"
means that a particular finding has about a 2 out of 10 chance of being correct, based
on expert judgment. "Medium confidence" has about a 5 out of 10 chance of being
correct. Over the same time period, with medium confidence, global production
potential was projected to:[6]
Asia: With medium confidence, IPCC (2007) projected that by the mid-21st century,
in East and Southeast Asia, crop yields could increase up to 20%, while in Central
and South Asia, yields could decrease by up to 30%. Taken together, the risk of
hunger was projected to remain very high in several developing countries.
Australia and New Zealand: Hennessy et al. (2007) assessed the literature for this
region. They concluded that without further adaptation to climate change,
projected impacts would likely be substantial: By 2030, production from agriculture
and forestry was projected to decline over much of southern and eastern Australia,
and over parts of eastern New Zealand.
Europe: With high confidence, IPCC (2007) projected that in Southern Europe,
climate change would reduce crop productivity. In Central and Eastern Europe,
forest productivity was expected to decline. In Northern Europe, the initial effect of
climate change was projected to increase crop yields.
Latin America: With high confidence, IPCC (2007) projected that in drier areas of
Latin America, productivity of some important crops would decrease and livestock
productivity decline, with adverse consequences for food security. In temperate
zones, soybean yields were projected to increase.
Future Projections of climate change on different Variables
Temperature potential effect on growing period
Duration of crop growth cycles are above all, related to temperature. An
increase in temperature will speed up development. In the case of an annual crop, the
duration between sowing and harvesting will shorten (for example, the duration in
order to harvest corn could shorten between one and four weeks). The shortening of
such a cycle could have an adverse effect on productivity because senescence would
occur sooner.
Effect of elevated carbon dioxide on crops
Carbon dioxide is essential to plant growth. Rising CO2 concentration in the
atmosphere can have both positive and negative consequences. Increased CO2 is

expected to have positive physiological effects by increasing the rate of

photosynthesis. Currently, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 380
parts per million. In comparison, the amount of oxygen is 210,000 ppm. This means
that often plants may be starved of carbon dioxide, due to the enzyme that fixes CO2,
rubisco also fixes oxygen in the process of photorespiration. The effects of an
increase in carbon dioxide would be higher on C3 crops (such as wheat) than on C4
crops (such as maize), because the former is more susceptible to carbon dioxide
shortage. Studies have shown that increased CO2 leads to fewer stomata developing
on plants[10] which leads to reduced water usage.[11] Under optimum conditions of
temperature and humidity, the yield increase could reach 36%, if the levels of carbon
dioxide are doubled.
Effect on quality
According to the IPCC's TAR, "The importance of climate change impacts on
grain and forage quality emerges from new research. Studies using FACE have
shown that increases in CO2 lead to decreased concentrations of micronutrients in
crop plants.[12] This may have knock-on effects on other parts of ecosystems as
herbivores will need to eat more food to gain the same amount of protein. . Studies
have shown that higher CO2 levels lead to reduced plant uptake of nitrogen (and a
smaller number showing the same for trace elements such as zinc) resulting in crops
with lower nutritional value.[15][16] This would primarily impact on populations in
poorer countries less able to compensate by eating more food, more varied diets, or
possibly taking supplements.
Erosion and fertility
The warmer atmospheric temperatures observed over the past decades are
expected to lead to a more vigorous hydrological cycle, including more extreme
rainfall events. Erosion and soil degradation is more likely to occur. Soil fertility
would also be affected by global warming. However, because the ratio of carbon to
nitrogen is a constant, a doubling of carbon is likely to imply a higher storage of
nitrogen in soils as nitrates, thus providing higher fertilizing elements for plants,
providing better yields. The average needs for nitrogen could decrease, and give the
opportunity of changing often costly fertilization strategies.
Potential effects of global climate change on pests, diseases and weeds
A very important point to consider is that weeds would undergo the same
acceleration of cycle as cultivated crops, and would also benefit from carbonaceous
fertilization. Since most weeds are C3 plants, they are likely to compete even more
than now against C4 crops such as corn. However, on the other hand, some results
make it possible to think that weed killers could gain in effectiveness with the

temperature increase. Global warming would cause an increase in rainfall in some

areas, which would lead to an increase of atmospheric humidity and the duration of
the wet seasons. Combined with higher temperatures, these could favor the
development of fungal diseases. Similarly, because of higher temperatures and
humidity, there could be an increased pressure from insects and disease vectors.
Micro Irrigation
Pressurized irrigation methods, such as sprinkler, drip and micro sprinkler
offer possibilities of achieving higher efficiencies of water use through controlled
water application. In pressurized irrigation methods water is applied more frequently
which in turn reduces the moisture stress to the plants and thus enhances the crop
growth. In drip irrigation, water is applied at a very low rate, almost matching the
evapotranspiration requirement, resulting into significant water saving. The use of
micro irrigation is rapidly increasing around the world, and it is expected to be a
viable irrigation method for agricultural production in the foreseeable future. With
increasing demands on limited water resources and the need to minimize adverse
environmental consequences of irrigation, drip irrigation technology will
undoubtedly play an even more important role in the future. It provides many unique
agronomic, water and energy conservation benefits that address many of the
challenges facing irrigated agriculture, now and in the future.
"Climate 'could devastate crops". BBC News. 31 January 2008.
Lobell DB, Burke MB, Tebaldi C, Mastrandrea MD, Falcon WP, Naylor RL (2008).
"Prioritizing climate change adaptation needs for food security in 2030". Science
319(5863): 60710.
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Assessment of Observed Changes and Responses in Natural and Managed
Systems. Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability:
contribution of Working Group II to the fourth assessment report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press
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(eds.).Chapter 1: Assessment of Observed Changes and Responses in Natural
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ML Parry, et al,, ed. (2007). "Definition of "phenology". Appendix I: Glossary.

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on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press (CUP).
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Chapter 19: Assessing Key Vulnerabilities and the Risk from Climate Change.
Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability: contribution of
Working Group II to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Climate change, agriculture and aid for trade, by Jodie Keane, ICTSD-IPC
Hennessy, K. et al. (2007). "Australia and New Zealand. In: Climate Change 2007:
Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the
Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
[M.L. Parry et al. (eds.)". Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., and
New York, N.Y., U.S.A.. pp. 507540.
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Random Fluctuations in Weather".
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density". New Phytologist 131 (3): 311327.
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plants: A Consequence of Rising Atmospheric CO2?". Annual Review of Plant
Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology 48: 609639.
Loladze, I (2002). "Rising atmospheric CO2 and human nutrition: toward globally
imbalanced plant stoichiometry?". Trends in Ecology & Evolution 17 (10): 457.
Carlos E. Coviella and John T. Trumble (1999). "Effects of Elevated Atmospheric
Carbon Dioxide on Insect-Plant Interactions". Conservation Biology
(Conservation Biology, Vol. 13, No. 4) 13 (4): 700712.
The Food, the Bad, and the Ugly Scherer, Glenn Grist July, 2005
Plague of plenty New Scientist Archive
Big melt threatens millions, says UN


Physiological Disorders in Vegetable Crops:

Causes and Management
Santosh Kumari
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173230 HP
Physiological disorders are abiotic abnormalities in leaf and fruit and plant
morphology which are not caused by infectious diseases or insects. These abnormalities
occur as a result of genetic factors, environmental factors like temperature and relative
humidity, unbalanced soil nutrients, moisture stress, poor drainage, improper planting time
and harvesting time etc. These disorders decrease the yield in vegetable crops and quality of
the produces becomes poor. Different disorders are found in vegetable crops and are as
Blossom-End Rot
Lesions appear at blossom end of the fruit while it is green. It begins with light tan,
water-soaked areas that can enlarge and turn black and leathery in appearance. Most often
the problem occurs at the blossom end of the fruit, but on occasion can occur on the side of
the fruit. Many factors can influence this disorder like low soil Ca, high N rates, using
ammonical sources of N, high concentrations of soluble K and Mg in the soil, high salinity,
low humidity, inadequate soil moisture, excess soil moisture and damage to root system by
nematodes etc. This disorder can be controlled by spraying the crop with calcium chloride @
0.5% at fruit development stage. Apply recommended quantity of nitrogen and give light and
frequent irrigations to maintain optimum soil moisture.
Cat face
The fruits with cat face are characterized by the distortion of blossom end of the
fruit. Such fruits have ridges, furrows, indentations and blotches. It resembles blossom end
rot but is distinct from it. Abnormal growing conditions during formation of blossom appear
to cause distortion of growth of the cells of the pistil. As a result, the cells in the blossom end
of the ovary die and turn dark to form a leathery blotchy at the end of the fruit without the
progress of symptoms characteristic of blossom end rot. For less incidence of this disorder
grow tomato crop under favourable climatic conditions.
As the fruit reaches about two third normal size, the outer wall continues to develop
normally but remaining internal tissue growth is retarded. As a result, tomato fruits are light
in weight, lack firmness and partially filled. This is due to non-fertilization of ovule, embryo
abortion after normal fertilization and necrosis of vascular and placental tissue after the fruit

is well developed. Causal factors are high or low temperature and low soil moisture. To
control this disorder maintain the optimum soil moisture. Summer grown tomatoes have less
incidence of this disorder.
Exposed fruits of tomato either green or nearing ripeness scald readily during
extreme heat. The tissue has blistered water soaked appearance. Rapid desiccation leads to
sunken areas which usually have white or grey colour in green fruit or yellowish in red fruits.
The cultivar in which heavy foliage is characteristic and in which there is greater protection
from sun rays usually have least damage. Avoid heavy training and pruning in summer
months. Crop can be raised in higher density.
Fruit cracking
Cracking of the surface of the fruit at the stem end is a common occurrence and often
results in large losses. The cracks are of two kinds, one which radiates from the stem end and
other develops concentrically around the shoulder of the fruit. Radial cracking is more
common and causes greater loss than concentric cracking. Besides these, cuticular cracking
is also often found of the skin of fruits. Several environmental factors seem to be involved in
the cracking. It is common during rainy season when temperature is high, especially when
rains follows long dry spell. Radial cracking is more likely develop in full ripe fruit than in
mature green or turning stage maturity. On other hand, concentric cracking is relatively low
on ripe fruits than mature green. Fruits exposed to sun develop more concentric cracking
than those which are covered with foliage. Cultivar Sioux is resistant to fruit cracking.
Gold fleck
Appearance of gold colour flecks on fruits is the main feature of this disorder and
chlorophyll is not properly changed in carotenoids (Kalloo, 1986). A fine spotting affects the
calyx end of the fruits and sometimes extends over the whole skin. The affected fruits have a
shorter shelf life than unaffected ones. This disorder is most commonly found in late crops in
glasshouses with little or no heating. A high incidence of the disorder is associated with large
differences in temperature and humidity during the day and night, a low K:Ca ratio, low Mg
content and a low EC level. High Mg and low P concentrations in the nutrient solution with
high EC value will reduce the severity of the disorder. Summer grown tomatoes have less
Blossom end rot
Disorder is characterized by appearance of water soaked spots on the blossom end of
the fruit. They turn light brown and papery as they dry. Causes are Ca deficiency in the soil,
moisture stress and heavy fertilization of nitrogen. This disorder can be controlled by
spraying the crop with calcium chloride @ 0.5% at fruit development stage. Give light and
frequent irrigations to maintain optimum soil moisture and apply recommended dose of


Sun scald
Soft, light coloured and slightly wrinkled areas appear on the fruit surface. Later
these areas become sunken and papery. It is caused when fruits are exposed to intense light.
Disorder can be controlled by transplanting the seedlings at closer spacing. Raise the crop in
high density.
The cause for buttoning of cauliflower has been variously explained by many
workers like over aged seedlings, poor nitrogen supply, wrong cultivars etc. While many of
these are partly correct, the general basis of buttoning may be explained that any check in the
vegetative growth of the seedlings may induce buttoning. Transformation from vegetative to
curding in a cultivar of cauliflower is dependent on particular temperature, therefore, the
check of vegetative growth followed by suitable temperature for transformation to curding
may induce this malady. The check in growth may be caused by low nitrogen supply, when
early cultivars are planted late and transform easily due to lower temperature and over aged
seedling after establishment don't get sufficient time to initiate growth before
A premature initiation of floral buds is characterised by riceyness in cauliflower and
is considered to be of poor quality for marketing (Wiebe, 1975). Curd becomes granular and
loose. This disorder may result from higher temperature or lower than the optimum required
for a particular cultivar. Other causes are use of poor quality seed and application of high
nitrogen in soil. Grow the crop under favourable climatic conditions to avoid this disorder.
Use good quality seed and apply recommended dose of nitrogen
Whip tail
Cauliflower responds to the deficiency of molybdenum. Young plants in a shortage
of this element become chlorotic and may turn white, particularly along the leaf margins,
they become cupped and wither. Eventually, the leaf dies and the growing point also
collapses. In older plants, the lamina of newly formed leaves is irregular in shape, consisting
of only a large bare midrib and hence the common name 'whiptail' originated. Apply 0.5-1.0
kg sodium or ammonium molybdate per hectare at field preparation or spray the crop with
0.1-0.3 % ammonium molybdate to reduce the disorder.
In cauliflower, boron deficiency has been reported very frequently. Till the curds
start developing, external symptoms of boron deficiency is not very apparent. The first sign
is appearance of small water soaked areas in the centre of the curd. In later stages, the stem
becomes hollow with water soaked tissue surrounding the walls of the cavity. In more
advanced stages, pinkish or rusty brown areas develop on the surface of the curd and hence it
is known as brown rot or red rot. Affected curds develop a bitter taste. This may be controlled

by applying borax or sodium borate at the rate of 20 kg per hectare (Datta, 1963). In case of
acute deficiency, spray of 0.25 to 0.50 percent solution of borax at the rate of 1 to 2 kg per
hectare would give a satisfactory control.
Plants remain without terminal buds. Leaves become large, thick, leathery and dark
green. It occurs due to damage to terminal buds during transplanting and injured by insects
pests. Careful handling should be done at the time of transplanting, Control insects pests
timely so that terminal buds may not be injured.
Leafy curd
Leafy curd is characterized by the production of small and green leaves between the
curd segments and occurs due to high or low temperature. Varieties should be planted in such
a time that their curd formation coincides with optimum temperature requirement.
Cabbage Splitting
Cabbage splitting is mainly a problem with early cabbage. A problem can develop
when moisture stress is followed by heavy rain. The rapid growth rate associated with rain,
high temperatures and high fertility cause the splitting. Proper irrigation may help prevent
splitting and there are significant differences between cultivars in their susceptibility to this
problem. Splitting may also be partially avoided by deep cultivation to break some of the
plant roots.
Premature formation of seed stalk without forming the head is known as bolting. It is
commonly found in early cabbage and cause considerable losses to the farmers. It is not
desirable in commercial crops but essential in seed production programme. This disorder
occurs due to early sowing of seeds in the hot weather, presence of warm winter, sudden and
extreme changes in temperature during crop growth and inadequate nutrient supply. Avoid
sowing in warm climate. Supply adequate amount of nutrients.
Carrot splitting
Roots crack in this disorder due to factors like heavy side dressing with nitrogenous
fertilizers, sowing at wider spacing, large size of the roots and fluctuation in soil moisture.
Supply recommended dose of nitrogen. Maintain optimum moisture in the soil and harvest
the crop at right maturity stage.
Cavity spot
Cavity spot is characterized by appearance of cavity in the cortex and the subtending
epidermis collapse to form a pitted lesion. The disorder is caused due to calcium deficiency,
increased level of potassium and delay in harvesting. This disorder can be managed by

incorporating calcium containing fertilizers in the soil and harvesting the roots at optimum
Many roots arise from the main root and looks like a fork so called forking. This
disorder is caused by use of undecomposed farm yard manure and growing crop in hard soil
pan. Use friable soil for planting and use well decomposed farm yard manure to control the
Roots turn slightly green in colour when exposed to direct sunlight and are unfit for
consumption. Earthing up should be done to avoid the exposure of roots to direct sunlight
Black or hollow heart
Central tissues of the affected tubers show black discoloration due to sub oxidation
(black heart. In advanced stage of this disorder, the affected tissues dry and separate to form
cavities brought about by very rapid growth of tubers and called as hollow heart. The
symptoms are internal, therefore it can be seen only after cutting the tuber. High soil moisture
during growth and maturity of the tubers favours this disorder. Unfavourable oxygen supply
during storage and transport and storage of tubers at high temperature are other causes this
disorder. To control the disorder provide ventilation in storage and during transportation.
Store tubers in cold storage at lower temperature.
Tubers turn green in colour when exposed to direct sunlight. The green pigment
produced is Solanin which is slightly poisonous and make the tubers unfit for consumption.
Earthing up should be done to avoid the exposure of tubers to direct sunlight.
Sprouting in storage
Sprouting of potato tubers in storage is the major problem of storage which
deteriorates the quality and make the product unfit for consumption. The intensity of
sprouting depends on the variety, maturity, storage temperature and relative humidity. Store
potato in cold storage at 2-4 C temperature and 90 95 percent relative humidity.
It refers to the emergence of seed stalk prior to time of their formation and adversely
affects the formation and development of bulbs. Bolting is an undesirable character because
it directly affects the bulb yield of onion. Early transplanting and late transplanting induce
bolting in kharif and rabi onion respectively. White cultivars are more sensitive to bolting.
Transplanting of aged seedlings and poor supply of nitrogen in the soil are others reasons of

Sprouting of bulbs
This disorder is one of the important disorders in storage and causes a huge loss to
farmers. It is found in both onion and garlic. Sprouting in white cultivars is reported more
commonly than in pink or purple cultivars. Sprouting is also associated with excessive soil
moisture at maturity ad supply of nitrogen. To control this disorder adjust sowing time in
such a way that harvesting can be done in dry period. Withhold irrigation as soon as bulbs
reach to maturity. Apply recommended dose of nitrogenous fertilizers and grow purple or
pink coloured cultivars.
Tip burn
Disorder is characterized by appearance of tip burning of margins of the inner leaves
of mature heads. The disorder is common in greenhouse grown crop than open field crop.
This is caused due to prevalence of high temperature, excess of nitrogen, calcium deficiency
Spray the crop with Calcium Chloride at rate of 0.5 percent and apply recommended dose of
Bose, T K, Som M G and Kabir J.Vegetable Crops. Naya Prokash Calcutta.
Chaudhary A K, Fageria M S and Arya P S. Vegetable Crops Production Technology. Kalyani


Weed Management in Vegetable Crops

Dharminder Kumar, Manish Kumar, Ramesh Kumar, KS Thakur,
Amit Vikram* and Sandeep Kumar
Department of Vegetable Science,
*Directorate of Extension Education
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry-Nauni (HP) 173230

Weed is a plant out of place or growing where it is not desired. The vegetable
fields are usually infested by a wide spectrum of broad and grassy weeds. Weeds
compete with the crops for water, soil, nutrients, light, space and thus reduce crop
yields up to 37 per cent (Varshney, 2009). They also harbour many insect-pests and
microorganisms (Cooper and Harrison, 1973). On an average weed extract two times
more N and Ca and 25 per cent more potassium than the crop (Mallik et al. 1998).
Reduction in economic yield of vegetables has been reported to be 6-82 per cent in
potato, 25-30 per cent in peas, 70-80 per cent in carrot, 67 per cent in onion, 42-71 per
cent in tomato and 61 per cent in cauliflower (Singh et. al., 1993). Conventional
methods of weed control have become an expensive input in the cultivation of
vegetable crops. Owing to high cost and non- availability of labor, in time and no
single method of weed control is adequate or cost effective. Integrated weed
management is a systematic approach to minimize weed impacts and optimize the
land use, by the use of different weed management practices (Aldrich, 1984).
Weed flora associated with vegetable crops
In Rabi Season:
Botanical name
Chenopodium album
Melilotus indica
M. Alba
Lathyrus aphaca
Vicia sativa
Convolvulus arvensis
Rumex maritimus
Cynodon dactylon
Cyperus rotundus
Orobanche spp.
Spergula arvensis
Euphorbia hirta

Common name
Senji Methi
Ban methi
Maturi, Pipura Pipari
Anhta ankari
Bermuda grass, Doob grass
Bari Dudhi


In Kharif Season:
Botanical name
Trianthema portulacastrum
Echinochloa colona
Cyperus rotundus
Digeria arvensis
Amaranthus viridis
Physalis minima
Phyllanthus niruri

Common name
Patharchata, Gadhupura
Barnyard Grass, Sama grass,
----Jangli Chaulai
Ban Makaya
Haizardana Jar-Amla bhuin
Commelina benghalensis
Kanna, Kena
Eleusine indica
Malanpuri Kodai
Ageratum conyzoides
Neela phool
Cynodon dactylon
Bermuda grass, Doob grass
Celosia argentea
Safed murge ka phool, Suawari
Approaches for integrated weed management


A. Preventive weed management

Use clean seed. As many weed seeds get mixed with the main crop and these
seeds should be separate before sowing to avoid weeds.

Clean tillage implements. Many weed seeds stick to the implements used in
the previous crops, so before using these implements these should be
thoroughly cleaned.

Avoid use/transportation of soil from weed infested area

Prevent reproduction of weeds by removing then in vegetative stage.

Use weed seed screen filter irrigation water to avoid weed seeds dispersal
through irrigation water.

Restrict live stock movement to non weed infested area. Many weed seeds
get stick to live stock and

Use thoroughly decomposed organic manure, because many seeds remains

vival in the cattle dung and if it is used in the fields undecomposed then these
weed seeds will germinate.

Weeds should be removed from the fields before the critical crop weed
competition period to avoid yield losses.


Critical stages for crop-weed competition in Vegetable crops


Critical Stage

Developmental Stage
Bulb Initiation
Head initiation
10-15 cm tall
20-33 cm tall
---Canopy Formation
---7-10 cm tall
Source: Singh et al. (1993)

B. Cultural practices

Stale seed bed ,Mixed cropping ,Land preparation ,Mulching, Hand

weeding ,Burning and flaming ,Crop Rotation, Irrigation and Solarization

Stale seed beds

Stale ('false') seed beds are sometimes used for vegetables when other
selective weed-control practices are limited or unavailable. Success depends
on controlling the first flush of emerged weeds before crop emergence, and
on minimal disturbance, which reduces subsequent weed flushes. Basically,
this technique consists of the following:

Preparation of a seedbed 2-3 weeks before planting to achieve maximum

weed-seed germination near the soil surface.

Planting the crop with minimum soil disturbance to avoid exposing new
weed seed to favourable germination conditions.

Treating the field with a non-residual herbicide to kill all germinated weeds
(William et al. 2000) just before or after planting, but before crop emergence.

Crop rotation
Crop rotation was considered for a long time to be a basic practice for
obtaining healthy crops and good yields. Classically, crop rotations are applied as
1. Alternating crops with a different type of vegetation: leaf crops (lettuce,
spinach, cole), root crops (carrots, potatoes, radish), bulb crops (leeks, onion,
garlic), fruit crops (squash, pepper, melon).


Alternating grass and dicots, such as maize and vegetables.

Alternating different crop cycles: winter cereals and summer vegetables.
Avoiding succeeding crops of the same family.
Avoiding problematic weeds in specific crops (e.g. Malvaceae in celery or
carrots, parasitic and perennials in general).

Soil Solarization
Soil solarization is a preventive method that exploits solar heating to kill
weed seeds and therefore reduce weed emergence. Solarization can be defined as a
soil disinfection method that exploits the solar energy available during the warmest
period of the year. To increase the solarization effect as much as possible, the soil
surface must be smooth and must contain enough water to favour heat transfer down
the profile and to make reproductive structure of pests, diseases and weeds more
sensitive to heat damage. For this reason, prior to solarization the soil is usually
irrigated and a plastic mulch film is laid down onto the soil to further increase soil
heating and to avoid heat dissipation to the atmosphere. The soil solarization can
only be used in warm climates or under glasshouse conditions in warm-temperate
and Mediterranean climates. For example, a significant reduction in weed
emergence was observed over the following 12 months after one-month's
solarization in a tunnel glasshouse used for vegetable production in Central Italy
(Temperini et al. 1998).
Land preparation and tillage
When annual weeds are predominant the objectives are unearthing and
fragmentation. This must be achieved through shallow cultivation. If weeds have no
dormant seeds deep ploughing to bury the seeds will be advisable. The success of
many weed-control operations depends upon the timing of its implementation. The
opportunity for mechanical operation is indeed essential. Action must be taken
against annual weeds before seed dispersion takes place.
Hand weeding
It is very efficient for annual weeds, but not for perennial capable of
vegetative reproduction, because root separate from shoot that then produce a new
shoot. Hand hoeing control the persistent perennials if it is done often enough.
Although efficient and widely used, it takes a lot of time and human energy.
Thermal death points for most plant tissue are between 4555 0C after
prolonged exposure. A flamer directs a petroleum based fuel emitted under pressure
and ignited. Plant size at treatment influences efficacy much more than plant density.

Required dose increased with plant growth stage and some species of annual weeds
are more tolerant than others. The most tolerant species cannot be controlled with
one flaming, regardless of dose.
It excluded light and prevents shoot growth. Mulches increase soil
temperature and many promote better plant growth. Several different materials have
been used to mulch, including straw, hay, manure, paper and black plastic. Mulches
are used in high value crops.

Chemical weed control


Herbicides are not beneficial but profitable where labour is scarce or

Control weeds in crop rows where cultivation is not possible.
Pre-emergence herbicides provide early season weed control when
competition results in the greatest yield reduction and when other methods
are less efficient.
Herbicide reduces the destruction of soil structure by decreasing the need for
They reduce fertilizers and irrigation requirements by eliminating competing

Some herbicide persist in the environment

Undeniable mammalian toxicity
Selective herbicides control some weed only
Are often inconsistent in weed control
Have phytotoxicity effect

Methods of Herbicide application

Pre-planting/Pre-sowing :- the herbicides are applied in the seed-bed or in the
field, incorporating in the soil, usually 20-30 days prior to planting or transplanting
in the main field, so as to kill most of the weed seeds.
Post-planting:- the herbicides are sprayed after planting the crop.
Pre-emergence:- the treatment is made prior to the emergence of specific weeds.
Mostly contact herbicides are used in this method. The weedicides are applied after
the weeds have emerged before the crop emergence and used an efficient herbicide
that does not persist in toxic form in the soil.

Post-emergence:- the treatment is given after the emergence of specific crop or

weed; especially post-emergence of the crop.
Classification of herbicides:
1. On the basis of chemical
1a. Inorganic

1b.Organic herbicides
Amides and Anillides
Anilines and Nitro
Benzoics and Phenyl
Acetic Acid
Substituted Urea

Sulphuric acid, Arsenic acid
Sodium chlorate, Borax, Decahydarate, Sodium
Copper sulphate, Ferric sulphate
Ammonium sulphamate
Sodium nitrate

Herbicide Name
Alachlor, Butachlor, Propachlor, Propanil, Naptalam,
- Dintramine, Nitralin,Triflutrlin, Fluchoralin, Nitrofen
Chloramben, Dicamba, Fenac
Diclormate, Asulam, Barban, Propham
Benthiocarb, EPTC, Diallate, Tra
-allate, Molinate,
Bipyridyelium, Pyridines, Pyridazines, Uracils,
Atrazine, Simazine, P ropazine, Ametryne, Promatone,
Terbutryn, Metribuzin
Phenoxy acetic acid, Phenoxy propoinic acid, Phenoxy
butyric acid
Bromoxynil, Dichlobenil, Loxynil
Chloroxuron, Diuron, Fenuron, Fluomrturon, Monuron
Liuron, Chlorbromuron, Neburon
Methazole, Perfluidon, C-288
Bromoxynil, Dichlobenil, Loxynil
Source: Brian (1964)

2. On the basis of selectivity

2a. Selective: those herbicides which affect only certain weeds, leaving certain
crops unharmed. But the selectivity depends on the amount of chemical applied
and the way they are used.
2b. Non - selective: are used to control a wide range of vegetation
indiscriminately because they are toxic to all plants and highly susceptible to
living plant tissues
Commonly used Herbicides in Vegetables:

Trade Name
Round up
Lexone, Sencor

Time of
PrePreSoil pre/post

(kg/l/ ha)


Selective Herbicides for Weed Control in Vegetable Crops:


(kg/ ha)






Pre plant





Early post
Pre or post

Transplanted pepper,
onion,garlic, spinach brassica
crops, umbelliferous crops,
legumes and potato.
Transplanted tomato, pepper,
brinjal, potato, okra, brassica
crops, legumes, garlic and
umbelliferous crops.
Direct seeded and transplanted
onion and potato.
Transplanted tomato &
Direct seeded and transplanted
tomato and potato.



Biological weed control:

It is defined as the action of the parasite, predators or pathogens in maintaining
other organism s population at a lower average density than would occur in their
absence. The term was used by H. S. Smith .
Bio-control agents:
Classical or inoculative: It has been used for many years. The earliest record of
biological weed control was the release of cochineal insect Dactylopius ceylonicus
from Brazil to north india in 1795 to control prickly pear cactus.
Inundative or Augmentative: e.g. Fungi (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides)
Broad spectrum: Fish (e.g. White amur or Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella
Valenciennes), Aquatic Mammals e.g. Sea manatee (Trichechus spp.) and Vertibrates
e.g. Sheep, goats etc.
Examples of promising bio-agents in weeds


Chondrilla juncea
Cirsium arvensis
Cyperus rotundus

Puccinia chondrillina
Septoria cirsii
Bactra verutana

Eupatorium riparium
Hydrilla verticillata
Orobanche cermua

Entyloma compositarum
Hydrillaq pakistanae
Sclerotina spp.
(iii)Conotrachelus spp.

Rumex spp.

Reporting Kind of Bioagent

Plant Pathogen
Plant Pathogen
Shoot boring moth
Plant pathogen
Shoot fly
Plant pathogen
Leaf eating insect
Stem galling
Stem galling
Plant pathogen
Source: Parsad and Kumar (1999)


Weed control work has to be intensified in important vegetable crops to

obtain maximum yield.Greater attention must be paid to integrated weed control
practices instead opting a single practice. A careful watch has to be kept in places

where one particular herbicide is being used continuously for a long time, because it
may lead to growth of resistant weed species. Herbicide mixtures must be kept handy
to control these resistant species. Extension services should be provided to farmers,
so that the production system becomes more profitable.
Aldrich RJ.1984.Weed crop ecology: principles in weed management. Berton
Publishers. Massachusetts.375p.
Brian RC.1964.The metabolism of herbicides. Weed research 4(2):105-107.
Cooper JI and Harrison BD. 1973. The role of weed host and the distribution and the
activity of nematodes in the ecology of tobacco rattle virus. Annals of Applied
Biology 73:53-66.
Kudarimani HB.1977. MSc(Ag.)Thesis.University of Agricultural Sciences,
Mallik RK, Yadav A and Rana MK. 1998. Farmers and parliament, December Issue.
Pleasant JM and Schlather KJ.1999.Weed Technology 8:304-310.
Prasad S and Kumar U.1999. In:Principle of horticulture, Agro Botanica. pp. 429-430.
Singh K, Panda MC and Jhakaral KK.1993.Preceding of International Symposium. Indian
Society of Weed Science, Hisar 1:365-368.
Temperini O, Brberi P, Paolini R, Campiglia E, Marucci A and Saccardo F. 1998.
Solarizzazione del terreno in serra-tunnel: effetto sulle infestanti in coltivazione
sequenziale di lattuga, ravanello, rucola e pomodoro. In Proc. XI SIRFI Biennial
Congress, Bari, Italy. 12-13 November, 213-228 (Italian, with English abstract).
Varshney JG.2009.Why weed control. Crop Care 35(10):13-25.
William RD, Ball D, Miller TL, Parker R, Yenish JP, Miller TW, Morishita DW and
Hutchinson P. 2000. Weed management in vegetable crops. Pacific Northwest Weed
Control Handbook. Extension Services of Oregon St. University, Washington State
University and University of Idaho. USA.pp.244-274.
(also available at
Yaduraj NI and Dubey RP.2002.Compedium of lactures in winter school of recent advances
in vegetable Production Technology held at IIVR, Varanasi, From 3-23
December,2002.pp. 121-126.
Zaragoza C, Branthome X, Portugal JM, Pardo A, Suso M, Rodrguez A, Monserrat A,
Tiebas A, Fernndez S and Gutierrez M. 1994. Itineraires techniques compares pour le
controle des mauvaises herbes chez la tomate en differentes regions europeennes.
5th EWRS Mediterranean Symposium. Perugia, Italy. pp. 179-186.

Biochemical Constituents and Quality

Attributes in Spices
Vipin Sharma and H Dev Sharma
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173 230

The spices are natural products of plant origin, used primarily for flavoring,
seasoning or for adding pungency to foods and beverages. They stimulate secretion
of digestive juice. In addition to these, spices have been known for many different
applications from ancient times, like as medicaments, disinfectants, insect
repellents, fragrances etc. Some essential oils in the spices are used as natural
insecticides or bio-insecticides. Some of the volatile compounds of spices affect the
olfactory centers and taste buds. Spices like chilli, turmeric and tamarind possess
antioxidant properties while others like ajwain, fennel and ginger are used as
carminatives. Some spices like clove and mustard possess strong anti-microbial
properties and as such prevent food spoilage. Seed spices like coriander, cumin,
fennel, fenugreek etc play an important role in cuisine and in combating human
ailments. In view of these facts, all traditions of Indian culinary systems adopted
spices in their regular diet and used them widely as seasonings. Spices contain
variable amounts of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibres, minerals and vitamins.
However, owing to the very small quantity used in the food, their contribution to the
nutrient requirement is not significant. Proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and
vitamins are thus relatively less important in delineating the quality of spices. Earlier
the plant breeders in India focused on higher yields, resistance/ tolerance to biotic
and abiotic stresses and to some extent the physical aspects of quality i.e. shape, size,
texture, colour, tenderness etc. but now as the people are becoming more and more
aware about the medicinal properties of spices, main emphasis is given to the
biochemical quality which includes: dry matter, flavour, alkaloids, flavanoids and
volatile oils etc. The increasing quality consciousness in our country as well as in
European and other developed countries will demand more improvement of quality
in future. This increase in demand of spices through out the world has led to more
production of spices by which our produce can penetrate the foreign market with
superior quality products. Further, to maintain our historical position in the
international spice trade we have to give stress on the quality aspects of spices.
Keeping this in view, the biochemical constituents and the quality attributes of some
important spices are discussed.
A) Major spices: 1) Ginger: Ginger is composed of fibre, protein, fat, starch, ash,
essential oils and other components and each component has a number of

compounds. The chemistry of ginger has been the subject of sporadic study since the
early nineteenth century. Ginger owes its characteristic organoleptic properties to
gingerols. The odour and much of the flavor of ginger is determined by the
constituents of its steam volatile oil, while the pungency is produced by non-volatile
components known as gingerols, the essential oil is comprised mainly of mono and
sesqui-terpene hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds. The mono-terpene
constituents, though present in trace amounts, contribute most of the aroma of a
ginger volatile oil of which chief constituent is a sesqui-terpene, called zingiberine
(C15H24). The pungent principle of ginger is zingerone (C11H14O3) which is present in
the oleoresin. The essential oil contains -pinene, camphene, -pinene, myrcene,
limonene, 1, 8-cineole, -phellandrene, p-cyme, methyl-hepatanone, nonanal,
decanal, neral, geraniol, 2-nonanol, linalool, bornyl acetate, d-borneol, geraniol, selinene -elemene, -zingiberene, -bisabolene, arcurcume and -farnesene.
Table: 1 Chemical composition of major spices (per 100 grams edible portion)

Carbohydrate (g)
Protein (g)
Fibre (g)
Water (g)
Food Energy (Kcal)
Fat (g)
Calcium (mg)
Phosphorus (mg)
Sodium (mg)
Potassium (mg)
Iron (mg)
Thiamine (mg)
Riboflavin (mg)
Niacin (mg)
Vitamin-C (mg)
Vitamin-A (IU)



Black pepper






2) Turmeric: Turmeric occupies an important position in the life of Indian people as

it forms integral part of the rituals, ceremonies and cuisine. Due to the strong
antiseptic properties, it has been used as a remedy for all kinds of poisonous
affections, ulcers and wounds. The recent research have been focused on its
antioxidant, heptoprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and antimicrobial properties, in addition to its use in cardiovascular diseases and
gastrointestinal disorders. It gives good complexion to the skin and so it is used as a
facial tonic. The drug cures diseases due to vata, pitta and kapha. The essential oil
contains ar-turmerone and ar-curcumene as major constituents. Some of other
compounds are and -pinene, sabinene, mysene, -terpinene, limonene, p-cymene,
perillyl alcohol, turmenone, lugenol, iso-eugenol, eugenol methyl ether and isoeugenol methyl ether. Curcumin and related compounds have also been reported as

major constituents of the rhizomes. Curcumin (diferuloymethane) is responsible for

the yellow colour, and comprises curcumin I (94%), curcumin II (6%) and curcumin
III (0.3 %). Recently a number of sesqui-terpenes have been reported from turmeric.
3) Black pepper: Black pepper the king of spices is valued for its characteristic
pungency and flavour and hence used extensively as a spice and condiment in a vast
variety of food preparations. Pepper is an important ingredient in traditional
medicines too. Its quality depends upon the sum total of the chemistry of its
pungency and flavour components. Its flavour or aroma is due to the essential oils
present in the fruit; while the pungency is due to the alkaloid piperine. The major
compounds in the essential oil consist of mono and sesqui-terpene hydrocarbons and
oxygenated compounds. In addition to these 27 miscellaneous compounds are also
present. They are: eugenol, methyl eugenol, myristicin, safrole, benzaldehyde,
transane thiole, piperonal, m-methyl acetophone, p-methyl acetophone, nbutyrophenone, benzoic acid, phenyl acetic acid, cumanic acid, piperonic acid
methyl hepatonene, pinol, butyric acid, 3-methyl butyric acid, hexanoic acid, 2methyl pentanoic acid, methyl heptanoate, methyl octanoate, 2-undecanone, nnonane, n-tridecane, n-nondecane and piperidine.
Cardamom: Cardamom the queen of spices is used for flavouring various food
preparations, confectionery, beverages perfumery and liquors. It is also used for
medicinal purpose, both in Allopathy and Ayurveda systems. In the Middle East
countries it is mainly used for Gahwa, a special cardamom-flavoured coffee. The
seeds are used as antidote to snake and scorpion venom. The extract is also used as a
fish poison. The composition of cardamom varies slightly with the variety, region
and age of the product. The Indian cardamom seeds contain volatile oil, ashes, nonvolatile ether extract, crude fibre, crude protein, starch, calcium, phosphorus,
sodium, potassium, iron and vitamins A, B1, B2 and C.

spices: 1) Coriander: A pleasant aromatic odour is present in the stem,

leaves and fruits of coriander, which is due to an essential oil containing mainly
linalool or coriandrol. It is considered to be carminative, diuretic, stomachachic,
tonic, antibilious, refrigerant and aphro-disiac. Dried ripe coriander fruit contains
both steam volatile oil and fixed oil. The aromatic odour and taste of coriander fruit is
due to its volatile oil. Coriander oil is clear, colourless to light yellow liquid. Oil
content of seeds varies widely with geographic origin. High volatile oil content is
found in Norwegian coriander (1.4-1.7%) followed by Bulgarian coriander (0.10.5%). Indian seeds are poor in oil content (0.1-0.4%). The major component of
essential oil is linalool, followed by -pinene, gamma-terpene, geranyl acetate,
camphor and geraniol. Minor components include -pinene, camphene, myrcene,
limonene, p-cymol, dipente-terpinene, n-decylaldehyde, bornol and acetic acid
B) Seed


Sr No

Carbohydrate (g)
Lipid (g)
Protein (g)
Fibre (g)
Water (g)
Food Energy (cal)
Ash (g)
Calcium (g)
Phosphorus (g)
Sodium (g)
Potassium (g)
Iron (g)
Thiamine (mg)
Riboflavin (mg)
Niacin (mg)
Vitamin-C (mg)
Vitamin -A (IU)

Coriander Fenugreek Cumin





Dill Ajwain


2) Fenugreek: Historically used for medicinal purposes, fenugreek seed contains:

moisture, protein, fat, crude fibre, carbohydrate and ash. The seeds also contain
volatile oil and rigogenin, neorigogenin, diosgenin, yamogenin and gitogenin.
Diosgenin content in its seed varies from 0.78-1.90% depending on genotypes as
well as on cultural practices. Volatile oil content of the seed is very low and not
commercially recovered. Solvent extraction yields the oleoresin with strong, maplelike aroma and bitter taste. Roasting the seeds serves to integrate a pleasant and
camellic flavour with the basic bitterness, which is attributed to the presence of two
alkaloids, trigonelline and choline. Steroid saponins isolated from the seed are
reported to reduce plasma cholesterol levels, enhance food consumption and
motivation to eat. Fenugreek saponins serve as the source for three important
sapogenins diosgenin, gitogenin and tigogenin, which have immense nutraceutical
value. Soluble dietary fiber composed of the polysaccharides, galactomannan, is yet
another isolate from the seed. Oleoresin is used in the preparation of imitation maple
flavour, rum flavours and as a flavouring agent in pharmacy. It also finds application
in seasonings for the processed meat and curry-mixes. Its saponins and fibers are
ingredients in health/ functional foods and pharmaceuticals.
3) Cumin: An export oriented seed spice, cumin contains acid insoluble ash, volatile
oil and total ether extracts. The cuminaldehyde, the principal aldehyde, constitutes
25-35% and -pinene, limonene, p-cymene, perillaldehyde, anisaldehyde,
dihydrocuminaldehyde, cuminyl alcohol and a number of minor constituents are also

4) Fennel: The seeds of fennel, a stout aromatic plant are used as stimulant,
carminative and in the cure of colic pains and also for mastication and chewing alone
or with betel leaves. Two types of fennel are recognized- common fennel and sweet
fennel. Common fennel usually contains volatile oil in the range of 2.5-6.5%
depending upon the plant origin. The oil is a colourless to pale yellow liquid with an
aromatic, spicy odour. The oil of this fennel contains -phellandrene, pinenes,
anethole and methyl chavicol. Sweet fennel is mainly cultivated in South Europe i.e.
France & Italy. The essential oil is a yellowish green liquid with characteristic arise
odour. The main constituents are anethole and fenchone. The other constituents are
methyl chavicol, -pinene, camphe -hellandrene and dipentene. Fennel oil and
oleoresin are used in pizza sauces and topplings non-alcoholic beverages, baked
goods, condiments, ice-creams and liquors and in seasoning for processed meats. Oil
is also used to scent soaps and perfumes and to flavour carminative medicines.
Conclusion: The relative importance of quality is dependant upon the end use of the
spices. Earlier the quality parameters were appearance, size, shape and presence of
extraneous matter. Later, the analytical parameters as described above for each spice,
biochemical constituents and quality attributes like ashes, volatile oil content,
oleoresin contents, etc. were added to ensure the authenticity and purity of the
product, which is depending upon the variety, agro-climatic conditions existing in
the area of production, harvest and post harvest operations. Keeping in view the
excellent scope for the value added products; development of entrepreneurs with
developed technologies, which are commercially viable and infrastructure
development and development of human resources are opportunities which can be
availed by assuring the quality of spices.
Agrawal, S.; Sastry, E.V.D. and Sharma R.K. 2001. Seed Spices-Production, Quality,
Export. Pointer Publishers, Jaipur 302 003 (Raj) India.
Pruthi, J.S. 1998. Spices and Condiments, Natioan Book Trust, New Delhi India.

Ravindran, P.N.; Nirmal Babu, K.; Shiva, K.N. and Kallupurackal, J.A. 2006.
Advances in Spices Research, Agrobios, Jodhpur-342 002 (Raj) India.


Techniques of Quality Analysis in Spices

Vipin Sharma and H Dev Sharma
Department of Vegetable Science
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173 230

Spices and condiments relate to the natural, aromatic plant components or

mixture thereof, used for flavoring, seasoning and imparting aroma or flavor to the food.
Ancient peoples such as the Egyptian, the Arab and the Roman made extensive uses of
spices, not only to add flavor to foods and beverages, but as medicines, disinfectants,
incenses, stimulants and even as aphrodisiac agents. Some of them possess antioxidant
properties, work as preservative in pickles and chutneys and have anti-microbial and
antibiotic activities. Spices intensify salivary flow and the secretion amylase. Saliva rich
in ptyalin facilitates starch digestion in stomach, rendering the carbohydrates rich meal
more digestive. Spices clean oral cavity from food adhesion and bacteria.
Internationally, there are about 70 plant species that have been grown for spices, the
majority of which are in Asia. Therefore Asia is known as the 'Land of Spices' as it is the
place of origin, production, consumption and export of most spices. 13 are considered
major spices produced in Asia i.e. black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cassia, chilli
pepper, cloves, coriander, cumin, garlic ginger, nutmeg, turmeric and vanilla. Spices are
traded in different forms such as whole, essential oils, powered form or variety of
mixtures. It is a good source of income for the farmers. Spices influence our health as
they enrich our diet by supplying minerals, vitamins and other components. Iron is
supplied by cumin, coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, black pepper, tamarind etc. Calcium
is available from cumin, coriander, pepper, clove, turmeric, and asafoetida. Although
spices are not very good sources of vitamins but coriander, pepper, chilli, cumin are
sources of vitamin-A, chilli and garlic are suppliers of vitamin-C. Turmeric is consumed
with boiled milk by woman during postnatal period as a nutritious drink. The ancient
Aryans considered spices as a powerful remedy for various disorders in human beings.
Even today, unani, homeopathy and ayurvedic system of medicines most of the spices
are used as ingredients in medicinal drug preparations. Nutmeg, vanilla, clove, pepper,
cumin, celery etc and their oils are used in perfumery or in soap making. Turmeric is used
for dyeing. Turmeric, clove, fenugreek, nutmeg are used for manufacture of vanishing
cream, toothpaste, hair tonic etc. Dry ginger and ginger powder is used for
manufacturing of brandy, wine and beer.
New developments and emerging opportunities: There is some positive
developments world over promoting the growth of spice industry:
1. Increasing awareness about naturality of spices and its substitution for synthetic
coloring and flavoring agents.

2. Increasing demand on spicy and ethnic food items of countries like India, China,
Mexico etc.
3. Emergence of nature food, yogic food, organic food and emphasis on back to
4. Multinational food chain is changing the taste of the world through their spicy
5. Consumers in developed countries are accepting health claims for spices and
herbs in countries of origin.
6. Arrival of a hot trend i.e. an increased consumption of hot spices like pepper,
chilli, ginger.
Techniques of quality analysis: In order to assess the quality of spices we require
following techniques, as awareness to use quality products is increasing day by day.
1) Preparation of sample: Grind laboratory sample as quickly as possible in a grinding
mill to pass sieve with 1 mm diameter aperture. Avoid undue heating of apparatus during
grinding. Mix carefully to avoid stratification (layering). Store in a dry stoppered
2) Determination of extraneous matter and other refractions in whole spices:
Thoroughly mix the sample and weigh 100-200 gm depending on the nature of the
material (10-20 g in case of small sized spices) and spread in an enameled tray. Separate
extraneous matter and other refractions by hand. Weigh each fraction and calculate
3) Microscopic examination of spices: A water slide should be first prepared by
dissolving finely powdered sample with a drop of alcohol and then adding one or two
drops of glycerol solution (30% in water) before sliding on the cover slip. The water slide
is particularly suitable for detecting starch. The presence of starch can be confirmed by
adding a drop of very dilute solution of iodine which produces the usual dark blue colour.
Some spices namely cumin, coriander, chillies and cloves do not contain true starch and
the presence of extraneous starch can be easily detected in these powdered spices. A
cleared slide is prepared by gently boiling the material with chloral hydrate solution
(prepared by warming 80 g of crystals in 50 ml water) in a tube until the particles look
fairly transparent. Chloral hydrate has two fold action i) it removes starch thereby
concentrating other tissues and ii) it removes coloring matter from the tissues so that the
outlines can be seen much more clearly. Sclerenchymatous matter can be stained red by
warming the cleared material with excess of phloroglucinol solution (1% in 90%
alcohol) followed by a drop of conc. HCl.
4) Determination of moisture by Dean and Stark toluene distillation method: The
amount of water is determined by distilling the material with an organic liquid (Toluene)
not miscible with water and collecting the distillate in a graduated tube. Saturate with
small quantity of water and distill. Use the distillate for determination of moisture.

5) Determination of total ash: Weigh to the nearest 0.001 g about 2 g of the prepared
sample into the tared dish. Pour about 2 ml of ethanol on the material and ignite it. When
the ethanol is burnt off, heat the dish carefully over a small flame to char the material.
Then ignite in a muffle furnace at 550+25 C for 2 hours. Cool and wet the ash with a few
drops of water, evaporate carefully to dryness and heat in the muffle furnace for a further
1 hour. If the wetting shows the ash to be carbon free, remove the dish to desiccator
containing an efficient desiccant, allow to cool and weigh without delay. If the wetting
shows presence of carbon, repeat the wetting and heating until no specks of carbon are
visible and ignite in the muffle furnace for 1 hour after the disappearance of carbon. If
carbon is still visible, leach the ash with hot water, filter through ash less filter paper,
wash the filter paper thoroughly, transfer the filter paper and contents to ashing dish, dry
and ignite in muffle furnace at 550+250C until the ash is white. Cool the dish, add the
filtrate and evaporate to dryness on a water bath. Heat in muffle furnace again, cool in a
desiccator and weigh as previously. Heat again in the muffle furnace for 1 hour, cool and
weigh. Repeat these operations until the difference in mass between two successive
weighing is less than 0.001 g. Record the lowest mass. Reserve the total ash for
determination of acid insoluble ash. In case of nutmeg, mace, ginger and cloves the
ignition should be carried out at 600+250C. In case of ground mustard proceed as above
and ignite for 1 hr after disappearance of carbon. Leach the ash with hot water, filter
through ash less filter paper and wash filter paper thoroughly. Transfer the filter paper
and contents to the dish, dry and ignite in muffle furnace again for 1 hour. Cool and add 510 drops of nitric acid evaporate to dryness on a water bath and heat in muffle furnace for
30 minutes. Repeat the addition of 5-10 drops of nitric acid, evaporating to dryness and
heating in muffle furnace for 30 minutes. Cool and weigh.
6) Determination of ash insoluble in dil. HCL: To the dish containing total ash add 25
ml of dilute HCl and boil covering the dish with a watch glass to prevent spattering.
Allow to cool and filter the contents of the dish through an ash less filter paper (medium
fine). Wash the filter paper with hot water until the washings are free from HCl as tested
by silver nitrate solution, and return it to the dish. Evaporate carefully on a water bath and
ignite in a muffle furnace at 550+25 C for 1 hour. Cool the dish in a desiccator and weigh.
Repeat the ignition for 1 hr, cooling and weighing till the difference in weight between
two successive weighing is less than 0.001 g. Note the lowest weight.
7) Determination of cold water soluble extract: Weigh to the nearest 0.001 g about 2 g
sample, transfer to a 100 ml volumetric flask, add distilled water and make up to mark.
Stopper the flask and shake at approx 30 minutes interval, for 8 hours and allow to stand
for 16 hours longer without shaking. Filter the extract through a dry filter paper,
evaporate a 50 ml aliquot portion to dryness in the dish on the water bath and heat in an
air oven at 103+2 C to constant mass, that is until two consecutive weighings separated
by a period of 1 hour in the oven do not differ by more than 0.001 g. Record the lowest


8) Determination of alcohol soluble extract: Weigh accurately about 2 g of test sample

and transfer to a 100 ml volumetric flask and fill to mark with ethanol. Stopper the flask
and shake at approximately 30 minutes interval for 4 hours and allow to stand 16 hours
longer without shaking. Filter the extract through a dry filter paper, evaporate a 50 ml
aliquot portion to dryness on a water bath and heat in oven at 103+2 C to constant mass,
that is until two consecutive weighings separated by a period of 1 hour in the oven do not
differ by more than 0.001 g. Record the final weight.
9) Determination of non volatile ether extract: Extract 2 g of ground sample in a
Soxhlet apparatus with diethyl ether for 18 hours. Remove the ether by distillation
followed by blowing with a stream of air with the flask on a boiling water bath and dry in
an oven at 110+10C till the loss in weight between two successive weighings is less than 2
mg. Shake the residue with 2-3 ml of diethyl ether at room temperature, allow to settle
and decant the ether. Repeat the extraction until no more of the residue dissolves. Dry the
flask again until the loss in mass between two successive weighing is less than 2 mg.
Record the lowest weight.
10) Determination of volatile oil: The determination of volatile oil in a spice is made by
distilling the spice with water, collecting the distillate in a graduated tube in which the
aqueous portion of the distillate is automatically separated and returned to the distilling
flask, and measuring the volume of the oil. The content of volatile oil is expressed as a
percentage v/w.
11) Determination of crude fibre: Weigh accurately about 2-2.5 g ground sample into a
thimble and extract for about 1 hour with petroleum ether in a Soxhlet extractor. Transfer
the material in the thimble to a 1 litre flask. Take 200 ml of dilute sulphuric acid in a
beaker and bring it to boil. Transfer the whole of the boiling acid to the flask containing
fat free material and immediately connect the flask to a water cooled reflux condenser
and heat so that the contents of the flask begin to boil within 1 minute. Rotate the flask
frequently, taking care to keep the material from remaining on the sides of the flask and
out of contact with the acid. Continue boiling for exactly 30 minutes. Remove the flask
and filter through fine linen or through a coarse acid washed, hardened filter paper held
in a funnel and wash with boiling water until the washings are no longer acidic to litmus
paper. Bring some quantity of sodium hydroxide solution to boil under a reflux
condenser. Transfer the residue on the filter into the flask with 200 ml of boiling sodium
hydroxide solution. Immediately connect the flask with the reflux condenser and boil for
exactly 30 minutes. Remove the flask and immediately filter through the linen or filter
paper. Thoroughly wash the residue with hot water and transfer to a gooch crucible
prepared with a thin but compact layer of asbestos. Wash the residue thoroughly first
with hot water and then with about 15 ml of ethanol and with 3 successive washings of
petroleum ether. Dry the gooch crucible and contents in an air oven at 105+10C for 3
hours. Cool and weigh. Repeat the process of drying for 30 minutes, cooling and
weighing until the difference between two consecutive weighings is less than 1 mg.
Incinerate the contents of the gooch in a muffle furnace at 550+200 C until all
carbonaceous matter is burnt. Cool the gooch crucible in a dessicator and weigh.

12) Quality analysis in turmeric: i) Determination of curcumin content: Grind

sample as quickly as possible in a grinding mill to pass sieve with 1 mm diameter
aperture. Weigh accurately about 0.1 g, add 30 ml alcohol and reflux for two and half
hour. Cool the extract and filter quantitatively into a 100 ml volumetric flask Transfer the
extracted residue to the filter. Wash thoroughly and dilute to mark with alcohol. Pipette
20 ml of the filtered extract into a 250 ml volumetric flask and dilute to volume with
alcohol. Measure the absorbance of the extract and the standard solution at 425 nm in 1
cm cell against an alcohol blank.
ii) Determination of starch content: Extract about 3 g of the ground sample accurately
weighed with five 10 ml portions of ether on a filter paper that will retain completely the
smallest starch granules. Evaporate the ether from the residue and wash with 150 ml of
10 % ethyl alcohol. Carefully wash off the residue from the filter paper with 200 ml of
cold water. Heat the undissolved residue with 200 ml of 2.5 % dil. HCl in a flask
equipped with reflux condenser for two and half hour. Cool and neutralize with sodium
carbonate solution and transfer quantitatively to a 250 ml volumetric flask and make up
to volume. Determine reducing sugars in the solution by Lane and Eynon Volumetric
iii) Test for presence of chromate: Ash about 2 g of the ground sample. Dissolve the
ash in 4-5 ml of dilute sulphuric acid in a test tube and add 1 ml of diphenyl carbazide
solution. The development of a violet colour indicates the presence of chromate.
Anonymous 2005. Manual of Methods of Analysis of Foods (Spices and Condiments).
Directorate General of Health Services, Min. of Health and Family Welfare, GOI,
New Delhi.
A.O.A.C. 2000. XVII Edn. Official Method. Methods of Test for Spices and
I.C.M.R. 1990. Manual Methods of Analysis for Adulterants and Contaminants in


Recent Techniques in Postharvest Management &

Processing of Vegetables
PC Sharma, Manisha Kaushal and Anil Gupta
Department of Food Science & Technology
Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan, HP

Fruits and vegetables is one of the most important and fast growing subsectors as they form an indispensable part of healthy diet. World production of
vegetables amounts to 486 million tons, while that of fruits is 392 million tons. India
produces 71.0 million tons of fruits from an area of 5.8 million hectare and 133.4
million tons of vegetables from an area of 7.98 million hectare annually (NHB,
2010). Productivity of vegetables in India presently is 16.7 tons per hectare. India
produces 36 % green peas and 10% onion of world's production. Onion, potatoes and
green vegetables like okra, bitter gourd and green chillies also have good export
potential. Being rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and natural antioxidants
most vegetables are classified as the protective foods. However, owing to the
presence of high moisture content and mostly being non acidic, the vegetables are
highly perishable and needs to be handled properly and immediately after harvest.
Processing of vegetables into different value added products is one of the most
effective alternatives to reduce postharvest losses.
Postharvest losses
Fruits and vegetables are the reservoir of vital nutrients but being highly
perishable, 25-33% of the total production of fruits and vegetables goes waste from
the time of harvesting till they reach the consumers. Indian postharvest losses of
fruits and vegetables are equivalent to the annual consumption of fruits and
vegetables in U.K. In order to ensure minimum losses, proper postharvest handling
and processing in to value added products are the two main alternatives.
Postharvest techniques used for value addition
In order to make horticulture a viable enterprise, value addition is essential.
Harvest indices, grading, packaging, storage techniques have been developed/
standardized for major horticultural crops. Value addition through dehydration of
vegetables including freeze drying, intermediate moisture foods, beverages etc are
getting popular day by day. The general practices used for value addition are:
1. Preservation with salt: This method is usually used for preserving green beans,
cauliflower, carrot, turnip and other vegetables in salt where the vegetables
can be used during lean period especially in pickles etc (semi finished

2. Drying: Vegetables are dried after pre-treatments to be used in lean periods

or in soup mixes. The pre-treatments include sorting, washing,
slicing/cutting/depodding, blanching and sulphuring /sulphating prior to
drying. The most applicable method of drying includes Solar drier, Polytunnel drier, Cabinet drying, Vacuum drying, Fluidized bed drying, Freeze
drying, Microwave drying and combination of drying techniques.
3. Heat treatments: Vegetables can be preserved by heat processing (using
canning or bottling). Spinach, lettuce, celery, asparagus, potato, peas etc are
commercially canned. Vegetables are usually canned in brine solution (23%) containing 0.3% citric acid. After exhausting and sealing, the cans are
processed in a pressure sterilizer at 115.5-121.1oC in order to destroy the
spores of most resistant organisms. Vegetables can also be canned in tomato
juice to replace the use of brine.
4. Freezing: It is another technique commercially used for preservation of
vegetables mainly peas, pre-cut vegetables and mushroom. Approximate
storage life of some frozen vegetables at various temperatures varies
considerably. Beans, broccoli, cauliflower, peas and spinach have a storage
life of 6 to 8 months at -12oC while at -18oC the storage life varies from 14-16
R&D in PHT of vegetable crops
Few R&D efforts made in different aspects of post harvest management &
processing of vegetables in some institutes in the country include the
1. Varietal improvement: Success has been made in selection of Carrot and
tomato cultivars with comparatively high carotenoid and vitamin A content
.Onion and tomato cultivars with high TSS and longer shelf-life. Potato
cultivars with low sugars and ginger with less fibre etc.
2. Pre-harvest treatments: The use of maleic hydrazide (1500-2500 ppm) 2-4
weeks before harvest for control of sprouting in onion during storage is
effective (NRC O&G, Nasik).
3. Method of Harvesting: Most vegetables in India are harvested by hand.
However, commodities meant for processing like tomatoes and potatoes can
be mechanically harvested. Harvesters of different sizes with respect to
economic feasibility and affordability of farmers are required to be
developed in view of difficult hilly terrains in most of the fruit growing areas.
4. Market Preparation: Mechanical grader for onion having capacity of 1.5-2
ton/h developed at NRC O & G, Nasik is a significant development.
5. Post-harvest treatment: Postharvest treatment to delay yellowing in bitter
gourd (IIHR, Bangalore) and gamma radiation (60-90 Gy) of cured onions
within one month of harvesting to check sprouting during storage (NRC O &
G, Nasik).

6. Primary processing: The available equipment and technologies for various

unit operations of primary processing include farm level fruit and vegetable
washing machine (PAU, Ludhiana), basket centrifuge, minimal processing
technology of vegetable, shrink packaging of fruit and vegetable and hydro
cooler-cum-washer for fruits and vegetables (CIPHET, Ludhiana), vegetable
dryer (CIAE, Bhopal), mechanical fruit washer (MPKV, Kolhapur),
tamarind dehuller and deseeder (UAS, Bangalore),cumin cleaner-cumgrader (Junagarh), turmeric washing and polishing machine (PAU,
Ludhiana) and large scale chilly drying facility (ANGRAU, Baptala) etc. are
some of the major developments.
7. Drying: - Different types of driers developed at various research institutes
include:- Polytunnel solar drier for fruits and vegetables (YSPUHF, Solan),
Solar cabinet drier for vegetables (CIAE, Bhopal), solar tunnel dryer for
plantation crops (CPCRI, Kasargod), multipurpose polyhouse solar dryer for
chilli (ANGRAU, Baptla), recirculatory solar drier for red chillies (MPKV,
Kolhapur), process for dehydration of okra, pumpkin, French bean, ready to
eat dehydrated carrot shreds (IIVR, Varanasi).
8. Value addition:- Few R&D efforts made in value addition of vegetables
include Mushroom based instant noodles and soup powder (AICRP on PHT,
Solan), beet root powder, carrot powder, chilli processing plant, green chilli
powder and puree, dried garlic slices and ginger powder (CIPHET,
Ludhiana), tomato paste and fluidized bed drier for mushroom (TNAU,
Coimbatore) .
Recent innovations in vegetable processing
a) Modified Atmosphere Packaging Technology: Modified Atmosphere
Packaging has been used to extend shelf-life in okra for 9 days, 7-8 days for
broccoli and 25 days for capsicum in ambient temperature and 46 days in cold
store. Shrink wrapping is one of the methods used for modifying the
atmosphere of the commodity.
b) Individual Quick Freezing: Quick freezing is the process in which virtually
all the properties of most foodstuffs are preserved. It involves ultra-rapid
freezing of a food commodity to very low temperatures (-30C to - 40C)
which halts the activities of the microorganisms that cause decay and
deterioration. In IQF, each piece is frozen individually using technique of
fluidization which results in freezing of vegetables within 10 to 12 minutes
in contrast to 3 to 4 hours or even more taken in the blast freezer. This
results into better texture and there is no lump/ block formation and the
product is free flowing. The different steps involved in IQF are washing
followed by depodding/peeling,
and blanching followed
by chilling (5-7 C) and quick freezing (-18 C) and finally packing in bulk or
consumer packs.


c) Minimal Processing: Minimal processing is used to retain the natural and asfresh properties of foods. Raw vegetables that are washed peeled, sliced,
chopped or shredded into 100% usable product. They are then bagged or
packaged to offer consumers high nutrition, convenience, and flavour while
still maintaining its freshness. The microbiological, sensory and nutritional
shelf life of minimally processed vegetables, inflorescence, root and stem
tissues vary from 15-20 days.
Unit Operations in Fresh-Cut Produce (Minimally Processing) preparation

Receiving raw material: the raw material is kept under refrigeration

(1-5oC) until used.

Cleaning and disinfection: vegetables are cleaned by washing,

scrubbing and dipping in solutions of disinfectant.

Pretreatments (Peeling, Trimming, Deseeding, Coring and Cutting)

Washing and Cooling: Chlorinated water 50-100 ppm is used for

washing. Cutting tools should be properly sanitized as these are the
main source for contamination.

Dipping: Produce can be optionally dipped in a solution of an

acidulant /antioxidant. (blend consisting of a combination of ascorbic
acid/citric acid e.g. anti-softening agent like calcium chloride)

Drying to remove surface moisture: Different methods used for

removal of excess water from fresh cut vegetables are conveyor
shakers to remove water through a mesh; Air drying on conveyors
with forced air to blow excess water off the surface of the produce;
and basket centrifuge.

Packaging: Produce can be packaged in modified atmosphere

packages. In MAP, modified atmosphere can be created passively by
using properly permeable packaging material or actively by using a
specified gas mixture together with permeable packaging materials.

Storage and distribution: Storage at 10 C or above allows most

bacterial pathogens to grow rapidly on fresh cut vegetables.
Therefore, transport
and storage of produce should preferably be
carried out at 2-4 C
Value addition

Green chilli powder and puree: A process has been standardized for
making green chillies powder and puree. About 130 g of green chillies
powder and 300 ml puree could be prepared from one kilogram of fresh
green chillies. Fresh chillies cost Rs. 15/kg while the cost of green powder
(100g dry weight) is Rs. 120/kg.

ii. Canned vegetables: Generally vegetables are canned in 2-3% brine

solution. In order to improve quality the brine solution can be
replaced with concentrated tomato juice (8%) for canning of
vegetables. Recipe for canning of mixed vegetables in tomato juice
include Brinjal /eggplant (slices) 20%; peppers (cut) 20%; carrots
(slices) 15%; green peas 5%; green beans (pods) 18%; okra (whole)
8% and tomatoes (whole or halves) 14%.
iii. Ginger: Ginger can be processed into dried ginger/ ginger slices
(Sonth), ginger powder, ginger oleoresin (Aroma & pungency) and
ginger oil (Aroma). Ginger drying involves following steps:
Fresh ginger
Soaking ginger overnight

Whole pieces


Lime treatment (2% Ca(OH)2 for 6 hours)

Lime treatment (2% Ca(OH)2 for 6 hours)

Sulphuring (3 g/kg for 4 hrs)

Sulphuring (3 g/kg for 4 hrs)

Drying (55+2 C)

Drying (55+2 C)

Dried ginger (sonth) 10-12%

Dried ginger slices, 10-12%

Packing & storage

Ginger powder
Packing & storage

Flow sheet for drying of ginger into sonth and powder

i. Bell pepper: Recipe has been standardized for the preparation of red
coloured bell pepper pickle and chutney. The standardized recipe for
preparation of chutney consists of bell pepper pulp (1Kg), sugar750g and
acetic acid 10 ml with weighed amount of spices and salt.
ii. Potato: Detailed study has been conducted in the department to evaluate
different varieties of potatoes can be processed into chips , French fries,
potato starch and flour. Ready- to-serve tikki powder and halwa powder can
be prepared from potato flour while custard powder is made from potato
iii. Pumpkin: For the preparation of pumpkin candy, pickle and chutney the
pumpkins are pretreated by steam blanching for 4 minutes + 1.5 per cent
citric acid dip for 20 minutes. The chutney prepared from pumpkin shreds
(100 per cent) was found to be the best in comparison to other combinations
with apple (30:70, 40:60, 50:50) which reflected that ripe pumpkin can be
used for production of good quality chutney. Similarly, pumpkin jam can be
prepared by using pumpkin and apple pulp (30:70).
iv. Utilization of carrot pomace: After carrot juice extraction, up to 40-42%
carotenoids are still left within carrot pomace. Steam blanching is a
prerequisite for drying and storage of pomace for product development. For
dehydration of carrot pomace, steam blanching (3 minutes) + 2000 ppm
KMS treatment was standardized. Following products can be prepared by
using dried carrot pomace.
a) Carrot pomace powder spread: For preparation of pomace spread, the
standardized recipe contained different ingredients viz., carrot pomace
powder (20 g), sugar (78 g), pectin (1.5 g) and citric acid (0.5 g).
b) Instant carrot pomace spiced beverage: The standardized recipe
consists of carrot pomace powder (2.8 g), sugar (4.5 g), salt (1.1 g), black
salt (0.3 g), mint powder (0.3 g), ginger powder (0.3 g), black pepper
powder (0.1 g), cumin powder (0.1 g), red chilli powder (0.1 g) and citric
acid (0.4 g) for preparation of instant carrot pomace spiced beverage.
c) Instant carrot pomace gazrella mix: The recipe containing dried carrot
pomace shreds (12 g), sugar (30 g), skim milk powder (18 g), dried fruits
(7 g), cardamom powder (0.6 g) and Desi ghee (10.5 g) has been
d) Carrot pomace pickle: The recipe containing rehydrated carrot shreds
(225 g), jaggery (30 g), salt (12 g), ginger paste (10 g), garlic paste (10 g),

turmeric powder (2 g), red chilli powder (2 g), black pepper powder (1 g),
cumin powder (1 g), large cardamom powder (0.8 g), fenugreek seed
powder (0.4 g), mustard oil (65 ml), acetic acid (2 ml), sodium benzoate
rated best for carrot pomace pickle.
Conclusion: The present information concludes the suitability of utilizing
vegetables for the preparation of processed products having fairly good nutritional
and sensory qualities. It will not only add to the diversified products but will also
provide remunerative returns to the growers. Reduction of post-harvest losses also
reduces the cost of production, trade and distribution, lowers the price for the
consumer and increases the farmer's income.


List of Participants

Name and designation


Dr. Satya Vart Dwivedi

SMS/ Assistant Professor


Dr. R. Balakumarbahan
Assistant Professor (Hort.)


Dr. Jagtap Venkat

Assistant Professor


Dr.(Mrs.) Ekta Prashant

Assistant Professor


Dr. Neha Kiran Chopde

Assistant Professor


Dr. Mrigendra Singh

Programme Coordinator


Dr. Shekhar Singh Baghal

Assistant Professor/


Dr. K.S Yadav

Programme Coordinator


Dr. Yashpal Singh

Assistant Professor
Dr. Patel Popatlal
Assistant Research



Dr. Patel Devendra

Assistant Research


Dr. Ramjibhai
Narsinhbhai Patel
Assistant Research

Address for
Krishi Vigyan Kendra
(Soubhadra) At: Crop
Research Station Tissuhi,
Mirjapur-231 310 (U.P)
Horticultural Research
Tamil Nadu Agricultural
University Pechiparai- 629
Kanyakumari District Tamil
Associate Dean and
Principal college of
Agriculture, Near Kini
Osmanabad Maharashtra
College of Agriculture
Mul Road Near Complex
Area, Soanpur Gadchiroli,
Horticulture Section
College of Agriculture
Nagpur (M.S)
Krishi Vigyan Kendra
Shahdol Kalyanpur P.O
Bhui Bandh Dist. Shahdol
M.P 484 001
Department of soil Science
and Agriculture Chemistry
College of Agriculture
Jabalpur (M.P) 482004
Krishi Vigyan Kendra
Bahmori Farm, P.O Rajaua
Sagar, M.P, 470 002
College of Agriculture
Mustard Research Station
S.D Agricultural University
Sardarkrushinagar 385506
Dist. Banaskantha Gujarat
Mustard Research Station
S.D Agricultural University
Sardarkrushinagar 385506
Dist. Banaskantha Gujarat
Seed Technology
S.D Agricultural University
385506, Dist. Banaskantha

E.mail address

Contact number

9415720119 (M)

09688427067 (M)
04651 281191

Fax.02472 222324
9422657460 (M)

Fax 07132 223062

07132 223061(O)
99229 11896 (M)

Fax 0712 2554820


07652 241790
94251 83232
Fax 07652 241790
07652 241948
09425888646 (M)

Fax 07582 248290

Ph.07582 288229
94258 54876

02748 278457
09979 786074
Fax 02748 278433


02748 278457
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Dr. Dhirajlal Limbabhai

Assistant Research
Dr. Naveen Garg
Assistant Vegetable
Dr. Gurdarshan Singh
Assistant Professor
Dr. Faizan Ahmad
SMS (Hort.)

Dr. Vikas Abrol

Jr. Scientist

18. Dr. Partha Choudhuri


19. Mr. Partha Sarathi

Lecturer (Sr. Scale)

20. Dr. Pankaj Mittal

SMS (Vegetables)
21. Dr. Manoj Gupta
Extension Specialist
(Agril Economics)
22. Dr. Jagat Singh Malik
DES (Veg. Science)

23. Dr. Sangeeta Shree

Jr. Scientist-cumAssistant Professor

Fruit Research Stationm,

J.A.U Amrutbagh, Mangrol
362225, Gujarat

094284 40031 (M)

Punjab Agricultural
Regional Research Station,
Bathinda 151001 Punjab
Krishi Vigyan Kendra
Faridkot- 151203 Punjab
Krishi Vigyan Kendra,
Kargil, Sher-E- Kashmir
University of Agriculture
Science & Technology of
Kashmir, Shalimar Srinagar
DLRSS, Dhiansar
181133, SKUAST-J, J&K

0164 2212159
094170 84075 (M)
Fax 0164 2212159



01923 220821
Fax 01923 220821

Department of Vegetable
and Spice Crops Faculty
of Horticulture Uttar
Banga Krishi
Viswavidyalaya P.O
Dist. Cooch Behar West
Bengal -736165
Department of Plantation
Crops and Processing
Faculty of horticulture
UBKV Pundibari,
Coochbehar West Bengal
Krishi Vigyan Kendra
Dhaulakuan Distt.
Sirmour, (H.P)
Krishi Vigyan Kendra
Dhaulakuan Distt.
Sirmour (H.P)
Krishi Vigyan Kendra
Near Dist. Court Ambala
City, V.P.O Pauli Teh. &
Dist. Jind, Haryana
Department of
B.A.U, Sabou, 813210
Bhagalpur, Bihar


03582 270586
09474 19827
Fax 03582270586

03582 228911
Fax 03882270586


98056 62119 (M)
Fax 01704257462
01792 222295 Fax
017404 257462


9419218019 (M)
Fax 01985 233585


099961 77652