The Sprouting Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Italica L.) is a native of Eastern Mediterranean Region that is derived from the ancient forms of Brassica oleracea. Its cultivation is very popular in the developed nations and in the recent years, is gaining popularity in the State of Mizoram as a commercial crop owing to its remunerative, nutritional and medicinal properties. The average productivity of Cauliflower and Broccoli in the State is 7.65 Mt/ha only and national average is 17.34 Mt/ha.
The lack of technological know-how, non-availability of suitable variety (high yielding or hybrid), do-how, interventions, imbalanced and non-judicious uses of critical inputs, etc., are among the number of fallback reasons.
There was an urgent need to adopt high yielding variety and an Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) system for promoting efficient and balanced use of plant nutrients.
The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Aizawl organized the Cluster Front Line Demonstration (CFLD) during 2018-20 on INM in Broccoli var.CLX3512 coupled with gravity-based Mini Sprinkler System. A total area of 40 ha was covered under the demonstration belonging to 120 farmers under the TSP Programme.
The nursery was raised in community participatory mode. The ready seedlings were distributed in a pattern of 1/3 utilized by them and remaining distributed among the group members. The nursery-bed was prepared by addition of well-rotten FYM or vermicompost @ 4 to 5 Kg/ m2 and maintaining a width of 75 to 100 cm. The bed was drenched with Dithane M-45 @ 2 g/l water (0.2 %) for controlling damping-off disease. The sowing was done in rows 6 to 8 cm apart @ 800 to 850 seeds/m2 and covering the bed surface with a thin layer of mixture of sand, soil and FYM/vermicompost.
For controlling the insect pest, especially, Cabbage Butterfly Larvae, manual picking was done followed by spraying of Chloropyrifos or Rogor @3 ml/l water. The transplanting of seedlings was done after 26 days maintaining a spacing of 45x50 cm. A light irrigation was immediately provided after planting and subsequent irrigations were applied as per the requirement using the Mini Sprinkler (Turbo / Aquamaster, Jain Irrigation). To make the field free from weeds, two manual weeding was done at 20 and 40 days after transplanting.
A recommended INM dose of NPK@75:38:30 Kg/Ha + Poultry Manure @ 2.5 t/ha + VC @ 2.5 t/ha along with Slaked Lime @ 2 T/ha was applied. The entire recommended dose of phosphorus, potassium and 1/3 dose of nitrogen were applied before transplanting. The decomposed poultry manure and vermicompost were mixed thoroughly within the soil’s top layer. The remaining dose of nitrogen was top dressed in two equal splits after 15 to 20 and 30 to 35 days of transplanting along with earthing-up.
The harvesting of water in micro-water harvesting pond, Jalkund and its later use in irrigation using the Gravity-based Mini Sprinkler was done under the Project - “Micro-level water conservation and utilization technique under tough hilly terrain of Mizoram, NEH Region in India” to ensure proper irrigation of the crops in the field. The harvested water at Jalkund enabled storing of a total capacity of 27,000 litres of water during the lean period of October to January which was used for irrigation.
The Mini Sprinkler System was designed using laterals of 16 mm diameter and connected with lateral and T joins. The Jain’s Screen Filter attached to the 32 mm main line was installed that was connected further to the lateral layouts using adapters. The Sprinklers Stakes was raised at a rise of 1 to 1.5 metre using locally available good quality bamboo. The Sprinkler’s calibrated discharge was 50 Ltr/hr. The cultivated Broccoli’s irrigation was scheduled at twice a week.
The technology was found to be promising resulting in higher yield and big size head. The demonstration plot’s yield was 243 q/ha against 164 q/ha in the local check plot. The total cost of cultivation was Rs. 1,21,525/ha in demonstration plot and Rs. 96,000/ha in local check plot with net profit of Rs. 5, 58,875/ha and Rs. 324550/ha demo and check field, respectively.
The INM’s adoption and awareness about the other cultivation practices was crucial for implementing the recommended technologies.
By adopting the recommended nutrient management practices, the farmers were able to get good income by cultivating Broccoli.
The technology has been adopted by the neighbouring Villages and 64 farmers.
(Source: Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Central Agricultural University, Aizawl, Mizoram)