Moth bean varieties don’t mind worst drought

Moth bean also known as Matki, Math, Dew bean (Vigna aconitfolia) has been known for high degree of adaptation in rainfed arid situation due to tolerance to drought and high temperature.

However, with these adaptive virtues, the crop was characterized for primitive plant type, grain yield (300-400 kg/ha.), long maturity (90-95 days) having survival value poor. It was therefore, used basically for fodder purposes and conserving soil and soil moisture. However, during one and half decade, need based and deliberate attempts have been made to make this drought hardy crop more productive and adaptive in harsher and more hostile situations. In view of achieving the same alternation in plant type and curtailment in maturity have been achieved up to desired level.

Present day varieties have different maturity grows in 72-75 days, 65-67, 60-62 and 57-58 days respectively, with semi spreading, semi-erect and erect-upright plant type. These varieties suit to 450-500, 300-450, 150-300 and 130-150 mm rainfall, respectively with reasonable grain yield potential from 500-1400kg/ha, on experimental and farmers’ fields depending on rainfall pattern and other agronomic inputs.
In view to combat exceptionally low rainfall situation of current rainy season leading to much severe drought we conducted Front Line Demonstration are as per following details :

1. Name of the village Neora Road, in Osian  Tehsil, 45 kms. away from Jodhpur
2 Name of the farmers' Mr. Govardhan Ram Choudhary
Mr. Ganesha Ram
3 Date of sowing 10.07.2009
4 Area  5 hactare
5 Crops and varieties

Moth bean
CAZRI Moth-2
CAZRI Moth-3


RGC -1066


  Total rainfall    130 mm      01.06.09 to 15.09.2009

No seed treatments
No chemical fertilizer
No irrigation
Only pure seeds
One pre-sowing ploughing
Two times weeding
Planting through power planter

  Date of harvest 15.09.2009
  Soil  Light textured sandy
  Cropping history Bajra + moth been mixed cropping have been   cultivated for  past 3 yrs, no rabi crop


Thus, inspite of hardly 130 mm rainfall with 30-35 days interval between two rain and atmospheric temperature mounting 35-400C we have proved demonstrated a  very good technology which can certainly corner the drought and can return Rs.10,000 to 11000/ha. in just 60-65 days. It works on choosing drought hardy early maturing (60-65 days), varieties like CAZRI Moth-2 and CAZRI Moth-3 and planting at 40 cm inter-row spacing with 10 kg, seed rate/ha. This system  has given C:B ratio 1:2.78 to 1:2.92 whereas other crops planted at 25 cm have given hardly 1:0.029 to 1 :0.67 . Wide spacing helps reduce competition for available soil moisture. The system is cheap and convenient and can certainly thwart and face drought like situations like this year.

             Future tips for such situation:

  1. Use CAZRI Moth -2 or CAZRI Moth-3 varieties maturing in 60-65 days.
  2. Plant them individually or missing seed 1:1 by weight, using seed rate @ 10 kg/ha..
  3. Planting at 40-50 cm will be most crucial and essential requirement under less rain (150-250cm).
  4. Even in more rains, the wide inter row space; will be covered by these varieties.

PC, Arid egumes, CAZRI, Jodhpur