Vegetable use of bamboo

Bamboo, A woody stemmed, evergreen perennial has jointed stems above and a rhizome below. The edible vegetable portions of bamboo are the young emerging shoots that are harvested before significant fiber development. Shoots are progressively formed from latent buds on rhizomes. To maximize development of tender shoots a common practice is to mulch or place soil around the base of the plant.

Harvesting is done when the shoot tip first emerges above the soil. The shoot is cut free from the soil and near the base of rhizome. Growers of temperate regions sometimes accelerate shoot emergence by heat forcing. Propagation is made with rhizome division, culm segments or seed but generally rhizomes are preferred. Some species flower within 3-4 years, others may continue to be vegetative and not flower, even after 40 years. Shoot contains homogentisic acid which is responsible for the pungent offensive flavour and it ranges from 100-250 microgrammes/100g fresh weight. Leaf sheaths of the harvested shoots are removed and the tough basal portion is discarded. Raw shoots are acrid and acridity is removed by boiling in water for about half an hour or longer. Bamboo shoots provide a palatable crisp texture to foods that remain even after prolonged cooking.

Courtesy: The Hindu, October 3, 2002
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Ginger, chilly exports earn Sikkim Rs 58 cr.

Sikkim, designated as an agricultural export zone, has earned Rs 24.61 crore by exporting ginger and Rs 33.11 crore from flowers and big chilly. The export earnings would be utilised for setting up packaging centres, cold storage, nurseries and other related infrastructure for agri exports.

(Courtesy-The Economic Times, 22 June)

Vegetable waste pegged at Rs 30,000 crore

Country’s fruit and vegetables wastage is pegged at Rs 30,000 crore out of the annual produce worth Rs 100,000 crore due to lack of post-harvest facilities and farm cold stores and presence of large number of middleman. Despite being second the largest producer, the per capita availability of fresh fruits in the country was just over 40kg. Over 72% of total fruits and vegetables produce was consumed fresh while only 2% was processed in the absence of proper cool chain facilities and non-adoption of technology to increase shelf-life. Country’s fruit output at 46m tonnes was 10% of global output while that of vegetable was pegged at 91m tonnes, a 14% of world output. For improving export potential, farmers need to widen their production bases.

(Courtesy-The Economic Times)

Potato surplus puts Bengal in a dilemma

The West Bengal government seems to be in a fix over what to do with excessive potato production. The state with a production of 80 lakh tonnes is left with a surplus of about 30 lakh tonnes, after meeting the internal consumption and exporting a minimal quantity of potato in some neighboring countries. While the department of agriculture marketing thinks it fit to explore avenues foe export. The problem of tackling surplus potato becomes more acute with the limited capacity of cold storage in the state. The state government is looking for other markets across the country. Meanwhile, to get rid of the problem, the West Bengal Cold Storage Association advises the state government to expand the state government to expand the export market.

(Courtesy-The Economic Times)

Leaf caterpillar menace on drumstick

Caterpillars of Noorda blitealis often attack leaves of drumstick (Moringa olefera). Females lay cream, oval eggs on leaves, which hatch in 2-3 days. Larvae feed on leaflets in a thin silken web on the lower surface. So, the leaves appear papery and get dried. If left free, the whole tree is defoliated. Grown-up larvae pupate in the soil. Adults emerge in 6-9 days and life cycle continues. Severe infestation occurs on new flush of the crop during June-August which later recedes. It is advisable to go for collection and destruction of leaves with silken webs and caterpillars in the initial stages of infestation. Spiders are found inhabiting in large numbers on new flush, which exert natural control on the increasing population. Also 1-2 sprays of malathion (2ml/l) can be applied to reduce infestation. Dichlorvos (0.04%) and fenthion (0.05%) were found effective in combating the pest.

(Courtesy-The Hindu)

Mobile vegetable washer

A large, high-capacity, high-output mobile system has been developed for growers supplying washed potatoes to the processing industry.

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Chillies varieties

Following varieties of chilli are released by the Namdhari seeds Pvt. Ltd. Bangalore.

NS-101: A prolific bearing medium, maturity (70-75days) hybrid. Medium vigoured plants with dark green spreading foliage. Dark green, medium long (10-12cm) fruits turn to deep red when ripe. A hybrid suitable for green chili, medium pungent.

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New Sungro Cabbage varieties

These hybrid varieties are marketed by the Delhi based Sungro Seeds.

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Hybrid Onions

Onion is an important export vegetable, which fetches a huge amount of foreign exchange every year. The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Banglore has developed two new onion hybrids, viz. ‘Arka Kirthiman’ and ‘Arka Lalima’.

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Drumstick Powder

Drumstick (Moringa Oleifera Lam.) a calcium and iron rich vegetable is generally used in preparing curries, sambar and rasam to enhance their flovour.

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Cabbage hybrid - Hero

Hero: A very popular hybrid. Gives appealing fresh look. Matures in about 80 –85 days after transplanting.

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Sungro 96

Sungro 96, introduced by Sungro Seeds Private Limited, Dubai, is an early variety of cabbage with compact plants. Heads are balled shaped yellowish green weigh 1.0 to 1.5 kg each with a short core (by labret). Yield potential about 500 quintal per hectare.

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