Madua (Finger Millet) Cultivation
In Jharkhand finger millet is the second most popular crop besides rice. But most of the farmers follow traditional methods and hence are not able to reap it productively. Traditional methods reap them a harvest of 5-8 quintal per hectare. If scientifically done the average produce can raised to 15-20 quintal and can further be optimised up to 25 quintal per hectare with minimal costs. In research, the quantity of produce has been as high as 40 quintals per hectare. Compared to traditional methods, modern scientific methods can easily provide 3 times the produce.
This grain is rich in amino acid Methionine, which is not present in the starch rich grains. Per 100 grams of this millet contains- 7.3gm of protein, 1.3 gm flat, 72 gram Carbohydrate, 2.7gm minerals, and 3.44gm of Calcium, 3.6gm fibres, and 328 Kilo calorie. Regular intake prevents excessive thirst, removes weakness from body and cough related ailments. Finger millet can be used to treat ailments related to urinary tract, and body’s cleanliness. Not only this, it is also beneficial for body irritation, skin ailments, and kidney ailments.
For better production of Madua(Ragi) following points shall be kept in mind
Land Selection and Preparations
Ragi can be cultivated even in fallow lands. The field where water accumulates shall not be cropped with millet, as it cannot bear water stagnation. Usually the cultivation of millet requires 3 ploughings. The field’s first ploughing is done using mould board plough and then the second and the third ploughing is done utilising indigenous plough so that the soil becomes soft.
For type A-404, the crop gets ready on an average in 115-120 days and the productivity is around 25-30 quintal. For type HR-374, the crop gets ready on an average in 100-105 days and the productivity is around 20-25 quintal. For type PR-202, the crop gets ready on an average in 115-120 days and the productivity is around 22-37 quintal.
Time of Sowing Seeds
In this region usually the monsoon starts after 15th June. The sowing shall start immediately after the onset of monsoon and shall be completed by 30th June.
If the farming has to be done through transplantation then as well the sowing shall be done between 15-30 June. The seedlings shall be 21-25 days old and if they are another 10-20 days old then also it doesn’t impact the productivity. Transplantation work shall be wrapped up by the third week of June.
Seed Rate and Seed Treatment
- For direct farming 8-10kg seeds per hectare are required.
- Before sowing the seeds, they shall be treated with Jeevamrita or Bavistin in proportion of 2gm per kg of seeds.
To directly sow the seeds at intervals of 20-25cm shallow trenches with depth 2-3cm shall be dug with the help of indigenous ploughs. In these trenches adequate quantities of chemical fertilizer shall be applied. There after seeds along with dry soil or sand shall be applied in proportion of 1:1 in such a way that seeds cover the whole ground.
While sowing it needs to be ensured that seeds don’t get applied too densely or too shallow. The field shall be flattened after this process.
Method of Transplantation
- During transplantation 45kg urea, 187kg single super phosphate and 33 kg potash per hectare should be applied.
- 20-25 days after transplantation, 45kg of urea per hectare shall be applied to the crop. Doing this allows the plants to grow quickly and increase the productivity.
For transplantation 3-4 week old seedlings from the nursery shall be planted into the prepared land. During sowing the distance between two rows is kept is 20-25cm and 15 cm between two saplings. At a place a single sapling shall be planted.
Furrowing and Weeding
If sowing is done directly then weeding and furrowing shall be done between 15-20 days. The first furrowing and weeding is very important as during this time weeds are really small and can be controlled easily. Second weeding shall be done as per the needs.
If transplantation was followed then as well, after 15-20 days the furrowing and weeding shall be done.
In both the methods of farming, application of vermi-compost or Jeevamtrita after weeding is to be done.
Disease and Pest Management
Finger millets are usually not attacked by pests and diseases. During the fruition and formation of seeds attack of stinking beetles may happen. This crop shall be planted as khareef crop. To prevent the attack of stinking beetle Haandikath or Agneyastra shall be applied or 1 litre of Henosen medicine shall be mixed in 100 litres of water for a hectare shall be sprayed or 1.5Ekalux or Linden powder in proportion of 20-25kg for a hectare shall be sprayed.