Colocasia:: Cultivation Practice: Insect-pests and Their Management

Topics – Colocasia esculenta, Cultivation Practice of Colocasia, Insect-pests, diseases and Their Management in Colocasia, Harvest and Yield of Colocasia.

Index

S. N. Topics
1. Introduction
1.1Botanical description
1.2Importance
2.Cultivation practice
2.1Climate
2.2Soil
2.3Preparation of land
2.4Planting
2.5Manure and Fertilizers
2.6Irrigation
2.7Weeding
2.8Insect-pests and Their Management
2.9Harvesting
2.10Yield

1. Introduction

Colocasia esculenta

Scientific Name– Colocasia spp. is the Suriname of the plant. Other names are – Kochai, Taro etc.
Family– Araceace.
Chromosome Number– 2n= 26, 28, 38, 42 and 56.
Origin– Subcontinent or Southern Asia.
Distribution– Southern Asia e.g – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Southern part of China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea etc.

Colocasia esculenta is a cormus crop. Generally, it is considered as a horticultural crop. The leaves of Colocasia resemble the ears of elephant.

Generally, it is not cultivated in large scale. In countries like India and Pakistan it is cultivated as a backyard horticulture crop. And it is considered as a weed crop where it is not cultivated purposely.

All species of Colocasia is not cultivated as vegetable or food crop. Some edible species are as fallow:

S. N. Species
1.Colocasia esculenta
2.Nelumbo nucifera

Other species (Source: WCSP)

S. N. SpeciesRemarks
1.Colocasia affinsOrnamental
2.Colocasia Fallax Silver leaf
3.Colocasia gongii New species Yunnan, China
4.Colocasia tibetenisSpecies from Tibet
5.Colocasia oresbiaBornean montane species
6.Colocasia konishii——–
7.Colocasia giganteaLarge leaves, Known as elephant ears
8.Colocasia bicolorTwo coloured leaf
9.Colocasia gaoligongensisHardiest species
10.Colocasia formosana ——-

1.1 Botanical Description

Leaf

  1. The leaf is broad and heart shaped.
  2. The single leaf emerges directly from the top of the tuber.
  3. Subsidiary veins are connected to the main vien which is the central part of leaf.

Stem and Corm

  1. Corm is modified form of stem.
  2. The brown skinned tuber has many single stem.
  3. Each stem has a broad green leaf on its top.

1.2 Importance

Colocasia esculenta is an important vegetable crop in many developing Asian countries. It is a food of millions of people around the world. The vegetable is mainly consumed by the lower and middle class family in countries like India and Pakistan.

2. Cultivation Practice

2.1 Climate

Temperature – Taro is a warm climate crop. It can thrive well in temperature range between 25 °C – 35 °C coupled with humid condition.

Rainfall – It is a rainfed horticulture crop. Average annual rainfall between 350mm – 750 is sufficient. Irrigation is required frequently in during low rainfall. High annual rainfall, i. e. 1000mm, doesn’t affect the crop.

2.2 Soil

Being a corm crop it requires light soil for the proper development of tuber. Loam and sandy loam are the ideal range of soil. Soil P.H. should be acidic i. e. 5.5 – 6.5. Soil P. H. above 7 is not suitable for the crop.

2.3 Preparation of Land

Furrow method

  1. Plough the soil.
  2. Make ridge and furrow.
  3. Distance is 45 cm. It is an ideal practice.

Pit Method

Many parallel long pits are dug together. Dimension of pit is adjustable for example- pit size of 1. 1 X 1 X 1 feet of 30 X 1.5 X 1.5 feet. The depth of the pitch should not go beyond 1.5 feet. Thoroughly mix the soil with 20 – 25 kg FYM in each ditch.

Pit method

2.4 Planting

  • Select healthy corms.
  • Weight should be around 25 – 50g for healthy plants.
  • Planting is done during June-july.

2.5 Manure and Fertilizers

20 -25 tonnes of FYM is applied in one hectare of land. The ratio of NPK is 40 : 60: 120 kg/hectare. Half dose of NPK is applied at the time of planting. Second dose is given after 45 days of sowing. FYM is mixed in soil during the preparation of soil.

2.6 Irrigation

Irrigation is done after every 5 – 6 days during hot weather. Irrigation is not required after arriving of rainy season.

2.7 Weeding

Hand weeding is best method. Pre-emerge weedicides should be applied for a large area to eliminate weeds.

Earthing of each plant should be done during hand weeding.

2. 8 Insect-pests and Their Management

Insects

Aphid – Aphids can been seen on the lower surface of leaves. These can be controlled by using diamethoate, imidacloprid etc.

Disease

Blight – Blight of leaf is caused by the Phytophthora colocasiae. This can be controlled by applying mancozeb 0.2%.

Leaf blight

2.9 Harvesting

Harvesting is done after 6 months. Irrigation is checked 1 moth prior to harvest.

2.10 Yield

10 ton per hectare.




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