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Organic Farming: UP farmers growing indigo with 70% less water

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Jul 25, 2022 8:00 PM

Read Time: 2 minute

A group of farmers near Lucknow successfully grew indigo while using 70% less water than usual. The crop, also known as "blue gold," is primarily grown in a number of southern states as well as West Bengal. Because it uses less water and organic manure, experts believe the new model is sustainable, replicable, and environmentally friendly.

Ram Khilawan's farmers' group believes indigo has the potential to become a new cash crop in the region. According to Ram Khilawan, because mint is in high demand in the beauty, ayurvedic, and food industries, most farmers in central UP grow it in addition to rice and sugarcane.

"Crop farming is a win-win situation for farmers. However, because the economics of the process are frequently a deciding factor, earnings per acre from indigo are twice that of mint,” he continued.

Advantages of Indigo cultivation

According to agricultural experts, farmers can harvest an indigo crop twice a year. Indigo does not require much fertiliser and is not eaten by stray cattle. This eliminates the risk of harvest loss. According to Dharmendra Kumar Gupta, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, if the indigo produced by the farmers in the area is purchased at a reasonable price, the crop will be more beneficial to them than any other traditional cash crop (ICAR).

According to him, Indigo roots have nodules that contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which improves soil fertility. "Farmers can capitalize on this aspect of Indigo by growing it alongside traditional crops on their farms," Gupta adds.

According to the official, another advantage of indigo cultivation is that farmers can sell it directly to buyers. "Farmers harvest the plant shoot and transport it to a refinery to extract the oil in peppermint cultivation. The oil extracted is then sold to traders,” he claims.

Farmers sell the entire plant to indigo producers after cutting it a few centimetres above the root. The whole shoot is used to extract the dye, which is then concentrated and dried before being sold.

Also Read: Learn organic farming from a duo who has taught over 8000 farmers at their Jaipur farm

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