Bolangir, June 17 (LocalWire): Located around 16 kilometres away from Bolangir town, in Dhamnasar village, an innovative farmer has developed a method for the cultivation of Moringa leaves, locally known as “Sajana Saga”.
Siddheshwar Mishra had planted drumstick trees around the land on which he was cultivating Potal (pointed gourd) in 1999, to create a boundary.
The drumstick trees also produced “Sajana Saga” or moringa leaves throughout the year.
Mishra spent his time learning about Moringa farming from the farmers of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh, after which he began collecting seeds.
He discovered that June is the best month for the beginning of the cultivation of Moringa leaves, although the plants can be planted any time of the year.
The plants are kept pest-free by applying an organic insecticide comprising of cow dung, cow urine and soil from under a banyan tree among others. This can be sprayed once in 20-25 days, he said.
“I also apply dried goat stool in order to increase the growth of my plants,” he said.
Mishra revealed that he boils several leaves like neem, dudura, amari and others in water and applies this concoction to make sure the plant is free of diseases.
The harvesting of leaves can be done after 3-4 months, farmers usually harvest it 7-8 times in a season.
After harvesting, the leaves are dried naturally and ground into a fine powder.
The leaves cultivated here contain more Vitamin B-12 than those cultivated elsewhere as I had this confirmed from laboratories, Mishra claimed.
It is a good medicine for people who have health problems relating to blood pressure. Moreover, none of the plants go to waste. The leaves are consumed by humans while the twigs/branches make for good animal fodder, he said.
Nearly, 15,000 plants can be planted in one acre of land and this can amount to leaf production of around 200-300 kg.
Declining to reveal details about the cost-benefit analysis of leaf cultivation per acre, Mishra said that its cultivation would not let farmers down and would improve their nutrition and overall health apart from providing significant economic benefits.
“It is a drought-resistant crop. I want the people of Bolangir to cultivate it and reap its benefits, and also export it to other companies so that Bolangir will be a healthy and financially strong district,” says Siddheshwar Mishra.