Vertical Column Betel Leaf Farming
Generally, you may have seen betel leaf cultivation in a traditional method. But now we’ll show a video on, modern way of betel leaf farming. Watch the following video for a better understanding.
This is a vertical column method of betel leaf farming and a new way of cultivation practice for maximum profits. Recently this type of cultivation is implemented in black pepper cultivation. But the same method is followed in betel leaves farm.
What are the benefits of growing betel leaf vertically?
The main benefit is long-term cultivation.
One can earn monthly up to Rupees 25000 in small space of land, consider 4 to 5 cents land.
Harvesting starts soon after 6 months, normally within 1 year, later it’s a continuing source of earning.
Betel leaf is popularly known as “Paan” in India. The betel vine leaves are in deep green color with heart shape which is widely used in India and the scientific name of betel vine is Piper betel. There are more than 90 varieties of betel vine in the world, of which about 45 are found in India and 30 varieties in West Bengal itself. Betel leaf is grown in tropics and subtropics for its evergreen leaves.
Betel leaf as a cash crop
This plant is grown as a cash crop in southern parts of India, mostly in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, and in many other states. Paan or Betel leaves have good export potential and India exports betel leaves to the neighboring countries. This plant has lots of health benefits too.
Commercial varieties of Betel leaf
There are commercial varieties of Betel leaf or Paan cultivated across India. As before said there are more than 90 varieties of betel leaf plants found. Different states have their own different Commercial varieties of Betel leaf.
Betel leaf grows very well in a tropical climate with high rainfall and shady places are the best for its good growth.
Soil requirement and preparation
Paan or Betel Leaf can be grown in a wide range of soils such as sandy loam, heavy clayey loam. Supplementing the soil with good organic matter results in the best growth and higher yield. Soil should have good drainage as well. Soil should be sterilized thoroughly before planting the cuttings.
Betel leaf plant care
One month after the plantation of betel leaf, young shoots begin appearing. These are trained along with the support and tied with them using jute fiber or banana fiber once every 2 to 3 weeks.
Manures and fertilizers of Betel leaf crop
The manures and fertilizers should be applied in 4 to 6 split doses at a 2 to 3 months interval period. Cow dung manure and neem cake or sesamum cake is the best fertilizer for betel plantations to grow organically.
How do you farm betel leaves?
In betel leaf propagation, stem cuttings having 3 to 5 nodes are used and these are planted in such a fashion that 2 to 3 nodes are buried in the soil. A single node cutting with a mother betel leaf is also planted.
Building rectangular structures and supports in betel leaf farming
The column Cultivation method uses materials like Mesh, PVC pipe, or Cement Pipe as Support stands. Here we’re showing Cement Pipe stands in betel plantation. This is an effective method of growing in long term. And maintenance costs in the trellis structure will be reduced.
Otherwise in the traditional method of betel plantation, you need to change structures and supports every year as they become weak. Column Method or vertical farming method can be applied if you are not having enough support trees to grow betel leaf.
The main advantage of vertical farming is that it doesn’t need acres of land instead we can choose structures like buildings, tunnels, gardens, or a particular area that we wish to cultivate. Betel leaf farming in this way is also known as intensifying Betel leaf using the column method. It is mainly suited for the large-scale production of quality betel vines and leaves.
Is betel leaf farming profitable?
The net profits from 1-acre betel leaf farming are about Rupees 5 lakhs. However, the farmer must maintain proper care and management in the betel leaf or pan leaf farm. But remember, developing a Betel leaf farm with this type of Cement Pipe for big land or on acres may require huge investment. This is best, especially for small space land. Also in large-scale Betel cultivation is labor-intensive. A betel leaf farm requires frequent watering, plucking of leaves, applying fertilizers and pesticides.
Investments in Betel leaf farming
The initial investment of betel leaf cultivation including the construction of an artificial rectangular structure may be around Rupees 1 to 2 lakhs/ha at the minimum during the first year. But for small-scale like 4-5 cents land investment may incur within Rupees 30000.