ChapterPDF Available

Training Manual on Organic Farming in Sikkim

Authors:
  • Spices Board (Ministry of Commerce & Industry Govt. of India)
  • Indian Cardamom Research Institute

Abstract

Organic farming system in Sikkim
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sKM/TM/201e/O1
TRAINING MANUAL
ON
ORGANIC FARMING IN SIKKIM
qr{t}r'Iq
ICAFT
Editors
R..If. Auasthe
Ashish Yadaa
Organized by
ICAR_NATIONAL ORGANIC FARMING RESEARCH INSTITUTE
(FORMERLY ICAR RESEARCH COMPLEX FOR NEH REGION, SIKKIM CENTRE)
TADON G.7 37 IO2, GANGTOK, SIKKIM
Training Monual on sKM/TM/ 2019/ o1
Organic Farming in Sikkim
Editors
R.K. Avasthe
Ashish Yadav
Editorial Committee Members
Rafiqullslam
Raghavendra Singh
Matber Singh
Chandan Kapoor
Sudip Kumar Dutta
Shaon Kumar Das
Shweta Singh
Chandramani Raj
Mukesh Bhatt
Amit Kumar
P.K. Pathak
Janak Kumar Singh
Manoj Kumar
Boniface Lepcha
Anushree Gogoi
All Rights Reserved
O May 2019, ICAR-National Organic Farming Research lnstitute, Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim
Correct Citation
Avasthe, R.K. and Yadav, Ashish (Eds.) 2019. Training Manual on Organic Farming in Sikkim. Published by
ICAR-National Organic Farming Research lnstitute (Formerly ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region,
Sikkim Centre), Tadong-737102, Gangtok, Sikkim, India. 496 p. (SKIWTIW20l9/01)
Published by
Joint Director
ICAR-National Organic Farming Research Institute
(formerly ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Sikkim Centre)
Tadong-737 I 02, Gangtok, Sikkim
E-mail: i dsikkim. icar@ gmail.corn
For further information contoct:
The Director
ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region,
Umiam- 793103. Umroi Road. Meghalaya
t"trt t t r......tttt.... t t t tt'
::ii;'.. i,ninni, :iix
"" "'.....""...j" "'.':.
29 Soil Organic Carbon: Sequestration Strategy
under Organic Management Shoon Kr. Dos, R. K. Avosthe, Ashish
Yadav, M. Singh, C. Kapoor, S. K.
Dutta, C. Raj
276-289
30 Organic Production Technology of Red Cherry
Pepper (Dalle Khursani) Boniface Lepcha, P. K. Pathak, Janak
Kumar Singh and Manoj Kumar
3l Organic Production Technology of Turmeric Boniface Lepcha, P. K. Pathak, Janak
Kumar Singh and Manoj Kumar 297-305
32 Nursery Management for Successful Vegetable
Production Boniface Lepcha, P. K. Pathak, Janak
Kumar Singh and Manoj Kumar 306-316
JJ Organic Production Technology of Ginger Boniface Lepcha, P. K. Pathak, Janak
Kumar Singh and Manoj Kumar 317-323
34 Organic Management of Insect Pests in
Agricultural and Horticultural Crops H. Kalita 324-336
35 Organic Oyster
Techniques Mushroom Production Shweta Singh, Chandramani Raj,
Sangay Chuzem Lepcha ond Kala
Chhetri
337-342
36 Shweta Singh, Chandramani Roj,
Chandan Kapoor, Kalo Chhetri and
Sangay Chuzem Lepcha
343-3s IOyster Mushroom
Techniques Spawn Production
37 Biological Control of Plant Pathogens and
Mechanisms of Action Shweta Singh, Chondromani Raj,
Ashish Yadov, Sangay Chuzem Lepcha
qnd Kala Chhetri
3s2-362
38
-/
Mechanism of Action of Bio-Control Agents for
the Management of Plant Pathogens in Organic
Conditions
Chandramani Raj, Shweta Singh,
Matber Singh, Ashish Yodav, Chondon
KapoorandSKDas
363-367
/39 Organic Nutrient Management
Cardamom Large B.A. Gudade, Amit Kumar, Ashutosh
Gautam, .LS. Bora, T.N. Deka, K.
Dhanapal, A.B. Remashree, Subhash
Babu and Raghavendra Singh
368-374
/40 Postharvest Management of Large Cardamom in
India B.A. Gudade, Ashutosh Gautam, S.S.
Bora, T.N. Deka, K. Dhanapal, A.B.
Remashree, Subhash Babu, Amit
Kumar and Raghavendra Singh
375-38 I
41 OLrtline of Organic AnimalHusbandry in Sikkim Rafiqul Islam, R. K. Avasthe, Mukesh
Bhatt, P. K. Pathok qnd Ashish Yadav 382-391
42 Health Management in Livestock for Profitable
Farming in Sikkim Muke.sh Bhatt, Rafiqul Islam, R. K.
Avosthe, P. K. Pathqk, Amit Kumar and
Raghavendra Singh
392-399
43 Vanaraja Chicken Farming: A Growing Rural
Enterprise in Sikkim Rafiqul Islam, R. K. Avasthe and
Mukesh Bhatt 400-413
44. Feeding with Locally Available Feed lngredients
for Pig Production in Rural Sikkim P.K. Pathak, B. Lepcha, M. kmar,
J.K. Singh and M. Bhatt 4t4-417
290-296
Training Monual on Organic Farming in Sikkim Chapter 39
ORGANIC NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT IN LARGE CARDAMOM
B.A. Gudodet, Amit Kumara, Ashutosh Gautamt, S.S. Borat, T.N. Dekat, K. DhanapaP, A.B
Remashree2, Subhosh Babd and Raghwendro Singha
Ilndian Cardamom Research Institute, RRS, Spices Board, Tadong-737 102, Sikkim India
2lndian Cardamom Research lnstitute, Spices Board, Myladumpara, Idukki- 685 553, Kerala,
3ICAR Research Complex forNEH Region, Umiam- 793103, Meghalaya, India
4ICAR-National Organic Farming Research Institute, Tadong-737 102, Sikkim, India
Sikkim is a little mountainous State in the Eastern Himalayas with formidable physical features
having a total geographical area of 7,096 sq km comprising0.22Yo of the total graphical area of
India, Sikkim lies between 27o 04' 46" -28o 07' 48- N lat. and 880 00' 58" - 880 55' 25" E long
(Arrawatia and Tambe 2012). It is the 22'd State of India came into existence with effect from
l6th May, 1975. Sikkim, a small State in the Eastern Himalaya, it has about 15.68% of cultivable
area out of the total geographical area of 709,600 hectare. Per capita availability is 0.12 ha of net
cultivated area and 0.60 ha of forest area. In Sikkim Cereals, pulses, fruits, vegetables,
floriculture and spice crops are cultivated. In spice crops mainly large cardamom, ginger,
turmeric and cherry pepper are cultivated in the state. Horticulture is an economically viable and
environmentally sustainable driver of socio-economic development in Sikkim. The agriculture in
Sikkim is organic by default, however officially the State has been declared organic from 2003
and attained fully organic status in the year 2016. Farmers of Sikkim not using any chemical
inputs in large cardamom as they are habituated to traditional method of cultivation since time
immemorial, which is eco-friendly and economical due to use of local resources.
Large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxburgh) is a member of Zingiber?ceae family as well
as oldest cultivated spices crop in our country and important cash crop of North Eastern Hill
Region (Gupta et al., 2012). In Sikkim Himalayas it is cultivated since time immemorial and
believed to be the native of the state (Vi-iayan et a1.,2013; Gudade et a1.,2015). [t is also
cultivated in Darjeeling district of West Bengal, North Eastem Hill states like Arunachal
Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram. Manipur, Meghalaya and some parts of Uttarakhand. Three
adjoining countries of lndia v12., Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar are also cultivating of large
cardamom (Deka et. al., 2014).lt is used as a flavoring in dishes like Pulavou, Biriyani and meat
preparations. It is an ingredient in curry powder and spice masala mixtures and is also used in
Ayurvedic and Unani medicines. It has applications in flavoring cola, biscuits and liquors
(Gudade et al.,20l3a). It is also known different names as in Hindi: Bara Elaichi, Bengali: Bara
Elaichi, Malayalam: Perelam, Punjabi: Bara Elaichi, Sanskrit: Brihadael4 Tamil: Periya yalam,
Telugu: Peddayelaki and Urdu: Bara Elaichi. Sikkim is the major producer of large cardamom
and constitute lion share of Indian and world market. The demand of organic large cardamom is
rising rapidly in the global markets due to it's numerous of benefits (Gudade et ol.,20l3b). But
productivity of large cardamom is low compared to world productivity. Various factors are
368lPage
responsible for low productivity i.e. lack of good agronomic practices, nuffient deficiency in soil,
weed managoment, water managemenf insurgence of insect pest and disease. The faulty nutrient
management practices are the one of the major factor for limiting the crop productivity.
Therefore, there is a need to fulfill the nutrient requirement of large cardamom with eco-friendly
options for better nutrient management in organic farming. The various organic sources of
nutrients i.e. vermicompost, farmyard manure, compost, crop residues, green manures, oil cakes
etc. are eco-friendly and viable options to supplement the nutrient demand. Thus, organic sources
of nutrients are supplying macro and micro nutrients for longer time and sustain the crop
productivity and soil health in the era of climate change.
Brief characteristics of soil found in Sikkim
.f. Texture: l,oamy sand to silty clay loam
* Soil reaction: All acidic, having pH ranging from 4.3 to 6.4 with mean value 5.37
* Organic matter content: High, between0.36Yoto 5.610/o with mean value2.74%o
.!. Available nitrogen: 10-280 ppm with mean value 99.21ppm
.t Available phosphorous: 4.0-175 ppm with mean value 46.87 ppm
.i. Available potash: 45 to 490 ppm with mean value 184.71 ppm
{. Lime requirement: Most between 2.0 tonnes per acre but varies fiom 0 to 16 tonnes per
acre (Source: Agriculture Deportment (Soil), Government of Silkim).
Soil fertility status of Sikkim
The soil pH varied from 4.3 to 6.4. The organic carbon content ranged from 0.36 to 5.60 while
sand, silt and clay content of the soils were55.0- 98.0%,7.0-29.AYo and 4.0 - 24.0Yo,
respectively. The available nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content of the soils varied from
10.0-280.8, 4.0-175.0 and 45.0490.0 ppm, respectively. The total Zn, Cu, Mn, Fe, B and Mo
content of soil varied widely. The soils are rich in available Zn, Cu, Mn and Fe however; about
94 Yo of the soil could be rated as deficient in available boron and 85%o in available Molybdenum
(Source: Soils of Sikkim, State of Ewironment 2007-Sikkim).
Organic nutrient management practices
Organic nutrient management aims to build a healthy, living soil, in which the action of soil
organisms on active (decomposable) soil organic matter releases most of the nutrients required
by the crop. A diversity of organic materials, including cover crops, compost, organic mulches,
and crop residues, is returned to the soil to feed soil life, replenish organic matter, and replace
nutrients removed in harvest (Liebhardt, 2001). The judicious use of nutrients to crop that helps
in enhancing the nutrient use efficiency and reduces the nutrient losses.
1. Soil acidity management
Soil acidity is caused by hydrogen (H*) and aluminium (Al#*) ions in the soil solution. It has
a major influence on the availability of essential nutrients.
369lPage
Strongly acidic Strong alkalinity
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Soil acidity is managed in agricultural soils by applying liming materials, primarily ground
limestone @ 2W-5W kg/ha during field preparation time. The carbonates in these materials
react to neutralize the acidity in the soil.
6 ag Q3+2 H*:Ca2*+C O 2+HzO
2. Crop residues management
Crop residues are the important source of nutrients. Burning of crop residues due to lack of
efficient and user-friendly technologies for in-situ recycling not only leads to loss of
considerable amount of N, P and S and but also contributes to the global COz budget and
destruction of beneficial micro-flora of the soil. Plants are left growing or killed and their
residues left to decompose in situ.
3TOlPage
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Boron
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Agricultural crop
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Crop residue
Labile (e.9., cellulose, protein) and
recalcitrant (e.9., lignin) compounds
I
Root exudates
Resistant fraction Simple sugars, amino acids
i
),
Microbial biomass
fr
Anaerobic \q Aerobic
CO2, N mineralization
t-
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Conceptual model of nutrient pathways in crop residue added soils
The primary function of this is to protect organic matter enriched topsoil against chemical and
physical weathering. Plant residues intercept energy from falling raindrops, provide a barrier
from strong winds, and moderate temperatures, improving infiltration rate and decreasing surface
evaporation losses of water. Surface cover also enhanced biological activity by providing food
for soil microbes. The retention/incorporation of crop rcsidue on soil surface that add organic
matter in the soil after decomposition and improve soil physical, chemical and biological
properties.
3. Inclusion of legume as green manure
Now a day's there is need of inclusion of green manure crops between the rows of large
cardamom that intemrpts the life cycle of many weeds, thereby leading to a reduction in overall
weed growth. Leguminous green manures/cover crops are grown specifically to help maintain
soil fertility and productivity. It increases the soil organic matter (SO|O in at least one of two
ways by decreasing erosion and,/or by adding fresh plant residues to the soil. [rguminous cover
crops offer the added advantage of being able to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and add it to
the soil, thereby inueasing overall nitrogen availability for other crops.
Resistant fraction
371lPage
4. Source ofnutrients
Various sources of nutrients are available it will be applying judicially then increase
sustainability of crop productivity as well as improve the soil health.
5. Organic nutrient management
The average dry leld of large cardamom ranges from 230-250 kglha which may reach up to
1000 to 1200 kglha based on soil health by timely application of organic inputs and thus
sustainable fertility status of large cardamom soil.
Mainfwld preparation (First Year)
Main field is cleared of all the under growth. weeds etc before on set of monsoon. Old large
cardamom plants, if any may also be removed pits of size 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm are prepared
on contours at a spacing of 1.5 m x 1.5 m from the centre of the pits. Wider spacing of 1.8 m x
1.8 m is recommended for robust cultivars like Ramla, Ramsey, Sawney, and Varlangey etc.
while closer spacing 1.2 m x 1.2 m is advised for non-robust cultivators like Dzongu Golsey,
Seremna etc. Pits are left open for weathering for a fortnight and then filled with topsoil mixed
with cow dung composUFYM @4 - 5 kg per pit. Pit making and filling operation should be
completed in the third week of May before the onset of pre-monsoon showers. The ideal time
for planting of large cardamom is June-July.
Afierftrst year of plonting
In large cardamom, much of the nutrients are removed by leafr shoots and very less by capsules
and spikes. Old lea$ shoots, removed during harvesting are recycled as soil mulch. As this crop
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372lPage
OItGANIC
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is grown under forest cover, manuring and application of nutrients is usually practiced. Being a
low-volume and less nutrient-exhausting crop, it has a degree of sustenance in terms of nutrient
cycling. However, to get sustainable high yield organic inputs application is necessary. To obtain
maximum yield, the nutrients are applied at optimum time as and when nutrient demand is more.
To reduce nutrient losses and enhancing nutrient use efliciency, the appropriate method of
nutrient application can be chosen. Replenishment of nutrients is very essential for sustained
good yield and to compensate the nutrient loss from the soil. Application of well*decomposed
cattle manure/compost or organic products @ 5 kglplant at least twice a year in April-May and
August-September is beneficial. Application of organic inputs in two times, once in April-May
after the first summer showers and second in August-September before monsoon ceases
increases yield. Vermicompost, having favourable impact on soil physical properties and good
source of nutrients, particularly in the beds is gradually becoming popular organic manure and
may be applied @ I kglclump in two equal doses in combination with FYM. Nutrients are
applied along a circular band at a distance of 30-45 cm from the clump, with mild forking.
Application of Azospirillum and phosphate solubilizing bacteria @ 50 glplant along with organic
inputs was found to be effective in enhancing the yield (Gudade et al.,20l3b). After application
of organic nutrients in August/September, the nutrients are covered with mulch and soil from the
adjacent areas, so as to form a mulch-soil base. It helps to improve the physical make up of soil,
with more moisture retention capacity, cover the exposed roots and help the plant to withstand
the ensuing dry winter season. As per the crop groMh application of organic inputs may be
increased for getting higher and higher yield (Anonymous, 1998a). Large cardamom cultivation
is a natural farming with least external inputs and interference with the soil-ecosystem. Organic
recycling of nutrients is very essential for sustained productivity.
Conclusion
The demand of organic large cardamom is rising rapidly in the global markets because it has
numerous benefltts. But productivity of large cardamom is low compared to world productivity.
Various factors are responsible for low productivity. The faulty nutrient management practices
are the one of the major factor for limiting the crop productivity. The various organic sources of
nutrients i.e. vermicompost, farmyard manure, composl crop residues, green manures, oil cakes
etc. are eco-friendly and viable options to supplement the nutrient demand. Thus, organic sources
of nutrients are supplying macro and micro nutrients for longer time and sustain the crop
productivity and soil health in the era of climate change.
References
L Anonymous (1998a) Spices Board's Annual report (1997-98). Spices Board, Sugandha
Bhawan, Cochin.
2. Arrawatia M.L- and Tambe Sandip (2012) Biodiversity of Sikkim: Exploring and
Conserving a Global Hotspot. Current Science,102 (8): 1212-1213.
373lPage
3. Deka T.N., Gudade B.A, Saju K.A, Vijayan A.K, Chhetri P (2014). Foraging behavior of
Bumble bee (Bombus breviceps) in large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb.) at Dzongu,
North Sikkim. Ecologt, Erwironment and Conservation,20: 197-199.
4. Gudade B.A., Chhetri P., Deka T.N., Gupta U. and Vijayan A.K. (2013a) Large cardamom;
A spice crop with multiple uses. Indian Journal of Arecanut, Spices and Medicinal Plants,
15 (4): 14-t6.
5. Gudade B.A., Chhetri P., Gupta U., Deka T.N. and Vijayan A.K. (2013b) Organic
cultivation of large cardamom (Amomum subulotum Roxb.) in Sikkim. Populor Kheti,l (3):
4-9.
6. Gudade B.A.. Harsha K.N., Vijayan A.K., Chhetri P., Deka T.N., Babu Subhash and Singh
Raghavendra (2015). Effect of soil application of Zn, Mn and Mg on growth and nutrient
content in large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb.) at Sikkim. International Journal of
Farm Sciences, 5: 5 l-55.
7. Gupta U. Chhetri P, Gudade B.A (2012). Collection, characterization, evaluation and
conservation of germplasm of large cardamom. Green Farming International Journal 3:
499-500.
8. Liebhardt B. (2001) Get the facts straight: organic agriculture yields are good. Organic
Farming Reseorch Foundation Information Bulletin, l0 (l): 4-5.
9- Vijayan A.K., Chhetri P., Gudade B.A., Deka T.N. and Gupta U. (2013) Mass multiplication
and use of bioagents for disease management in large cardamom in Sikkim. Life Sciences
LeaJlets,9: 75-83.
374lPage
Training Monual on Organic Farming in Sikkim Chapter 40
POST HARVEST MANAGEMENT OF LARGE CARDAMOM IN INDIA
B.A. Gudqdet , Ashutosh Gautomt , S.S. Borat , T.N. Dekot , K. Dhanapal2, A.B. Remashree2 ,
Subhosh Bab#, Amit Kumora and Raghavendra Singha
rlndian Cardamom Research Institute, RRS, Spices Board, Tadong-737 102, Sikkim India
2tndian Cardamom Research Institute, Spices Board Myladumpar4 ldukki- 685 553, Kerala.
3ICAR Research Complex forNEH Region, Umiam- 793 103, Meghalaya, tndia
4ICAR-National Organic Farming Research Institute, Tadong-737 102, Sikkim,lndia
Horticulture is an economically viable and environmentally sustainable driver of socio-economic
development in Sikkim. It is estimated that more than 80% of the populace of the State is
dependent on Agriculture. The arable land in Sikkim is about 1.09 lakh hectares which is 16%o of
the total geographical area of the State. The net cultivable area is approximately 79,000 ha. The
agriculture is mainly rainfed with irrigated area around I l% only. Though the agriculture in
Sikkim is organic by default; State has been officially declared organic from 2003 and has to
attain fully organic status by 2016- In Sikkim cereals, pulses, fruits, vegetables, floriculture and
various spice crops are grown. ln spices large cardamom, ginger, furmeric and cherry pepper are
major spices cultivated in the state.
l"arge cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxburgh) a member of the family, Zingiberaceae under
the order Scitaminoe is spice cultivated in the sub-Himalayan region of north-eastem India,
especially in Sikkim since time immemorial (Gudade et al., 2016\. In past the aboriginal
inhabitants of Sikkim, Lepchas, collected capsules of large cardamom from natural forest, but
later on these forests passed into village ownership and the villagers started cultivation of large
cardamom. The presence of wild species, locally known as churumpa, and the variability within
the cultivated species supports the view of its origin in Sikkim (Subba, 1984).
Later the cultivation has spread to Darjeeling district of West Bengal and north-eastern States of
lndia viz., Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. Nepal. Bhutan and Myanmar are the other three
countries cultivating large cardamom. Sikkim is the major producer of large cardamom; the
annual production in India is about 350H000 mt. The average dry yield ranges from 240-260
kg/ha (Gupta et ol.,2Al2), but in well maintained large cardamom plantations yield may reaches
up to l00G-1500 kg/ha. Large cardamom is used as a spice and contains2-3o/o essential oils.
Seeds also possess certain medicinal properties. as carminative, stomachic, diuretic, cardiac
stimulant, antiemetic and are a remedy for throat and respiratory troubles (Rao er al., 1993 and
Gudade et a1.,2013).
After large cardamom harvest, individual capsules are separated manually. Capsules after harvest
are cured to reduce moisture level to 10-12 per cent. The traditional curing is called Bhatti
375lPage
curing system (direct heat drying). Large cardamom is also cured by flue pipe curing system
(indirect heat drying).
Curing of Large cardamom under traditional bhatti and ICRI improved bhatti
Curing in Traditional bhotti
The curing or drying process of large cardamom capsule is primitive one. Curing in traditional
bhatti, imparts inferior quality produce. As it involves the direct heating process. Because of
direct heating in traditional bhatti, capsules could not so far reach its consumers with its original
colour, amma and flavour. The traditional bhatti curing system takes away its colour and unique
flavour, leaving it with smoky smell and charred unattractive colour. But farmers are using the
system as it is acquainted with them. More over there was no other viable alternative of the
system.
Venture of ICRI Regional Station, Spices Board, Tadong, Gangtok
Although efforts were made in the past by several organizations to improve the system of curing,
all of them remained unacceptable to the farming community, for one orthe other reasons such
as high establishment cost, risk on handling, poor quality of produce etc. Hence, the Regional
Station of ICRI at Gangtok improved the existing curing system by installing flue pipes. At
present the improved bhatti is available in 200 kg and 400 kg of fresh capsules of large
cardamom capacity and the technology is popularized among farmers in Sikkim region by
officials of Spices Board of this region (Deka et a1.,2014).
ICRI Improved bhotti (200 kg capacity)
The lower bhatti is made by cutting the soil to 2.4 x 1.8 x 1.5 m from a conveniently located
site/terrace and pitched with rubbles so that the inner dimension is 1.8 x 1.2 x 1.35m. An oil
drum of 60 cm diameter or a fumace (90 x 45 x 45 cm) is placed at the centre to serve as the fire
place. Flue pipes run from hearth all along the lower half of the bhatti and finally the pipe is
connected to an exhaust hood of height 2-4 m high. An iron net floor supported with G.I. Pipes /
wooden bars is fitted above the fire place for spreading fresh capsules through which hot air
moves upwards. Thirty cm high brick wall is provided all along the border. For conservation of
energy an upper curing chamber is provided with 90 cm high wall made of bamboo mat and
plastered with mud cow dung mix on the outer surface. Two opposite sides of the bamboo wall
have the doors (60 x 90 cm) for opening and closing while handling. A roof made of G.I. sheet
(22 gauges) with two ventilators is placed above bamboo walls (Deka et al.,2014).
ICRI Improveil bhatti (400 kg capacity)
Like the improved Bhatti of 200 kg capacity, this system also consists of two parts viz., a lower
bhatti and an upper curing chamber with a larger working area. The lower bhaui is made by
cutting soil to 3.0 x 3-0 x 1.5 m from a conveniently located site/ terrace and pitched with rubbles
to inner dimension of 2-4 x 2.4 x I .35 m. An oil drum of 60 cm diameter or a furnace (90 x 45 x
376lPage
45 cm) is placed at the centre of the front wall and projected 52.5 cm inside into the lower bhatti.
Instead of one set of flue pipe used in 200 kg capacity, here two parallel sets of flue pipes (15 cm
diameter) made of GI sheet (22 gauge), each runs from the heardr all along the lower half of the
bhatti in two rectangular paths (180 x 60 cm), keeping a distance of 30 cm from the wall and 30
cm down the strong iron net. Finally the flue pipes are connected to two opposite exhausts of 2.4
m high. A strong iron net (high tempered) is spread over GI pipes (3.0 m x 1.25 cm diameter at
15 cm spacing) / wooden bar as support. A stone wall (30 cm high) is provided all along the
border to contain capsules for curing. An upper curing chamber made of bamboo mats with two
doors (60 x 90 cm ) are fitted in adjacent / opposite walls of 90 cm high, and plastered with mud
- cow dung mix on the outer surface. Upper chamber is covered with GI sheet as roof with two
ventilators (30 x 15 cm). Two holes (6 cm diameter) at ground level are provided for inlet of cold
air inside the lower bhatti / chamber (Deka et a1.,2014).
Curing in ICRI Improved bhotti
Fire wood is burnt in the hearth to generate smoke laden hot air, to pass through the flue pipes
and finally escapes through the outlet / exhaust. In the process, the air inside the lower bhatti gets
heated up and passes upward through the large cardamom capsules spread on the iron net. Vapor
generated in the process escapes through the ventilators, if needed by opening of doors for a
while. Two holes (6 cm diameter) at ground level are provided for inlet of cold air inside the
bhatti. Superior quality capsule can be achieved through ICRI Improved bhatti (Deka et al.,
2014\.
Salient Features of ICRI Improved bhotti
{. Natural colour and unique flavor of cured cardamom is retained which is lacking in local
system.
.3. The system is very simple, dismantle, portable type and assembling materials are light in
weight.
* The system is fabricated with materials available locally.
* Any type of fire wood / Agricultural waste can be used as fuel.
* Easy to work and no hardship is faced by the workers as experienced while working in
local bhatti.
* The additional cost over the local bhatti is affordable even by the local growers.
TaiV calyx cutting and polishing
The tail of large cardamom capsules is partially detached when it is rubbed against a wire mesh
just after curing. In this way, the thick external layer of capsules can also be detached. The tails
are usually physically cut with scissors by the local traders. Capsules with the tail removed are
graded as lroinchi-cut and those with the tail intact as non-koinchi- cal. Machine for removing
capsule tails has been devised. Indian Cardamom Research Institute, Regional Research Station,
Spices Board, Tadong evaluated a cardamom polisher for possible use as a tail-cutting machine.
3TTl?age
Grading
Farmers tend to sell their produce without grading which fetches less market price though there
are two grades used to mention chota danq and bada dana. Grading is mainly done by the trader
for their marketing purpose. Trader use different sieves to grade their produce which is not
having any uniformity. Indian Cardamom Research lnstitute, RRS, Tadong, Spices Board
developed four sieve standardizing the grades for large cardamom (Deka et al., 2Al5). As per
the traders view five grades of large cardamom based on sieves size standardized (Table l).
Table l: Comparison with exporters grades in Siliguri, West Bengal and grade as per traders
vlew.
Packaging and storage
Large cardamom capsules and seeds shall be packed in clean and sound containers made of a
material which does not affect the product but protects it from the ingress of moisfure and loss of
volatile matter. The properly dried capsules should be allowed to cool and then packed in
polyhene lined jute bags. The bags may be stored on wooden platform away from sidewall to
avoid absorption of moisture and thereby to avoid fungal growth on the stored produce. The
store should be dry, free from objectionable odours and proofed against the entry of insects. The
ventilation should be controlled as so to ensure good ventilation during dry weather and to be
fully closed during wet weather. [,arge cardamom packages should be handled and transported in
such a way that they are protected from rain, from the sun or other sources of excessive heat,
from objectionable odours and from any other contamination.
Quality standards
* Curing: Curing should be done till moisture content of the produce is brought down to
l0-l2yo level & gives metallic sound while shuffling.
* Odour and tastez The odour of large cardamom capsules and seeds shall be characteristic
and fresh. They shall be free from foreign odour and taste.
* Free from insects and moulds; Large cardamom capsules and seeds shall be free from
live insects and moulds, and shall be practically free from dead insects, insect fragments
SI.
No Grade Name Specifications Grade Name Specifications
ICRI,RS Tadong
IBadadana >l.5cm Extra Bold Hand pick >l.5cm
2. Medium Badadana or
Goldana 1.3-l.5cm Medium Bold tailcut >1.4 but<l.5cm
3Chhotadana 1.2-l.3cm Medium tail cut >1.3 but<l.4cm
4. Pan grade or Pan variety <l.2cm Chotta tailcut >1.2 but<l.3cm
5. Pan variety or Pan dana
tail cut <l.2cm
378lPage
and rodent contamination (at least from normal visible view). Insect damaged capsules
and seeds are to be separated.
* Freefrom eflraneous mstter: Large cardamom capsules and seeds shall be free from
visible dirt or dust.
* Free from empty and malformed copsules: The empty (i.e. without any seeds) or
malformed capsules, or those which are scantily filled with seeds are to be removed.
* Freefrom immature and shriveled capsules; The immature and shriveled capsules
(which are not fully developed) are to be removed (Chhetri et al.,2Al4).
Marketing
The marketing of large cardamom is conffolled by traders and is exclusively in the unorganized
sector. It involves a number of intermediaries right from the production centre at the village level
to the final consumer - the house hold sector, industry and export clients. ln fact, there is an
average of three to five intermediaries between the producer and the final consumer. In order to
streamlining the large cardamom market Spices Board made it mandatory to trader of large
cardamom to obtain cardamom trader license from Spices Board and made it mandatory to
submit trade details to the Board. Spices Board also initiated large cardamom auction centre at
Singtam and Kalimpong by authorizing auctioneer for organized system of sales. At present, in
Sikkim and Darjeeling 102 nos. of large cardamom registered dealers are available in different
local market. Among them important market centre are Singtam, Gangtolg Rongli, Mangan,
Jorethang, Naya Bazar, Gyalshing, Rabangl4 Sukhiapokhri, Bijanbari and Simana. But large
cardamom market in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland is controlled from Siliguri which is the
major trade centre of large cardamom not only for Indian produce but also for Nepal and Bhutan
produce. Principal marketing centers for large cardamom are Delhi, Amritsar, Kanpur, Mumbai,
Calcutta and Hyderabad. Amritsar, Mumbai and Siliguri besides catering to the local demand,
are also the principal exporting centre for large cardamom. Major importing countries include
Pakistan and several countries of Middle East Asia.
Value chain
Large cardamom dried fruit has a high-value, low-volume spice crop grown only in the three
eastern Himalayan countries, are widely used in foods, beverages, perfumes and medicines.
Improved postharvest management would be one way to help ensure the sustainability of this
position crop. The value chain for large cardamom consists largely of traditional practices which
should be scientifically refined during a number of postharvest steps including marketing. The
large cardamom postharvest value chain consists of growers, collectors, traders, and exporters.
The primary processing steps required by the present market are scientific curing, tail cutting,
and grading. Curing is carried out by the farmers, and the remaining steps are done by
wholesalers. In India, large cardamom moves through two market channels. In the first, farmers
sell cured capsules through aggregators, and in the second, farmers sell them through contractors
379lPage
or bidders in an auction center. In both channels, the capsules then move on to wholesalers, then
retailers, and finally consumers (Bhutia et a1.,2018).
Trade
In India, a major portion of the product is consumed in the domestic market. The rest is exported
to other countries, including Australia, Canada, Pakistan, South Africa the United Arab
Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Pakistan has the largest share of the
market, as the product is exported to other countries is through Pakistan. Delhi, Kolkata, and
Guwahati are the major Indian domestic markets. About 90Yo of large cardamom produced in
Nepal is exported to India. lrss than 9o/o of the product is exported directly to Afghanistan,
Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and other Gulf countries. The large cardamom trade
involves a number of groups in between producers (farmers) and end users. In Nepal, local
dealers/wholesalers collect the product from farmers and sell it to exporters based in Birtamod
and Biratnagar. Export price fluctuation is the major problem for farmers and traders. Marginal
farmers used to take advances from local traders before the harvest season and repay the amount
with interest by selling their products to them. Another system is the dohadani, the selling of
crops in the field to local merchants, in which farmers display the haruested produce after drying.
These systems of marketing are common among large cardamom growers of Nepal who are in
need of cash in advance, but the price they get is lower because of it (Stoep 2010). The Indian
large cardamom market is a complex structure, as product inflow and outflow take place
simultaneously. However, it is apparent that a large quantity is consumed in the domestic market,
as the lndian export volume is comparatively low. The Spices Board of India controls and
monitors the spice trade in our country. Local dealers or wholesalers collect dried large
cardamom capsules from the farmers, perform minimal quality grading, and sell in bulk to
exporters. In this system, the price of the commodity is fixed between the farmer and the local
dealer, and farmers are usually paid less than the market average. Singtam, Gangtok, Jorethang,
Gyalshing, Naya Bazar, Rongli and Mangan are the major local large cardamom markets in
Sikkim (Anonymous 2007). Siliguri in North Bengal is the main trade junction for Indian large
cardamom; from there, it goes to other collection centers, such as Guwahati, Kolkat4 Delhi, and
Amritsar (Deka et al.,2Al5).
References
1. Anonymous. Proceedings of the Group Meeting held on 06-ll-2007. Tadong, Sikkim, India:
Indian Cardamom Research Institute, Regional Research Station. 2007.
2. Bhutia P.H. Sharangi A.B., Lepcha R. and Yonzone R. (2018) Post-harvest and value chain
management of large cardamom in hills and uplands. International Journol of Chemical
Studies,6 (l): 505-51 l.
3. Chhetri P., Gudade B.A., Gupta U., Deka T.N. and Vijayan A.K. (2014) Quality requirement
for large cardamom capsules. Popular Kheti,2 (l):36-38.
!l80 lPage
4- Deka T.N., Gudade 8.A., Chhetri P. and Vijayan A.K. (2014) Large cardamom curing
through [CRI, Improved bhatti : A breakthroug)r. Popular Kheti,2 (l): 39-41.
5. Deka T.N., Gudade B.A.. VijayanA.K. andChhetri P. (2015) Grade specification of large
cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb.) capsules in Sikkim and Darjeeling district of West
Bengal, India. Erwironment and Ecologt, 33 (3A): 13 18-1321.
6. Gudade B.A., Babu Subhash, Bora S.S., Dhanapal K. and Singh Raghavendra (2016) Effect
of Boron on Growth and Nutrition and Fertility Status of l,arge Cardamom in Sikkim
Himalaya, lndia. Journol of Applied and Naturol Science,S (2):822-a25.
7. Gudade B.A., Chhetri P., Gupta U., Deka T.N. and Vijayan A.K. (2013) Organic cultivation
of large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb.) in Sikkim. Popular Kheti,l (3): +-9.
8. Gupta U., Chhetri P. and Gudade B.A. (2012) Collection, characterization. evaluation and
conservation of germplasm of large cardamom. Green Farming International Journal, 3:
499-500.
9. Rao, Y.S., Kumar A., Chatterjee S., Naidu R. and George C.K. (1993) Large cardamom
(Amomum subulatum Roxb.) - a review. Journal Spices & Aromatic Crops, 2 (l & 2): l-l 5.
10. Stoep GAV. Enhancing Competitiveness of Nepal's large Cardamom Value Chain.
Kath mandu, Nepal : SNV Netherland s Developme nt ar ganization. 20 I 0.
ll. Subba J.R. (1984) Agriculture in the Hills of Sikhim. Sikkim Science Society, Gangtok,
Sikkim, p.286.
EEE
!!81 lPage
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The average productivity of large cardamom ranges from 240 to 260 kg/ha (Gupta, 1983). It is mainly cultivated in Sikkim, the Darjeeling hills and to some extent in North Eastern States (Singh, 1 978; John and Mathew' 1979; 1984; Gupta and John' 1987)' The decline in productivity of large cardamom is due to the absence of high yielding varieties, lack of sufficient genetically superior plant material, variation among progenies' transmission of viral diseases. To eradicate these problems the base material as high yielding frost tolerant, disease tolerant lines and other desirable characters associated with high productivity of large cardamom germplasm were collected and planted at research farm Kabi, North Sikkim. The germplasm were collected on the basis of high yielding,frost tolerant, disease tolerant lines and other desirable characters associated with high productivity of large cardamom. A total of 231 accessions are collected and conservation of these collected germplasm are made in two established conservatory at Pangthang Research farm East Sikkim and Kabi research farm North Sikkim. Large cardamom descriptor has been prepared for documentation.
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Amomum subulatum Roxb. is cultivated largely in the eastern Himalayan region viz., Nepal, Bhutan and Indian states comprising of Sikkim, Uttaranchal and Darjeeling district of West Bengal. It is widely used in foods, beverages, perfumes and having enormous medicinal values. Some popular cultivars include Ramsey, Sawney, Golsey and Varlangey. Curing is the most crucial step in processing as capsule quality largely depends on curing conditions and methods. Optimum curing temperature is 45–55 °C and is usually done in traditional bhattis. Dried capsules are usually packed in polythene-lined jute bags for storage at 11% moisture content. The postharvest value chain consists of growers, collectors, traders, and exporters. The primary processing steps required by the present market are curing, tail cutting and grading. Curing is carried out by the farmers, and the remaining steps are done by wholesalers. India exports large cardomom to Australia, Canada, Pakistan, UK, etc. Singtam, Gangtok, Jorethang, Rongli, and Mangan etc., are the major local markets in Sikkim while Siliguri is the main trade junction from where it is distributed to Guwahati, Kolkata and Delhi. Well processed quality capsules have great demand in the market and help the growers by protecting and promoting their livelihood. This article reviews the agrotechniques of cultivation, postharvest processing, quality issues and trade patterns of large cardamom towards increasing its quality and value and thereby to protect and promote the livelihoods of several thousands of people in the value chain. Keywords: Amomum subulatum, agrotechniques, post-harvest, value chain, marketing, hills and uplands
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Field experiment was conducted at Indian Cardamom Research Institute, Regional Research Station, Spices Board Kabi research farm North Sikkim to find out the effect of Boron nutrition on growth, nutrient content and soil fertility status of large cardamom. The experiment was laid out in RBD comprising seven treatments (T 1 soil application of borax@2.5 kg ha-1 , T 2 soil application of borax@5.0 kg ha-1 , T 3 foliar application of borax@0.25%, T 4 foliar application of borax @0.5%, T 5 foliar application of borax@0.25%+ soil application of borax@2.5 kg ha-1 , T 6 foliar application of borax@0.5%+ soil application of borax@2.5 kg ha-1 and T 7 control). Results reveal that foliar application of borax@0.5%+ soil application of borax@2.5 kg ha-1 recorded the maximum values of immature tillers per clump (2.98 and 3.95) and mature tillers per clump (2.99 and 3.11) during both September, 2013 and March, 2014 and vegetative buds per clump (2.90). With regards to nutrient content in leaf of large cardamom among the treatments, foliar application of borax@0.5%+soil application of borax@2.5 kg ha-1 recorded highest nutrient acquisition However, its effect was statistically non significant on K, S, Ca, Zn, Cu, Mn and Fe content and significant on N(2.59%), P (0.18%), Mg (0.39%) and B (15.45 ppm) content in leaf.
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Large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb.), a member of the family, Zingiberaceae under the order Scitaminae is the main cash crop cultivated in the sub-Himalayan state of Sikkim and Darjeeling district of West Bengal. Capsules used as spice. In domestic markets only two grades viz., chhota dana (small capsules) and bada dana (bold capsules) are available, without any specification. Bureau of Indian Standards (BSI) has standardized quality specifications for large cardamom. However, the size specification and bulk density for different grades is not standardized yet. Some traders export large cardamom to the International market (Pakistan, Bangladesh, UAE) in different grades prepared by trial and error methods. Hundred samples (one kg each) were collected from different planters in Sikkim and Darjeeling districts during 2011 to 2013 and maximum width of 100 capsules selected at random from each sample was measured using Vernier Callipers. Based on the percent distribution of capsules width, four sieves of mesh (circular) sizes viz., 1.2 cm, 1.3 cm, 1.4 cm and 1.5 cm corresponding to frequency distribution of capsules were made. In order to test the performance of sieves towards grading the capsules, 200 kg of dried were taken on for the study. Percentage of capsule retained on respective sieves as well as bulk density was determined. The graded samples were compared with the grades traded / exported by the traders in Gangtok (Sikkim), Siliguri (West Bengal) and it was found that these sieved samples correspond to the samples graded arbitraily by the traders / exporters. Scientific bases for these grades are presented in this paper.
Foraging behavior of Bumble bee (Bombus breviceps) in large cardamom
  • T N Deka
  • B A Gudade
  • K A Saju
  • A K Vijayan
  • P Chhetri
Deka T.N., Gudade B.A, Saju K.A, Vijayan A.K, Chhetri P (2014). Foraging behavior of Bumble bee (Bombus breviceps) in large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb.) at Dzongu, North Sikkim. Ecologt, Erwironment and Conservation,20: 197-199.
Organic cultivation of large cardamom
  • B A Gudade
  • P Chhetri
  • U Gupta
  • T N Deka
  • A K Vijayan
Gudade B.A., Chhetri P., Gupta U., Deka T.N. and Vijayan A.K. (2013) Organic cultivation of large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb.) in Sikkim. Popular Kheti,l (3): +-9.
Effect of soil application of Zn, Mn and Mg on growth and nutrient content in large cardamom
  • K N Harsha
  • A K Vijayan
  • P Chhetri
  • T N Deka
  • Babu Subhash
  • Singh Raghavendra
Harsha K.N., Vijayan A.K., Chhetri P., Deka T.N., Babu Subhash and Singh Raghavendra (2015). Effect of soil application of Zn, Mn and Mg on growth and nutrient content in large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb.) at Sikkim. International Journal of Farm Sciences, 5: 5 l-55.
Quality requirement for large cardamom capsules
  • P Chhetri
  • B A Gudade
  • U Gupta
  • T N Deka
  • A K Vijayan
Chhetri P., Gudade B.A., Gupta U., Deka T.N. and Vijayan A.K. (2014) Quality requirement for large cardamom capsules. Popular Kheti,2 (l):36-38.