Aloe Vera Farming In India: What, Why& How?

Aloe Vera Farming In India: What, Why& How?

Climate needed for Aloe Vera Farming.

The optimum temperature is 10℃ to 35℃ in the outdoor conditions. Whereas, if cultivated indoors, the temperature should range between 16℃ to 25℃. Mean annual rainfall of 35-40 cm is enough since it is primarily a crop of tropical and subtropical regions

Aloe Vera is a completely warm tropical crop but can grow in various climatic conditions. The plant is drought resistant to a larger extent by means of various xerophytic adaptations and can grow in extremely low rainfall areas or drought-prone regions with mildly warm and humid conditions. However, the plant cannot tolerate temperate or extremely cold climatic conditions. Frost and snowy weather conditions are harmful to their growth.

Aloe Vera Farming

Suitable Soil for Aloe Vera Farming.

Aloe Vera is quite hardy in nature and thus can be cultivated on a wide range of soils starting from sandy soils to loamy soils. The plant can also tolerate a wide range of pH starting from mildly acidic to alkaline as high as the value of 8.5. Higher foliage in the soil is good for the plant and can tolerate a pretty fair range of salinity. Sandy soil with a neutral pH would be best suitable for aloe Vera farming.

It thrives best in light and grainy soils with low water holding capacity and that can be easily well-drained. Water stagnation can impose a huge problem for the plant as it is highly sensitive to it.

Recommended sowing times for Aloe Vera farming.

Kharif - Sowing starts in June and ends in August.

Since it is not a hardcore food crop, it has no particular season of sowing. In India, any time of the year is a good time for sowing the plants since the average temperature of India remains on the higher side. Still, for obtaining the best results, the suckers should be planted in the months of July-August. Otherwise, sowing can be done all around the year under proper irrigated conditions except for the months of the winter season.

Land preparation for Aloe Vera Farming.

Aloe vera Farming

Land should be ploughed and cross ploughed repeatedly for achieving the finest stage of tilth. To further increase the soil fertility, 15 to 20 tonnes of well-prepared farmyard manure should be added during the last plough.

Sowing Methods and tips for Aloe Vera Farming.

Aloe Vera plant reproduces asexually by means of the vegetative part of the plant known as suckers. The suckers of the plant should be planted keeping 40 cm distance with each other and spacing of 40 cm x 45 cm should be maintained.

Irrigation methods for Aloe Vera Farming.

It can be easily cultivated in normal rain-fed conditions like that of traditional farming. However, irrigation can also be provided in extreme drought-prone areas for commercial cultivation of the plants. Irrigation should be performed immediately after planting the suckers. A few irrigations in the extremely hot weather will result in better yields. But the most important part of providing irrigation or in the rainy season is to prevent stagnation of water. Excellent quality drainage should be ensured since it is highly sensitive to waterlogging.

Fertilizer Requirements for Aloe Vera Farming.

15 to 20 tonnes of well-prepared farmyard manure (FYM) should be applied per hectare of the plantation. Thereafter, the same dosage of FYM should be applied every year. Nevertheless, for basal doses, fertilizers like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N, P, and K) should be applied in the ratio of 1:1:1. For 1 hectare, 50 kilograms of N, P and K should be used.

Best Varieties of Aloe Vera Farming.

Globally there are around 150 species of aloe vera present. Some important species include -

  • Aloe barbedensis
  • Aloe indica
  • Aloe vulgaris
  • Aloe chinensis
  • Aloe perfoliata
  • Aloe littoralis
  • Aloe abyssinica

Some mentionable varieties released for the Indian market include IC111271, IC111269, IC111280, IC111273, IC111279 and IC111267 which were introduced by National Botanical and Plant Genetic Resource (ICAR), New Delhi. These varieties have high aloin content with immense therapeutic value. Some varieties like IC111267, IC1112666 and IC111280 have high gel density and quantity and therefore are mostly used in the cosmetic industry.

Aloe vera farming

Seeds Requirements for Aloe Vera Farming.

For covering one hectare of land, nearly 35,000 to 50,000 suckers are required in case of commercial cultivation of aloe Vera.

Seed Treatment for Aloe Vera Farming.

3 to 4 months old with 4 to5 leaves healthy suckers are used as planting material.

Best practices for Aloe Vera Farming.

Weed control or intercultural operations – Regular earthing up and weeding should be carried out for gaining more yields per unit area.

Harvesting – Crop becomes ready for harvesting from the second year after planting. In morning or evening times, fresh leaves in the tuft 3 to 4 can be picked. But not only leaves, but side suckers can also be harvested for use as further planting materials.

Post Harvesting Tasks – After successful harvesting of the leaves, intensive drying operation should be carried out. To prevent further mould growth, leaves should be dried and then stacked and stored in concrete floors ensuring complete dryness. After that, the leaves can be transported for industries.

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