Profitable Stevia Plant Cultivation in India
About stevia plant
Stevia leaf, commonly known as the “sweet leaf, sugar leaf, and honey leaf” and much related other names in the local. Stevia plant is also known as “Meethi Tulsi” in the local. Basically, stevia leaves widely used for its higher sugar content & also to treat some of the health conditions by the local. Stevia leaves are also a good source of Zero calorie Sweet.
Stevia leaves are 30 times sweeter as compared to the normal sugar. The essence of the stevia Rebaudioside-A is something around 300 to 400 times more sweeter than the normal sugar. The sweetness of stevia leaves can be sensed over a long time. Amazing!! What a sweeter and Delicious it is!
There are 2 substances in stevia leaves
1.) Stevioside(about 10 % -20 %) and also,
2.) Rebaudioside-A( about 1-3 %)
The Stevioside may remain stable at the temperature of 100′ C. This fact is the significant benefit of Stevioside over various other sweeteners. Because of this ingredients, the research on this plant also stated as the safe sweetener in the world.
In the present time, lots of people suffer from the diabetic problem. Since the main characteristic of stevia plant or stevia leaves is that use of this will helps in lessens the blood sugars level in the body as it does not contain any calorie, it is also referred as zero calorie plant in the local.
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So, it has more chance of getting a great demand in the local and international market than other crop farming and gardening farming. So, guys! today, we are going to learn how to start a stevia farm & earn a great profit from this. Let us know, stevia plant health benefits.
Stevia plant Health Benefits
Is stevia good or bad for health? Friends, it is one of the natural sweetener plants that is high in sugar content. There are lots of stevia plant medicinal uses as it is mostly consumed by the Diabatic person, as it is helpful in the prevention of diabetes who are suffering from diabetes.
Here below is a list of some health benefits of the stevia plant.
- Stevia plant uses as a natural sweetener as has high sugar content than normal sugar with Zero calories.
- Stevia plant uses most by the diabetic patient to lessens the sugar levels in the blood.
- Use of stevia plant or leaves is also helpful in providing protection to gums & teeth.
- Use of stevia leaves has effective results in beating dandruff and acne problem
- Use of stevia leaves helpful in reducing the heartburn problem
- Use of stevia leaves helpful in reducing the indigestion problem that it avoids gas problem
- Stevia plant uses as a natural sweetener for weight loss
- It heals wounds faster, try it.
- Use of it may also help in minimizing fine lines & wrinkles on the face.
- Stevia plant can be also used as best sweetener for coffee, so avoid those healthiest artificial sweeteners & stay fit
From above mention health benefits, it also has more health benefit. So, it is well known for the cosmetic use, weight loss and so. So, it is up to you to decide is stevia good or bad. Does stevia cause cancer? NO, stevia plant is natural sweetener & is safe to use. Because of this, it is also listed in natural sweeteners list.
Improved Varieties of Stevia Plant
Cultivars are developed to obtain high production with the low care of them. The most popular cultivar of stevia plant are listed below are able to produce a higher amount of leaves in Indian climatic condition:
- MDS 13 and
- MDS 14
These two variations are developed for low management & low care and to obtain the high yield. For farming stevia plant in Indian climatic condition, these two varieties are helpful in producing more leaves. And are also effective for cultivating stevia plant in extreme temp & also for regions which are continuously suffering from drought condition because of low rainfall.
Climate Required for Stevia Farming
In India, this plant can be cultivated through out the complete year. Climate like semi & semi hot climatic condition is found very suitable in such areas where the minimum temp. does not fall under 0 ‘C temp. This natural sweetener plant can be cultivated up to 11 ‘C temp effectively & below that, this may cause to complete destruction of your stevia crop.
As this crop can grow well in the tropical & sub-tropical areas, an idle temp. ranging between 28 ‘C to 33 ‘C is a good thing that can boost your commercial stevia leaves production. An avg. rainfall about 150 mm per annum is essential needs to produce a higher amount of stevia leaves. This state that we can also operate this commercial farming in those low region where there is low rainfall.
Soil Requirement for Stevia Plant Farming
For the successful cultivation of Stevia, sandy loam land with proper drainage power, rich in organic matters & red in color is considered as the idle soil for its cultivation. The pH of the essential soil should be ranged between 6 to 7. It has been found that this range is best suitable for the cultivation of stevia in the water filled or alkaline land.
If your soil has any type of nutrient deficiency or micronutrient deficiency, then they should be supplemented at the time of field preparation because organic matter like fair phosphorus, high nitrogen content along with lots of potash ensure high leaves production.
So, you can raise your leaves production or profit via taking care of minor and minor fact in the Stevia cultivation.
Land selection and Its preparation in Banana Farming
This commercial crop can be cultivated over a wide variety of soil. But they grow their best in the tropical & sub-tropical region. Cultivars of stevia plants are also able to grow well in the low rainfall region like a desert. But cultivating stevia plants in those soils which are full of organic matter has effective results in producing a higher amount of leaves production.
So, select a place where the minimum temp. did not fall under 10 ‘C & the max. does not cross 45 ‘C because of temp. above 45 ‘C & nightly temp. below 10 ‘C may lead to completely damage your crop.
A good field preparation will help you keeping the weed away from the crop & breaking down of the clods harrowed and repeated plowed before plantation. About two to three plow is enough for bring down the selected soil into the fine tilth from, which helps in the good development of stevia plant. Take care that selected land should not be responsive to pudding & flooding.
Propagation in Stevia Plant Farming
In this commercial cultivation, propagation is mainly done by the cutting stem of the plant. Cut the plant stem about 15 centimeters longer from the leaf axils part, of present year growth. This will make you more profitable via raising the annual profit as more leaves production.
Planting Season in Stevia Plant Farming
Stevia plant can be cultivated though out the complete year. However, the best period for the propagation of Stevia plant is from February to March, that is cold weather. These cuttings became ready for grafting after about a month of rooting of the plant.
High-density planting in stevia crop leads to higher production of leaves. So, plant about 25000 plants of stevia per unit acre land for high density planting is beneficial in optimum production of leaves.
For high density plantig, a good spacing betwwen each plant & row is essential. Transpant those rooten plants on the raised beds which are 15 cm higher & about 60 cm wider. The rows in the stevia crop should be kept about 40 to 45 cm apart. The plant are planted, keeping a distance of 35 cm between them.
With the help of this rows spacing & Plant spacing, you can achieve a high-density planting of stevia. You can plant about 25000 no’s of plant per unit acre land. Which is sufficient enough to earn a great profit from this.
Manures and Fertilizers used in Stevia Plant Cultivation
It is observed that the Stevia crops is well responsive to the fertilizers & manures with low in nitrogen content. It is a good thing to make use of organic manures because of they release nitrogen content too slowly. Also the addition of FMY (Farm Yard Manure Vermi compost, cow dung manure is also beneficial for leave production.
Because the plenty of health benefits of using leaves of the stevia plant, they are directly consumed by humans at great scale. Because of this, it is good to do not use any type of chemical fertilizer or insecticide in its cultivation to maintain its quality. In its one instance, the quantity of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash in the form of an aggregate is 30:120:120 kg per unit hectare land, which is recommended to obtain a high yield of Stevia plant cultivation. If you find the deficiency of this much fertility, you can easily obtain by use of organic matter like this to complete, 70-80 kg vermicompost or 200 kg of dung manure is sufficient enough to achieve an optimum production of leaves.
Irrigation in Stevia Plant Cultivation
Must take care that the Stavia’s crop is not able to tolerate the drought. This crop is not able to tolerate drought well. Drought gives bad results in this crop, it reduces the yield. That means this crop requires frequent water at regular interval of time. It is good to or should be irrigated during the 10 days alternate in the winter season and in the summer, every week.
Although sprinklers or drip irrigation are best suited for this crop. Avoid the excessive moisture level in the soil, it is not favorable for the good growth of stevia plant.
Traditional or Drip Irrigation System?
Farmers used to irrigate this crop with the help of traditional method of irrigation. But, produce higher amount of stevia leaves, drip irrigation system us recommended to you. Because drip irriagation system has plenty of benefits over the traditional method of irrigation.
Take care that this crop did not needs water in the winter season & rainy season.
Intercultural Activities or Weed Control
Weeds are the unusual plant that are presence in any type of crop and can lessens the leaves production via disturbing the good development of plant. So, it is good thing to removed them manually or with the help of any weedicide.
For this, removal of weed from the field should be carried out just after the irrigation to make your soils weedless. This will directly impact on your production by boosting your soit. Friends! greater is the weedless soil, better are the results in this crop as leaves production.
Weed control also plays a role in raising or reducing the yield of stevia crop.
Disease and Pest Control in Stevia Crop Cultivation
Generally, not a single type of disease or worm is found in the stevia crop. But sometimes the spots on the leaves are observed, which are characteristic of the lack of boron element in the Soil. For this, a controlled amount of 6 % of the borax can be sprayed. Spraying neem oil with water is effective in controlling all type of pest & disease, if found in stevia crop.
Harvesting in the Stevia crop cultivation
Timely harvesting of your commercial crop can lead to higher amount of production. So, to provide you confort, i had given guide on best method for harvesting of leaves in stevia crop. Learn it carefully!
Stevia leaves are known for their sugar content characteristics, widely consumed by the diabatic patient. So, to get high market price, it is good idea to produce quality leaves of stevia. Removal of flowers in this crop should be done at regular interval because flowering leads to overgrowth of plant while producing less amount of stevia leaves. Perform this tast repetadely to obtain maximum leaves production. Flowering more in your crop causes to reduction of stevia leaves quality. If flowering is not removed for more than two days, then it will directly reduce the amount of stevioside in the leaves (reduce about 50 %); a huge loss to the cultivars & mostly to the consumer.
So, it is better to know, when to harvesting stevial leaves? When stevia plant reach their maturity, about two feet in height they shold be harvested. They takes about three to five month to reach this stage. After this, you can harvest them about three year by harvesting leaves regularly along with good farm management skill. For regular harvesting, try to collect fresh & healthy leaves at an interval of three months.
For harvesting this crop longer time, don’t forgot to remove the new flowers. They will lessens you leaves quality & quanity
Stevia leaves became ready for their first harvesting at approximately about 4 months after planting. After that, up to three year , you can harvest them at an interval of three months. By following this way, you will be able to obtain 3 or 4 harvesting per annum for about three years (well, there are reports of stevia plants as old as 11 years). After that, the % stevioside level in the leaves is reduced, So, the entire plant is harvested about 6 to 7 cm above from the ground.
Care of Stevia Leaves after Harvesting
After harvesting stevia leaves, proper care of them should be taken to maintain their quality for getting a high market price. Here is some task to perform after harvesting leaves.
- Remove the twigs leave & make them dry
- To make them dry, make use of dryer or keep them in sunlight
- After that, store these dry leaves in glass jars or in air tight polythene packs.
Yield of Stevia Plant Cultivation
By selecting high yielding cultivar with good crop management skill along with proper care, an avg. production of 3000 kgs of dried stevia leaves can be produced per unit acre land. However, the leaves production of stevia plant can be raised by proper care & good farm management practices.
Stevia Farming Video
What is Benefits of Stevia Cultivation or market Demand of stevia leaves? Friends! this is highly demanded natural sweetener with Zero calorie. However, the international market price of stevia leaves is approximately 300 to 400 per kg dried stevia leaves, but if the sale of Stevia is considered to be at Rs 100 per kg, then in the first one auction, you will be easily able to earn 5 to 6 lac from a one acre land, and it will increase in the following years. This profit is much more than the total investment made in the initial, and the profit will increase more in the coming years. In the last three years, the net profit of about 1 to 5 lac can be easily obtained by cultivation of stevia plant in a one-acre land.
Have a great success in Stevia Plant Cultivation!