Vedic Krishi: Sustainable livelihood option for small and

Earthworms = 100-200 Nos Rubber pipe = 1mt long Put some dry grass and a 15-20 cm layer of 2-3 weeks old cow dung alongwith 100-200 earthworms in a pi...

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Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge Vol. 11 (3), July 2012, pp. 480-486

Vedic Krishi: Sustainable livelihood option for small and marginal farmers Sanjay Chadha*, Rameshwar, Ashlesha, JP Saini & YS Paul Department of Organic Agriculture, College of Agriculture, CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur 176 062, HP E-mail: [email protected] Received 02.06.11, revised 30.04.12 The present investigation was carried out to evaluate the efficiency and efficacy of some of Vedic Krishi inputs, viz. Panchgavya, Vermiwash, Compost tea, Matka Khad, Beejamrit and Jiwamrit with the objectives to work out their applicability for ecofriendly nutrient and disease management in organic farming. Vedic Krishi techniques are low input costs, which comply well with the ecological and socioeconomic conditions of vast segment of farming community comprising of small and marginal farmers. The nutritional and microbial analysis of these liquid organic manures showed the presence of different macro and micro nutrients and large population of essential microbes including Azotobacter sp., Actinomycetes sp. and phosphate solubilizers. All the Vedic Krishi inputs were found quite effective in enhancing the productivity of different crops and suppressing the growth of various plant pathogens by producing antibacterial and anti-fungal compounds, hormones and siderophores. Application of Vermiwash gave 65, 10, 26 and 27 % higher yields in knol-khol (153.25 q/ha), onion (184.1 q/ha), French bean (14.5 q/ ha seed yield) and paddy (18.4 q/ha), respectively over control. Panchgavya was found the most effective in controlling (88.9 %) stalk rot of cauliflower. Beejamrit was found to be the most effective for seed treament as it recorded 92% seed germination of pea against 56% in control. Compost tea, Matka Khad and Jeevamrit as foliar sprays were also prooved quite effective in enhacing the productivity of different crops and effective against various plant pathogens. All Vedic Krishi practices hold good promise for use in organic agriculture. Keywords: Vedic Krishi, Traditional agricultural inputs, Small and marginal farmers, Organic farming IPC Int. Cl.8: A01B, A01C, H01L 51/00

The majority of farming community in hilly state of Himachal Pradesh constitutes small and marginal farmers, which has gone up to about 87.03 % in 2011-12, holding an average of 1.04 hectare of land per family1. Moreover, 81.5% of total cultivated area in the state is rainfed. This vast segment of farming community with poor economic conditions often find it difficult to purchase costly inputs (fertilizers and pesticides). Farmers have developed their own agricultural practices of production and protection of crops over more than a hundred centuries. However, the extensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides grew significantly only in the early 20th century. With the intensification of agriculture, focus of excessive use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, water resources and the consequent ecological backlashes on farm, on quantity of food produced and overall environmental degradation is scaring the society. Many farmers practice organic agriculture by default based on their traditional methods of production, which is an ___________ *Corresponding author

important export sector besides having a great potential as an important livelihood option for small and marginal farmers looking for low input cost, ecologically sustainable farming in rainfed areas. These traditional agricultural inputs have shown comparative strengths over inorganic systems. In the present study, Scientific validations of some of these traditional technologies have been investigated in economically viable cultivation of different crops. There are many traditional agricultural inputs being used by farmers but in the present article few of them, viz. Panchgavya, Vermiwash, Matka Khad, Compost Tea, Beejamrit and Jiwamrit have been investigated. Methodology Model Organic Farm at CSK HPKV, Palampur was established under Niche Area of Excellence Centre for Organic Farming since 2006. Model Organic Farm is situated at 32°6’N latitude and 76°3’E longitude at an elevation of 1224 m above mean sea level in North Western Himalayas. Different traditional agricultural inputs based on Vedic Krishi were prepared and evaluated at Model Organic Farm, College of

481 CHADHA et al.: VEDIC KRISHI: A SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD OPTION FOR SMALLER AND MARGINAL FARMERS Agriculture, CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur. Table 1 showed the standardized techniques of preparing the traditional agricultural inputs namely Panchgavya, Vermiwash, Compost tea, Matka Khad, Beejamrit and Jiwamrit; source of collection, mode of application and mode of action. Results Nutrient analysis of traditional inputs

Nutritional analysis of different traditional agricultural inputs alongwith farm yard manure (FYM) and cow urine was carried out by following the standard procedures (Table 2). The maximum N content was observed in Panchagavya (2.4%) followed by Compost tea (1.241%) and Matka Khad (1.01%). The comparative N content in FYM and cow urine was 0.60 and 0.98%, respectively. For most of the other nutrients, FYM showed the maximum content percentage.

Microbial analysis of different Inputs

The liquid organic manures were analysed for the microflora present in them by following standard methodologies. Among the different tested organic manures (FYM, cow urine, Panchgavya, Jeevamrit, Matka Khad, Vermiwash, Compost tea and Beejamrit) Panchgavya was found to possess highest load of viable bacterial population, Azotobacter sp. Actinomycetes as well as phosphate solubilizers. Apart from N, these organisms are also capable of producing antibacterial and anti-fungal compounds, hormones and siderophores (Fig. 10). Field efficiency and efficacy of different inputs

Trials were conducted to study the efficiency of these organic inputs on the performance of different crops and their efficacy against different diseases. The perusal of data in Table 3 revealed significant yield advantage in knol-khol (Brassica oleracea var.

Table 1Different Vedic Krishi* inputs and method of preparation Sr. No. Name of the inputs

Ingredients used and their quantities

Method of preparations



It is a blend of 5 product obtained from cow mainly its dung, urine, milk, ghee and curd. For making Panchgavya, thoroughly mix the required quantities of the ingredients and allow to ferment for 7 days with twice stirring per day (Fig. 1).



Cow dung = 1kg (fresh) Cow dung slurry = 4 kg Cow urine = 3L Cow milk = 2L (fresh) Curd = 2kg Cow butter oil = 1kg (ghee) Earthen pitcher = Three of 20 L capacity Cow dung = 12-15 kg Earthworms = 100-200 Nos Rubber pipe = 1mt long


Compost Tea Vermicompost = 5 kg Bucket = 15 L capacity Gunny bag = 1 no. Rope = 2-3 m length


Matka Khad Cow dung = 5kg Cow urine = 5L Water = 5L Jaggary = 250 gm Earthen pitcher = 1No. of 20L capacity Beejamrit Cow dung = 50gm Cow urine = 50 ml Cow milk (Fresh) = 50 ml Lime stone = 2-3 gm Water = 1L Jiwamrit Cow dung = 5kg Cow urine = 5L Jaggary = 1kg Pulse flour=1kg Fertile soil = ½ kg Water = 50 L



*Source of Collection: NCOF, Ghaziabad

Put some dry grass and a 15-20 cm layer of 2-3 weeks old cow dung alongwith 100-200 earthworms in a pitcher. Put on the cow dung and again covered with dry grass. Allow the water to fall drop by drop into the pitcher. Collect the liquid coming from the pitcher with the help of a pipe (Figs. 2, 7 & 9). A small gunny bag half filled (5 kg) with vermicompost is hanged over a water tub/bucket filled ¾ with water in a way that vermicompost remained submerged in water. The nutrients in the vemicompost get dissolved in water within 24 hours, thus making its colour like tea (Figs. 3 & 9). Thoroughly mix 5 kg of cow dung, 5 L cow urine, 5 L water and 250g of jaggary and put in a pitcher of 20 L capacity. The pitcher is filled up to ¾ level only, for effective fermentation. A lid is placed over the pitcher and buried in the soil for 7 to 10 days with its neck outside the soil (Figs. 4& 9). Thoroughly mix all the ingredients preferably in plastic/glass jar and keep overnight (Figs. 5 & 8).

Mix all the ingredients in a drum with the help of a wooden stick. Shake the mixture 2-3 times per day regularly for 5-7 days for proper fermentation (Figs. 6 & 9).



Table 2Chemical Analysis of different Inputs Sample Jiwamrut Beejamrut Vermiwash Compost Tea Matka Khad Panchgavya FYM Cow urine

N 0.16 0.14 0.894 1.241 1.01 2.40 0.60 0.98

% ppm P2O5 K2O S Ca Mg Fe Mn 0.02 0.123 370 4690 401 9 0.02 0.140 355 7550 250 9 2 0.026 0.084 28 4 0.022 0.065 18 6 0.046 0.225 451 76 0.062 0.413 160 990 130.4 77 6 0.220 1.224 14520 1720 2181 437 0.02 1.01 143 1060 177 9 Table 3Effect of application of liquid traditional inputs in knol-khol and onion

Sr. No. Traditional input

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 CD (5%)

Jeevamrit Beejamrit Panchgavya Matka Khad Compost Tea Vermi Wash Control



15 5 3 55 26 123

0.5 2 274 67 378

Number of leaves

Knol- khol Av. Knot weight (g)

Marketable yield (q/ha)

Average Bulb Weight (g)

Onion Biological Yield (kg/plot)

Bulb yield (q/ha)

13.1 15.38 15.41 14.52 15.15 15.1 15.29 0.49

89.42 117.35 116.97 117.15 128.26 153.25 104.86 20.08

59.61 161.667 168.89 157.5 178.61 211.67 128.06 19.77

83.3 96.0 79.0 93.3 77.5 83.3 79.3 8.10

214.29 214.58 204.48 228.58 210.50 228.58 195.05 17.34

182.2 182.58 177.81 180.67 178.35 184.1 167.34 9.34

gongylodes L.) and onion by application of different organic inputs. The results at the Model Organic Farm showed that the Vermiwash and Compost tea were the two top liquid manures which gave 211.67q/ha and 178.61 q/ha yield of knol-khol (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes L.) when applied at 30, 45 and 60 DAT. The respective yields were 65% and 39% higher over control. All the liquid manures were applied @ 10%. Beejamrit, Panchgavya and Matka Khad also gave significantly higher yield than control. However, Jeevamrit (10%) proved phytotoxic, since 60% plants died after its application and hence the yield recorded was low than control. Similar results were recorded by application of these liquid manures on onion. All the liquid manures (10% concentration) when applied at 30, 45 and 60 DAT gave significantly higher bulb yield/plot than control. The maximum bulb yield/plot (184.1 q/ha) was recorded with application of Vermiwash as against 167.34 q/ha in control. For other horticultural parameters, significant higher values were observed in many treatments over control. The effect of four liquid manures, viz. Matka Khad, Vermiwash, Compost tea and Panchagavya was recorded on seed yield of garden pea (Pisum sativum L.). These liquid manures were applied by three methods as seed treatment, spray and combination of

Table 4Effect of liquid manures on seed yield of pea Pods/plant Seeds/pod Treatments Main plots (Application techniques) Seed treatment 11.9 4.5 Spray 14.8 5.2 15.7 5.7 Seed treatment + Spray Control 10.0 4.2 CD (P=0.05) 2.3 0.8 Sub plots (Liquid manures) Matka khad 18.0 6.2 Vermiwash 11.7 4.6 Compost tea 17.1 5.8 Panchgavya 8.3 4.0 CD (P=0.05) 2.5 1.1

Seed yield(q/ha) 15.8 16.5 17.9 14.2 1.4 18.2 16.3 17.5 18.9 2.7

seed treatment + spray. The contents of Table 4 showed that application of liquid manures as seed treatment + spray gave 26% higher seed yield than control. However, all the four liquid manures gave statistically at par seed yield. The effect of Vermiwash, Compost tea and Matka Khad was recorded alongwith some other organic inputs on performance of pole type of Frenchbean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and paddy (Oryza sativa L.) grown through SRI system. Three sprays of each treatment were given at 30, 45 and 60 DAS/DAT in both the crops. Significant higher values of yield/ha

483 CHADHA et al.: VEDIC KRISHI: A SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD OPTION FOR SMALLER AND MARGINAL FARMERS Table 5Effect of liquid manures in Frenchbean (pole type) and paddy Treatments EM (Maple) Vermiwash Himsol Compost tea Matka khad CPP Control CD 5%

French Bean No. of pods/plant 154.2 144.9 155.6 150.3 152.8 137.9 124.9 6.4

Weight/pod (g) 6.8 6.9 6.7 6.2 6.4 5.8 4.5 0.8

Paddy (SRI System) Seed yield (q/ha) 16.5 14.5 15.8 14.3 14.9 12.1 10.4 1.1

Grains / panicle 1000 grain wt (gm) 83.9 19.5 81.2 19.2 84.5 19.8 84.2 18.9 83.0 19.0 75.8 16.5 72.5 15.8 2.5 1.1

Yield (q/ha) 20.8 18.4 19.2 18.5 16.8 15.4 14.5 1.6

Table 7Efficacy of organic inputs against stalk rot (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) of cauliflower in sick soil Treatments Panchgavya (100%) Vermi wash (100%) Matka Khad (100%) Compost Tea (100%) Vermi compost Nadep compost Control CD (P=0.05)

Pre emergence infection (%)

% Disease control

Post emergence infection (%)

% Disease control

11.1 44.5 44.4 72.2 72.2 61.1 100.0 2.83

88.9 55.5 55.6 27.8 27.8 38.9 0.0 13.8

11.1 27.8 22.2 22.2 22.2 22.2 1.64

88.9 72.2 77.8 77.8 77.8 77.8 1.19

and other horticultural parameters were observed with the application of these traditional inputs in both the crops. Application of Vermiwash, Compost tea and Matka Khad gave 14.3, 14.5 and 14.9 q/ha seed yield, respectively, as against 10.4q/ha in control in French bean. In paddy, the yields were 18.4, 18.5 and 16.8 q/ha with the application of Vermiwash, Compost tea and Matka Khad, respectively, while the yield was 14.5q/ha in control (Table 5). Percentage of seed germination was improved with the application of different organic inputs. Beejamrit was found to be the most effective for seed treament. Seed germination was recorded 92% with treatment of Beejamrit as against 56% in control (Table 6). The efficacy of Panchgavya, Vermiwash, Matka Khad and Compost tea was tested against stalk rot (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary) of cauliflower in sick soil. Panchgavya was found the most effective, which gave pre and post emergence disease control to the extent of 88.9 % (Table 7). The pre-emergence disease control through Vermiwash, Matka Khad and Compost tea was 88.8, 55.5 and 55.6 %, respectively. Matka Khad and Compost tea gave 77.8 % each post-emergence disease control. Whereas Vermiwash exhibited 72.2 % post-emergence disease control. Percent inhibition of soil borne pathogen through Vermiwash and Panchgavya was studied in-vitro

Table 6Effect of organic formulations on seed germination of pea Treatments Beejamrit Himsol Cow Urine + Fermented butter milk Jeevamrit Fermented butter milk Panchgavya Control

Germination % 92.0 88.0 80.0 88.0 92.0 72.0 56.0

alongwith some other organic formulations. The results showed that Vermiwash (2%) gave 85.31, 74.77, 84.69, 100.0, 80.74 and 91.0 % disease control (Table 8) against Rhizoctonia solani J.G. Kuhn,, Fusarium oxysporum Schlecht.,, Fusarium solani (Mart.) Sacc.,, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary, Sclerotinia rolfsii Sacc. (Wilting) and Colletotrichum capsici (Syd.) E.J. Butler & Bisby, respectively. The corresponding disease control percentage through 2% Panchgavya was 79.25, 78.53, 61.01, 100, 94.82 and 85.73, respectively. Discussion and conclusion The use of different local formulation proved beneficial in different crops and produced better growth of the plants and ultimately the final end product i.e yield of the crop. The better performance of the crops was due to the presence of better microbial population in the different formulations as



Figs. 1-9Five products of cow for making Panchagavya; Vermiwash production; Compost tea preparation; Traditional method of Matka Khad preparation; Ingradients used for making Beejamrit; Ingradients used for making Jeevamrit; Demonstration of Vermiwash preparation; Seed treatment with Vedic inputs; Bulk storage of vedic inputs for evaluation Table 8Per cent inhibition of soil borne plant pathogens in vitro with organic inputs @2% Pathogen Organic input Vermiwash Himsol Cow urine Fermented buttermilk Panchgavya

Rhizoctonia solani

Fusarium oxysporum

Fusarium solani

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum

S. rolfsii

Colletotrichum capsici

85.31 76.42 40.35 72.72 79.25

74.77 89.96 83.37 73.87 78.53

84.69 93.47 81.52 88.14 61.01

100.00 100.00 100.00 96.45 100.00

80.74 80.54 99.62 10.38 94.82

91.00 68.00 81.52 84.00 85.73

compared to the alone FYM or the cow urine. Soil born microflora is essential for growth of plants because organic nitrogenous compounds and phosphorous are decomposed and mineralized by

different enzymes produced by nitrogen fixing and phosphate solublizing bacteria2. Preliminary studies conducted at Model Organic Farm, CSKHPKV, Palampur prooved that all these traditional


Fig. 10Microbial count of different organic inputs

agricultural inputs holds good promise for use in agriculture and production of safe and healthy food. Since ages, Panchagavya is being used by farmers to safeguard plants and soil micro-organisms and to increase plant production3. The results of the chemical and microbial analysis showed that Panchagavya was the richest among all liquid manures in nutrition and essential microbial population. Panchgavya sprays to crops gave significantly higher yield to the extent of 177.81q/ha in knol-khol, 168.9q in onion and 18.9q/ha seed yield in garden pea, which was significantly higher than control. Panchgavya was found the most effective among different traditional inputs in controlling stalk rot of cauliflower. It was found quite effective in suppressing the growth of various pathogens in in-vitro studies. Somasundaram et al.4 also demonstrated higher yields in maize and sunflower with sprays of Panchagavya alongwith biogas slurry. Vermiwash is a collection of excretory products and excess secretions of earthworms, which have the soluble plant nutrients apart from some organic acids and mucus of earthworms and microbes5. Preliminary studies at Model Organic Farm showed beneficial effects of Vermiwash in different crops. Vermiwash application in different crops gave significantly higher yields than contol. Vermiwash application gave significantly higher yield to the tune of 211.7q in knol-khol, 184.1q in onion, 16.3q seed yield in garden pea, 14.3q seed yield in French bean and 18.4 q/ha grain yield in paddy, which was 65%, 10%, 14.8%, 37.5% and 26.9% higher than control, respectively. Zambare et al.6 found enzyme cocktail of proteases, amylases, urease and phosphatase in Vermiwash. Laboratory scale trial showed effectiveness of Vermiwash on cowpea plant growth. Likewise,

Prabhu7 also reported presence of large number of beneficial microorganisms that help in plant growth and protects it from a number of infestations. It was also reported that Vermiwash improves the germination percentage of the seeds and seedling vigour of seeds such as cowpea and paddy crops. Various other workers also found significantly higher growth and productivity with the application of Vermiwash in marigold5, dry chilli yield8, radish9 and paddy10. Compost tea is a liquid extract made by steeping compost in water11-12. Compost tea is gaining importance as an alternative to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The microbial population in the compost tea contributes toward its effectiveness13. Compost tea gave significantly higher yield than control. Application of compost tea gave 178.61 q/ha in knol-khol, 178.35 q in onion, 17.5 q seed yield in pea and 18.5 q/ha seed yield in French bean, which was 39.5, 6.6, 23.2 and 27.6 % higher than control. Compost tea was also found effective in suppressing various plant pathogens. The majority of studies to date have focused on plant disease and suppressive ability of compost tea. There is evidence that some plant diseases have been partially suppressed by application of compost tea11, while in other studies, suppression has been highly variable between different batches preparations14. Matka Khad promotes the plant growth. Microbial analysis indicated higher count of microbial population including Actinomycetes, Azotobactor and Phosphate solublizers, which gave significant higher yield over control in different crops (knol-khol, onion, garden pea, French bean) and efficacy against different plant pathogens. Scientific studies on role of Matka Khad in agriculture are limited. However, Shiva15 reported increased productivity of various crops viz., soybean, paddy, maize, groundnut, sorghum, etc. with the application of Matka Khad. Beejamrit as name suggested is broadly used for seed treatment. It is a traditional Indian farmers practice to treat the seeds before sowing with Beejamrit. The results of seed treatment with Beejamrit in garden pea showed the highest seed germination percentage (92%). However, foliar application of Beejamrit was also proved to enhance the productivity of different crops. Similarily, Jeevamirit is broadly used for soil treatment and soil enrichment. However, results had shown that application of Jeevamrit as foliar sprays was also quite effective in enhacing the


productivities of different crops and efficacy against various plant pathogens. The use of Beejamrit and Jeevamrit has been suggested in the package of practices of various crops by NCOF, Ghaziabad16 and nursery production of vegetables17. Keeping in view the hazardous effects of fertilizers and pesticides, the use of these ecofreindly traditional agricultural inputs provide alternate production technologies to organic farmers and new vistas to scientific community for further validation and refinement of age-old agricultural practices in present scenario to produce safe food and to save the environment. Acknowledgement Authors are highly thankful to ICAR for funding under Niche Area of Excellence and all the fallow colleagues in the Department of Organic Agriculture, CSKHPKV, Palampur for their continuous help and moral support. Authors are also thankful to NCOF, Ghaziabad for technical guidence. References 1 Anonymous, Economic survey of Himachal Pradesh, (Department of Economics and Statistics, HP Govt. Shimla), 2011. 2 Chaudhary PS, Vermiculture and vermicomposting as biotechnology for conservation of organic waste into animal proteins and organic fertilizer, Asian J Microbio, Biotechnol Environ Sci, 7(2005) 359-370. 3 Natarajan K, Panchakavya – A manual, (Other India Press, Mapusa, Goa, India), 2002, 33. 4 Somasundaram E, Mohamed Amanullah M, Thirukkumaran K, Chandrasekaran R, Vaiyapuri K & Sathyamoorthi K, Biochemical changes, nitrogen flux and yield of crops due to organic sources of nutrients under maize based cropping system, J Appl Sci Res, 3 (12) (2007) 1724 -1729.


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