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Beneath the Soil: Elephant Foot Yam Cultivation Promises Lucrative Returns for Farmers

Cultivate Elephant Foot Yam this April as it offers farmers a lucrative opportunity for good returns and sustainable agricultural practices.

Shivam Dwivedi
Elephant Foot Yam Cultivation Promises Lucrative Returns for Farmers (Photo Source:  ICAR-CCARI, Goa)
Elephant Foot Yam Cultivation Promises Lucrative Returns for Farmers (Photo Source: ICAR-CCARI, Goa)

As April gets closer, farmers in India are getting ready to plant new crops. They want crops that will give them lots of produce and make them money. One crop that's good for this is Elephant Foot Yam. It's also called Suran or Jimikand. Elephant Yam, scientifically known as Amorphophallus paeoniifolius and belonging to the Araceae family, holds immense promise as a cash crop in India. With three local varieties - Gajendra, Sree Padma, and Kusum - Elephant Yam boasts a rich cultural and culinary significance, serving as a staple food in various regions. Cultivated as an intercrop with turmeric and bananas, this herbaceous perennial crop originates from Southeast Asia and thrives in tropical climates.

Nutritional Profile & Health Benefits of Elephant Foot Yam

The tuber of Elephant Yam emerges as a reservoir of nutrients, offering a valuable source of sustenance. However, it's crucial to note that the tubers contain excessive calcium oxalate, leading to acridity and throat irritation. Despite this drawback, the nutritional richness and health benefits of Elephant Yam make it a sought-after commodity.

Jimikand: Cultivation Practices

To harness the profit potential of Elephant Foot Yam, farmers must adhere to good cultivation practices. April marks the ideal time to start Yam cultivation, ensuring ample time for growth and development before the onset of the rainy season in July. Adequate irrigation, coupled with organic fertilizers, lays the foundation for a robust crop. With a gestation period of 7 to 8 months, Yam crops sown in April reach maturity by November, offering a window for harvest and subsequent profit realization.

Soil Selection and Planting Techniques

The choice of soil plays an important role in determining the success of Elephant Yam cultivation. Sandy loam soil, characterized by good drainage and organic content, emerges as the preferred substrate for optimal growth. Planting Yam in pits, spaced at intervals of two feet and 40 meters apart, facilitates efficient nutrient uptake and root development as per agriculture experts. Using 2 kg of Yam cuttings, divided into four parts and planted one inch below the soil surface, sets the stage for robust plant establishment.

Nutrient Management and Maintenance

Maintaining the requisite nutrient balance is imperative for maximizing Yam yields. A recommended NPK ratio of 100:60:80 fosters healthy growth and development, ensuring optimal nutrient uptake and utilization. Moreover, regular soil tillage, conducted weekly, promotes aeration and nutrient availability, bolstering plant vigor and productivity.

Yield Projection and Profit Realization

The potential for profitability in Elephant Foot Yam cultivation is substantial, with a 500-gram tuber growing to 2 to 2.5 kg within eight months. Remarkably resilient to pest infestations and animal predation, Elephant Yam offers a reliable avenue for income generation. Priced at approximately Rs 40 per kg in the market, the sale of Elephant Yam yields lucrative returns, enabling farmers to capitalize on its commercial viability.

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