Introduction to Garlic Cultivation Project Report:
Today, let us get into details of Garlic Cultivation Project Report.
Garlic is a bulbous plant species belonging to the onion genus. This plant can be very closely associated with onion, leek, shallot, chive, and Chinese onion. The garlic plant is native to central Asia and North Eastern Iran. Garlic is generally used as a seasoning agent in most food preparations and is expected to be known to the ancient Egyptians as a source of traditional medicine. This garlic or botanically Allium Sativum is believed to grow in the wild in some regions and the species that grow in Britain are classified into wild, crow and field garlic. Different species of garlic are named differently in various places such as Allium Vineale (wild or crow garlic), Allium Canadense (meadow or wild garlic) and Allium ampeloprasum (elephant garlic). The single clove variety called as a solo or pearl garlic is found mostly in Yunnan province of China.
The total world production of garlic is more than 26.6 million tonnes, where China alone contributes 80% of the total. India is the second largest producer of garlic and accounts for almost 5% of the total world production. Garlic in India is cultivated mostly in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat. The general composition of raw garlic is 59% water, 33% carbohydrates, 6% protein, 2% dietary fiber and almost 1% fat.
This Garlic cultivation project report describes the agro-climatic requirements for cultivating garlic and also focuses on the investment and profit associated with cultivating garlic on a small area of land.
Garlic plant description
- The roots of the plant are shallow, which are formed below the bulb.
- The stem grows to a height of approximately 5 to 6.5 cm.
- The leaves of the garlic plant are flat, long and grass-like. These leaves smell like garlic when crushed. The colour of the leaves is blue-green and they grow in the form of a dense clump. The leaves on the plant are alternate and are wider at the base of the stem. The shape of the leaves is triangular with 2.5 cm of length and approximately 5 to 7.5 cm of width.
- The rosettes during the first year extend up to 10 cm high. The flowers appear at the end of the stalk that arises directly from the bulb. The colour of the flowers is white and they are grouped such that they form a globular head. Each flower of garlic has four petals of 0.5 cm in length. These flowers bloom in the spring season.
- The length of the fruit is 2.5 to 6.3 cm and it looks like a green capsule called silique. This fruit contains many seeds and generally bursts open when mature, thereby dispersing seeds several meters from the plant.
- Inside the silique, small-black seeds grow in rows. The seeds of garlic are viable for 5 years. It is estimated that plants can produce almost about 800 seeds depending on the environmental conditions, cultivar, and density of planting in the region. These seeds are useful for breeding new plants.
Varieties of Garlic
All the different varieties of garlic are divided into two major categories called the soft neck garlic and hard neck garlic. The common garlic found in the supermarkets is called soft neck garlic whereas the garlic, which has more flavor is considered the hard neck garlic. The different varieties of garlic are and are mainly differentiated on the basis of colour, taste, length of storage, size, number of cloves, hardness, and suitability. The varieties are:
- This variety is vigorous, productive and adaptable.
- It is easy to grow and can be stored for a longer time.
- Need a mild winter climate to grow.
- The cloves are tall and pinkish in colour.
- Have a long storage life of about 8 to 10 months.
- Good for braiding.
- Impressive to look at because of large clove size and rich flavour.
- The garlic bulb is smooth and symmetrical with snow-white wrappers.
- Contains 4 to 8 off white coloured cloves with rose-red or purple coloured stripes.
- Most suitable variety for cooking.
- The name indicates the color of the bulb.
- Generally, a single clove contains 8 to 12 bulbs.
- Cloves are tall and elongated.
- Each bulb contains 6 to 11 cloves.
- This variety can be stored for 3 to 4 months.
- Cloves are either brownish or reddish in colour.
Other than these some developed cultivars of India are Bhima Omkar, Bhima purple, Agrifound white, Yamuna safed, Yamuna safed (2, 3, 5), Godavari, Shewta, Phule Baswant, GG-4, VL garlic 1, VL lahsun 2 and agrifound parvati (2).
Soil and climatic requirements for growing Garlic
Garlic can best be cultivated in warm climatic conditions. The most suitable growth temperature for the cultivation of garlic is 13 to 24˚C. The length of the day and the temperature of the region influence the plants. Bulb formation needs approximately 13 to 14 hours of day length for long day garlic variety and about 10 to 12 hours for short day garlic varieties. Garlic can be cultivated at elevations of 1000 to 1300 meters above sea level.
Garlic needs well-drained soil with rich organic content; therefore compost or rotten manure is incorporated into the soil to make it friable and suitable for production. The pH level of the soil should be in between 6 and 8 for garlic farming. The soil should be made loose before planting so that it helps in the growth of the bulb. Generally, loamy soils have natural draining properties is considered good for garlic cultivation.
Propagation of Garlic Crop
Cloves are used for the propagation of garlic. Generally, 315 to 500 cloves are needed for one hectare of land.
Land preparation and planting of Garlic
The land for garlic cultivation should be done well in advance to eliminate perennial weeds, adjust the pH and improve the organic content if needed. Generally ploughing is done to a depth of 15 to 20 cm. The land should be harrowed and maintained in good tilth. All obstructions on the surface of the soil should be cleared and if irrigation is needed in the region, then the land should be levelled for arranging irrigation facilities.
Each method of planting has different spacing between rows. The general spacing recommendations for planting cloves is 8 to 15 cm with a row spacing of about 30 to 40 cm. Furrows of a minimum depth of 50 mm and spacing of 200 to 300 mm are created. The seeds are sown manually or mechanically along the rows. The root end of the clove should be sown into the soil in an erect manner. Garlic plants are normally cultivated on double plant row raised beds.
Generally, garlic is planted both during the Rabi (October-November) and Kharif season (June-July). Rabi crops of garlic are grown on flatbeds of about 4-6 m long and 1.5-2 m wide. Kharif crops are grown with a furrow system as mentioned above.
Manure and fertilizer requirement of Garlic Farming
Garlic plants need lots of fertilizer. The most important thing while garlic cultivation is to incorporate compost into the soil to improve the fertility of the soil and maintain its structure. While planting the cloves; about 125 g of 3:2:3 of NPK fertilizer is applied per m² of the area using the broadcasting method. Side dressing is done lightly with 40 g of 3:2:3 NPK per m² during the growing period. This is approximately 6 to 8 weeks of planting. If the field has not been treated with compost, then a supplement of nitrogen as a fertilizer is added to the soil. Fertilizers can be applied through irrigation as well, but care must be taken to avoid foliar burn. Supplying fertilizers through Fertigation mechanism is useful because the roots directly receive the fertilizers and there is reduced nitrogen leaching through ground water.
Irrigation needs for growing Garlic
Moisture in the soil is more important than the quantity of water. Too much water in the plant area can cause water stress and results in the splitting of the bulbs. Too little supply of water can seize the growth of the bulb. So, the recommended irrigation frequency is: once immediately after planting and another at an interval of one week to 10 days after first irrigation. The moisture content in the soil should always be checked before irrigating the plants. The farmers provide the last irrigation cycle just 2 or 3 days before harvesting. The commonly used methods for irrigation are furrow, sprinkler, and drip irrigation. The most suitable time for irrigating the plants is morning to mid-afternoon so that there is sufficient time for the plant foliage to dry before the night. In regions with extremely hot and dry weather conditions, mulching is done on the fields to conserve the moisture in the soil.
Intercultural practices of Garlic
- Since garlic is a shallow-rooted crop, there is the possibility of not utilizing the entire nutrients that have been supplied. So after some time these fertilizers and nutrients leach down and settle in the subsoil level, therefore deep-rooted leguminous crops are planted after garlic cultivation to get improved yields and also to help maintain the fertility levels of the soil. Groundnuts can also be alternatively cropped after garlic cultivation.
- One month after sowing, first, weeding is done by hand or khurpi. Almost about a month later, the second weeding is done. The land is hoed just before the bulb formation so as to loosen the soil and facilitate in better bulb formation. Once the bulbs start developing, weeding or hoeing should not be done because this may damage the stem and impair the quality of the cloves.
- Mulching is done on the farmland to suppress the weeds and conserve the soil moisture, but grain straw as a mulch material is avoided because it is a host to several pests. Mulching is expected to increase the yield of garlic significantly.
- Some varieties of garlic plants produce flower stalks; removing these stalks enhances the crop maturity and yield. The increase in yield is about 70% after the removal of the stalks.
Pest and disease control of Garlic
The most common pests found in garlic plants are cutworms, pink stalk borer, thrips, and eriophyidmite. Pests can be controlled by practicing natural ways, such as weed control, removal of destroyed plant parts etc. growing maize or wheat on the outer rows is considered to be a barrier for thrips. Chemicals (sulphur, carbosulphan, profenofos, and fipronil) as per recommended doses can also be used for controlling an extreme infestation.
The garlic plants are generally infected with diseases like onion yellow dwarf disease, leek yellow stripe, Irish yellow spot, purple blotch, stemphylium blight, white rot, brown rust, pink root, neck rot etc. The control measures include the removal of diseased parts and following crop rotation. Using disease resistant cultivars as planting material can also reduce the occurrence of diseases. Doing soil solarisation before garlic cultivation can also help control some soil-borne diseases. If the infection is more severe than one can use the recommended dose of fungicides to control the spread of diseases.
Read: Common Plant Diseases.
Harvest and yield of Garlic
The crop of garlic is a 4 to 5-month duration crop. The indication of maturity is known by the change in the colour of the leaves to yellowish or brownish. Sometimes the leaves also dry up one month after the stalk emergence. Once the plants have dried, they are uprooted completely using a country plough and tied in small bunches. These bundles are kept in the fields or in the shade for almost 2 or 3 days for drying and curing; this, therefore, helps the bulb to harden and prolong their keeping quality.
The average yield of garlic from a land of one hectare is approximately estimated to be 50 to 70 quintals.
Post-harvest management of Garlic
Once the harvest is obtained, there are several other things done to handle the produce such that it is kept safe for the market. These handling mechanisms are:
- Curing is done indoors with the use of forced air to dry them. They can also be placed in slotted bins, wired racks or open trays in a well-ventilated area.
- The tops and roots of the garlic are trimmed after curing them. This is either done mechanically or by hand. The outer sheath which is loose is removed by brushing the bulbs and this is the last step before marketing. The garlic bulbs are graded according to their size, shape, and flavor.
- The packing is done in a mesh bag or well-ventilated crates. Too many bulbs should not be packed in a crate because they generate heat, which may ultimately reduce the quality of the bulbs.
- To maximize storage life of the bulbs, they should be properly cured and stored at 0˚C with a relative humidity of about 60 to 70%. Under these conditions, the bulbs can be stored for 6 to 7 months. If the humidity is high, then it facilitates the development of penicillin mould and root growth. As the temperatures increase beyond 0˚C, the rate of bulb weight loss also increases. Another way of storing the bulbs is by using controlled atmosphere with 0.5% of O₂ and about 5 to 10% of CO₂.
Cost and profit analysis of Garlic Cultivation / Economics of Garlic Farming / Garlic Cultivation Project Report
The investment model for cultivating garlic in one hectare of land is described here. Fixed charges like a land rental, electricity, transport, etc. are not described here. These values may change depending on the region of the farm. The most important recurring costs are detailed below for reference. In the non-rain-fed regions or very dry and hot regions, the farms are facilitated with drip or sprinkler systems, which would incur an additional cost of around Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000 per hectare depending on the size of the farm.
|Material and labour||Investment in Rs|
|135 kgs of seeds as planting material @125/kg||16,875.00|
|2.72 tonnes of FYM||2,500.00|
|52.5 kg of N, 46 kg of P and 26.40 kg of K (fertilizers)||5,000.00|
|Plant protection chemicals||1,000.00|
|95.54 man-days of human labour||19,108.00|
|7.50 bullock pair days||2,625.00|
|3 hours of machine labor||1,650.00|
The yield from the farm is 50 to 70 quintals (5,000 to 7,000 kg) per hectare.
Cost of garlic: Rs 50 per kg (average price) when sold at farmgate or in bulk from farmers.
So on lower side:
Income from the farm is: total yield x cost per unit = 5,000 x 50 = Rs 2,50,000
Profit from the farm is total income – total investment = Rs 2, 01,242 (Around 2 lakh rupees for 1 hectare or 2.5 acres land with good yield).
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Loans and subsidies for Garlic Cultivation
It is advisable to visit the National Horticulture Board for assistance and description of components for availing the subsidies for farming projects. NABARD also works to help farmers get loans and subsidies on various farming components depending on the size of the project.
Read: Polyhouse Rose Farming.