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MANGO-GINGER (Curcuma amada)


It is an under-exploited spice crop, which grows luxuriantly in tropical soils with good drainage. The rhizomes of mango-ginger are used for preparing pickles, chutney, preserve, candy, sauce and salad and in meat and other culinary preparations. The rhizome has excellent medicinal properties and finds extensive use in the indigenous system of medicine. It is, appetizer, antipyretic, aphrodisiac and laxative. It is useful in biliousness, itching, skin diseases, bronchitis, asthma, hiccough and inflammation due to injuries. The rhizomes and roots are carminative and stomachic and in crushed pulp form they are applied over contusions, sprains and bruises for rapid healing.

Mango-ginger is botanically related to neither mango nor ginger, but to turmeric (Curcuma longa). Morphologically mango-ginger plant is similar to turmeric, but has shorter crop duration of six months. The rhizomes are pale yellow inside with lighter colour outside, have sweet smell of unripe mango when crushed. The crop comes up well in open conditions, but tolerates low levels of shade and therefore partially shaded situations can also be utilized for its cultivation. It can be well accommodated as an intercrop in coconut gardens and in rotation with other short duration crops like vegetables and also as a crop component in homesteads.

Seed material and varieties
Whole or split mother rhizomes or well developed, healthy and disease free finger rhizomes weighing 15-20 g are suitable for planting. In Kerala, local varieties are used for cultivation. Amba is a released variety from High Altitude Research Station, Pottangi, Orissa.

Preparation of land
Prepare the land to a good tilth during February-March subject to the availability of pre-monsoon showers. Prepare beds of convenient length, 1.2 m width, 25 cm height and 40 cm spacing between beds.
Season and method of planting
Plant during April with the commencement of pre-monsoon showers. Take small pits in the beds with a spacing of 25 x 30 cm and at a depth of 4-5 cm. Adopt a seed rate of 1500 kg/ha.
Mulch the crop immediately after planting with green leaves @ 15 t/ha. Repeat mulching after 50 days with same quantity of green leaves.



Apply cattle manure or compost as basal dose @ 30-40 t/ha, spread over the beds and mix well. Apply N:P2O5:K2O fertilizer @ 30:30:60 kg/ha. Full dose of P2O5 and half dose of K2O may be applied as basal. Apply two-third dose of nitrogen 30 days after planting and remaining N and K2O at 60 days after planting.

The rhizomes germinate within 3-4 weeks. Remove weeds 45 days after planting and repeat if necessary. Earth up the crop after 60 days of planting.

Plant protection
Compared to the related crops ginger and turmeric, the crop is free from pests and diseases. But when large-scale cultivation is taken up, the attack of shoot borer (Conogethes punctiferalis) causes, damage to the crop. Appearance of dead heart in the field is the main symptom. To reduce the pest population, pull out the dead hearts with the larvae inside and burn it. If infestation is severe, spray dimethoate or quinalphos at 0.05%.





KISSAN Kerala Operations Centre, IIITM-K, NILA, Techno park Campus, Thiruvananthapuram

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