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Modified Panchakavya to boost plant and animal productivity

By Our Agriculture Correspondent

The modified Panchakavya improved the animal health and milk yield.

PANCHAKAVYA IS an organic product derived from five products evolving from cow, and it has been used in Indian medicine since time immemorial. ``I have modified this Panchakavya by adding a few more ingredients and the modified version has a lot of beneficial effects on a variety of crops and livestock'', said Dr. K. Natarajan, President of the Rural Community Action Centre (RCAC), a non-governmental organization, actively engaged in promoting the concepts of organic farming and bio-diesel in the rural areas of Tamil Nadu.

An allopathic medical practitioner with deep conviction in ecological farming and sustainable agriculture, Dr. Natarajan combined his traditional knowledge and wisdom on the value of cow's products and medicinal herbs to develop this Panchakavya. He has done extensive research with his Panchakavya on various crops, animals and even earthworms. His findings have been validated by leading research institutes in the country, and he was awarded the prestigious "Srishti Sanman" by a leading developmental organization in Ahmedabad.

"The present form of Panchakavya is a single organic input, which can act as a growth-promoter and immunity booster. It is essentially a product containing 4 kg gobar gas slurry, 1 kg fresh cow dung, 3 litres of cow urine, 2 litres of cow's milk, 2 litres of cow's curd, 1 kg cow's ghee, 3 litres of sugarcane juice, 12 ripe bananas, 3 litres of tender coconut water, and 2 litres of toddy (if available). This will make about 20 litres of Panchakavya. The concoction is stored in a wide-mouthed earthen pot or concrete tank in open. Sufficient shade should be provided, and the contents should be stirred twice a day, both in the morning and the evening. In seven days, the modified Panchakavya will be ready, and it can be diluted before use on plants and animals," says Dr. Natarajan.

The cost of production of a litre of Panchakavya is around Rs. 35, and it can be brought down substantially if the farmers use their own cows' products. The Panchakavya is diluted to three per cent and sprayed on crops to get the best results. Three litres of Panchakavya is diluted with 100 litres of water and sprayed over crops to get rid of pests and diseases and also get higher yields.

Seeds can be soaked and seedlings can be dipped in 3 per cent solution of Panchakavya for about 30 minutes before sowing to get good results from the crops.

Various crops such as rice, a variety of vegetables, fruit crops such as mango, banana, guava, acid lime cash crops such as sugarcane, turmeric, jasmine and moringa and plantation crops have responded extremely well to application of Panchakavya. Earthworms grew faster and produced more vermi-compost when treated with this solution.

"When sprayed with Panchakavya, the plants produce larger leaves, and develop denser canopy. The stem produces lateral shoots and much more sturdy branches to bear heavy yields.

The rooting is profuse and dense, and penetrating to deep layers. Roots helps in better intake of nutrients and water. Plants are able to stand protracted drought conditions, and needed less than a third of the irrigation in regular times," explains Dr. Natarajan. The Panchakavya has been field-tested by a network of organic farmers in the country.

Panchakavya has several beneficial effects on animals and fish as well. When fed to cows at 200 ml per day, they turned healthier and produced milk with high fat content. Their rate of conception increased, and the various common ailments were completely cured.

Similar effects were found in sheep and goats. When mixed with the poultry feed or drinking water at the rate of 5 ml per bird per day, the birds became disease-free and healthy. They laid larger eggs for longer periods.

In the broilers, the weight gain was impressive and the feed to weight conversion ratio improved. In the fishponds, the addition of Panchakavya increased the growth of phyto and zoo plankton, which contributed to improved fish feed availability and thus increased fish growth, according to Mr. Natarajan.

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