Betel Leaf Farming Introduction
The betel leaf vine is most common in Asia. The plant naturally grows in many places. The nuts and leaves of the plant are useful. It has many health benefits. Apart from that, the leaf is also used in many auspicious purposes and occasions. The betel leaves are used a lot in religious ceremonies in many countries. That is why it has such a huge demand.
There are many health benefits of the betel leaves. Because of this, there is a very good demand for the leaves internationally. There are many varieties of betel vines which are cultivated across the world. Any suitable variety can be chosen for farming. There are certain factors which must be kept in mind while cultivating betel vines. Only then, a proper yield can be obtained. To get a good profit, the quality and yield of the leaves must also be very good. The betel leaves can also be used in cooking many dishes. The very famous paan is prepared using betel leaves with various spices. Good soil, nutrition and irrigation must be provided to get a very good yield. If the cultivation techniques are followed properly, the profit obtained from betel vine can be very good.
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Scientific Name of Betel: Piper betel
Top Countries Producing Betel Leaves
The betel leaves grow naturally in parts of Asia. it is therefore cultivated mainly in the southeast and south Asia. it is mainly cultivated in India, Bangladesh, Papua new guinea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other countries. They are also exported to other countries due to its huge demand in other places.
Different Varieties Of Betel Leaf Vine For Cultivation
There are many different varieties of betel leaf which are cultivated. The variety must be selected based on market demand. The market demand for each variety may be different for different regions. so, it must be chosen carefully. The common varieties of betel leaf vine are as follows:
- India- Bangla, mahoba Bangla, SB-35, Peshawar, Sanchi, pachakodi, kali Bangla, Bhavana, vellaikodi, meethi, karpoori, tellaku, naua Bangla, mahai, ambadi, ramtek Bangla, simurali
- Malaysia- sireh Malaya, sireh china, sireh hudang
- Sri Lanka- kahaneru, ratadalu, nagawalli, gelathoda
- Indonesia- sireh buah, sireh Hitam, sireh balawi
This variety of betel leaf is mainly grown in various districts of West Bengal. The leaves of this variety have a waxy texture and are very thin. The leaves are ovate in shape and structure and have a dark green colour. The leaves also have pale yellow coloured specks on them. The leaves have a unique aroma which makes it highly desirable among other varieties of betel leaves.
The main regions which cultivate this variety of betel leaf are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala etc. Vines are branched and also vigorous. The leaves are narrow and ovate in shape. The leaves have a soft texture and a thin lamina. This variety of betel leaf also has a characteristic aroma.
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This variety of betel leaf vine is clone selection. The leaf yield of this variety is very high. It can be easily cultivated in the southern parts of India. The betel leaf vines are dwarf in nature with a very good growth. The stem of this vine variety is multilateral and is very strong. The leaves have a yellowish green colour and distinct pungency.
This variety was derived from a local variety of betel. The short internode length is one distinct characteristic feature of this variety of betel leaf. Due to this, the yield and productivity of this variety are also very high.
This is one of those varieties of betel vines which has a very great demand in the market. The growth of this variety is vigorous and it also has a pungent smell. The leaves are dark green in colour with yellowish tinges. The leaves have a cordate and roundish shape. The leaves also have a fibrous texture.
The leaves of this variety of betel vine have a medium to large size. They have a narrow and ovate shape and a long size. The lobes of the leaf are less prominent. The leaves of this variety are also dark green in colour and have a pungent smell.
This variety of betel leaf mostly grows in the wild. It mainly grows in the hilly regions of northeast India. The colour of the leaf is dark to dull green in colour.
The characteristics of the leaves of this variety is same as that of the karpoori variety. The productivity of this variety is also very high. There are a wild and semi-wild variety of betel leaf cultivars.
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Soil Conditions For Betel Leaf Farming
For betel leaf cultivation, the fertile soil must be used. Well-drained soils which are rich in the organic matter must be used for the cultivation of betel leaf vines. Any good soil can be used for its cultivation. but, clay loams are considered most suitable for the cultivation. the ph of the soil must be balanced. The vines cannot tolerate extreme conditions. Saline or alkaline soils must be avoided for the cultivation of betel vines. Too light or too deep soils must be avoided. Well-drained soils must be used. This must be done so that waterlogged conditions must be avoided. Waterlogged conditions are not good for the growth of the plants.
Climatic Conditions For Betel Leaf Farming
The betel vine requires a cool climate to grow properly. it must receive plenty of sunshine and humid climate for better growth. Extreme climate conditions such as extreme heat or extreme cold must be avoided. In such conditions, the plants do not grow well. Frost conditions must be avoided. Moderate rainfall is important for the good growth of the betel leaf vines. Such climatic conditions must be followed to get a good yield of the betel leaves.
Land Preparation For Betel Leaf Farming
The land must be prepared thoroughly for betel leaf vine farming. The land must be cleared of any weeds or any waste matter from previous cultivation. after that, proper ploughing and tilling must be done. the ploughing can be done with tractors or with bullock carts. The ploughing is done to make the soil texture smooth and fine. After that, tilling must be done. after ploughing of the soil, proper quantities of farmyard manure must be mixed with the soil. this will increase the fertility of the soil. proper drainage channels must also be made in the soil. this must be done so that there is no problem of waterlogging in the field.
Propagation Methods For Betel Leaf Farming
The propagation method for the cultivation of betel leaf vine is by vegetative methods. It is done by stem cuttings or setts. About 30-45cm long setts are used. The setts must be selected from the top portion of the vines. Those portions develop the roots easily.
Planting Method For Betel Leaf Farming
The betel is a vine. Therefore it requires a support which must be planted in the field five-six months earlier than planting the betel leaf plants. After that, the setts or cuttings may be planted. The setts which have apical buds and adventitious roots must be planted in the field. Watering must be done immediately after planting.
Plant Spacing And Planting Density For Betel Leaf Farming
The plant beds are 2m wide. A minimum spacing of 45cm must be maintained. About 1,00,000 setts can be planted in one hectare of land.
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Planting Season For Betel Leaf Farming
The best season for planting betel leaf plant is November- December and January- February.
Irrigation Methods For Betel Leaf Farming
The first irrigation must be given at the time of planting. Irrigation must be given based on the moisture content of the soil. during the rainy season, irrigation must be given accordingly. Waterlogged conditions are not suitable for the growth of the betel leaf vines. Therefore in case of excess rainfall, the water must be drained out of the field. in case of hot and humid weather, proper watering must be done in the field. for saving water, other irrigation methods such as sprinkler or drip irrigation can be used. For irrigation, water must be used which is not saline.
Fertiliser And Manure Application For Betel Leaf Farming
A soil test must be done before application of fertilisers. Based on the result of the soil test, fertilisers must be applied. Application of too many fertilisers may be harmful to the soil. organic manure must also be applied along with chemical fertilisers in the soil. well, rotten farmyard manure must be applied in the field. every time fertilisers are applied, a light irrigation must be given. Proper quantities of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus must be given. To avoid micronutrient deficiency, micronutrients must also be applied in the field.
Intercultural Operations For Betel Leaf Farming
The weeds must be removed from time to time. It should be done so that they do not compete with the main crop for nutrients. Chemical herbicides may be used for controlling the weeds. Manual weed removal or natural methods to remove weeds may also be used. Training and support of the plants are necessary and it must be done beforehand. The betel plant is a vine and it needs proper support for growing in a proper way.
Disease And Pest Control Methods For Betel Leaf Farming
Following are the most common disease and pest control methods for the cultivation of betel:
- Wilt- seed treatment with Bordeaux mixture
- Anthracnose- ziram or Bordeaux mixture spray
- Mites- wettable sulphur spray
- Mealy bugs- dimethoate or chlorpyriphos spray
- Scale- malathion or chlorpyriphos spray
- Powdery mildew- wettable sulphur spray
- Blight, spot and stem rot- Bordeaux mixture and streptocycline spray
- Aphids- chlorpyriphos spray
The Yield Of Betel Leaf
With proper crop management techniques, about 75-100 lakh leaves per hectare can be obtained each year.
Harvesting Betel Leaf
The harvesting can be done when the leaves are mature and are of the right size. The leaves can be harvested by hand picking. Only fresh and non-defective leaves must be picked.
Post-Harvest Management And Marketing Of Betel Leaves
After harvest, the leaves must be kept in cold storage conditions so that they remain fresh. It is better if the fresh leaves are sold in the market. The spoiled and damaged leaves must be sorted out and separated. The leaves can be packed properly and sent to the market for selling.
Benefits Of Betel Vine
- The betel leaf can provide relief from constipation. The leaves contain anti oxidants which might help to prevent constipation and cure it as well.
- The betel leaves can help to provide relief from gastric pains. It balances the ph of the stomach.
- The betel leaves are very good for maintaining the oral health. It cures bad breath and also prevents the bacterial
- To get relief from a cough, betel leaves can be very useful. It can prevent and cure a constant
- Betel leaves have antiseptic properties. They can effectively kill germs and bacteria and keep it free of any problems.
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Betel Leaf Farming – Conclusion
The betel leaves have a huge demand in the market. This is one such commodity which has been in the trade for centuries. There is already huge competition in the market for its sale and trade. So, modern techniques must be used for a good yield and productivity. A good yield and good quality leaves will have a huge market demand and also fetch a very good price.