Green gram, also known as moong dal (cherupayar), is one of the main pulse crops in India. It is one of the most nutritious foods in the world. It is a rich source of protein along with fiber and iron.
Green gram which comes under legume family crops, is still not cultivated widely in Kerala. The most popular green gram in India and abroad is widely cultivated in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in India. Growing to a height of one meter, this legume has small pale yellow flowers that are self-pollinating.
Growing well in all types of soils, green gram is a drought tolerant plant. It can be cultivated on a wide range of soil, but gives best result when grown on well drained loamy to sandy-loam soil. But it is not suitable to cultivate in saline and water-logged soils.
Land Requirement and Preparation
In Kerala, it is better to cultivate in post-harvest paddy fields. Better yields are obtained by intercropping. It can be grown as an intercrop of tapioca, yam, arvi, coconut and banana. The monsoon season is a good time to cultivate.
When grown as a single crop, seeds are sown in plowed area. A single crop requires 20-25 Kg of seed per hectare but for intercropping 8 Kg of seed will be sufficient. After preparing the area where the weeds have been removed, ditches should be made 30 cm wide and 15 cm deep.
Pusa Vaishali, Pusa Mohini, Varsha, Sunayana, Amrit, Koppar and Gavon are the major green gram varieties.
Fertilizers and Manure
Green gram cultivation requires 20 tons of manure per hectare, 250 Kg of lime, 400 Kg of dolomite, 20 Kg of nitrogen, 30 Kg of potassium and 30 Kg of phosphorus. It is better to add lime while plowing the land.
After this, potash, phosphorus and half of the nitrogen fertilizer should be added at the time of final plowing. The surplus nitrogen is then added to the 2% urea solution and sown in equal proportions and sprayed in 15 and 30 days.
Pest and Their Control
One of the major problems faced by green gram farmers is the infestation of nematodes which destroy the shoots and fruits of the plant. To control this, spray with 0.1% quinalphos solution during flowering. 10% cythion insecticide solution can be used against pests that attack the flowers. The best varieties of seeds can be used for cultivation to control diseases.