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ACI AGRO SOLUTION

INTRODUCTION

ABOUT STEVIA


Stevia (STEVIA REBAUDIANA) leaves have functional and sensory properties superior to those of many other high potency sweeteners. Stevia is likely to become a major source of high potency sweetener for the growing natural food market in the future. Although Stevia can be helpful to anyone, there are certain groups who are more likely to benefit from its remarkable sweetening potential. These include diabetics, those interested in decreasing caloric intake, and children.

Origin of Stevia Rebaudiana is in central Paraguay where it grows near the ponds and streams in wild conditions. Native Paraguayans have been consuming this herb in large quantities for many centuries. It was only during early fifties that Japanese stumbled upon this unique herb and took it to Japan where they have developed many varieties of this wonderful herb for large scale cultivation The leaves of this plant are 30 times sweeter than sugar , with zero calories. Where as pure extract is 300 times sweeter than sugar.

Stevia Rebaudiana is a small perennial growing up to 65-80 cm tall, with sessile, oppositely arranged leaves. Different species of Stevia contain several potential sweetening compounds, with Stevia Rebaudiana being the sweetest of all. Stevia is a semi-humid subtropical plant that can be grown easily like any other vegetable crop even in the kitchen garden. The soil should be in the pH range of 6.5- 7.5; well-drained red soil and sandy loam soil. Saline soils should be avoided to cultivate this plant.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

STEVIA CULTIVATION AND PROPAGATION


Stevia is a five year plantation crop. The crop is newly introduced in India. It gives regular earning. The first cutting of the green leaves is done after four month of the plantation and later on there will be regular cutting after every 3-4 Months as per climatic condition. The crop is only source of natural sweetener. The stevia is the first choice of the sugar free industry. The sweetener of stevia is widely used in the world. The crop is planted for five years. After the fifth year the marginal return start to decline so it is best to uproot crop and replant it. Stevia cultivation in India is having bright future.

SOIL

Stevia grows well in sandy loam soils with an ample supply of water. stevia prefers acidic to neutral soil with a PH range of 6.5-7.5 for its best growth. Saline soils should be avoided as stevia plant is susceptible to water logged conditions.

CLIMATE

Stevia is a semi-humid, subtropical plant and can grow in the temperature ranges between 04-48o C. An annual average temperature of 31o C with a rainfall of 140 cm per year has been found optimum for its good growth. It shows good seed germination when subjected to light and warm conditions. Hence, a long growing season, minimal frost, high light intensities and warm temperature favors higher leaf production. Stevia is a short day plant, but the concentration of stevioside in the leaves increases when the plants are grown under long day conditions. The day temperatures should not exceed 48 oC and the night temperatures should not fall below 04 o C.


LAND PREPARATION

 The land sites are plowed and or cultivated twice to prepare a fairly smooth, firm-planting surface.Stevia cultivation is done on the bed shown very good result.


STEVIA CULTIVATION PROPAGATION

Stevia plants can be propagated from cuttings or seeds or by tissue culture. As the seed germination is very poor and seedlings are very slow to establish, it is generally propagated clonally through cuttings. For vegetative propagation, stem cuttings of 15 cm length taken from leaf axils of the current year’s growth have been given better results. Treatment with Paclobutrazol @ 100ppm has been found to induce the root initiation in short time and IBA@500 ppm is also found to be effective. The best months for propagation are February-March. The cuttings will be ready for transplanting after 25-30 days of rooting

TRANSPLANTS

Transplants from cuttings would be superior; however, cost makes it prohibitive. Stevia must be propagated from seed in plug trays placed in a greenhouse for a period of 7 to 8 weeks. 

PLANTING

Depending on different climatic conditions, Stevia is cultivable throughout the year except for times when it is extremely hot or cold. Stevia plug plants are planted into the field on 75 cm  bed with row spacing of 45 cm at 45 cm height with a total plant density in the order of 30,000 plants per Acre.

FERTILIZATION

The stevia plant appears to have low nutrient requirements; however a soil test should be conducted. Good organic manure must be applied time to time

WEED CONTROL

Stevia crop also requires hand hoeing and weeding. After every 2 months there must be weeding. regualr weedign must be done in stevia cultivation.

PESTS

Insect pest pressures other than cutworm are minimal. Septoria disease can cause considerable damage to the Stevia crop. Animals seem to like the sweet taste of Stevia, too. Application on neem based product will manage the disease and pests.

HARVESTING


Time of harvesting depends on land variety and growing season. Generally, it can be scheduled when plants are 40-60 centimeters in height. Shorter days induce flowering. Optimum yield (biomass) and stevioside quality and quantity is best just prior to flowering. The plant will tolerate very low temperatures.

DRYING

STEVIA LEAVES DRYING
Drying of the woody stems plus the soft green leaf material is completed immediately after harvesting, utilizing a drying wagon or a kiln. Depending on weather conditions and density of loading, it generally takes 24 to 48 hours to dry Stevia at 40°C to 50°C. An estimated 2500 kg/Acre dry green leaves are obtained from three-four cutting of every year. It is cultivated up to 5 years after a one time plantation.


THRESHING

Immediately following drying, a specially designed thresher/separator is necessary to separate dry Stevia leaves from its stem.


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( Director ),

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ISO 22000-2005,ISO 9001:2008, FSSAI, SSI, Seeds, Spice Board Of India, WHO GMP & NPOP, USDA, SGS organic certified.

Add.: J-507, AB, Sarna Dungar Industrial Area JAIPUR (RAJ.) 302012

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