Aloe Vera is a very useful tropical plant. Because of its medicinal nature, it is also called as “miracle plant”. Aloe Vera is used mostly for skin treatment and cosmetics. It also improves digestive system and provides vitamins and minerals to our body. It is also a very effective adaptogen.
Aloe Vera is in high demand because of its extensive usage in health and cosmetic industry. So if a farmer decides to grow Aloe Vera in his field, it will give him really good returns.
Ideal climate and soil conditions for Aloe Vera cultivation
Aloe Vera is a warm tropical plan. It doesn’t need too much water or cold environment. It can be grown in drained soil. This plant can’t handle water stagnation. Black cotton soil with good drainage is ideal for Aloe Vera cultivation. This plant also grows better in sandy and loamy soils. Aloe Vera can also be grown in low rainfall areas and dry areas. Frost climate condition is dangerous for this plant.
Here are some really important steps for cultivating Aloe Vera:
Propagation and Planting – Rhizome cutting/ root suckers is used for propagation in Aloe Vera cultivation. Roots suckers are carefully dug at the base of the mother plant. These can be planted directly in the cultivation land. For 1 acre of nursery, 15000 suckers are necessary.
50,000 to 55,000 Aloe Vera plants can be grown in one hectare of farming land. The ideal space between Aloe Vera plants should be 40 cm.
Land Preparation – For Aloe Vera cultivation, land should be plowed thoroughly to get the soil to the fine tilth stage. The soil should be added with at least 15 tons of well rotten yard manure to improve its fertility.
Irrigation – Rained and irrigated both conditions are fine for Aloe Vera cultivation. Irrigation is required just after plantation. 2 times irrigation is required during the summer season. In rainy seasons, makes sure there is no water stagnation in the field as Aloe Vera plants are very sensitive to water.
Weed controlling – Weeding should be done at regular intervals to ensure the better growth of Aloe Vera plants.
Fertilizers for Aloe Vera Farming – Every year 15 to 20 tons of rotten farmyard manure should be applied per hectare of land. NPK fertilizer should also be applied to the land in the ratio of 50:50:50kg per hectare.
Disease and pest control – To fight with diseases like – aloe rust and basal stem rot, a farmer can contact his nearest agriculture department. The common diseases like – black brown leaf spots, mealy bug can be controlled any insecticide containing sulfur.
Harvesting of Aloe Vera – From the second year of planting, Aloe Vera plants are ready to harvest. The best time for harvesting Aloe Vera plants during morning or evening. In one year period of time, three harvested can be carried. Once planted Aloe Vera plants can give crops for 5 years. Along with the Aloe Vera leaves, side sucker can also be harvested for further need of plantation.
After harvesting – After harvesting, Aloe Vera leaves should be stacked in a cool, dry concrete floor. While dealing with harvested Aloe Vera leaves makes sure they don’t lose moisture.
Returns and Investment
With a 1 hectare of land, 40 to 45 tons of Aloe Vera leaves can be grown every year. If one ton of Aloe Vera is valued at Rs 4500, the total earning per year will be Rs 180000 to Rs 202500.
Aloe Vera is in great demand because of its increasing usages in cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Pharma and cosmetic companies need Aloe Vera suppliers for their production needs. So if a farmer is planning to cultivate this wonderful plant, he will have a great opportunity for excellent returns.