Sweet corn production begins in Muzaffarpur
MUZAFFARPUR: For the first time in Bihar, a few farmers of Muzaffarpur have started growing sweet corn on a commercial basis. They have earned a net profit of Rs 1 lakh from one acre of land in a year by growing the crop twice a year in the same field.
Its cultivation requires extra care on the grower’s part for preserving the sweet fluid of the corn till its packing in canes or pouches. If the corn gets dry, the price would be zero and can be consumed as nothing more than cattle feed.
On an experimental basis, a progressive farmer of Jhapaha farm under Bochaha block, Bholanath Jha, sowed seeds of the crop in four phases. He sowed it on October 12, 19 and 28 and November 17 last year. Another farmer of Panapur village under Motipur block, Devendra Sahni, sowed it on November 1, 2012. The production of sweet corn sowed on October 12 was only 20% while it was 50% in the case of those sown on October whereas the crop sowed on November 17 was still in flowering stage. But, the production of the crop sown on October 28 and November 1 was 100% as expected. The average production was 2 quintals in one katha of land.
This has proved that the seeds sowed between October 27 and November 7 could fetch the best results in this region so far as temperature variation is concerned. Similarly, it has been established that the seeds sown in the last week of June was most suitable. As the crop needs only 100 days to mature, two crops in a year was possible in the same field.
Through a demonstration before local farmers at his Jhapaha farm on Friday, Jha showed how a farmer can get the best results both in production and marketing. The raw corn is plugged from cubs with the help of a machine and also packaged in sealed canes or pouches with machines. Lichika International, which sells and even exports packaged litchi juice and pulp from its Bela-based factory, has extended its help to the growers in packaging sweet corn as well.
At present, sweet corn, produced in Haryana, is being sold in malls and big grocery shops in Bihar at Rs 90 per 500 gm pack. It is consumed directly after boiling or roasting with spices as soup or even as vegetable. Its sweetness is its main quality as it is full of protein, calories and carbohydrate but without cholesterol-enhancing ingredient.
The seeds of the crop are available at Rs 2,250 per kg which increases the production cost. According a rough estimate, the total investment goes upto Rs 15,000 per acre. Still, the net income after marketing might not be less than Rs 50,000 per acre, farmers present at the demonstration claimed.
Muzaffarpur district agriculture officer (DAO) Vijay Kumar who is holding additional charge of joint director, agriculture, Tirhut division, expressed happiness over the successful production of sweet corn by the farmers. But he cautioned the farmers that its freezing-chain in storage and marketing of the produce were still the main problems.
Source: Times of Indiae