A study of knowledge and traditional wisdom of makhana cultivation in Bihar

Kumar, Avinash ; Singh, A K; Kumar, B ; Kumari, S

Abstract

Makhana (Euryale ferox) is an aquatic crop from the family Nymphaeace and is commonly grown in stagnant water bodies like ponds, swamps and ditches with shallow water. Euryale is a self-pollinated plant, in which pollination takes place at the early stage of flower development. Bihar is the largest producer of makhana throughout the country with an area of approx 15,000 ha. In spite of several uses and immense market potential in India and abroad, makhana is still cultivated through traditional system, area of which is declining in recent years. Therefore, an attempt was made to understand traditional wisdom of makhana production practices with special reference to its post harvest management. For this purpose, 100 makhana growers were identified from Madhubani district of Bihar which occupies more than 30% of the total area and production. They were personally interviewed with the help of a structured schedule consisting of different components such as, suitable soils in terms of type, quality and its strength, the type, slope and depth of ponds of makhana, the preparation and management of pond for makhana cultivation, seeds with respect to source and quality, fertilizer and disease management, harvesting process of makhana with respect to its the time and process of maturity along with the grading and marketing of makhana. The results indicated that makhana production practices are primarily governed with the traditional knowledge system which the growers obtained through their forefathers.

Keyword(s)

Disease and pest management; Euryale ferox; Makhana; Knowledge; Traditional wisdom

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