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Friday, November 21, 2014

Cow urine makes for juicy lemons

Cow urine makes for juicy lemons



T. Kaniappan with the plump lemons, which are cultivated with cow urine. (Inset) The earthworm casts that are used as fertilisers

KULAI : Earthworms and cow urine have helped a farmer here grow juicier and bigger lemons.

T. Kaniappan, 57, who used to harvest ping-pong ballsized lemons on his one-acre orchard, is now reaping fruits that are bigger than hockey balls.

It happened after he replaced chemical fertilisers and pesticides at his farm in an oil palm plantation about 10km from here with organic fertilisers.

He also uses bitter leaves and a mixture of yoghurt and coconut milk for the improved crop which has been giving him bumper yields since then.

Today, Kaniappan’s orchard produces three times as many lemons as before.

His success has also spurred him to set up a vermiculture (earthworm breeding) facility on a two-hectare plot at the plantation where he produces 80kg of earthworm casts per month that he uses as fertiliser.

The orchard nets him RM500 a month while the earthworm fertiliser brings him RM250.

The former Sime Darby plantation technician started his orchard in 2004 with yields of about 35kg of fruit.

“In 2005, I was introduced by the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) to this organic farming technique developed in India. My lemon plants took on a new life with yields of about 200kg of fruit.” Kaniappan said he started his vermiculture with 20 earthworms received from CAP.

He placed them in open concrete compartments filled with soil and compost made of sugarcane waste.

The worms multiplied to 1,800 in three months.

To keep pests away, he uses a spray of a mixture of cow urine and five types of bitter leaves which leaves him pestfree for two weeks.

“I also spray a mixture of fermented yoghurt and coconut milk that has been kept over 15 days on the plant as it enhances flowering, fruiting and overall growth.

“Another good growth enhancer is fish waste and brown sugar that I spray on my plants to promote new shoots. It also keeps pests away.”

Kaniappan said another wonder potion was Pancakavya, a mixture of cow dung, cow urine, ghee, milk, yoghurt, sugarcane juice, coconut water, bananas and toddy.

“Pouring this mixture at the roots or spraying on the plants will enhance the growth, taste and glossiness of the produce while keeping pests away.

“The potion when fed to livestock and fish can also enhance their growth,” said Kaniappan, who is helping CAP in its nationwide campaign to promote organic farming.
--- KatoeyNewsNetwork
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