Journal of the International Aroid Society, Inc.
Volume 25, Number 1 (2002); Pages 78-87
Mass multiplication techniques for producing quality planting material of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson (Araceae)
By R. S. Misra, M. Nedunchezhiyan, T. M. S. Swamy and S. Edison     (Buy)


Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson (Araceae), commonly known as Elephant foot yam, is a high-potential tropical tuber crop. The tubers are a delicacy and rich in nutrients. In India, the cultivar 'Gajendra' is the most popular with non-acrid orange-colored flesh and with a yield potential of 50-60 Metric tons/hectare (tlha). This crop can be grown in other countries also where climatic conditions are suitable. In order to popularize this crop, a huge quantity of planting material is required. The planting material is either small whole tubers or bigger tubers cut into smaller pieces before planting. A large mass multiplication program to produce quality planting material of Elephant foot yam is in operation at our Centre. The mass multiplication techniques were improved and standardized. For commercial cultivation of Elephant foot yam, whole tubers of approximately 400-500 g size with plant to plant and row to row spacing of 90 X 90 cm, were found ideal. To obtain 400-500 g size whole tubers for commercial cultivation, cut tubers of approximately 50-100 g with a plant to plant and row to row spacing of 60 X 60 cm were found suitable for raising the crop for producing the planting material. Major diseases that collectively cause considerable damage to the crop, viz. Mosaic, collar rot, leaf blight and post harvest tuber rot, can be effectively checked by using disease-free planting material. Planting material used for raising the crop for the production of planting material for commercial crop should always be obtained from mosaic free crop and devoid of any post harvest spoilage. A fertilizer dose of 100:80:100 kg/ha of NPK was found to be optimum for raising the crop for commercial cultivation or for producing planting material. Preventive crop protection with two sprays of Mancozeb (0.02%) + Monocrotophos (0.05%) at 60 and 90 days after planting was found very effective. The crop raised for producing the planting material should be harvested only after full maturity and complete drying of the plants. Tuber yields of 30-40 t/ha can be obtained from the crop raised for producing the planting material whereas tuber yield of 50-60 t/ha can be obtained from commercial crop.


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