Friday, 28 September 2012

Choosing the Right Variety within a Crop

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we are going to see how to choose the Right Variety within a Crop.

Once we have decided on the Crop, the next step will be to decide on a variety in that particular crop.

The following are some of the factors to decide on the variety:-

  1. End Usage
  2. Diversity in Varieties
  3. Time Diversity

End Usage - The meaning of End Usage is different for different crops.  I am giving an example of 2 crops here.

Coconut Tree
  • Coconuts are directly consumed which we call as Tender Coconut
  • Coconuts are used in Cooking for Chutney Paste etc
  • Coconuts are used as Oil for Cooking as well as for Hair
Mango Tree
  • Mangoes are used in Cooking
  • Mangoes can be directly consumed (Table Top)
  • Mangoes are made as Juice (Pulp) and sold by big companies
So, the ideas is to decide which segment are we focusing.  Do we want to focus on a single segment or do we want to focus on multiple segments?

Diversity in Varieties - The fact of the matter is different people like different mangoes based on their taste buds.  I may like Malgoa from Salem, others may like Alphonso (export market potential) etc.  Keeping in view this factor, it will be necessary for a cultivator to go for multiple varieties in the same crop.  This also will ensure there no particular variety is over produced and hence no wastage.

Time Diversity - Please note the word Diversity here.  I will be referring to this many more times in different contexts.

Again, I want to give examples here so that it is easy for a layman to understand what I mean.

Lets take the case of Mangoes as an example.  While choosing Mangoes, we have already seen whether it will be used mainly as Table Top or Pulp.  Assuming we have considered this factor already, the next question to address is, should our production be available at a single point of time or made available in different times?

There are Mango varieties that bear fruits during early, midseason & late seasons.  If our entire Mango crop comes to production during the same season, there will be over production and there are possibilities of wastages as well as profit hit.  If we plan our production in different seasons, the production will be balanced and we can market the produce in a timely manner.

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