Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera plants are basically tropical succulent plants. You can grow plants both in tropical or subtropical regions. A frost free zone is perfect for cultivation. The scientific name of aloe vera is Aloe Barbadensis Miller. Aloe Barbadensis Miller is one of over 250 known species of aloe.

 

In addition, it is an important and traditional medicinal herbs. Aloe vera is a hardy perennial tropical plant.

 

The major producing countries of this type of plants are China, U.S.A., Mexico, Australia and some of the Latin American countries. In India, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Kerala are the major growing states of these kind of plants.

 

Some of the popular names of aloe vera are Cape aloe, Aloe curacao, Barbadoes Aloe, Venezuela Aloe, Indian Alces, Ghirita, Lu hui, Star Cactus.

 

Economic Importance Of Aloe Vera Cultivation

Even a small scale aloe vera farm is the economically viable project. Furthermore, it contains a mixture glucosides collectively called ‘aloin’. It is the active constituent of the drug.

 

Aloin and its gel are used as the skin tonic. In addition, it has a cooling effect and moisturizing agent. So it is useful in the preparation of creams, lotions, shampoos and allied products. It is also used in gerontology and rejuvenation of aging skin.

 

The leaves of Aloe Vera is used for the treatment of facial edema or swelling. Furthermore, its fluid is beneficial in reducing the inflammation and pain. In addition, it is an essential item in cosmetics and even in the food industry.

Therefore, some of the popular value added products are aloe vera juice, gel, face wash, face pack etc. Also, it is a very popular potted plant and used heavily as the indoor decoration. Therefore, aloe vera cultivation is a profitable business.

Health Benefits Of Aloe Vera

  • First of all, aloe vera is detoxifying.
  • It supports the immune system.
  • In addition, it helps to low cholesterol and blood sugar.
  • Aloe vera is excellent for the skin treatment and cosmetic use.
  • Aloe vera is rich in amino acid and fatty acid
  • It is excellent for digestion
  • Finally, taking aloe vera is an easy way to boost your vitamin and mineral intake.

Things To Consider in Commercial Aloe Vera Cultivation

  • In starting aloe vera cultivation, first, ensure how much land you have.
  • Secondly, calculate input costs as the capital investment.
  • Find the market for your product.
  • Check whether the agroclimatic condition is suitable for aloe vera cultivation.
  • Check the soil quality. You must go for soil analysis.
  • Finally, arrange proper irrigation, manure and plant protection inputs.

Improved varieties For Aloe Vera Cultivation

Commercially important sub-species are Aloe Barbedensis, A. Chinensis, A. Perfoliata, A. Vulgaris, A indica, A. Littoralis and A. Abyssinica. Also, you can find varieties like IC111271, IC111269, IC111280 etc. from National Botanical and Plant Genetic Resource, ICAR.

Agro Climatic Condition For Aloe Vera Cultivation

Aloe has wide adaptability and can grow in various climatic conditions. In addition, you can grow the plant equally good in warm humid or dry climate. However, it is intolerant to extreme cool conditions. The plant flourishes well on dry sandy soils at localities with lower annual rainfall of 50 to 300mm. Furthermore, it needs protection against frost and low winter temperature.

Suitable Soil For Aloe Vera Cultivation

First of all, you can grow the plant in a variety of soils ranging from sandy coastal soils to loamy soils of plains. It is sensitive to waterlogged conditions. The crop also comes up well in light soils. It can tolerate higher pH and high Na and K salts.

 

Growth is faster under medium fertile, heavy soils such as black cotton soils. In well drained, loam to coarse sandy loam in a pH range up to 8.5, it grows well with higher foliage.

Aloe Vera Cultivation Basic Steps

Soil Preparation

First of all, you must plough and cross plough the land thoroughly. You can add farm yard manure properly. Additionally, you can follow ridges and furrows method for plantation.

Irrigation

You can grow the plant both under irrigated and rainfed condition.  Provision of irrigation immediately after planting and during the summer season will ensure good yields. However, the plants are sensitive to waterlogged conditions.

Manuring

The crop responds well to the application of farm yard manure and compost. In the first year of the plantation, you can apply FYM @15 t/ha during the land preparation. During the subsequent years, the same dose of FYM is applied every year. Besides, you can apply 50:50:50 kg/ha of N:P:K as basal dose.

Weed Control

You must remove the weeds regularly from your cultivated land. Generally, you can do it manually. In the subsequent years, two weeding cum light hoeing in each year are sufficient to minimize the weed population.

 

In order to facilitate healthy soil atmosphere, you must do soil works like spading, earthing up, etc. in aloe plantation.

Plant Protection

The fungus causing leaf spot disease is common in aloe vera plant. This affects yield and quality of the gel adversely. However, you can control the disease by spraying recommended fungicides.

 

Harvesting & Yield In Aloe Vera Cultivation

You can start harvesting when the leaves are thick and fleshy. Generally, you can harvest three times in a year. However, you can only remove three to four leaves per plant. Harvesting is labour intensive. Only morning and evening are the right time for harvesting. The leaves will regenerate from the scar.

 

Thus you can harvest the crop up to 5 years after planting. Apart from leaves, the side suckers, which can be used as planting material, can also be sold.

 

Yield may be as high as 50 – 55 tonnes of thick fleshy leaves from the one-hectare plantation. However, a conservative yield of about 40 t/ha may be considered for working out day viability of bankable schemes. Furthermore, you can sell the suckers from about 55-60% of the plants annually.