Elephant foot yam- Planting activities

Elephant foot yam is propagated by tuber cuttings. About 4800 cut pieces weighing about 4.8 tones are required for one acre.

Cut pieces of tuber weighing about 1 kg are ideal for planting. The normal planting time is February-March, before the onset of monsoon. Dip the pieces in cow dung slurry and allow drying under shade before planting.

Dig pits of 60 cm x 60 cm x 45 cm size at a spacing of 90 cm apart. Fill the pits with top soil collected from 15-20 cm along with organic manure @ 2.5 kg/pit.

After planting, cover the pit with dried leaves or other mulching materials. Most of the seed material will germinate within one month after planting.

Mini-setts weighing 100 gram each can be planted directly in nursery beds or in the main field with the central bud portion facing up at a spacing of 60 cm x 45 cm.

A total of 37,000 mini-setts are needed for one hectare.  Multiplication ratio could be enhanced to 1:15 as against the conventional 1:3 by adopting mini-sett technique.

The basal dose of fertilizers has to be applied in 45 days after planting.