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Carrot : Introduction




  • Carrot (Daucus carota) is a very popular vegetable in Pakistan. It is rich in carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, and contains appreciable quantities of thiamine and riboflavin. It belongs to the Umbelliferae family and is probably a native of Europe and British Isles.

     

     

    Introduction 

    Carrot (Daucus carota) is a very popular vegetable in Pakistan. It is rich in carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, and contains appreciable quantities of thiamine and riboflavin. It belongs to the Umbelliferae family and is probably a native of Europe and British Isles.

    Trends, Area, Production and Yield

    There has been a progressive increase in area and production of carrots in Pakistan. In 2004-05, the area increased to 13.9 thousand ha and production 242.3 thousand tonnes. The data since 1999-00 are as follows: 

    Table-1. Area Production and yield of carrots in Pakistan (1999-00 to 2004-05) 

    Year

     

    Area

    (000 ha)

    Production

    (000 tonnes)

    Yield (t/ha)

    1999-00 

    10.3 

    186.3 

    18.0 

    2000-01 

    10.6 

    188.1 

    17.8 

    2001-02 

    11.1 

    195.0 

    17.6 

    2002-03 

    12.3 

    215.3 

    17.6 

    2003-04 

    13.2 

    231.9

    17.6

    2004-05

    13.9

    242.3

    17.5

    The average shares of the provinces in the over all area and production of carrots, based on the data of 2004-05 are given in the following table.

    Table -2 Shares of provinces in area and production of carrot (2004-05)

    Province

    Area

    Production

    000 ha

    Percent share

    000, tonnes

    percent share

    Punjab

    8.2

    59

    157.7

    65

    Sindh

    1.7

    12

    18.2

    7

    NWFP

    0.6

    5

    8.6

    4

    Balochistan

    3.4

    24

    57.8

    24

    Pakistan

    13.9

    100

    242.3

    100

    Time of sowing

    Due to varying climatic conditions, there is a wide range of sowing time in Pakistan. Four main seasons are as under:

    Early crop

    It is planted in August and harvested in November / December.

    Mid-season crop

    It is planted during September / October and is ready to harvest during December / January.

    Late-Season crop

    It is planted during November and is harvested in February/March.

    Summer crop

    The crop is raised in the hilly areas. It is sown in March/April and is harvested form June to July.

    Seed rate and sowing method

    A seed rate of 20 to 25 kg per hectare is usually practiced. Carrot is seeded about 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep in the soil for better germination. The optimum distance between row-to-row should be 60 cm and plant-to-plant as 3 to 4 cm. Seed should be sown on both sides of ridges. The seedbed must be kept moist during the germination period. The soils which crust badly are likely to prevent a good stand of carrot.

    Irrigation

    There must be enough moisture in the soil at the time of seed sowing to facilitate better germination. The first irrigation may be needed five to six days after sowing and repeated again after five to six days till the completion of germination. Water should be applied gradually and moderately. To prevent curst formation, ridges should not be submerged in water. Thereafter, the crop should be irrigated after an interval of 15 to 20 days, depending on the weather conditions.

    Manure and fertilizers

    Unfinished compost or manure used as a fertilizer for carrot induces rough and branched roots. These materials should be well composted before being added to soil where the crop is grown. A well rotten farm yard manure should be applied at the rate of 25 to 30 tonnes per hectare, at the time of land preparation for maintaining proper physical conditions and fertility status of the soil.

    General recommendation for chemical fertilizers is 52 kg N, 45 kg of P2O5 and 62 kg of K2O. The half quantity of N should be applied before seed sowing and remaining half of N should be applied four to six weeks after sowing with subsequent irrigation.

    Harvesting
    Carrots for fresh market are harvested when the roots are 2.5 to 3 cm in diameter at the upper end. The field should be slightly irrigated a few days before harvesting. All the tops should be removed since they wilt and begin to decay first.

    Storage
    Cold storage prolongs the life of carrot by slowing physiological changes. Topping and bagging the carrot in transparent film reduces the loss of weight and water during transportation to the market. Carrots can be kept in good condition for six months at a temperature of about 32°F with 90 to 98 percent relative humidity. However, it deteriorates in quality in storage owing to slow loss of sugar in respiration.

    Recommended varieties

    T-29

    Key Reference : parc.gov.pk

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