The Nigella sativa (Kalongi) is an annual spicy herb native to Mediterranean region having great medicinal importance in unani, ayurverdic and allopathic system of medicine. The seeds and oil for various uses are being imported from India, Sri Lanka, Iran and few other countries. In spite of its importance, no efforts were made to introduce this crop in Pakistan since 2002. Plant Genetic Resources Programme started work on germplasm collection, evaluation and development of production technology in 2002.
Technology Development, Demonstration and Recommendations
Plant Genetic Resources Programme collected 102 exotic and local germplasm lines from various agro-ecological regions. The germplasm was evaluated at NARC for two years and four high yielding genotypes were identified. During the year 2003-2004 and 2005-2006, performance of these selected genotypes was evaluated in the farmer’s field in Distt. Vehari at farmer’s field. A seed yield of 380 kg/acre was obtained having total income of approximately Rs.28000/- per acre. Due to great medicinal importance, Kalongi has no major problem of marketing. The production technology has been demonstrated at farmer’s field which has resulted in great demand for its seeds.
The crop can be grown in Punjab during the month of November as a Rabi crop with row to row distance of 30 cms. Five to six kg seeds and one bag of DAP is recommended for one acre. For germination of seeds, there must be deep moisture in the field at the time of sowing.
Ahmad, Z., A. Ghafoor, and M. Aslam. (2004). Nigella Sativa. A potential commodity in crop diversification traditionally used in healthcare. MINFAL. pp.34.