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Stevia Cultivation

SAY NO TO SUGAR
USE STEVIA AS NATURAL SWEETENER

> Stevia is a cash crop with low risk and assured tax-free returns in a period as short as 6 months. Scientific cultivation and careful selection of planting material can yield very high returns for three years as compared to traditional crops.
> Due to the increased awareness towards use of Herbal and traditionally accepted medicinal plants, a very good market domestic& international is coming up for the medicinal plants and Herbals.
> Among the most lucrative Herbal plant is Stevia "Stevia rebandiana" or Stevia , a  native of paraguay, which provides a whopping Rs.11.05 lakh returns in a cycle of three years per acre.
> It is a native to Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, & Paraguay where the native Gurney have used Caa-ehe (Stevia) for over 1500 years to sweeten otherwise unpalatable medicinal drinks.
> Members of Composite family (Sunflower) Stevia is a sweet herb and is fast becoming major source of high potency bio- sweetener for the rapidly growing market for "natural" foods replacing chemical sweeteners like Aspartame, Saccharine and Splenda and even table sugar. Dry Stevia leaf is up to 30 times sweeter than sugar.
> The sweetness in Stevia is mainly attributed to two compounds viz. Stevioside 15 to 20% and rebaudiosideA (1-3%) which can be up to 250 times sweeter than sucrose.
> Stevia side has a few advantages over artificial sweeteners in that it is stable at high temperatures(100.C) and a ptt range of 3-9 and does not Darlene with cooking.

STEVIA  IN  AYURVEDIC  FORMULATIONS

As we all know stevia is gaining  wide popularity in India due  its sweetness that comes  with out harmful calories. We should stop co relating stevia with cane sugar.  Raw Stevia leaves can be useful for man kind in more than one way. Since Stevia leaves if consumed regularly can have multiple curative properties that can be immensely helpful for stabilizing disturbed metabolism of humans caused by wrong eating habits and sedentary life style.

STEVIA  FOR TOOTH CARE: As we all know that most of the dental formulations in powder , herbal or paste form use large quantities of sugar for imparting sweet taste . since the sweetness is so much a integral part of our daily life it is very difficult to imagine a teeth cleaning preparation without customary  sweet taste .

In most of the cases sugar is most preferred sweetening agent. But many times some important  aspects are neglected such as-

  • Sugar is actually contributes to the teeth decay  !

  • In highly concentrated form it reduces the activity of other herbal ingredients.

Stevia whole leaf powder offers a ideal alternative to replace sugar in the dental powders and pastes . Not only the stevia  eliminates the requirement of sugar but its anti bacterial activity actually  enhances the protective and curative properties of dental  preparations.

STEVIA  FOR DIABETIC CARE : It has been proven by a Dutch / Japanese scientists in the year 2003  that Stevia leaves if consumed regularly have great potential in reducing the dependence on the oral and inject able insulin. Regular intake of stevia leaves induces the beta cells of pancreas to produce more insulin. This interesting property of Stevia leaves opens up number of possibilities for Ayurvedic and herbal drug manufactures to

  • Improve the existing formulation targeted at controlling diabetes.

  • To develop new formulations to tackle this severe problem of type 1 and 2 diabetes in the Asian population world wide..

STEVIA FOR HYPERTENTION: As we all are aware of the fact that most of the diabetics do suffer form hyper tension at some stage of their life . The earliest clinical studies have amply demonstrated that Stevia leaves have potent action in reducing cronic hypertension.  Stevia leaves if consumed regularly have excellent scope to be used as a single medicine for control of Diabetes as well as hypertension.

STEVIA AS A GENERAL TONIC : Dried stevia leaves contain many vitamins and trace elements such as selenium, cobalt , chromium etc.  We all know that these elements are potent antioxidants. Hence it has been proven that stevia can be used in herbal tonic formulations with promising results.

STEVIA AND WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION : The  WHO  in its  report on Food additives has clearly  defined role of stevia in control of diabetes and hypertension. WHO also has ascertained the safety of stevia as a food additive .Number of research projects are being carried out trying to ascertain the use ful ness of stevia leaves in diseases as diverse as AIDS  to tooth decay ! . This implies that uses of stevia leaves to cure / control  various diseases would see dramatic increase  in near future.

SAFETY OF STEVIA : There are many views and confusions with regard to safety of stevia leaves and extracts. Stevia  has been consumed for last many centuries in southern America and for last four decade in Japan and south  Korea etc. There are number of research papers that have been published around the world about safety of stevia

Sun fruit has acquired number of papers on these subjects. Sun Fruit is also in the process of conducting  clinical trails so as to collect data in India for uses of Stevia for

Diabetes as well as Hypertension.. If you have any questions about safety of stevia please do not hesitate to communicate with us so that we can immediately revert back with answers to satisfy you.

HOW TO USE STEVIA LEAVES  : Stevia can be used as a sweetener of choice in Ayurvedic formulations . There are more than one ways that the stevia leaves can be used in Ayurvedic formulations. One can use it in dry ground form specially in tooth powders etc. Stevia can also be used in crude extract form ( boiling stevia leaves in water  for 30 minutes results in dissolving active ingredients in water at the rate of two percentage points) This resultant solution can be used in Herbal  formulations

QUALITY OF STEVIA LEAVES  : If you have decided to use stevia leaves in your products  you should always be diligent about

  • Are your stevia leaves harvested from proper  variety  ? since the advent of stevia farming in India there are number of so called small companies who are selling planting material of wild and low quality stevia plants. Since the wild stevia plants are easy to multiply and can be sold at reduced price. These wild varieties produce leaves that are inferior in sweet glucosides as well as in other important phyto chemicals that are responsible for  medicinal properties of Stevia

  • Are your stevia leaves properly dried : Since it is found that mostly when the leaves are not properly dried then the active ingredient of Stevia leaves that determine the effectiveness of stevia as a medicine are  drastically reduced.

  • Are your stevia leaves hygienically grown ? Since most of the times stevia leaves are grown using plenty of inorganic fertilizer these type of Stevia  leaves are generally inferior in active ingredients that determine the use full ness of stevia leaves in medicine.

  • Are you assured of continuous supply of standardized stevia leaves ?

 

ECONOMICS

The cost of planting material Rs. 1,35,000.00/-
Cost of cultivation & input expenses Rs. 10,000.00/-
Labour charges during planting Rs. 1500/-
Weeding Charges Rs. 3500/-
Harvesting & Processing Expences Rs. 10,000/-
Total Cost Rs. 1,60,000/-

 
 
AVERAGE RETURN IS Rs. 2,00,000/- YEARLY AND IT GOES UPTO 3-5 YEARS CONTINUOUSLY.

 

AGRONOMY

Soil Type and land preparation :- Stevia plant grow best in rich, well drained soils like red and sandy loam soils. The soil should be of fine tilt and  natural ph. level. The land should be initially harrowed and then ploughed to break down the clods .The site should not be susceptible to flooding of or pudding. Ridges are prepared with potato planter 2" apart. Stevia plants are planted 25,000-30,000 with plant to plant distance 8-9 cm.
This plant will grow to about 1-2' high and wide.
 

Irrigation :- Controlled/sprinklers irrigation is the best method of irrigating Stevia plants to avoid damage by excessive levels of moisture. Frequent light watering is recommended during the summer months while during winter months as the bed starts loosing moisture .

Fertilizer :- Stevia plants responds well to fertilizers with lower nitrogen content than fertilizer with Phosphoric Acids or potash content. Most organic fertilizers would work well since they release Nitrogen slowly. Since the feeder roots of Stevia plant tend to be very near to the surface, normally Vermicompost, @ 2-3 tonnes per acre should be mixed in the soil brfore making the ridges. Nitrogen application is must for the production of dry matter and good harvest of leaves. Evergreen (organic liquid manure) is recommended for the purpose.

weeding and maintenance:- There is no pest and disease incidence in this crop. In case any disease symptom is noticed, spraying of neem oil diluted in water is the best organic method. Removal of weeds can be done manually. Since the crop is grown on raised beds, intercultural operations are easier by manual labor. Flowering of the plant should be avoided. Pinching of the apical bud would enhance bushy growth of the plant with side branches.

Harvesting:- First harvest can be made after 3 months while the subsequent harvest can be made every 3 months for 3-5 years. The plants are cut just before flowering as the sweetener in the leaf is the maximum at that time. Leaves are harvested by plucking in a small quantity or the entire plant with the side branches being cut by leaving 10 to 15cm from the base. The expected yield would be 2000 kgs of dried leaves per acre.

Post Harvest:- The harvested branches are dried in shade and the dried leaves are stripped off from the branches. The dried leaves are powdered sieved and the fine powder is stored in containers.

Marketing :- Though relatively new to India it's marketing infrastructure is fast taking shape. The farmers should form their consortium to get good price for their produce and to eliminate the middleman in the domestic market and export market both. Being a medicinal plant coming under horticulture crops, Stevia cultivation entitles one to tax- free returns. Subsidy may also be available from National Medicinal Plants Board. Financial support from Banks should be available for the cultivation of Stevia.

USES

1.      Fresh Stevia Leaves.
2.      Dried Leaves/Powder.
3.      Stevia Extract.
4.      Liquid Concentrates.

        In the 70's & 80's Stevia was developed as a sweetener/Flavor enhancer which has since been used widely for this purpose in Japan, China, Korea, Israel, Brazil and Paraguay.
        In Japan about 51% of the sweetener market is Stevia based
        Stevia is useful in regulating blood sugar, preventing hypertension, treatment of slain disorders and  prevention of tooth decay. Studies show that it is a natural antibacterial and antiviral agent as well. On top of that, calorie and carbohydrate free and hence a great sweetener choice for diabetics, and those watching their weight .
        Stevia, therefore, opens up new avenues for crop diversification and a viable alternative to sugarcane. There is a potential to use Stevia in soft drinks, confectionery and bakery etc. Instead of sweeteners with known adverse side effects in the long run. Stevia prevents tooth decay with its microbial property. Majority of the supplementary food products for diabetic patients emphasize on the fibre & protein content the addition of the Stevia leaves, dried or in powder form, in such products would not only aid in increasing the natural sweetness but would also help in rejuvenating the pancreatic gland.
        Apart from this, Stevia is nutrient rich, containing substantial amount of Protein, Magnesium, Miocene, riboflavin, Zinc, Chromium, Selenium, Calcium & Phosphorus, Besides Stevia can also be used as a household sweetener in preparation of most Indian sweetmeats.

 

 

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