Welcome to Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development
Climate:  It is successfully cultivated in light cool and dry climate. It does not prefer humidity in atmosphere during flowering and seed setting stage and is prone to attack by diseases under such climatic condition It is also susceptible to frost injury during flowering and early fruit setting stage Therefore the cultivation of the cumin is restricted during Rabi season in the area in which atmospheric humidity during February and March is low At the time of maturity cumin need dry climate. The frequent rain during flowering or early fruit setting period is highly undesirable.
Soil: All type of soil suitable for cultivation of this crop. However sandy loam to medium heavy soils having plenty of organic material with better fertility status are most suitable The soil should have better drainage facility because stagnated water and excessive moisture both are very harmful for successful cultivation of cumin.

Improved Varieties:

Rajasthan: RZ-19, RZ-209 and RZ-223, GC-4
Gujarat: GC-1, GC-2, GC-3 and GC-4

Field preparation: Soil is brought to fine tilth by 2-3 ploughing with harrow or deshi plough. Stubbles of the previous crop should be collected and removed from the field. Clods should be broken and field should be leveled   with the help of plank. Each ploughing should be followed by planking for conserving soil moisture. Beds of   convenient size with provision of irrigation channels should be prepared before sowing of seed .In the last ploughing FYM or compost is to be   incorporated into the soil.  If there are chances of termite then apply Quinolphos 1.5% or Methyl-Parathion dust 2.0%@ 20-25.0 kg/ ha before planking.

Time of Sowing:    Mid of October to Mid of   November.

Seed rate: The seed rate required is 12-16 kg /ha

Seed treatment: To control the seed borne diseases the seed should be treated with Bavistin, or difoltan @ 2.5g/kg seed ot with Trichoderna @ 6 g /kg seed
Sowing method:  Sowing of cumin is done by two method i.e. line sowing  and  broad cast-casting. Traditionally farmers used to sow cumin by broadcasting .Sowing of cumin in line facilitate intercultural operation The line to line distance should be kept at 25 cm.  The field should be divided in small beds. The seed should not be sown deeper than 1.5 cm and the same should be coved with a thin layer of soil. Since germination is a problem in cumin. Therefore soaking of seed in water for 8 hours before sowing improves the germination. The soaked seed should be dried in shade before sowing. \Study done at NRCSS, Ajmer proved that hydro priming (soaking seeds in distil water for 6 hrs) hastened the germination in cumin by 7-8 days.

Manure and fertilizers: The requirement of fertilizer depends upon the fertility status of the soil. Therefore, fertilizer should be applied based on soil testing report. In order to maintain good soil structure and biological property apply 10 ton / ha FYM or compost three weeks before sowing of the crop. The crop responds well to fertilizer application. Therefore in addition to FYM apply 30 Kg N, 20 Kg P2 O5 and 20 kg K2 O / ha. Apply half of nitrogen and  full dose of  phosphorus and potash  as basal and remaining N in two equal split doses at 30 and 60 days after sowing as a top dressing.     

Irrigation: After sowing a light irrigation should be applied and initial moisture helps in getting good germination. The germination of the seed will be visible after10-12 days of sowing. The crop is irrigated at an interval of 20-30 days depending upon the weather condition and soil type. It is however important to keep in mind that irrigation should be avoided when the crop is at maturity stage, as this may affect seed quality adversely. Application of water with micro irrigation system especially with drip irrigation has been proved very effective in enhancing yield and quality of cumin along with saving of water and nutrients.

Intercultural operation: The crop should be kept free from weeds for proper growth and development of plants Generally 2-3 hand weeding are required to keep the crop weed free.. The first hoeing and weeding is done at the time when the plants are 5 cm tall. During this operation remove all the weeds, unwanted off type plants and those showing poor growth to maintain optimum plant-to-plant spacing of 10-12 cm for getting better yield. The subsequent intercultural operation should be done on appearance of weeds. The weed like Zeeri (Plantago pumila L ) in cumin seed is a serious weed in cumin and cannot be distinguish from the cumin field up to the stage of flowering .Pre-plant  incorporation  of Fluchloralin @ 0.77 to 1.00 kg/ha or pre emergence application of Stamp -34 @ 3.33 kg/ha or pre emergence application of Oxadiargyl @ 75 g/ha  has been found very effective for control of  weeds in cumin.

Plant protection

 Insect pest
 Aphids: Aphid attack cumin crop at flowering stage causing serious damage .The aphids should be controlled application of systematic Insecticide. Foliar spraying with 0.03% dimethoate30 EC or 0.025% Thiamethoxam or 0.005 % Imidachlorophid in  500 –600 liter of water/ha is effective for control of aphids in cumin. Spraying of the above insecticide may repeated at 15 days interval if problem of aphids persist.
Blight: The infected plants show dark brown lesion on the leaves and stem resulting  in withering off of affected plants.  It is advisable  to start prophylactic spray of fungiside for effective management of diseases  prophylactic  spray of 0.2%  Dithane M-45 or 0.1 % Propiconazole  may be done  at 15 days interval starting from 45 DAS of crop.The above-mentioned fungicide should sprayed after dissolving in 500-600 liter of water/ha. It is advisable that first one or two spay may be of Dithane M-45 and rest of the spray should be done with Propiconazole.

Powdery mildew: White powdery mass appears on the leaves and twigs of the plant in the initial stages, later on whole plant is covered with this whitish powder. The powdery mildew in cumin may be controlled by dusting of sulphur @20-25 kg/ha or spraying Karathane 0.1% or wettable sulphur 0.2% at 15 to 20 days interval during flowering.

Wilt: The infected plants exhibits drooping of the leaves, epinasty and ultimately death of the plant the wilt infection may occur in patches at any stage of crop growth. After occurrence of the wilt in cumin, it becomes very difficult to reduce the damage caused by wilt. Therefore it is better that efforts should be made to manage the same. The diseases may be managed by taking following precaution.
   1.   Summer ploughing  should be done
   2.     A crop rotation of at least three year should  be followed
   3.     Healthy and disease free seed should be procured for sowing
   4.     Before sowing treat the seed with   bevistin or Thirum or   Captan @ 2.5 g/kg seed or with Trichoderma@6.0 g /kg seed.
   5.    In the early stage of crop growth drenching with 0.2%  bavistin should be done.
   6.    In standing crop wilt may be controlled by applying Trichoderma @ 2.5 kg with 150 kg FYM /ha and apply irrigation
Control against frost: Cumin crop is susceptible to frost during initial flowering and seed formation stage. Therefore, in order to protect the crop from frost it is necessary to irrigate the crop. At the time of flowering provision of smoke in the field should also be made. 

Harvesting and yield: Generally, cumin crop takes about 90- 120 days to reach maturity. Crops become ready to harvest when plants turn yellowish brown.  Harvesting should be done early in the morning by cutting with sickles and not by uprooting the whole plants. The harvested plants should be stacked for few days and dried in the sun in the threshing yard. They are beaten and trampled on a clean threshing floor. The average yield of cumin is 400-500 kg /ha but under scientific management condition the seed yield of 8-10 q/ha of cumin of improved varieties may be obtained