Briefly: Giripushpa, Sunhemp, Dhaincha and Cowpea can be used for green manuring
There is so less I know of the natural world I realized when Arun Shivkar handed me two cuttings of Giripushpa from his small nursery he has put up at Baradewdai in Pabal Valley in Pen. Arun runs Kasav, a NGO active among adivasi and landless for the last two decades in Pen and its neighbouring area.
Arun present dream is to encourage adivasi to grow vegetables and fruits on farm plots which is sold to the passerby on the Goa National Highway. He distributes free cuttings of Giripushpa ( also called Glyricidia) to adivasi farmers.
“The poor adivasis can’t afford to buy Nitrogen fertilizer, though it’s subsidised by the government,” says Arun. “Giripushpa comes very handy to these farmers.”
Kasav encourages farmers, mostly small plot holders, to grow Giripushpa on the edges of the plot. The leaves and the stem of Giripushpa are rich in nitrogen and are being increasingly used for nitrogen fixation of the soil.
The two cuttings Arun gave me have found place in my farm plot in Chon village, eight kilometers from Badlapur (west) station. The Giripushpa plants are already one feet high and I hope they will grow vigorously after the rains.
Like Giripushpa crops namely Sunhemp, Dhaincha and Cowpea are also used for green manuring as well as for soil conservation. These crops are grown for about 40-50 days (up to flowering) and then buried in the soil. Others like Subabhul and Karanj are grown on bunds and used for adding green manures