Egg plant or brinjal (Solanum melongina) is a hardy plant compared to other vegetables grown in Sri-Lanka. Because of its hardiness, it can be successfully grown in very dry areas under rain-fed conditions or with minimum irrigation facilities. It covers second large extent after curry banana. Egg plant can be kept for more than one year in production by pruning at the end of the harvesting season. The fruit colour varies from pure white to dark purple or black in different varieties.
This crop can be grown through out the year in all Agro-climatic regions except up country-wet zone. Grows well up to an elevation of about 1300m in low country wet zone, Intermediate, up country intermediate and dry zone. Eggplant is tolerant to drought. Well drain, light soils with a pH of 5.5-5.8 are more suitable for the cultivation of brinjal.
Nutritive Components in 100 gm of edible portion of Brinjal
The national average yield of brinjal is 7.38 t /ha in Sri Lanka. The national average yield in world is 13.7 t/ha and 12.3 t / ha in Asia.
As in other solanaeceous crop direct seeding is not practiced due to the small size of the seeds.
Twenty nursery beds of 3x 1 m are required to raised seedlings for 1 ha.. Soils should be worked to a fine tilth. Prepare about 20-leveled raised beds to a height of 15-20cm. Incorporate well decomposed organic matter at the rate of 3-4 kg/m2.
Sterile seedbeds by burning them using straw and paddy husk. Treat seeds with a recommended fungicide such as Captan or Thiram at the rate of 2g/100g of seed. Seed should be planted in beds 10-15 cm apart at the depth of 0.5 to 1 cm and cover with a thin layer of soil. Spread a layer of straw mulch over beds and water daily. Remove the mulch when the germination is complete. Avoid exposure of seedlings to heavy rains and to prolong sunlight. Harden seedlings by exposing them to sunlight and increasing irrigation intervals for one week before planting. Seedlings are ready to transplant after 21 days.
Seed Requirement: 250 g/ha (1g of seeds contain 250-300 seeds)
Time of planting
Maha- November and December
Yala- April to May
(Avoid planting during heavy rains)
Nursery should be laid one month before planting
Avoid field cropped with Solanaceous crops in the previous season to minimize the incidence of Bacterial wilt. Plough the field to a depth of 15-30cm and prepare Planting holes with the dimension of 30 x 30 x 30cm. Incorporate organic matter to the soil at the rate of 6-12t/ha. Level the area and establish drains across slopes to ensure good drainage.
Planting and Spacing
Optimum spacing is 90 x 60cm with one plant/hill. Healthy seedlings aged 25 to 30 days with four fully expanded leaves are suitable for transplanting. Transplant in the evening to avoid mid day wilt but ensure that soil moisture is adequate at transplanting.
Seedling must be shaded with plant material until they are established
Selected field should not have a history of a cultivation of a solanaeceous crop at least 2 seasons. After primary and secondary land preparation level the land and make planting holes at a spacing of 90x60 cm. Addition of organic matter (200-300g/hill) to planting holes facilitate quick establishment of the transplant. Planting can be done in the afternoon to avoid desiccation of seedlings.
Fertilizer application (kg/ha)
Major Disease and Insect Pests
Damping off, Bacterial wilt and Foot Rot are the major diseases that affect this crop.
Major pests that affect brinjal are Shoot and Fruit Borer (SFB), Mites, Thrips and Hoppers.
Causal agent of this disease is fungus. Symptoms of this disease are rotting the base of the nursery plants and then die off.
Seed treatments will effectively control this disease.
Common disease which affect the production of brinjl is bacterial wilt. There is no chemical control for this disease which said to be the number one diseases for all solanaeceous crops. Cultural practices such as deep drains to facilitate drainage and the use of resistant varieties can be recommended to control the incidence.
Causal agent of this disease is a fungus. Symptoms of this disease are similar to that of bacterial wilt. At the collar region of the affected plant lesions are visible. By improving drainage this can be prevented. Redomil as a soil application is very effective in controlling this disease.
Continuous cultivation of brinjal on a same field and non removal of plant parts of the previous brinjal cultivation aggravate this damage. The symptoms first appear in immature shoots i.e. wilting. Soon after observing wilted shoot remove and destroy them.The damage after flowering and fruiting can be controlled by using recommended insecticides.
Mites and hoppers
Recently these insects seem to cause considerable damage to the crop. Sulphur can be used very effectively to control mites while hoppers can be controlled by using recommended insecticides
Can begin harvesting about 75 days after transplanting. Ten to twelve picks at weekly intervals are possible. After a 3 months harvesting period a ratoon crop can be raised if plants are pruned.
Yield can be varied with the variety and climatic condition.
Main crop - 20-25t/ha
Ratoon crop -7-10t/ha
Harvesting & Post-harvest Technology
Peak production months
The peak cucumber production months during the Maha season are January, February and 1st and 2nd weeks of March and that during the Yala season are April, May, June, July and 1st and 2nd weeks of August (DOA Vegetable Task Force Report).).
Economics & Marketing
Extent and production
Brinjal cultivation extent and production during 1991-1999 periods.
During 1991 to 1999 the total cultivation extent of brinjal increased from 9361 ha to 10048 ha. The production increased from 65582 to 74204 tones in the same period. The increased production is due to increased in extent as well as increased in productivity.
Brinjal is one of the potentially important export vegetables and the export volume and the export value during the 1994-1996 period are presented in the Table.
National Average Yield, Unite Cost of production and Net return of Brinjal during 1998-2001
(Assuming Cost of Production is Rs. 34,600 / ha and Average Producer Price of Rs. 4.00/kg)
Source: DOA Vegetable Task Force Report
Cost of production of brinjal
Overall the monthly average wholesale and retail prices of brinjal not fluctuate very much compare to most of the vegetables grown in Sri Lanka. This is indicated in the values given in the table. This is because of steady supply to the market through out the year. Since this crop is growing all over the island this is possible. The retail prices were roughly about 2 times the wholesal
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