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Agriculture

Farmers plant paddy saplings in a field at a village in the Arnia Sector near the India-Pakistan border, about 35km from Jammu.

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About 2500 tons of fertilizers unloaded from a train to lorries for supplying to agricultural cooperatives, during COVID-19 lockdown, at Vadakovai railway station in Coimbatore.

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Farmers clean onion from crops after destroyed due to heavy rain, in Patna.

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A labourer unloads a basket of freshly harvested pineapples from an orchard on the outskirts of Agartala.

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Agricultural labourers work at the Boro paddy field, damaged in heavy rains and strong wind triggered by Cyclone 'Yaas', in Birbhum district.

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Farmers extracting wheat from thresher machine in the village in Agra.

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The best part is that using one mother plant, you can grow two-three varieties of mangoes. Thus, you can pluck Alphonso Payri, Kesar and Totapuri from the same tree. But when grafting for the first time you need to consult an expert.

Photograph by Sanjeev Chowdhury

In Maharashtra, around Ratnagiri region, Alphonso grows in abundance. Nearer Mumbai, varieties of Payri, Kesar and Totapuri are grown more.

Photograph by Sanjeev Chowdhury

The reason is that any hybrid plant needs to adapt itself to the environment. But when grafted properly with a local plant, it adapts itself faster. Mango grafting should not be done during peak summer. The best time is just before or after monsoon when it is cooler.

Photograph by Sanjeev Chowdhury

When we plant a tree in the garden, we need to take all care like proper watering, application of fertilisers and pesticides, etc. Still they sometimes wither. But plants growing locally or in the wild do not need much care.

Photograph by Sanjeev Chowdhury

If you put a hybrid plant directly in soil, it will take longer to bear fruit. A wild variety or tree will grow faster and requires less attention than the hybrid.

Photograph by Sanjeev Chowdhury

Thus, no other growth can be allowed on it; the only growth should be of the graft. And in about three years or so, it should bear fruit.

Photograph by Sanjeev Chowdhury

Now, for a little over a year, you need to keep a watch if there is any growth apart from the graft. If you notice any such growth, it needs to be snipped. All the energy of the mother plant needs to be directed at the graft.

Photograph by Sanjeev Chowdhury

After some time, you will notice the leaves and then, small buds sprouting on top. Then you need to cut the mother plant around the top – about two feet from graft.

Photograph by Sanjeev Chowdhury

Wild mangoes are smaller and less pulpy. You can get such mango trees in any forest. You need to select one mature tree and then graft it with a hybrid mango of your choice… say Alphonso, Payri, or Kesar… or any variety popular in your area.

Photograph by Sanjeev Chowdhury

Mango tree grafting can be done in a one or two-year-old plant or an older tree as well (called the mother plant).

Photograph by Sanjeev Chowdhury

Farmers inspect their wheat crop affected due to rains and strong winds, at a village in Patiala district.

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And… Mahi loves dogs. He has quite a few at home and has trained them to perform some pretty neat tricks as well. ‘Captain Cool’ remains as ‘hot’ as ever on this ‘new field’ too…

Image Courtesy: Instagram @mahi7781

In an Instagram post earlier, Dhoni had shared a video in which he plucked a strawberry from his own farm and ate it. “If I keep going to the farm, there won’t be any strawberry left for the market,” he joked.

Image Courtesy: Instagram @mahi7781

Now, reports indicate that some of the produce may be exported to Gulf markets like Dubai. All Season Farm Fresh, an agency which helps the state agriculture department with vegetable exports to the Middle East, may soon sell consignments from Dhoni’s farm.

Photo by Karun Kumar

Grown in his farmhouse – where Dhoni regularly chips in, like driving a tractor himself as in this photograph – the produce is sold in the markets in the state’s capital, Ranchi, which is not too far away…

Now Dhoni, who retired from international cricket in August 2020, grows strawberries, cabbages, tomatoes, peas, etc at Sembo village in Jharkhand.
For exclusive details on Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s farm, please click here: Captain Pumpkin And His Papayas - only in Outlook magazine

Photo by Karun Kumar

Each time Mahendra Singh Dhoni went out to the field, opponents were usually in disarray, and their hearts skipped several beats, thinking what Mahi’s next move would be.

Farmers inspect their damaged wheat crop following unseasonal rainfall and hailstorm, in the outskirts of Bhopal.

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Farm workers harvest sweet potatoes in a field at a village in Karad, Maharashtra

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Vikram Singh, farm owner, at his sugarcane field in Satheri village of Muzaffarnagar. The problem of stray animals damaging crops looms large in the sugarcane-yielding district of Meerut in western Uttar Pradesh where men hired to guard the fields are hoping for better aid for their community from the government.

PTI Photo/Vijay Verma

Farm owner Chanderpal (L) and guard Akbar Ali sit under a temporary shed near a field at Jani Khurd village in Meerut. The problem of stray animals damaging crops looms large in the sugarcane-yielding district of Meerut in western Uttar Pradesh where men hired to guard the fields are hoping for better aid for their community from the government.

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Akbar Ali, who has been hired to guard crops against stray animals, takes rest near a field at Jani Khurd village in Meerut. The problem of stray animals damaging crops looms large in the sugarcane-yielding district of Meerut in western Uttar Pradesh where men hired to guard the fields are hoping for better aid for their community from the government.

PTI Photo/Vijay Verma

Union Minister of Agricultural and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar distributes agro-equipments among beneficiaries at a programme organized at the International Auditorium in Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati. Assam Agricultural Minister Atul Bora and Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa are also seen.

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Happy gardening

Take care of the plants. They need sunlight and water. Be sure to take expert advice on insecticide and fungicide spray and fertiliser application based on plant age and growth

If you have a bigger area, like this farm, you can go for sapling plantation from sapling trays or sapling bags

If you have a bigger area, like this farm, you can go for sapling plantation from sapling trays or sapling bags

For containers, you can use pots with holes so that water may drain out, or cow dung pots, or recycled containers like milk cartons and paper cups

You can either buy or use available vegetable seeds. For better germination, use coco peat (soil made from the pith inside a coconut husk, which is anti-fungal). Place the seeds on the surface evenly and cover with a thin layer of the mix, and moist using little water. Do not spray water with force. Better cover the seed trays/bags with newspaper and sprinkle water on the paper to maintain right amount of moisture.

Similarly handle fertilisers with care. Make sure it does not contain hazardous chemicals. Kitchen waste (including used water from sink), used tea leaves, bits of well-soaked papers, etc. can also be used

Be careful when spraying pesticide and fungicide. Try to avail expert help. In case of smaller gardens use organic substance like neem extract or diluted alcohol

Be careful when spraying pesticide and fungicide. Try to avail expert help. In case of smaller gardens use organic substance like neem extract or diluted alcohol

The soil may require compost or topsoil. Use a hand till or broad fork to mix the soil

Your garden should have sunlight for at least four to five hours a day. Be careful not to overdo the watering, for fruit plants once a week is enough

Vegetables may be grown in an area as small as 100 sq ft, but fruits may require bigger area. In this photograph of a home garden in Lonavala (near Mumbai), vegetable is grown in around 1,200 sq ft and fruits in about 5,000 sq ft area

Home garden should have rich, fertile soil that is well drained. Break the large clumps of dirt, remove weeds, and to prevent them from growing again remove the roots

Use a shovel or spade to turn over the dirt in the area. If the area is smaller, you may use a miniature which are available at stores or online

It is advisable to wear a pair of gardening gloves, especially when working with soil or chemicals like fertilisers or pesticide

This process of preparing the earth to play host to your plants is the basic and the most critical aspect in the road to successful home gardening

Preparing the ground literally means that when you intend to grow your own food. The garden should have the right exposure to sun and a water source.

Samples of pulses at a shop, in Guwahati. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the MSP regime has undergone a "sea change" to assure price at least 1.5 times of production cost with sharp increase in procurement of foodgrains and payment to farmers.

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A vendor sells vegetables at a market, in Guwahati. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the MSP regime has undergone a "sea change" to assure price at least 1.5 times of production cost with sharp increase in procurement of foodgrains and payment to farmers.

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Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar with Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and Minister of State Som Prakash addresses a press conference after the 11th round of talks with farmers' representatives on new farm laws, at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.

PTI Photo/Kamal Singh

Women spread paddy grain on a field to dry them in the sun, in Nadia.

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Union Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad with Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai during 'Kisan Chaupal Sammelan' for new agricultural laws, in Patna.

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Farmers raise slogans beside a burning effigy during a protest against the Central Government over the recent farm reform bills, in Amritsar.

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Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar during a farmers' representative meeting, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Som Prakash are also seen.

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Farmers shout slogans during their ongoing 'Rail Roko' protest over new farm laws, at Devi Dass Pura village in Amritsar.

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Members of various farmers' organizations block the rail track of Rajpura Thermal Plant during their protest over new farm laws, at Rajpura in Patiala district.

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A woman collects water chestnut from a pond, in Ajmer district,.

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Farmers shout slogans during their ongoing 'rail roko' protest over new farm laws, at Devi Dass Pura village in Amritsar.

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Women prepare 'chapati' as they block a railway track during the ongoing 'Rail Roko' protest over the recent farm reform bills, at Devi Dass Pura village in Amritsar district.

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Farmers shout slogans during the ongoing 'Rail Roko' protest over the farm reform bills, at Devi Dass Pura village in Amritsar.

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Shiromani Akali Dal activists carry cotton and corn as they stage a protest outside the Krishi Bhawan over farmers' issues including minimum support price (MSP), in New Delhi.

PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist

Police stop activists of Shiromani Akali Dal who were staging a protest outside the Krishi Bhawan over farmers' issues including minimum support price (MSP), in New Delhi.

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Shiromani Akali Dal activists stage a protest outside the Krishi Bhawan over farmers' issues including minimum support price (MSP), in New Delhi.

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Farmers from Punjab stage a protest outside Krishi Bhawan after they walked out of a meeting with Agriculture Secretary over the new farm bills, in New Delhi.

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Farmers raise slogans as they block train tracks with tractors on the twentieth day of their ongoing 'Rail Roko' protest over recent farm reform bills, at Devi Dass Pura village in Amritsar.

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Farmers raise slogans as they block train tracks with tractors on the twentieth day of their ongoing 'Rail Roko' protest over recent farm reform bills, at Devi Dass Pura village in Amritsar.

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Farmers raise slogans as they block train tracks with tractors on the twentieth day of their ongoing 'Rail Roko' protest over recent farm reform bills, at Devi Dass Pura village in Amritsar.

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Members of various farmers organisations block a Reliance refilling station during a protest over the recent farm bills, in Amritsar district.

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A farmer burns paddy stubble in a field, in Amritsar district. Farmers continue the practice, a contributor to air pollution in winter season, despite several steps taken by the government.

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A farmer burns paddy stubble in a field, in Amritsar district. Farmers continue the practice, a contributor to air pollution in winter season, despite several steps taken by the government.

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the launch of the process of sprinkling newly-developed bio-decomposer solution on farm fields to prevent stubble (Paraali) burning in the national capital, at village Hiranki, North Delhi.

PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launches the process of sprinkling newly-developed bio-decomposer solution on farm fields to prevent stubble (Paraali) burning in the national capital, at village Hiranki, North Delhi.

PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist

Farmer raise slogans during the ongoing 'Rail Roko' protest over the farm reform bills, at Devi Dass Pura village about 20 km from Amritsar.

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Sangrur MP and Punjab AAP president Bhagwant Mann addresses a gathering during the 'Gram Sabha and Kisan Jagrukta Abhiyan' event against three agriculture-related acts at Bhalaiana village in Sri Muktsar Sahib district.

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Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Ghelot being felicitated during the State-level Farmers Conference over the recent farm reform bills, at Birla Auditorium in Jaipur.

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A Congress worker poses for photographs during the State-level Farmers Conference over the recent farm reform bills, at Birla Auditorium in Jaipur.

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SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal interacts with cotton growers, at a yard in Fazilka district.

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Farmers sitting on tractors take part in Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's Kheti Bachao Yatra in protest against new farm laws, at a village in Patiala district.

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Farmers light candles during a protest over the farm reform bills, on the outskirts of Amritsar.

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Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh and others during their 'Kheti Bachao Yatra' over new farm laws, at Samana in Patiala.

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Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav addresses farmers at Garhi Mandi, in Hisar district.

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Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi along with Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh and PPCC President Sunil Kumar Jakhar during 'Kheti Bachao Yatra' over the farm reform bills, in Sangrur district.

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Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh (L), Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (R) and other leaders during 'Kheti Bachao Yatra' against the recently passed ‘farm laws’, in Sangrur district.

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Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh (R) and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during 'Kheti Bachao Yatra' against the recently passed ‘farm laws’, in Sangrur district.

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Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh addresses as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and others look on before a tractor rally, 'Kheti Bachao Yatra', in protest against the new farm bills 2020, in Punjab's Moga district.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and other leaders during a tractor rally, 'Kheti Bachao Yatra', in protest against the new farm bills 2020, in Punjab's Moga district.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and other leaders during a tractor rally, 'Kheti Bachao Yatra', in protest against the new farm bills 2020, in Punjab's Moga district.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and other leaders before a tractor rally, 'Kheti Bachao Yatra', in protest against the new farm bills 2020, in Punjab's Moga district.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and other leaders during a tractor rally, 'Kheti Bachao Yatra', in protest against the new farm bills 2020, in Punjab's Moga district.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and other leaders during a tractor rally, 'Kheti Bachao Yatra', in protest against the new farm bills 2020, in Punjab's Moga district.

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Members of various farmers organisations block a national highway during a protest against Central Government over farm reform bills, in Patiala district.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and other leaders during a tractor rally, 'Kheti Bachao Yatra', in protest against the new farm bills 2020, in Punjab's Moga district.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi before a tractor rallies, 'Kheti Bachao Yatra', in protest against the new farm bills 2020, in Punjab's Moga district.

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Former Patiala member of Parliament Dharamvir Gandhi addresses farmers during a protest of various farmers organisations against the recent agricultural reform bills, near Punjab-Haryana border in Ambala district.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses during a tractor rallies, 'Kheti Bachao Yatra', in protest against the new farm bills 2020, in Punjab's Moga district.

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Members of various farmers organisations block Dhareri Jattan Toll Plaza during a protest against Central Government over farm reform bills, in Patiala.

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Members of various farmers organisations block NH-7 Toll Gate during a protest against Central Government over farm reform bills, in Patiala.

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Labourers dig a canal along agricultural fields at a village in Nagaon district of Assam.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacts with farmers as he discusses the three agricultural reform bills passed in the recently concluded Monsoon Session of Parliament, via video conferencing, in New Delhi.

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacts with farmers as he discusses the three agricultural reform bills passed in the recently concluded Monsoon Session of Parliament, via video conferencing, in New Delhi.

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Protestors raise slogans as they arrive to join farmers in their ongoing 'Rail Roko' or 'Stop the Trains' agitation against the central government's newly introduced agri-bills, at Devi Dass Pura village, 20km from Amritsar.

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