1. Home
  2. Agripedia

Cultivation of Chicory in India – Varieties, Climate, Soil Requirement & Harvesting

Chicory is a perennial crop that is often planted in the winter. Chicory farming is not widely practiced in India because farmers are unaware of the crop's marketability. Chicory crop has grown in popularity as a result of technological advancements since it is quite beneficial in coffee blends. Chicory is used as a complement to coffee (in blending) as well as a coffee supplement.

Sandeep Kr Tiwari
Cultivation of Chicory in India – Varieties, Climate, Soil Requirement & Harvesting
Cultivation of Chicory in India – Varieties, Climate, Soil Requirement & Harvesting

Chicory is a perennial crop that is often planted in the winter. Chicory farming is not widely practiced in India because farmers are unaware of the crop's marketability.

Chicory crop is gaining popularity in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat as a result of technological advancements since it is quite beneficial in coffee blends. Chicory is used as a complement to coffee (in blending) as well as a coffee supplement.

Lactucin is a secondary metabolite alkaloid that comprises 10-15% protein. The crop is especially important because its leaves may be utilized as cow feed, improving protein use in ruminants.

Only a few states, namely UP and Gujarat cultivate this crop and account for 90% of the total production of chicory in India. Chicory thrives in these states because of the climate and soil.

At the moment, the main factor inhibiting the increase of chicory production and industry development is the fact that chicory sowing/planting material is imported from France. Companies provide the imported planting material to farmers who have agreed to a contract farming arrangement with them. Because they are completely reliant on imported seed, the lack of an alternate supply of seed/planting material is a limitation not just for farmers but also for businesses.

Varieties of chicory 

The 2 main varieties of chicory are; 

Chicory greens: These varieties are generally cultivated for their leaves and used for salads

Root Chicory: These are Cultivated for their roots that are used for the production of chicory and also used as Medicinal Plants.

Climate requirement 

Chicory grows best in temperatures between 12 to 23 degrees Celsius, so it does well in cooler climates

Soil requirement

They need well-drained soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 7. They also need equally wet soil to make sure they get at least an inch of water every week. The top inch of soil should not be allowed to dry out.

Harvesting of Chicory 

If you are questioning when to harvest chicory, the answer is that it depends on how you want to use the plant. Those cultivating witloof chicory for its greens should begin plucking leaves as soon as they are tender yet large enough. Three to five weeks after planting, this can happen.

Radicchio chicory can grow in loose leaves or heads, depending on how you cultivate it. Harvesting chicory plants should be postponed until the leaves or heads have fully matured.

If you want to utilize the roots of witloof chicory to force chicons, you'll need to harvest the crop shortly before the first autumn frost. This normally takes place in September or October. Lift the roots from the soil after removing the leaves.

Trim the roots to a consistent size, then store them at a temperature around freezing for a month before compelling. Standing the roots in moist sand and allowing them to generate leaves. Chicons are the young leaves that will be ready to harvest in three to five weeks.

International No Diet Day 2024 Quiz Take a quiz
Share your comments
FactCheck in Agriculture Project

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters