Dear Ramu sir,
I read the TOI article on success of disease resistant brinjal through grafting technique shared by Mr. Devilosta.
For the benefit myself and similar naives in the forum who are following this thread religiously, may I kindly request you to educate us on grafting technique and how it can be practically practised by a farmer in step-by-step approach.
Thanks & Best regards
1.First of all Grafting is nothing but fusion of scion of one plant ( Upper vegetative shoot part ) and Root stock of another plant ( Bottom part bearing roots ) into one single plant ..For grafting first necessary condition is compatibility of two different plants ie, the tissue of two plants must join together in grafting like what is happening in human being..This compatibility exist among the plants belonging to same species or same family as noted in taxonomic classification
2.Coming to point , the Egg plants belong to solanaceae family .so one egg plant may be grafted with other egg plant or one egg plant may be grafted with another Tomato plant because tomato also belongs to salanaceae family ..
3.The scion is selected in such a way that the cultivar intended to be grown should have potential to give higher yield because yield is determined mainly by varietal character controlled by genes and root stock should be selected in such a way that it is resistant to diseases , single or multiple resistant because vegetable plants are susceptible to the attack of virulent pathogens like fusarium , verticillium and nematodes like melloidogyne ( root knot nematode ) and some extent it should be tolerant to abiotic stress likely to be caused by excessive heat/ temperature and cold temperatures..
4.The principle behind the success of grafted egg plant is the root stock which is resistant to pathogens’ attack and abiotic stress produce more roots ( Rizosphere ) that is acting like mouth for plants .So because of enhanced root volume the plant will take more water , more nutrients and will keep supplying to other parts of the plants .Due to more water and more nutrients uptake the Egg plant will produce more flowers and more numbers of bigger sized fruits .
5.Also the root stock will secrete some type of chemicals that we call it Allelopathic chemicals that suppress the growth and proliferation of pathogenic micro organisms in the soil . Natural control of disease . It is the reason why grated plants are mostly used in organic cultivation since it avoids the use of synthetic poisonous fungicide for crop protection.
6.The grafted egg plants produce fruits which are bigger in size than that produced in non grafted plants .And since the grated plants sustain disease and nematode attack and abiotic stress the plant life is automatically extended due to enhanced vigour of the plant ..
7. Further the fusion/ grafted part of the plan is reported to trigger hormonal signal that makes the egg plant to grow faster.
8.But Research says that the yield increase is only due to increased flowering and fruit size but no appreciable changes either in soluble sugar , or vitamin C or carotenoid level or protein level that is largely determined by genetic character / innate quality and can not be influenced by grafting or techniques similar to that ..
9.Grafting is mainly followed in areas where vegetables are grown as monocrop year after year without crop rotation and in green house conditions..
10.In other locations where such disease incidence is rare , no need to use grafted plants ..It is enough if you just choose right variety of vegetable that is high yielding and right agronomic practices that take care of plant nutrition and water requirement and most important season ..You should take into account the cost of grafted plants that adds to cost of production of egg plants..But you can use grafted plants where ever disease incidence and stress condition prevails ..
For example in North India the Nematode problems are acute where as in South India the nematode incidence is not as much problem as in North India ..It is a minor pest in south India and Major pest in North India..Because North India climatically differs from South India .The winter is more severe there in North ..
So the grafting techniques are much older concept but it is new to India as for as Vegetable crops are concerned…
But as you asked for step by step grafting procedure , you need to set up infrastructure to undertake grafting work like screen house, Grafting equipment like clips, tubes, pins,healing chambers and acclimatization chambers to produce healthy grated plants without mortality ..