Organic farming of carrot; steps to follow

Organic farming is an old farming technique adopted by people around the world. In this method they use natural and organic products as a source of fertilizers and pesticides. In this way we are building a harmony with the nature. By abandoning the use of chemical products, we are saving millions of organisms present in the soil. The use of organic products also increases the nutrient efficiency of the crops and will benefit the human health.

Organic farming of carrot

Carrot is a vegetable variety used as the food ingredient. Carrot comes under the category of rooted crops which is often referred to as a perfect health food. Carrot is a nutritious food item with rich source of beta carotene, fibre, vitamin KI, potassium and antioxidant. It also helps in the weight loss, decreases cholesterol and increase eye power. Carotene tends to decrease the possibility of cancer.

Carrot comes in different colours like orange, yellow, white, red and purple. The generally found colour is orange. The colour gradient of carrot depends upon the beta carrots level in them.

Carrot consists of 80-90% of water and 10% of other essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fat and protein.

One of the varieties of carrot, called the baby carrot is now becoming a popular snack food.

Carrots are mainly adapted with deep and loose soil. While considering the Indian economy, carrot cultivation plays a major role in the growth of them.

Major carrot varieties found in India

  • Hill carrot: Ooty-1, Early Nantes and New Koroda.
  • Plains carrots: Pusa Kesar, Indian Gold and Half Long Danvers.

The efficient climate for carrot growth is cold climates ranging between 15-20 degree. This requires loamy soil containing organic nutrients. The pH range of soil for optimum carrot cultivation is from 6.0-7.0

While considering Hill varieties, when the elevation of plantation is above 1500 metres, it can be cultivated throughout the year. If the elevation is between 1000-1500m, they are cultivated between July-February. In plain varieties, they are mainly cultivated in August.

Carrots are planted in rows by spacing them 25-30 cm apart. After the seeds are mixed with sand, they are planted in these rows.

In hilly areas, land is formed into a fine filth and the beds are raised to 15 cm height, one metre breadth and suitable length.

Before planting, the seeds are applied with cow pat pit with the quantity of 3g in 1L of water for 24 hours. After this process, the seeds are treated with Trichoderma vivide and Pseudomones fluorescents.

Standard irrigation procedure for carrot is once in five days. During summer season, the crops should be excessively irrigated and covered with wet gunny bags. This is also important in seed germination.

Manuring is a lengthy process for these crops.

  • Before planting, green manure is mixed with lupin and applied to the soil.
  • Next horn manure is applied during the time of land preparation horn manure is applied to soil at the rate of 50t/ha with 40 litre of water.
  • Next farmyard manure is applied at 50t/ha.
  • Consecutively fertilizers like biodynamic compost, vermicompost, neem cake and other organic biofertilizers.

Weeds pose a dangerous threat for carrot crops. So after 15 days of planting, the first weeding process is done, followed by thinning and earthing up process on the 30th day.

Growth stimulating sprays are applied for the efficient growth of crops. Sprays like panchagavya, vermiwash and horn silicon are applied in required amounts.

Carrots are widely affected by pests. The major pest infections caused in carrots are:

  • Root-knot nematode
  • Leaf spot
  • Soil-borne diseases

Root knot nematode is dealt with applying neem cake, employing crop rotation, growing marigold and applying Pascilomyces lilacimus.

Leaf spot is avoided by applying Manchurian tea filtrates and Dasagavya at regular internal of time.

Soil borne diseases are terminated using Trichoderma vivide and Pseudomonas fluorescents.

Carrot cultivation gives a yield of 25-30 tonnes/hectare in 100-200 days.

Kerala assembly elections 2021; Scammers launch phishing attacks in social media

Social media is a viable platform used by the scammers to trap the users. They adopt various malicious methods like phishing, adware, fake gifts and offers. They concentrate on the important days to create scam and to steal personal information. For instance, on Mother’s day a group of scammers created a fake Mother’s day giveaway gift scam that compromised the accounts of thousands of people.

On the first week of April, Kerala is going to face assembly election. Based on this topic, threat actors are trying to create scams which look legitimate. The cyber cell experts of Kerala have found that the fraudsters are coming up with malicious surveys in social medias. They warn that these surveys are the source of phishing attacks. When any of the user, finds the survey interesting and participates in them, the malwares hidden in these application infects the device and drains the personal information without the knowledge of the person.

The phishing survey was first identified by the Technisanct based in Kochi. They claimed that these surveys circulating in the social media platforms are infected and people should be cautious while noticing something like this.

This phishing scams are spreading in the social media with two links attached to them:

These scammers are also offering fake gifts if the survey is completed successfully.

The investigation officers were behind this scam for some days. They found that both these links attached to the scams use the same IP address but it comes from two different domains. Also, they have found the hidden malware in these links which compromise the user’s device who takes the survey.

The scam works in this way. First you will receive the survey poll through Whatsapp or Facebook. This genuine looking poll attracts the user to enter in and complete the survey about who will possibly win the assembly election of 2021. Once the survey is completed, the page redirects you to another website which promotes you to share this link to atleast 5 people via Whatsapp. Through this many other people got infected.

According to the investigation reports, around 58, 08,239 people were found to participate in the bogus survey from India. Out of that, 90% of the users took part in the survey using mobile chrome browser. Among these 58,000 people, majority of the people were from Kerala. Also there were participants from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and West Bengal. Even people from UAE, US and other European countries took part in this.

Cyber hackers mainly launch attacks based on the current situation. Since election is going to happen in Kerala, scammers took advantage of this to launch survey scams. People should be very cautious of what to click and which website to trust, says the cyber cell officials of Kerala.

Till now, no complaints have been registered on data loss or money loss. The police along with the cyber cell groups are spreading awareness about these scams so that no more fall into their traps. The police assures that once a complaint is received, they will take appropriate actions against these scams.

Social media phishing

This is a kind of cyber hack where the hackers use social media platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter etc. to hijack personal data. Since many businesses are using social media for their promotion and sharing of different informations. They become the major target of the hackers as they could gain business data which are worth some money. In majority of the cases hackers use tools like Hidden Eye or Shell Phish to perform phishing attacks.

Most of the social media hackers target your login credentials, financial informations as well as personal information. These datas are used to launch further attacks.

How to prevent social media phishing?

  • Never open links or attachments forwarded by strangers. They may be infected.
  • Train yourself and employees of your organization to detect phishing messages. Conduct training sessions.
  • Enable a spam filter which can sense malware, viruses and Trojans.
  • Install safe anti-virus software.
  • Enable web filters that hinder malicious websites.
  • Create backup of important files.

Organic farming of Tomato; points to check

Organic farming is a farming technique practiced by ancestors in the olden times. As time evolved, there came changes in the method of crop cultivation. Slowly people began to adopt conventional farming techniques that use chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Slowly the balance of the ecosystem began to destroy and people started suffering from new diseases. Hence people realized the importance of organic farming and started to practice it again.

Here we are discussing about how to cultivate organic tomato.

Even though we are using tomato along with other vegetables, it is actually a fruit. Consuming tomato is good for skin, heart and weight loss.

Tomato comes in various forms which include cherry tomatoes, raw tomatoes, stewed tomatoes etc.

Scientifically, tomatoes are called Solanum lycopersicum. They come under the category of nightshade family of South America.

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, folate, potassium and vitamin K.

There are different colour gradients for tomato. Usually they are found in red but they are also available in green, yellow, orange and purple.

Nutrients present in tomato are:

  • Water: 95%
  • Calories: 18%
  • Carbohydrate: 3.9 g
  • Sugar: 2.6 g
  • Fibre: 1.2g
  • Fat: 0.2g

A healthy tomato plant grows up to 1-3m in height with a weak stem. Always a support should be given to the stem. They are very light and tender. Tomato is an economically profitable crop which gives yield within a short period of time.

Tomatoes are grown in every soil type but for their efficient growth, they prefer deep soil for their roots to go into. They do not well adapt in clayey soil but are effective growers in loamy type of soil with a neutral pH value.

While preparing land for tomato cultivation, mix them with compost. This mixture will have a good control in moisture retention and drainage which is suitable for tomatoes.

To be more specific, a mixture of green manure, compost and rock minerals will give you a high quality yield. The pH of the soil should be between 6.0 to 6.8 to ensure stability of the crops.

Before planting, the seeds are treated with Trichoderma. After this process it is kept to dry in a shady place for half an hour. After drying, they are covered with a thin layer of soil.

Irrigation of tomato plants are done at the rate of 1 to 1.2 inches of water in a week. Tomatoes are irrigated using different techniques. These include furrow flooding, drip irrigation, overhead sprinklers or trickle.

The amount of water irrigated varies depending on different seasons. In summer they are irrigated at 5-7 days intervals and at winter 10-15 day’s interval.

The major fertilizers used for tomato crops include:

Compost

Compost is the by-product of household wastes decomposed to form soil, rich in micro and macro nutrients. They are rich with nutrients and essential microbes. They fertilize the plant and also helps to retain the water content in the soil.

Epsom salt

Epsom salt is an organic fertilizer rich in magnesium. The magnesium contents strengthen the stem, increases fruit production and also increases the taste and sweetness of tomatoes. While planting, Epsom salt should be mixed with a little amount of dirt before applying.

Fish emulsion

Fish emulsion is a nutrient rich solution that contains the bones of different fishes. They are rich source of calcium and steadily help in the growth of plant and yield.

Organic cottonseed meal

This is usually applied at the time of transplantation. The seed sprouting are normally transplanted to a broader land after the saplings are mature. This organic fertilizer is a rich source of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, equally balanced in the ratio 6:2:1.

Weed control is the next procedure. Weeds start to grow after 4 weeks of saplings plantation. Usually mulches are used to avoid weed growth. Other methods like crop rotation, mulching, sanitation and shallow tilling helps to control the weed growth.

Major infections occurred in tomato crops

  • Fungal infection
  • Aphids
  • Cutworms
  • Hornworms

Tomatoes reach the harvest stage from 2-3 months of plantation. The average yield per acre is 10 tonnes. Tomatoes are harvested in different stages:

  • Green stage
  • Pink stage
  • Maturity stage
  • Full maturity.

Whatsapp hack using OTP; the easiest method to hijack your account

Social media attacks and scams are being usual news these days. Despite of the security provided by the social media companies, we are not really safe. Among today’s social media platforms, the most targeted ones are Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and Twitter. Since the pandemic, the scale of social media users has risen significantly. Most of the youngsters today are finding happiness in using social media than involving in sports and other games. There are slowing becoming digital slaves.

Whatsapp is an application which is widely used in most of the situations to pass on an urgent message to someone. Whatsapp also enables features like video call, voice call and sharing photos, videos and documents. No other social media platform has gained such popularity in messaging field than the top grosser Whatsapp. The users of Whatsapp have increased to 40% around the world.

Nowadays, the technology adapted by the hackers has advanced considerably. Starting from phishing to malware attacks, hijacks to counterfeits, and the threat actors has grown technically to the next level. The main highlight of today’s cyber-attacks is that they cannot be detected easily. Only after the information’s have disappeared, we will come to know that we were under an attack.

Recently, the security researchers were informed about the Whatsapp hacks that use simple techniques. Whatsapp is now experiencing a new surge of attack. After the investigation, they found that the method adopted by the hackers was quite easy. The security groups guaranteed the fix for the vulnerability and claimed that it will only take less than two minutes to mend them.

The new technique

As everyone knows, while installing Whatsapp on a new device, the app will ask for your number to process the verification. Once the phone number is entered, the app will send a 6 digit OTP to the provided number. This is to ensure that the SIM is present in the current device. Once the OTP is verified, Whatsapp takes you to your account. This is the way it works.

The process is utilized by the hacker to hijack the account. First the hacker sends a message from a compromised account, whose owner is known to the target. In the message, the attackers requests him the there is a problem with his account and need to complete the verification process to gain back the account. Since his phone is not generating OTP, he requests his friend to share the OTP which is forwarded to him through SMS.

Without thinking about the chances of hijack, he forwards the OTP. The hacker uses this OTP to steal the target’s account.

According to the cases reported, the motive behind the attack is to demand ransom in return of the account. But when considering Whatsapp, you shouldn’t be worried about back-up messages. The hackers cannot hijack back-up messages. But they can access the groups which you are in and also read new messages.

Here the attackers are taking advantage of the trust factor. Even if it is not a complicated strategy, thousands of people have lost their accounts due to this.

The best preventive method is that OTP should not be shared with anyone. It is your personal pin number and should not be transferred to a second person.

Whatsapp has fixed this issue. When you are trying to enter into your account from a new device, the OTP is sent to you directly from Whatsapp. It does not rely on SMS based verification. Also, a new feature has been added in Whatsapp that helps to device your own OTP.

Additionally, Two step verification process can help us from these attacks. This feature is found in the account settings menu. We should provide a personal 6 digit pin to secure our account. Also there are methods to link your email account to Whatsapp for the backup purposes. Whenever you change your device, Whatsapp asks for this 6 digit pin to confirm it is you.

If in any cases you have been under a Whatsapp hack, try to reinstall the application. When you reinstall, they will provide you with a new OTP with which you can login to your account. The new reset process will take some time. After the procedure, set a new verification pin so that the hackers cannot target you for the second time.

Organic farming of potato; things to know

Nowadays people are changing conventional farming techniques and employing organic farming. They began to realize about the health hazards which will haunt them caused by the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Conventional farming techniques do not give a consistency for both environment and humans. Cultivating crops in the way nature wants them to, is organic farming. By understanding the importance of organic farming, the government is introducing schemes to support farmers to enrich their farm and business.

People have started to understand that the environment is depleting slowly due to the activities of humans and if this continues, the coming generations cannot survive here. Classes and seminars are conducted widely to promote organic farming and to make use of natural products for farming.

Now let’s learn the procedures to follow while cultivating organic potatoes.

Potato is a vegetable that comes under the family Solanaceas. They are usually formed at the roots of plants. These are tubers which are widely used in our food culture. The scientific name of potatoes is Solanum Tuberosum. This is a major source of food which can be eaten as raw, smashed or cooked. Nutritionally potato is a rich source of vitamin C, protein, thiamine and niacin.

Potato is one of the members among 150 tubular species.

The cultivation of organic potato is done in rotation. Framers are extensively cultivating organic potatoes due to its increased demand in the market. The farmers mainly choose organic potato to farm due to the following reasons:

  • Increased demand
  • Profitable
  • Acts as a break crop from grass in rotation.

Even if it is a profitable crop, potato farming faces some major challenges:

  • Preventing blight
  • Providing adequate nutrients
  • Weed control.

Before planting the seeds, we must ensure that it must be friable, porous and well-drained. The standard PH of the soil for potato cultivation is 4.8-5.4.

Potatoes are usually rain fed crops and gives excessive yield when grown in cold weather. The crop requires a minimum rainfall of 1200-2000 mm per year. These are generally cultivated in hilly areas.

While selecting the seed, make sure that they are disease free. A healthy sprouted seed weighs around 40-50g. While planting the seeds, a distance of 20 cm should be maintained from each other.

The land is prepared to fine tilts. The terrain is converted to inward slope. Proper drainage should be provided along the sides of the terrace.

Irrigation should be planned 10 days after planting and after that the cycle should be repeated once in a week. Continuous irrigation may damage the crop. Always maintain standard irrigation process.

Manuring the potatoes is a lengthy process. They are done stage by stage.

  • Green manure mixed with lupin is applied to the soil 60 days before planting.
  • During the preparation of land, horn manure is applied at the rate of 75g/ha.
  • After that the manure from dairy farms are applied along with biodynamic compost, vermicompost, neem cake and bio-fertilizers.
  • After planting, cow pat pit is mixed with water and applied to the plants.
  • Finally to maintain the pH in the soil, dolomite is applied.

The next process is weed mitigation. If not removed properly, the weeds will drain out the entire nutrients provided to the crop.

Regular plant check-up should be done to avoid diseases like potato blight, brown root and other viral diseases.

Usually potatoes are harvested after 120 days of planting.

Happy farming!!