Tsunga Production


Uses

The leaves are cooked as a vegetable. The vegetable is commonly mixed with onion, tomato, and cooking oil.

The most popular is when it is prepared in peanut butter. Tsunga can also be dried green or after a few minutes of par-boiling.

Production Requirements 

Soil

Does better where soils are rich in organic matter, leaf size and quality improve where organic manure is added.

Soil pH should range between 5- 6 (CaCl2). Avoid waterlogged soils. 

Time of Production 

It is common or was common for rural women farmers to grow Tsunga during the rains December-April and on anthills. 

The highest yield is obtained when planting is done in April to August, as the cold winter temperatures delay flowering and induce the production of bigger leaves. 

Fertilizers and Manure 

The following fertilizer rates are recommended

Basal fertilizer 

1. 50 t/ha manure no basal fertilizer except top dressing 

2. 30 t/ha manure and 150 kg/ha Compound D 

3. 450 kg/ha Compound D 

Topdressing 

Apply 290 kg/ha ammonium nitrate split three times. 

First application 3 weeks after emergence and the rest is applied in three splits at three-week intervals. 

Spacing 

Rows can be spaced at 30-50 cm. inside the row plants should be spaced at 30 cm. 

Crop establishment 

Apply the manure and basal fertilizer and mix it in the soil. 

Mark the rows and planting stations and plant 3 to 4 seeds per station. Thinning to one plant per station is done when the seedlings are 2-3 weeks old. 

Thin to one plant per station and apply the first top dressing after. 

Irrigate before and after thinning to allow soil around the seedlings to settle.

Harvesting 

Harvest leaves after about 6 weeks of growth. Do not remove all the big leaves, leave one for subsequent growth. 

Harvest once per week and the number of leaves per harvest per plant will depend on the plant growth conditions.

Diseases

Fungal diseases may appear if the crop is produced during the rainy season. Spray with a fungicide at least once a week if conditions remain humid. 

Pests 

Aphids have been observed on Tsunga and are controlled using Malathion or Dimethoate. 

Bagrada bugs (vanaRudo) suck the sap from the leaves and leave dry spots on the leaf making them unsightly and unmarketable. Bagrada bugs are controlled using Carbaryl, Dichlorovos (Dedevap), and Parathion. Other organic methods of control are available.

 

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