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Entrepreneurial Botany is the study of how new businesses are created using plant resources as well as the actual process of starting a new business. An entrepreneur is someone who has an idea and who works to create a product or service that people will buy, by building an organization to support the sales. Entrepreneurship is now a popular topic for higher secondary students, with a focus on developing ideas to create new ventures among the young people.
Vast opportunities are there for the students of Botany. In the present scenario students should acquire ability to merge skills and knowledge in a meaningful way. Converting botanical knowledge into a business idea that can be put into practice for earning a livelihood is the much-needed training for the students.
Few examples for activities of entrepreneurship are Mushroom cultivation, Single cell protein (SCP) production, Seaweed liquid fertilizer, Organic farming, Terrarium, Bonsai and Cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants. This part of the chapter is dealt about organic farming in brief.
Organic farming is an alternative agricultural system in which plants/crops are cultivated in natural ways by using biological inputs to maintain soil fertility and ecological balance thereby minimizing pollution and wastage. Indians were organic farmers by default until the green revolution came into practice.
Use of biofertilizers is one of the important components of integrated organic farm management, as they are cost effective and renewable source of plant nutrients to supplement the chemical fertilizers for sustainable agriculture. Several microorganisms and their association with crop plants are being exploited in the production of biofertilizers. Organic farming is thus considered as the movement directed towards the philosophy of Back to Nature.
I. Organic Pesticide
Pest like aphids, spider and mites can cause serious damage to flowers, fruits, and vegetables. These creatures attack the garden in swarms, and drain the life of the crop and often invite disease in the process. Many chemical pesticides prove unsafe for human and the environment. It turns fruits and vegetables unsafe for consumption. Thankfully, there are many homemade, organic options to turn to war against pests.
II. Bio-pest repellent
Botanical pest repellent and insecticide made with the dried leaves of Azadirachta indica
Preparation of Bio-pest repellent
- Pluck leaves from the neem tree and chop the leaves fiely.
- The chopped up leaves were put in a 50-liter container and fill to half with water; put the lid on and leave it for 3 days to brew.
- Using another container, strain the mixture which has brewed for 3 days to remove the leaves, through fie mesh sieve. The fitrate can be sprayed on the plants to repel pests.
- To make sure that the pest repellent sticks to the plants, add 100 ml of cooking oil and the same amount of soap water. (The role of the soap water is to break down the oil, and the role of the oil is to make it stick to the leaves).
- The stewed leaves from the mixture can be used in the compost heap or around the base of the plants.