Stevia Paraguay is one
of the biggest producers of Stevia Rebaudiana (Ka'a He' ê)
in South America. Stevia Paraguay is the founder of the Paraguayan
Chamber of Stevia, and a member of the European Stevia Association
with base in Belgium.
Growing Ka'a He'e (Stevia) for Paraguayans presents a great opportunity of assuring good economic returns without having to stop sowing other products.
Producing Ka'a He'ë (Stevia) is a solution to cover necessities due to there being an assured market. The sale of all the production is guaranteed and at a very profitable price. The growing of Ka'a He'ë (Stevia) has practically no economic risk when it is looked after, and in the measure of higher dry leaf production, their sale value increases, therefore the economic perspectives are guaranteed.
The investment for growing Ka'a He'ë (Stevia) does not entail big expenditures, only the permanent dedication of the farmer.
Ka'a He'ë (Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni) is a bush that originated in the Northeast of the Oriental region of Paraguay and consists of a branched stalk with multiple sprouts that can reach between 40 and 80 cms. in height.
Therefore, it is recommended to produce with irrigation to obtain higher profits.
The Ka'a He'ë (Stevia) is quite resistant to low temperatures, although the growth is less vigorous during the winter season when compared to the others. The ideal temperature for the germinating of seeds is 20º C. In high temperatures one will observe that the plants are sensible to heat, producing screwing in end sprouts of the main leaves, but reviving as the heat diminishes.
The first cycle starts in September.
• September: the most important cycle is that which starts in spring and finishes in December and gives the main harvest of leaves (40%), as already mentioned this cut can extend to 15 January, maximum the 22, and in this cycle it is recommended not to harvest seeds.
• January: The cycle that commences during this month is also important for the production of leaves (35%) as well as seeds.
• April: The thrid cycle company credit check commences during this month, the winter growth, the production of leaves is only 15% but can produce very good quality germinating seeds.
• June: A true winter cycle. 10% of the production in leaves and good quality seeds to place in nurseries during spring, but plants can be produced out of season.
The addition of organic material or natural fertilisers must be adapted rigorously to the plant's developing cycle; the fertilising is justified only in the cycles of greatest production: September and January.
The pulverising of the crop with fungicides and fertilisers must be undertaken without failure and only once after each cut, that is to say four times a year.
In the plantations in which the vegetative cycle has not been complied with the organic, will not produce the desired results as the plants were trimmed during their growth after by-passing their correct cutting stage.
That is the reason for the appearance of small sprouts with flowers, that is to say at the end of their cycle.
To obtain the best results
for any treatment of the plants these must be started during the development
of the cycle or plant growth, and not at any other time.
2. The seedlings in the nursery take about two months in summer and three months in winter. This clearly shows us that in order to assure that the seedlings are ready for the year one has to sow the seeds during the months of May and part of June. Beyond this period the seedlings will be for the next year which will entail an extra high cost of production.
3. Preparation of the soil must be started at least two or three months before May, which is the ideal sowing period.
This undertaking must include deep ploughing, herbicide treatment, the incorporation of organic material and chemical fertilisers as well as the disinfecting of the ground and finally plenty of prepared organic material that will form a layer of five or more centimetres above the surface. This is in order to assure a rapid development of the germinating seedlings.
If this is not so the finished seeds will not reach the ideal size for transplanting.
When preparing the nursery once must eradicate all herbs and the fertilising becomes necessary for if it is not done the production costs will rise.
The place or trough in which the seedling is to be placed will need previous irrigation. The roots must be carefully placed and covered with earth and pressed firmly in order that the roots be firmly attached to the earth.
The method of planting
can be in simple rows, at a distance of 50 centimetres between each
row and 20 centimetres between each plant, this will produce a density
of 100.000 plants per hectare.
I- Drying Element
1. 70% Half Shade Mesh
2. Cleaning Tent
3. Leaf Bags
II- Facts to be considered
2. Time of cutting
3. Volume of cuttings
4. The Sun Heat
5. Rain - Showers
6. Clear Nights
7. Ideal time for cutting
Complying with these recommendations will allow the farmer to obtain high quality dry leaves with a good market price since the product for human consumption is presented in natural form.
The average production of dry leaves per year without risks is that of 1.500 kilos per hectare. With irrigation systems one can obtain per year between 3.000 and 5.000 kilos per hectare.
Thank you for your interest in Stevia Paraguay