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Submitted to : :

Submitted to : Dr. K.P. Vani Associate Professor Department of Agronomy College of Agriculture RJNR

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Agave sisalana Family: Agavaceae Common Name: Sisal hemp Useful Product: Fibre extracted from leaves`

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Origin - Mexico Introduced - Africa - West Indies - Indonesia - South Africa The name Sisal is derived from the name of a port in Yucatan, Mexico, from where the fibre was first exported.

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Nearly 300 species Agave americana Agave angustifolia Agave attenuata

Production Statistics:

Production Statistics 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Africa 59.0 60.1 67.7 67.8 70.5 72.1 68.3 South America 151.1 155.0 152.7 133.1 139.1 127.3 119.6 Other countries 38.0 35.0 35.0 55.5 60.9 60.0 60.0 Total World 248.1 250.1 255.4 256.4 270.5 259.4 247.8

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Brazil – Majority of world production.

Sisal in India:

Sisal in India Sisal in other countries is usually grown under an estate. Sisal is currently found on embankments, bunds and roadsides, serving the purpose of soil conservation and protection as hedge plantation.

Sisal, being used as hedge crop:

Sisal, being used as hedge crop

Reasons for promise:

Reasons for promise Perennial hardy plant, not a seasonal crop. Can easily establish and grow in all states of India. Survive in almost all soil types Input costs are least for its survival, regeneration and maintenance. Can tolerate prolonged droughts and high temperatures also. Sisal cultivation is labour intensive and has high employment potential.

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Considering the employment and income generation potential, the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Koraput , Orissa implemented an integrated “ Sisal plantation, Fiber extraction and Rope making ” programme under Jawahar Rojgar Yojana (JRY) in the year 1995.


Botany Popularly known as Century plant , has a short bole which almost concealed in early stages by the surrounding sessile leaves.

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The leaves are long, roughly triangular in transverse section, dark green in colour and often covered with a waxy bloom.

Poling :

At the end of its life, the stem apex is transformed into a long flowering shoot or ‘pole’ , 20 to 30 feet high ,which bears a few scale like leaves and has branches bearing clusters of white or slightly green flowers. Poling

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Flowers have a regular perianth composed of six narrow segments united at the base into a short tube.

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Agaves usually do not set seed but in A. sisalana , some viable seed is produced hence this can be used in some breeding programmes.

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After flowering once the plant dies while ensuring the continuity by production of small bulbils at the axils of flowers


Climate Tropical climate with a moderate atmospheric humidity. H ardy plant which thrives best in areas where the rainfall is between 650 to 1300mm . Excessive rain is harmful to the plant. Grown from coast level to 6,500ft above MSL.


Soils Dry, permeable, sandy loam soils Can be grown on black cotton soils which are well drained. Good drainage is very essential .

Preparation of land:

Preparation of land Land preparation is important as it reduce cost of maintenance of the young plants . loughed twice and harrowed and is ready for planting


Propagation Agaves usually do not set seed hence are propagated by bulbils or suckers .


Nursery Bulbils are first sown in mother beds @ 5000 bulbils per bed of 1 x 20 M. After 6 months the seedlings are pulled out and planted in bed size 20 x 1 m @ 500 Plants f or 3 months. After 9 months from the date of planting , bulbils are ready for planting in mainfield.

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In the main field ,planted at a space of 2 x 2 m in pits of size 30 cm 3 . Planting is usually carried out during the rainy seasons.

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Planting may be done in single or double rows, depending on the local conditions.

Varieties :

A high yielding sisal hybrid ( Leela ) has been developed at Sisal Research Station, NIRJAFT (ICAR), Bamra in 1985 which has a yield potential up to 25q/ha. Source : Varieties

Nutrient Management:

Nutrient Management It requires large quantities of Calcium and Magnesium, in addition to normal application of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.

Weed Management:

Weed Management Kudzu grown as cover crop between the rows. This grass smothers other weeds and when it decays it produces excellent mulch.


Harvesting Depending on the conditions where it is grown, harvesting starts from 2 to 3 years old plants Annual harvests last for 7 to 8 years Each plant yields 40-50 leaves/year , producing around 200-250 commercially usable leaves in it's life-time

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Leaves ready for harvest are cut off at their base using a special knife with a curved end.


Decortication Fibre is extracted from the leaves by a crushing or scraping process , which removes the extraneous green matter surrounding the fibre in the leaf-leaving the fibre to continue through the machine while the extraneous matter is washed away underneath the machine.

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Sisal fibre


Grading grades excellent grade first grade qualified grade length (cm) 95 85 70 impurities rate (%) 2.5 3.5 5.0 moisture regain (%) 13 13 13 Main technical parameters


Baling D imension per bundle: length 135cm, width 52cm, height 31-36cm Weight : 100kg

Traditional uses of Sisal:

Traditional uses of Sisal Sisal has been the leading material for agricultural twine

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Sisal is used in low-cost and specialty paper, dartboards, mattresses, carpets, handicrafts and wire rope

Sisal Products:

Sisal Products

Infamous Uses of Sisal:

Infamous Uses of Sisal Due to superior mechanical strength and recyclable nature , its applications are found in automobiles, railways, packaging industries etc. Asbestos fibres being carcinogenic , sisal fibre can be an effective alternative.

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Huge quantity of sisal waste can be effectively utilized for composting & vermi-composting It is a valuable feedstock for biogas plants. One tonne of sisal pulp can generate 54.3 m 3 of biogas.

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Blue agave ( Agave tequilana ) is commercially used to produce a beverage , Tequila .

Agave Nectar:

Agave Nectar Sweetener produced from several species of agave. Agave nectar is sweeter than honey or sugar Commonly used as a Vegan alternative to honey in cooking .

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Submitted By: Kyanam Ammani Naidu RA/08-03

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