Dec 2, 2008

Business - Lemon grass top herbal cash crop ?

Lemon grass has emerged as the biggest herbal cash crop of the year, with a turnover of Rs 87,75000 in Uttarakhand. The information was revealed by authorities of the Centre For Aromatic Plants (CAP), which deals with the farming of aromatic medicinal plants.

CAP has procured 195 quintal of medicinal oil from its associated framers involved in the lemon grass farming. Nripendra Chauhan, scientists of CAP at Selaqui revealed that presently, 1,825 framers are involved in its agriculture across the state.

These farmers work in 27 clusters in Uddhamsingh Nagar, Pauri, Dehradun, Pithoragrh and Haridwar districts. Chauhan added one kilogram of lemon oil extracted from these plants sells up to the cost of Rs 450, which is considerably high and yields the total benefit around Rs 50,000 per kg to the farmer.

Besides that, other positive points of its farming is lemon grass is not climate sensitive and can grow in harsh weather also, so farmers do not need to put in much extra efforts. It is also not liked by animal because of its intense aroma and moreover requires very less amount of water for irrigation.

So over all, it is a cheaper project with huge financial turnover. Chauhan stated this could be a big thrust to the state's economy in near future as the demand of the medicinal oil of lemon grass is in high demand in the international market.

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