BHUBANESWAR: In a step towards enhancing income of farmers through crop diversification, the State Government has decided to initiate steps for promotion of agro-entrepreneurship in aromatic culture.
This was decided at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi in the Secretariat. Secretary in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Arun Kumar Panda, who attended the meeting, assured all technical and knowledge support from Fragrance and Flavour Development Centre (FFDC), an autonomous institution working for development and research in aroma industry.
It was decided that a pilot programme would be launched in Ganjam district for assessing the outcomes. The first phase to be started in August will involve around 400 farmers. The programme would be extended to other coastal and hill regions of the State on the basis of the outcomes from the pilot project. The Chief Secretary directed the departments concerned to provide appropriate support to the farmers right from training to cultivation, distillation, quality assessment and marketing linkage within easy access. Panda advised the Government to start with the aroma plants like vetiver, palmarosa and kewra.
Official sources said a farmer can enhance his income by cultivating kewra on boundary bundh of agricultural field and palmarosa or vetiver in the middle depending on the type of land. The low and water-logging fields are suitable for vetiver cultivation and comparatively high land fields are suitable for palmarosa. The farmer can harvest the crops within 6 to 12 months.
Income from cultivation of one acre of palmarosa would be around `35,000 while vetiver would generate around `60,000 per acre. Apart from that, farmer can also make money from kewra planted on boundary of the fields.
Padhi advised FFDC to set up common facility centres for distillation and extraction of aroma juice from the crop. With increase in crop area, the distillation units would be set up at field-level. Marketing tie up with industries would be made through the support of FFDC under Ministry of MSME and Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) under Council of Scientific and Agricultural Research (CSAR), he added.