Lemongrass cultivation help increase income of rural women
Low cost and high profits, 4 to 5 yields in a year
Lemongrass cultivation is not so popular but it has become a prominent source of income as well as profit for the farmers.
Many government schemes are run to provide a permanent source of livelihood to the farmers in rural areas. One of these is Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission. Under this scheme, rural women of Jharkhand were motivated for lemongrass farming to make them financially and socially self-sufficient.
Lemongrass may not be popular in rural areas, but it is a good way to earn extra income. Lemongrass cultivation can be easily done even on barren land. The specialty of lemongrass is that once it is planted, the crop can be obtained for about 5 years. Apart from irrigation, there is no cost involved. Lemongrass is harvested 4 to 5 times in a year.
There is good demand in urban areas
The long and thin green leaf, commonly used in tea, is lemongrass. It is full of medicinal properties. It keeps digestion right, controls cholesterol, beneficial in reducing weight and increases immunity. Due to these properties of lemongrass, the trend of its consumption has increased in the cities. Initiatives are being taken in Jharkhand to motivate rural women for its cultivation. This will give them a means of sustainable livelihood.
It can be grown easily even on barren land
Farming is a very difficult task in the upland areas of Jharkhand. Lemongrass is being cultivated without much effort on the barren land there. Due to this, the women of Self Help Groups are getting additional income. Lemongrass doesn’t need a lot of water. Its plant develops well only with rain water. Under Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS), 500 members of Sakhi Mandal were selected for its cultivation. Today all women farmers are earning lakhs of rupees annually.
Production of lemongrass oil
Lemongrass oil gets a good price in the market. In view of this, many distillation units were set up for Sakhi Mandal in Grameen Seva Kendra. Now women are also doing oil processing (Lemongrass Oil). The cultivation of lemongrass is being done by more than 16,500 self-help group women in 31 blocks of 16 districts of Jharkhand. In this, they are also getting technical support from Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow.
Master trainer to help villagers
A master trainer was appointed to provide technical and other support to the villagers in the cultivation of lemongrass. About thousand people were trained to help the farmers.
How much is the earning?
Lemongrass oil is sold in the local market at the rate of 1500-2000 per litre. Women farmers earn up to 80 thousand rupees per acre annually. As far as investment is concerned, it is only about 20 thousand rupees at a time. Roopmati Devi, a woman farmer of Gumla village of Jharkhand, is earning about one lakh 10 thousand rupees annually from the lemongrass cultivation. Whereas the cost was only 30 thousand rupees. Apart from this, she is also making an additional income of Rs 15,000 from lemongrass oil.
Roopmati Devi says that she had never even heard the name of lemongrass before, but after knowing its benefits, she advises other women to adopt it as well. For barren land, this crop is nothing less than gold. In Jharkhand, women farmers are setting an example by doing successful cultivation of lemongrass on a large scale and their work has been praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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