Wanaparthy in Telangana is witnessing an aroma revolution, with farmers taking up Lemon Grass cultivation in a big way and reaping in profits – despite the district is drought prone.
As part of the Aroma Mission – Eight labs, including Hyderabad-based Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) regional node, are driving this revolution helping the farmers by supplying them lemon grass.
Today, India imports 182 tonnes of lemongrass oil annually. This success story will certainly help India to fortify its path of self reliance and reducing the imports.
Wanaparthy could be the biggest contributor in reducing lemon grass oil imports
CIMAP-Hyderabad scientists said they have been cultivating lemongrass as the agro-climate in the Deccan region suits it. CIMAPHyderabad has been distributing lemongrass slips (Krishna variety) to the farmers of tribal hamlets like Chekuruchettu tanda in Wanaparthy district.
According a farmer from Wanaparthy, in Telangana, a beneficiary farmer of aroma mission hailing from Chekuruchettu tanda gram panchayat, while the district has been facing water shortage and crop losses. After the introduction of lemongrass, we are witnessing profits.
Currently, India imports 182 tonnes of lemongrass oil annually. Initially, the target of aroma mission was only 5,500 hectares, but now it has been increased multifold due to good response.
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CSIR labs were also working on the suitability of different aroma crops in various agro climates, process technologies to extract oil, toxicity evaluation and economic viability analysis.
CIMAP-Hyderabad has developed wide yielding varieties of economically important medicinal and aromatic plants with export potential and aims to transform wastelands and drylands into eco-friendly, profitable green herbal farms.
Apart from Wanaparthy, tribal farmers of East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts in Andhra Pradesh cultivate citronella, lemongrass, yarrow root and long pepper under rainfed conditions.
Small and marginal farmers of drought-prone Anantapur district produce winter cherry under rainfed conditions, partially replacing traditional groundnut.