On 22 acres of land lemongrass has been planted for the first time in Hadiyabad village in Bihar. The process of planting was delayed due to heavy rains, but tomorrow 14 farmers will finish the task which started on 3rd of August, tells village coordinator Nandkishor Sharma.
Lemongrass cultivation in Bihar is part of the CSIR-CIMAP and Amrita SeRVe collaboration which had begun in Chhattisgarh last December and is spreading steadily in northern states.
On 31st of May, Dr. Ramsuresh Sharma from the Aroma Mission came to Bihar to conduct a meeting about cultivating aromatic and medicinal crops. Over one hundred participants from four neighboring villages were present. Dr. Sharma, Prabhat Singh and project coordinator Ramu Verma are constantly offering their expertise for farmers of Amrita SeRVe villages.
Village coordinator Nandkishor reports that Hadiyabad farmers in the process of organizing themselves as a farmers’ group. Ghanshyam Upadhya, Amrita SeRVe’s agricultural front man, has been teaching procedures and organizing the meetings with CSIR-CIMAP in Bihar, too. Ghanshyam has taken the lead on lemon grass cultivation in several states simultaneously, arranging training for the farmers on cultivation and distillation.
The fields are irrigated after the rainy season and the crop is expected to be harvested in six months for the first time. From the first harvest onwards, the same plant can be harvested every three months. “About 14 liters of oil can be distilled. Additional income could amount between 15 000 – 18 000 rupees per harvest,” expects Nandkishor. Usual crops in Hadiyabad are paddy, wheat, mustard, dal (lentil) and different varieties of gram. The number of acres reserved for lemongrass will grow in time.