Bhubaneswar: In another step towards enhancing farmer’s income through crop diversification, the Odisha government has initiated steps for promotion of agro-entrepreneurship among farmers in aromatic culture.
This was decided at a high-level meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here on Friday.
Union Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) secretary Arun Kumar Panda assured all technical and knowledge support from Fragrance & Flavour Development Center (FFDC), an autonomous institution working for development and research in aroma industry.
It was decided in the meeting that a pilot programme would be grounded in the district of Ganjam for assessing the outcomes. The programme would be extended to other coastal and hilly regions of the State on the basis of the outcomes from this pilot project.
Padhi directed to provide appropriate support to the farmers right from training to cultivation, distillation, quality assessment and marketing linkage within easy access.
Panda advised starting with the aroma plants like vetiver, palmarosa, and Kerwa.
Discussions in the meeting showed that a farmer can enhance his income by cultivating Kerwa on boundary bonds of agricultural filed and palmarosa or vetiver in the middle depending on the type of land. The low and waterlogging fields are suitable for vetiver cultivation and comparatively high land fields are suitable for palmarose cultivation.
The farmer can harvest the crops within 6 to 12 months.
Experts said that the income from cultivation of one acre of palmarosa would be around Rs.35000 and the income from vetiver per acre would be around Rs.60,000.
Apart from that, a farmer could make money from kewra planted on the boundary of the fields. It was targeted to start the first phase pilot programme from the month of August 2018 involving around 400 farmers.
Chief Secretary Padhi advised FFDC to install common facility centres for distillation and extraction of aroma juice from the crop.
With the increase in crop area, the distillation units would be set up at the filed level. Panda said that marketing tie-up with industries would be made through the support of FFDC under Ministry of MSME and CIMAP under Council of Scientific and Agricultural Research (CSAR).