Lemon Grass Is The New Opium For Farmers
- Ayodhya Prasad Singh
- Published on 4 Mar 2023, 4:25 pm IST
- 2 minutes read
- Lemongrass is being cultivated instead of Opium in many areas of Gaya, farmers are earning profits.
- 2011-batch IAS officer Thiyagarajan SM persuadedthe farmers to opt for lemongrass farming.
- Lemongrass is being cultivated on 200 acres of land. Over 300 acres more is in planning phase.
Bihar’s Gaya district were notorious for Naxalite activities. Opium was also being cultivated on the barren land here. But 2011-batch IAS officer Mr. Thiyagarajan SM agreed taking over as Gaya’s DM cajoled farmers to give up Opium cultivating and instead grow Lemongrass.
The farmers are earning up to Rs.1.5 lakh per acre annually. Speaking to Indian Masterminds, Mr. Thiyagarajan SM said, “In Naxal affected blocks in Gaya district, opium was cultivated on more than 600 acres of barren land where no other crops could be grown. That’s why we promoted Lemon grass cultivation, because it requires very less water. This we generated good income with less resources.”
LEMON GRASS FARMING
Horticulture Center, the nodal agency is not only given training but is also providing Lemongrass seeds free of cost.
Right now Lemongrass is being cultivated on 220 acres of land. Mr. Thiyagarajan said, “Lemongrass oil extraction is also being done at a local distillation plant. Now we are planning to cultivate it on 500 acres.”
LEMON GRASS OIL PLANT
Plants are being set up on a small scale to extract lemongrass oil. A small plant worth 10 lakh rupees is being set up on for every 5 acres land of Lemongrass cultivation. Farmers groups are being formed fire this. If 10 farmers are cultivating 5 acres of lemon grass together, they can collectively starts a plant worth 10 lakhs. For this, administration also provides them help in getting loans.
BENEFITS & FUTURE
Lemongrass has medicinal properties. It is also used in many products like Phenyl, Sanitizer and Vitamin A. Lemongrass is full of antioxidants.
Stressing upon benefits of lemon grass, Mr. Thiyagarajan said, “The tea made from it and the vitamin A extracted from it is beneficial for health. Spraying just a few drops of lemongrass oil in water can ward off insects and mosquitoes. That’s why we are planning to start small scale industries to make products from lemongrass. Work has already started for this.”
END OF THE ARTICLE
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