Sonepur: Farmers of Lakarma village of Haradakhol panchayat under Sadar block in Subarnapur district have tried different options in farming, away from traditional ones. In this process, they have started growing lemongrass (Gandhabena), a report said.
According to sources, in two phases, 18 farmers of the village have planted lemongrass saplings on 10 hectares. The district administration has set targets to cultivate the herb on 20 acres during fiscal 2019-20 and on 39 hectares during 2020-21.
The project is being monitored by project director Subarnapur Watershed Mission under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). The state government has provided saplings, manures including preparation of farmlands.
Beneficiary farmers will get wages under MGNREGS. The crop will be firstly harvested after 90 days and then again after every 45 days. It is known that, the crop is resistant to pest attack and distracts cattle from grazing. An acre of the lemongrass will accrue a profit of at least Rs 50,000 in a year. A single crop would give profit to farmers for next seven years, Watershed Mission sources said.
Notably, lemongrass producer groups will be formed in the future comprising beneficiary farmers. A processing unit with a capacity of extracting oil from herbs over 60 acres will be set up here.
Lemongrass has a good demand all over the globe which is sold at a price of Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200 a litre and the district administration has targeted to make use of barren lands for lemongrass cultivation.