Odisha: Farmers Urged To Go For Intercropping Of Aromatic Crops

Bhubaneswar: A three-day training programme for farmers on cultivation of aromatic plants like Lemongrass, Citronella, Basil and Palmarosa was conducted at Berhampur recently with experts expressing the view that intercropping could enhance cultivators’ income.

The programme was jointly organised by Fragrance and Flavour Development Centre (FFDC), Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh, Department of Biotechnology, Government of Odisha, and SOA Deemed to be University at the FFDC Extension Unit located at Berhampur.

Around 30 farmers from Totapalli, Hariapalli and Sriramachandrapur villages under Chhatrapur block of Ganjam district attended the programme.

V V Rama Rao, representing FFDC, informed the farmers that they would be provided with plant seeds as also free technical consultancy for cultivation of aromatic plants and processing of the produce for model farm and demonstration purpose. Even the sale of the produce would also be taken care of by FFDC after processing by arranging buyers through its centre.

The experts said Lemongrass could be cultivated in dry areas and would not be affected by natural calamities like cyclones and heavy rains. But taking up plantation under various schemes of different agencies of the government and also under Aroma Mission of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for cultivation and processing of Lemongrass required cultivation in an area of 30 acres of land.

Since farmers in the Chhatrapur, Ganjam, Chikiti and Rangeilunda blocks had undertaken Kewda plantation on around 7,000 hectares of land, they could go for intercropping by opting for Lemongrass, they said.

Bhabagrahi Dash, former Deputy Director in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Dr B B Panda, former Professor of Botany, Berhampur University and Dr Basudeba Kar, Assistant Professor, Department of Biotechnology, SOA, attended the programme. Mahesh Choudhury, Additional District Magistrate and General Manager, District Industries Centre, Ganjam, attended the programme as chief guest.

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