New Delhi, December 27: Geranium plant has huge medicinal value and its essential oil works as an anti-inflammatory and anti-septic agent. The production of Geranium has got boost under the Aroma mission. Scientists from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research- Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CSIR-CIMAP), Lucknow have developed a new low-cost technology to prepare Geranium saplings and make this available for the farmers too.
Dr. Saudan Singh, Project Head, CIMAP said that till now the plant of Geranium was saved in aerated glasshouse, but now with the development of the protective shed technology of the polyhouse, it is prepared at a much cheaper cost on the farmer’s farm itself. In one acre around four thousand saplings can be cultivated. For this, a 50-60 square meter poly house has to be built that costs around 8-10 thousand rupees.
“By this technology, we can lower down the cost of the sapling production by 2 rupees per sapling which earlier used to be 35 rupees. This can help farmers to earn more with low input cost in Geranium cultivation” said Dr. Singh.
Till now the plant was prepared from the saplings of Geranium, but these used to be ruined in the rainy season. This made the plant material very expensive to the farmer. Dr. Singh also told that CIMAP has started the cultivation of Geranium under aroma mission to promote it as an alternative to Mentha (another aromatic plant) under aromatic crop production.
Dr. Abdul Samad, Executive Director, CIMAP, said that under the Aroma Mission the institute will be able to cultivate an area of about 50 hectares of plant material of Geranium this year, which is expected to extract about 750 kg of aromatic oil by June 2020.
“By selling this fragrant oil, farmers will be able to get immense benefits and their income will increase. Oil extracted from the Geranium plant is very valuable. A crop of just 4 months costs about 80 thousand rupees, while the profits from this are up to about 1.50 lakh rupees. The average price of the oil in India is around 12 to 18 thousand rupees per liter” told Dr. Samad
It is originally a plant from South Africa. It is cultivated in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and North Eastern regions. November is suitable for sowing and loamy soil is good for its cultivation. Mother plants are being provided by the CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) to promote the cultivation of Geranium under the Aroma Mission. In various districts of Uttar Pradesh, about 133 farmers have been provided with plant material. (India Science Wire)