Traditional to medicinal farming
Are you suffering from obesity? Do you want that extra glow on your face? Do you want to get rid of nagging stomach problems? Ask Radheshyam Patidar, a medicinal farmer with a sprawling 90-acre farm at Misrod, 10 kms from Bhopal. He could prescribe some herbal recipe for sprucing up your constitution.Updated: May 16, 2006 14:42 IST
Are you suffering from obesity? Do you want that extra glow on your face? Do you want to get rid of nagging stomach problems? Ask Radheshyam Patidar, a medicinal farmer with a sprawling 90-acre farm at Misrod, 10 kms from Bhopal. He could prescribe some herbal recipe for sprucing up your constitution.
Fifty-seven-year-old Radhe-shyam has not gone to any top-notch educational institute; he is not even a 12th pass. But his managerial acumen matches that of any professional.
His monthly salary may not be as astronomical as being quoted by IITians and IIM graduates but it is above average. And significatntly he has given employment to more than 30 families.
“I have been able to attain all this only because of medicinal farming. I was earlier into traditional farming of wheat and soyabean but that did not harvest a handsome profit”
Prashant Patidar, whose farm is a stone’s throw from that of Radheyshyam, reali-sed the vast potential of medicinal farming and underwent training by CEDMAP in 2001. Starting on a small scale with Coleus and Safed Musli in 2002, he has now a flourishing cultivation of herbs.
Both Radheshyam and Patidar are among the several thousand farmers of Madhya Pradesh who have shifted from traditional cultivation to medicinal farming because of its financial remunerations.
“I was full time into traditional farming when the medicinal bug hit me some six years back. Since then I have been concentrating only on herbal cultivation,” Radheshyam told the Hindustan Times.
Enumerating the benefit of medicinal farming, he says: “The profit accrued in this type of farming is nearly three to four times more than that of the traditional mode.
A traditional cultivation of wheat/soyabean would garner an annual profit of Rs 8000-10000 per acre but that of a Coleus for instance pegs it at more than 20000 per acre in six months.”
These farmers also get a 30 percent subsidy by the National Medicinal Plant Board. “ I have even grown Vinca Rosea( Sadabahar) whose leaves are reported to be used in cancer treatment. I sell these leaves to a Kolkata based firm at the rate of Rs 15-16 per kg.”, Radheyshyam added.
The main areas in Madhya Pradesh where herbal farming is popular is Ratlam, Neemuch, Mandsaur, Bhopal, Hoshangabad, Dhar, Satna and Indore. Isbgol and Ashwgandha are especially exported to Germany, USA and the Gulf countries. While Aswagandha is popularly used as health promoter and treatment of arthritis, the use of Isbgol as a laxative is well known.
Among the major herbs that are being cultivated in the state are Musli, Kalmegh, Aswagandha, Isbgol, Coleus, Stevia, Serpgandha.
Radheshyam’s monthly salary may not be as astronomical as being ‘quoted’ by the IITians and IIM graduates but it is above average.
First Published: May 16, 2006 14:42 IST