1. Success Story

Earn 1.5 Lakhs in 10 months with this Wonder Grass

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

The ‘wonder grass’ of Tamil Nadu known as Vetiver, which has a broad range of application in the cosmetic and pharma industries, besides anti-soil erosion properties, is slowly spreading roots in the State.

Vetiver, which grows up to 5 feet and whose aromatic root reaches up to 10 feet, has a big demand in the global aromatic industry. The grass is famous for its quality to fight soil erosion and absorb carbon dioxide, thus removing carbon footprints. In the past few years, niche products have been made with this wonder grass by value addition.

The grass is perfect for the long shoreline or coast as it is suitable for sandy soil, told C.K. Ashok Kumar from the India Vetiver Network. It must be noted that the network is involved in popularizing Vetiver farming in association with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

Ashok, who has been encouraging the youth especially those in fishing hamlets said, “It is easy to harvest this plant, which brings very high returns. The huge coastline can be utilised in raising vetiver in a big way”.

This wonder grass can also be used to purify contaminated water bodies, particularly temple tanks and to seize soil erosion in ghat sections of Kerala and Kodaikanal.

Pandian, who cultivates vetiver grass on his 10-acre ranch in Kuruvadipatti village of Sivaganga district said, “The grass is now a favourite among inland farmers as well. The yield is low as compared to coastal areas but the quality of grass is high”.

Against a produce of 2 to 2.5 tonnes /acre in coastal areas, inland farmers obtain 1.5 lakh tonnes. Moreover, essential oil recovery is 0.8 percent in coastal grass and 1.49 percent in inland grass. And 1 kg of essential oil brings between Rs 30,000 to 58,000.

Pandian further told that 1 kg of vetiver produces 300 grams of oil and it is possible to earn over Rs. 1.5 lakh/acre, excluding all expenditure over 10 months period.  He said the moisture preservation property of vetiver makes it a natural choice for soil conservation as well as replenishment of ground water. It is perfect for dry land farming with the use of organic farming practices, said Pandian.

The wonder grass is also used in extraction of ethanol, as cattle food and for making handicrafts. Last but not the least vetiver is an anti-depressant.

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