Dambar Chaudhari from Arjundhara began plantation of medicinal herbs in five bighas of land. He grew the medicinal plant named patchouli.
He has been selling the patchouli grass since three months of cultivation.
The green grass is sold at Rs 20 while the dry at Rs 100 per kg, he shared with happiness that he was satisfied with the sale of patchouli plant.
With the establishment of Kulayan Natural Berbal Pvt Ltd at Duwagadhi in 2070BS, the farmers and community forests from Mechinagar, Arjundhara, Bhadrapur and Buddhashanti have planted patchouli and lemongrass in huge amount.
The Kulayan Natural Herbal Industry itself has been running industry and herbal plantation by taking in lease 50 bighas of land. Black turmeric, tejpatta, eucalyptus, lemongrass, patchouli and citronella, among others are planted to produce aromatic oil. The industry produces the aromatic oil by processing the herbal plants.
The oil produced by the industry is exported to the Europe and the US. Last year, the government had also honoured this industry for bringing in foreign currency.
Encouraged by the production and its sale, the farmers at ward no 10, 13, 14 and 15 of Mechinagar have also cultivated the herbal plants. They have found it a lucrative plantation and even replaced the rice plantation.
Dambar Chaudhari further said, “Herbal plants yield much income even with the productions in small land. Realizing it, I did the plantation in two bighas of land.”
The herbal plant is bought by a herbal industry of Duwagadhi. He further said as the income was handsome, he expanded the plants to five bighas of land.
The Jukekhadi community forest of Arjundhara and Kamaldhap community forests of Bhadrapur have also made investment in herbal plants. The plantation of medicinal herbs begun from 20 bighas of land has now been expanded to 500 bighas of land.
Industry owner Bharat Basnet informed that they were searching for additional land to expand the plantation. He further said the industry took in lease 20 bighas of land belonging to local Bal Subodhini Secondary School at Rs 150 thousand per year for 40 years and cultivated the herbal plants.
In the beginning the industry began the herbal plant, but, now, the farmers themselves are active and encouraged to do herbal plant farming. The industry has guaranteed buying farmers’ products. Even the technical support and sapling are provided.
More than 60 farmers and half dozens of community forests have been linked to herbal plant in Jhapa in nine years. The herbal plant is now cultivated in more than 500 bighas of land.
The herbal industry has set an ambitious plan to do commercial production of agarwood.