Geranium plant has huge medicinal value and its essentialoil works as an anti-inflammatory and anti-septic agent. The production ofGeranium has got boost under the Aroma mission. Scientists from Council ofScientific and Industrial Research- Central Institute of Medicinal and AromaticPlants (CSIR-CIMAP), Lucknowhave developed a new low-cost technology to prepare Geranium saplings and makethis available for the farmers too.
Dr. Saudan Singh, Project Head, CIMAP saidthat till now the plant of Geranium was saved in aerated glass house, but nowwith the development of the protective shed technology of the polyhouse, it isprepared at a much cheaper cost on the farmer's farm itself. In one acre aroundfour thousand saplings can be cultivated. For this, 50-60 square meter polyhouse has to be built that costs around 8-10 thousand rupees.
“Bythis technology we can lower down the cost of the sapling production by 2rupees per sapling which earlier used to be 35 rupees. This can help farmers toearn more with low input cost in Geranium cultivation” said Dr Singh.
Till now the plant was prepared from thesaplings of Geranium, but these used to be ruined in the rainy season. Thismade the plant material very expensive to the farmer. Dr Singh also told thatCIMAP has started cultivation of Geranium under aroma mission to promote it asan alternative to Mentha (another aromatic plant) under aromatic cropsproduction.
Dr. Abdul Samad, Executive Director, CIMAP,said that under the Aroma Mission the institute will be able to cultivate anarea of about 50 hectares of plant material of Geranium this year, which isexpected to extract about 750 kg of aromatic oil by June 2020. “By selling thisfragrant oil, farmers will be able to get immense benefits and their incomewill increase. Oil extracted from Geranium plant is very valuable. A crop ofjust 4 months costs about 80 thousand rupees, while the profits from this areup to about 1.50 lakh rupees. The average price of the oil in India is around12 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 andloamy soil is good for its cultivation. Mother plants are being provided byCSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) to promote thecultivation of Geranium under the Aroma Mission. In various districts of UttarPradesh about 133 farmers have been provided with plant material.