A farmer from Nimar innovates in the cultivation of medicinal plants

Khargone/Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Here is a little known success story of agriculture in Nimar. Mohan Patidar, a farmer from Jhatawadi, a small village in Maheshwar assembly constituency in Khargone district, started growing medicinal plants useful for Ayurveda instead of traditional crops, under the impetus of ‘a strong and rapidly growing industry demand.

Patidar holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and owns 20 acres of land. Recounting his journey, he said that before 1999 he grew traditional crops like soybeans, cotton and chili, but innovation and experimentation are needed in every profession and he realized its importance after having attended a workshop organized by CEDMAP in Bhopal.

At the workshop, experts provided training and informed Mohan and other farmers about innovation in agriculture. After that, Mohan decided to grow ‘White Musli’ in his field. For this, he took out a loan of Rs 1 lakh from the bank and started a new agricultural experiment by getting seeds from Maharashtra.

From then until today he has continuously cultivated White Musli. Over the years, he has witnessed many ups and downs. Sometimes he managed to make profits and sometimes losses too. Not only White Musli, but Mohan also grew Ashwagandha, Ginger, then Tulsi and Quinoa and now Akarkara – all medicinal crops.

Cultivate Akarkara Arabic Origin

Mohan grows ‘Akarkara’ (or Anacyclus pyrethrum native to Arab countries) as a Rabi crop on a one acre plot. Its cultivation lasts 6 to 8 months and the harvest is done in a temperate climate.

He said Akarkara is grown in UP, MP, Gujarat, Haryana and Maharashtra since the climate here is suitable for cultivation. Akarkara needs more sun. Plants need a temperature of 20 to 25 degrees for germination and at least 15 and a maximum of 30 degrees for growth. The temperature of 35 degrees Celsius is more suitable for the time of ripening. It is mainly used in many types of drugs in the medical world and its price can reach Rs 400 per kg on the market.

Also grow quinoa

Mohan also cultivates quinoa, a plant of the Bathuva species. It is widely cultivated in South American countries. Due to the abundance of protein in quinoa, it is recognized as one of the best nutritious grains. Its price ranges from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh per quintal in the international market.

Mohan comes to consider the production of Tulsi as a Kharif culture. Sandy loam soil is most suitable for growing Tulsi.

Honored in Malaysia for the sustainable organic farming of White Musli, Mohan Patidar is one such farmer in the Nimar region who is also working to save lost seeds by cultivating White Musli for 20 consecutive years. He was honored with a citation in 2018 by the Commonwealth Vocational University of Malaysia for the preservation and promotion of this culture.

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Posted: Friday, February 18, 2022, 8:10 PM IST

Alvin J. Chase