•      Wed Jul 24 2024

Farmers attract to herbs production in Kailali

Tikapur, March 10: Farmers at Tikapur, Lamki-Chua, Janaki, Bhajani and Bardgoriya in Kailali have lately attracted to herbs production. They have chosen the herbs production as the third crops after maize and mustard farming.

This year, 212 farmers of various parts in Kailali are engaged in the herbs production.

The Tikapur-based Herbs Production and Processing Company aims to produce 4,000 kilos of oil from Mentha (a type of mint) plants this year. It has so far produced mint oil worth Rs 5.6 million using locally produced raw materials.

Tikapur has an advanced herbs processing centre. However, its full-fledged operation is awaited. According to Company’s Tikapur Chief Kamal Belbase, 152 farmers in the district are engaged in Mentha production while 55 have chosen Eucalyptus production.

However, according to him, the government’s support is necessary to promote the herbs production in the district.

One Dil Bahadur Chaudhary of Tikapur-1 said he has been doing Mentha farming in one bigha of land (one bigha is equivalent to 72,900 sq.ft) and hopes to see better results than from the maize farming last year. He said though farmers are ready to promote herbal production, issues like the availability of seeds and other facilities have discouraged them.

It is said three to five litres menthol oil can be produced from the mentha planted on one kaththa land. The Herbs Production and Processing Company Limited Tikapur purchases the oil processed from menthe from farmers. It buys the processed menthe oil at Rs 1,400 per litre, the eucalyptus oil for Rs 1,150 per litre and the chamomile oil for Rs 19thousand per litre.

The Company has four and a half bighas plot of land in Tikapur and it produces the seeds for the farmers. The farmers who were growing medicinal herbs on commercial basis since three years back had switched to cultivating other crops after getting subsidies for growing these crops. However, they have taken up medicinal herbs cultivation from this year, according to the farmers.

The Company had two machines for the processing of herbs. It bought four more machines at a cost of approximately Rs 15 million six years back after the increase in the number of farmers taking to herbal farming.

According to farmers, they are attracted to herbs farming as it is comparatively easier that the cereal crop farming and since herbs are cash crops. The Company has also provided employment to the farmers.

The Company’s Tikapur branch regularly employs 30 persons on a daily wage basis and seven are permanent employees. The six processing machines with the Company are operated 16 hours daily. Company chief Belbase said the Company can process around 50 tonnes herbs daily. RSS #nepal

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