Do you want to start patchouli farming? If yes, you have landed at the right place. Here in this article, we have listed down the most important steps to start a patchouli farming business with the cultivation process, yield per acre, harvesting, and much more.
Patchouli is an important aromatic medicinal herb. Commercial production of patchouli is profitable even for small farmers. Here in this post, find a detailed patchouli farming business plan sample checklist for your ready reference.
Patchouli is a perennial herb. Basically, it is native to the Philippines. The leaves are soft, opposite, ovate to oblong-ovate, serrate with hairs on both surfaces. The steam is densely-haired with swollen nodes.
The scientific name of Patchouli is Pogostemon cablin. And it belongs to the Labiatae family. Generally, the plant grows up to 90 to 100 cm long. You can harvest the crop two to three times a year.
Some of the major patchouli growing countries are China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, India, Myanmar, Mauritius, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and South America. In India, it is cultivated in coastal regions of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam, and West Bengal.
Economic Importance of Patchouli
Patchouli oil is a key ingredient in the fragrance industry. Basically, it is a major ingredient in manufacturing fine fragrances and other products from toiletries, soaps, and detergents to candles and incense. Additionally, in the pharmaceutical industry, it is a very efficient anti-microbial ingredient in preparations against acne, dandruff, psoriasis, and other skin infections. It is also used as an insect repellent.
Indonesia is the major supplier of patchouli oil to the world market, accounting for around 90% of international trade. China and India also produce, but all production is taken up by their domestic markets. Indonesia produces around 1,200 tons per year, with a value of around US$100 to US$130 million.
Health Benefits of Patchouli
First of all, it is an important ingredient in the natural perfumery industry.
The essential oil is very helpful for treating the hair loss problem.
The oil is a natural moisturizing agent. Hence, it is very effective in treating dry and cracked skin.
It has innate antimicrobial and antifungal properties that make it a potent antidote for skin infections.
This essential oil combats the infections that trigger fever and eases the inflammation experienced due to fever. Thus, using patchouli oil can help in reducing body temperatures during fever.
The essential oil helps speed the healing process of cuts and wounds, and also hastens the fading of scars. It is similarly effective in eliminating marks left by boils, acne, pox, and measles.
Things To Consider In Commercial Patchouli Farming
In starting commercial farming, the primary requirement is the land. Therefore, first, identify the area of land you have for the cultivation.
According to the quantity of the land, craft a detailed business plan. Carefully include the cost of production, marketing process, and expected ROI.
Decide, whether you will set up an oil distillation unit or not. If not, you have to sell the harvested products to the other distillation unit.
Identify the potential buyer of your product. Additionally, check the required quantity of those buyers and the rate of the product that they are already buying.
These are very crucial aspects you must consider before starting commercial patchouli farming.
Best Varieties for Patchouli Farming
Some of the most popular varieties are Johore, Singapore, and Indonesia. Out of these, Johore yields the best quality oil whereas the other two give the high yield of oil. In India, you will find a high-yielding variety ‘Samarth’. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Crop (CIMAC) has developed this variety.
Location & Agroclimatic Condition for Patchouli Farming
Basically, it is a tropical crop. However, you can grow it under sub-tropical conditions too. Patchouli grows successfully up to an altitude of 800-1000m above the MSL. It prefers a warm and humid climate. Successfully, you can grow the crop under a fairly heavy and evenly distributed rainfall, ranging from 150-300 cm per annum.
Patchouli is a hardy plant and adapts itself to a wide range of soil conditions. It requires deep, well-drained, fertile, slightly acidic, deep loamy soil, rich in humus and nutrients. It flourishes best in loose deep loamy soils, rich in organic matter which makes a loose friable texture. The pH of the soil should range from 5.5 to 7.5 for good growth.
Also Read: Is Soil Testing Important In Agriculture?
7 Basic Cultivation Steps for Patchouli Farming
Basically, patchouli is vegetatively propagated. First of all, raise the nursery in shade by planting 10-12 cm. long cuttings at 10 X 10 cm. spacing during the rainy season. Additionally, keep the seedbeds continuously moist. Under
Under favorable conditions, about 85-90 % of cuttings put forth roots in a fortnight and they are ready for planting in the field in the next six to eight weeks at 60 x 60 or 60 X 90 cm. spacing. You must prepare the nursery under partial shade. Cuttings from fairly developed branches, 4-5 nodes in length and with a crown of 2-3 leaves, are ideal for planting in the nursery. Application of a commercial
Application of a commercial hormone, such as Seradix B-2 to the basal end of the cutting encourages early rooting. Then, you must plant the cuttings in seed pans, nursery beds, or polythene bags with the help of a suitable dribbler at a spacing of about 5-10 cm. Aeration, partial shade, and regular watering are essential for early rooting. The cuttings take about 30-35 days for rooting in the nursery.
2. Land Preparation
First of all, clear and plow the land at least two times. For each plowing, use the tractor for about 3 hours. Then mix the farmyard manure (12 tons/acre) with the soil. Also, you can add anti-nematode material like neem cake at the root zone and mix well with the soil to avoid nematode attack.
Suggested Read: Is Soil Testing Important in Agriculture?
Generally, you can transplant the rooted cuttings in the evening in the field. Usually, the planting is done at 60 x 60 cm apart and around 28,000 rooted plants are required per hectare. However, a spacing of 60×60 cm. with a population of 12000 plants per acre has been considered in the present model.
In commercial cultivation, you can provide irrigation in two ways. Basically, it depends on the irrigation that is available in the location. These are conventional methods of irrigation and drip irrigation. Under the conventional method, you have to provide irrigation at least twice a week. Additionally, you must avoid waterlogging. The number of irrigation per year will be around 60 (no watering during monsoon) with each irrigation lasting for 3 hours with a 5 HP motor.
Under the drip system of irrigation, you have to provide irrigation by a drip with nozzles at a distance of 45 cm from each other, which discharge at a rate of 2 liters of water/hour. Irrigation for 30 minutes per day is adequate. In the hot and dry season, it should be up to a maximum of 60 minutes in two installments.
Based on the soil fertility status, you have to decide the fertilizer dose. At the time of land preparation, apply around 12 MT of FYM/acre. Neem cake for control of nematodes is applied at the time of planting @ 0.4 MT/ acre. Soil testing is a highly crucial aspect in deciding the fertilizer schedule.
6. Plant Protection
Other than nematodes, you may observe the problems of aphids and caterpillars in patchouli. However, you can control them by the use of malathion or endosulfan sprays. For control of nematodes and Fusarium wilt, good drainage coupled with soil application of neem cake at the time of planting @ 0.4 MT per acre is recommended.
Also, Read: Most Profitable Oilseed Farming Business Ideas
7. Harvesting & Yield
Basically, the crop has an economic life of 3 years. The first harvest is possible after 6 months when the plants are about 1m high. It is preferred to harvest in the dry seasons.
Under conventional irrigation, you can expect 10 MT (3 cuttings) per acre p.a. However, under the drip system of irrigation, you can expect 20 MT (3 cuttings) per acre p.a.
The yield of fresh leaves/acre/year from three harvests is about 8,000kg which on shade drying reduces to 1600kg and on distillation yields about 40kg of oil. The oil content varies from 2.5 to 3.5% in shade dried leaves. An average yield of 2.5% is considered satisfactory in commercial distillations. A higher yield of 60 kg./acre./annum is recorded in southeast Asian countries.
There are several Govt. organizations that provide production technology and also funding assistance for patchouli cultivation in India.
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