The new experiment of sandalwood farming by a marginalize farmer

The new experiment of sandalwood farming by a marginalize farmer

Prafulbhai is a young marginal farmer who lives in Ajotha village near GHCL Soda Ash plant, Sutrapada, Gujarat. His father Bhikhabhai was used to farming with the traditional methods on a small land of five bigha (less than a hectare). People of this area depend on agriculture and earn their livelihood by growing 2-3 seasons of crop during the year. Prafulbhai has been practicing organic farming for the last 5 years. Out of 5 bigha land they converted more than 3 bigha for horticulture by planting coconut. He was thinking of converting the rest of the land to sandalwood farming. So he approached GHCL Foundation and got the appropriate guidance.

Earlier sandalwood was cultivated in Karnataka, Tamilnadu but now other states are inspired to do it. The wood, oil, powder, and other extracts are very useful in many ways for various rituals like chandan for pooja, medicinal uses , cosmetic and aromatic etc. It requires approx. 15 years of long period for the sandalwood tree to grow, but the returns are very high and needs least maintenance.

It is difficult to think the different way of farming by discontinuing their regular income by cash crops. Prafulbhai called many meeting with all the family members and discussed rigorously for the adaptation of sandal wood farming in rest of the land. Initially family members were not agreed to stop their flow of current income for the period of 15 years. Prafulbhai has demonstrated long term returns and larger benefits and ultimately convinced the family for half vighas land. GHCL Foundation has given the 300 saplings of sandal-wood at very nominal token charge. They planted 150 white and 150 red saplings in 2018. After one year red sandal wood plants were not survived so again planted new 150 white plants.

This is first family in this area who have experimented sandal-wood farming. Today the family is very happy by seeing the survival and growth of sandal wood farming. Many farmers visiting their experiment at small farm and get inspiration to do something different. Prafullbhai and his father Bhikhabhai are saying that “The growth of sandal wood plants is became possible because of proper guidance and visit of GHCL Agro team at my farm.”

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