The commercial importance of medicinal and aromatic
plants has been widely recognized during the recent
past. In India, various types of climate and soils are
available, hence medicinal and aromatic herbs can be
grown naturally all over the country. Though, the value
of raw material may be less, but processed
products, extract oil can be sold with higher
rates which may be done on small scale industry, on
Aromatic oils and their compounds have very
good demand in national and international markets. Use
of aromatic plants and their products is as old as our
history. The herbal products like high grade scents,
flavored food products, cosmetics, toiletries, various
types of scented soaps, talcum powders, face powders,
creams, Agarbatties, repellents etc. contain extracts of
aromatic plants. Some of the plants products/parts are
used as spices for flavoring the meal or fast food
products as also medicinal products.
Importance of essential oil industry in India
- The aromatic plant and aroma chemicals contained
in them, play a vital role in our day to day living.
Many people use perfume and perfumed products.
- India has varied climate conditions and suitable
soil exists in one or other part of the country.
Hence, it is possible to grow almost any type of
essential oil bearing plant.
- India’s share of essential oil in the world market
can be improved greatly if some of the bottlenecks
that prevail now are removed. They are
- Adoption of age old technology for
essential oil production.
- Wide quality and
- Availability of low priced synthetic
2.Importance of Patchouli
One of such aromatic plants
coming into prominence is Patchouli.
Patchouli is a herb growing in a number of
countries in South East Asia. In India, it is
known as Panadi or Panch which bears flowers, but not
suitable for oil. Indonesian variety is used for oil
extraction. Consumption of patchouli oil in the
world is about 1,000 MT per annum. Indian
consumption of this oil is about 70 to 80 MT per
annum. At present it is mostly produced in
Indonesia. India has considerable scope to enter
the world market. Even if 10,000 acre of land is
cultivated, the oil produced can be easily marketed
Keeping in view the scope available for patchouli,
Kelkar Scientific Research Center (KSRC), Mumbai, a
trust promoted by M/s S.H. Kelkar & Co. Ltd. has
encouraged its cultivation. They have standardized the
agrotechnique and provide the planting material of
selection yielding high quality oil. M/s Keva Biotech
provides the buy back guarantee for three years on
renewable basis for the produce. In order to
increase patchouli cultivation in collaboration with
user industry with financial support from banks, the
present model is prepared by NABARD.
Based on the feedback received from scientists of
Kelkar Scientific Research Center, Mumbai the model has
been prepared. The model envisages production of
patchouli in 1 acre area under the following two
i) Cultivation under flood irrigation and
ii) Cultivation under drip irrigation system. Both are
cultivated under open conditions. Besides, it can also
be cultivated as inter crop with other perennial crops
such as coconut etc.
The primary objective of the model is to serve as a
guide on techno-financial aspects of preparation/
appraisal of bankable projects on patchouli
cultivation by the financing banks.
The beneficiaries could be individual entrepreneurs
and farmers. Technical tie-up with research institutes
such as KSRC and marketing tie-up with Keva Biotech,
Mumbai is a prerequisite for the project. As the
cultivation of patchouli is innovative in nature,
promoters having relevant technical experience will have
6.Soil & Climate
Most soils with good drainage are suitable for
cultivating patchouli. Water logged soils are
found to be detrimental for the crop and must be avoided
because they are susceptible to nematode attack.
Generally humid climate with plenty of sunlight is
suitable for this crop. The plant grows well as an
inter crop in partial shade, but complete shade should
be avoided. For good growth of the plant, temperature
between 250C to 35oC is found to be ideal. Once
planted, the plants give good yield of leaves for at
least 3 years.
As patchouli thrives well under humid conditions,
coastal areas (Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka & Kerala)
are suitable for this crop which have congenial climatic
conditions. It is possible to cultivate patchouli
commercially in various locations of the country having
congenial climate. Factors such as number of farmers
ready to take up the crop for better supervision,
availability of perennial irrigation source and
marketing arrangements should be taken into account for
selection of the site.
There is no minimum economic size for patchouli
cultivation. The project envisages cultivation of
patchouli in one acre area which can be easily managed
by the farmer and provides sufficient income. It is
however desirable to adopt the cluster approach wherein
more than 10 farmers join the cultivation in their small
10.Agro Technique and Source of
The agrotechnique for the cultivation of patchouli
has been standardized by KSRC. It provides training and
technical guidance on cultivation aspects of the crop
and also provides technical consultancy to private
entrepreneurs for setting up of production of commercial
units in the State.
10.1 Cultivation Methods
Patchouli can be cultivated as pure crop and
intercrop under following two methods :
Ř Standard practice using conventional
method of irrigation.
Ř Drip irrigation method using
fertigation for providing nutrients.
The yield under drip irrigation is nearly 2 times
that of conventional method.
There is no established variety of Patchouli under
cultivation. In the project, the variety selected from
natural flora by Kelkar Scientific Research Center,
Mumbai is recommended. This selection is reported
to be suitable for production of best quality essential
10.3 Spacing and Plant
The recommended spacing is 30 cm x 30 cm under open
cultivation for both drip and conventional
irrigation. Number of plants accommodated would be
around 30,000 per acre.
For intercropping in partial shade, 45 cm x 45 cm
spacing is recommended accommodating 19,750 plants per
10.4 Planting Material and Cost
Authentic planting material of a variety
suitable for essential oil is prerequisite for
successful cultivation. Two types of planting material
are supplied by KSRC. They are - (a) Rooted cuttings (b)
Rooted and hardened tissue culture plants. It is
recommended to use tissue culture
Cost of rooted cuttings supplied by KSRC is Rs. 2/
plant while, rooted and hardened tissue culture
plants cost Rs. 5 per plant.
For cultivation of one acre, 400 plants are
required as mother stock. Around 5% mortality
during establishment in the field is assumed.
10.5 Land Preparation
Followed by land clearing, ploughing two times
is recommended. Each ploughing by tractor takes about 3
hours. Land leveling costs are not considered
since they vary widely from site to site. Farmyard
manure (12 tons/acre) is to be mixed well with the
soil. Antinematode material like neem cake should
be added at the root zone and mixed well with the soil
to avoid nematode attack.
10.6 Planting Time
Planting can be done at any time of the year except
in hot months like April, May or October. Once planted,
the plants give good yield of leaves for 3 years.
10.7 Irrigation schedule
As indicated earlier, patchouli can be cultivated in
two ways depending on the method of irrigation followed.
Under conventional method, irrigation is to be provided
at least twice a week. Water logging must be avoided.
Number of irrigation per year will be around 60 (no
watering during monsoon) with each irrigation lasting
for 3 hours with 5 HP motor.
Under drip system of irrigation, irrigation is
provided by a drip with nozzles at a distance of 45 cm
from each other, which discharge at a rate of 2 litres
of water/hour. Irrigation for 30 minutes per day
is adequate. In hot and dry season it should be
upto a maximum of 60 minutes in two installments.
10.8 Manure and Fertilizer
Based on the soil fertility status, fertilizer
dose has to be decided. At the time of land preparation,
around 12 MT of FYM/acre is to be applied. Neem cake for
control of nematodes is applied at the time of planting
@ 0.4 MT/ acre. Thereafter, the fertiliser schedule
decided based on soil fertility status is to be
10.9 Plant Protection Measures
Other than nematodes, problems of aphids and
caterpillars have been observed in patchouli which can
be controlled by use of malathion or endosulphon 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
10.10 Plantation Management
Not much maintenance is required for
Patchouli. Regular weeding, nutrient
application and harvesting are the major activities
involved in its cultivation.
10.11 Harvesting and Yield
6 months - First harvest is possible after 6
months when the plants are about 1m high.
The first harvest can be taken after 3 months if
tissue culture plant are used.
The plant is harvested at 6-8 nodes from the
apex. It should be harvested with a sharp cutting
tool. The new shoots come from the nodes and
if the cutting is done too low the next harvest
will be affected. Thereafter the cutting can
be taken every 3 months. In rainy season,
fungicides should be sprayed after
harvesting. Harvested material is dried in
Harvesting is preferably done during drier
Under conventional irrigation : 10 MT (3
cuttings) per acre p.a. Drip system of
irrigation : 20 MT (3 cuttings) per
Harvested biomass is dried under shade for 4-5
days giving 1.8 to 4.5 MT of dry biomass per acre
As an intercrop, 2 MT dry biomass per
acre per year can be expected.
Price & Returns
M/s. Keva Biotech Ltd., a subsidiary of S H
Kelkar & Co. Ltd.,, provides buy back
assurance for 3 years at a fixed rate of Rs.
20,000 per MT of dry biomass (delivered at Mulund,
11. Requirements of the
The major components of Patchouli cultivation project
are given as under :
Land is required for nursery, cultivation and drying
the harvested biomass. The present model is
prepared for 1 acre land area. It is assumed that
the land is having permanent irrigation source such as
well/ tube well/ river and owned by the farmer.
11.2 Civil Works
After harvesting, the biomass is to be dried under
shade for 4 to 5 days. Drying shed with thatched
roof and mud floor is considered with a drying area of
1000 sq. ft. For drip irrigation system, pump
house needs to be constructed.
For protecting the crop & drip lines from
trampling by animals, barbed wire fencing with cement
poles has been provided in the model. Size of
cement poles is assumed at 150 mm X 100 mm X 2 m and
length of wire is 2880 m for one acre area.
Assured irrigation source is essential for successful
cultivation of patchouli. KSRC has standardized the
agrotechnique for cultivation of patchouli both under
conventional method and drip method of irrigation
system. It is assumed that only those farmers having an
irrigation source only will take up the cultivation. For
drip system, a motor (3 HP) and pumphouse are to be
provided. Irrigation is provided by drip with nozzles at
a distance of 45 cm from each other, which discharge at
a rate of 2 litres of water/hour. Suitable drip
irrigation system will be designed on the farm on the
basis of the following data:
Basic data - land slope, plant spacing, length of
main line and laterals.
Irrigation water requirement
Emitters - number and spacing
Size and length of Main line and Laterals, manifold
HP of pump set
In the model, total cost of drip irrigation system is
assumed at Rs. 40,000 for one acre of patchouli
11.5 Planting Material
Two types of planting material are supplied by KSRC.
They are - (a) Rooted cuttings (b) Hardened tissue
culture plants. It is recommended to use tissue
Cost of rooted cuttings supplied by KSRC is Rs. 2 per
plant while, hardened tissue culture plants
cost Rs. 5 per plant. For
cultivation of one acre, 300 to 500 plants are required
as mother stock. Around 5% mortality during
establishment in the field is assumed. Other raw
materials such as manure and fertilizers, agrochemicals
are locally available.
Cultivation of patchouli will be taken up by
individual farmers. Training and field guidance is
available from KSRC and as such availability of labour
should not be a problem.
12. Project Cost
On the basis of the field studies and discussion with
scientists of Kelkar Scientific Research Center,
estimated cost for cultivation of patchouli in one acre
area is indicated below :
a) Capital cost
i) Cultivation under flood
: Rs. 1,00,459
ii) Cultivation under drip irrigation system : Rs.
b) Recurring cost (Year 2 &
i) Cultivation under flood
: Rs. 20,948
ii) Cultivation under drip irrigation system : Rs.
Details are presented in the Annexure.
13. Projected Benefit
The plant is harvested 6-8 nodes from apex of
individual branches. First harvest is possible after 4-6
months when the plants are about 1m high.
Harvested biomass is dried under shade for 4-5 days.
Under conventional irrigation, 3 MT (3 cuttings), while
under drip system of irrigation, 4-5 MT (3 cuttings) of
biomass per acre can be harvested every year. As
an intercrop, 2 MT biomass per acre per year can be
M/s. Keva Biotech Ltd., a subsidiary of S H Kelkar
& Co. Ltd., provides buy back assurance for 3
years at a fixed rate of Rs. 20,000 per MT (Rs. 20/1 kg)
of dry biomass (delivered at Mulund , Mumbai ).
The estimated total benefits per acre will be as
Year 2 & 3
i) Cultivation under flood
: Rs. 40,000
ii) Cultivation under drip irrigation system
: Rs. 50,000
Details are given in Annexure.
14. Financial Analysis
The financial viability of the project has been
analyzed (Annexure) and the results are given below
drip irrigation system
1.17 : 1
15. Financial Assistance
Projects on cultivation and processing of medicinal
and aromatic plants are accorded top priority by NABARD
for providing the refinance support. Banks may avail of
the facility to provide term loans to location specific
projects subject to their technical feasibility,
financial viability and bankability along
with buyback arrangement.
16. Margin Money
Margin money will range from 5% to 15% of the project
cost depending upon the category of the farmers.
The bank shall obtain security as per guidelines
issued by Reserve Bank of India from time to time.
18. Rate of Interest
The rate of interest to be charged on ultimate
borrower will be in accordance with the instruction of
NABARD / RBI from time to time. In the present
model, an interest rate of 13% p.a. for the farmers has
On the basis of income generated, the farmer will be
able to repay the interest and principal within a period
of 3 years (Annexure).