Friday, February 17, 2012
Farmers take up cultivation of Sandalwood
Karnataka which is famous as 'Srigandhada Nadu' (Sandalwood State) is facing verge of Sandalwood extinction and is classified as one of the endangered plant species in India.
Hence, to meet the growing demands of the Sandalwood, Karnataka Soaps and Detergent Limited (KSDL) has launched the programme 'grow more sandalwood' and is encouraging farmers and entrepreneurs to take up cultivation of Sandalwood.
The major plantation company in Australia M/s TFS Ltd has already planted about 5,000 hectares of the Indian Sandalwood and is planning for about 2000 hectares in the Kemberly region of Western Australia.
Apart this, Several countries like China, Australia, Thailand, Costarica, Cambodia and Srilanka are also entering into Santalam Album plantation because of its fragrance characteristics coupled with huge demand for natural products worldwide.
In Mysore, the sale of sandalwood sapling has kicked-off and there is a tremendous increase in sale of sandalwood saplings. The seeds are available in two seasons, April to May and September to October. Well-developed healthy seedling of 6 to 8 months old is ideal for planting in the field.
There is a 'buy-back' arrangement for this programme, in which the KSDL signs an agreement with the planter and purchase the tree after 20 years. The price of the sandal wood will be fixed depending on the quality of the wood. The superiority of wood is usually judged based on colour, weight and from the portions of the tree from which it is taken (root, log, so on).
Meantime, Horticulture department is providing subsidy of 25 per cent for farmers who grow sandalwood in one acres of land. The cost for each sapling is Rs 12. This year KSDL in Mysore has obtained about orders for about 1.5 lakh saplings and last year about 60,000 saplings has been sold.
Speaking to Express, KSDL DGM VSVenkatesha Gowda said that 'Sandalwood plants are also widely distributed in the southern states like, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Preadesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Assam and Kerala.
He says, due to rampant smuggling, illegal trade of Sandalwood and decline in the area of cultivation present scenario of Sandalwood production in India may reach to 300 - 400 Mts per annum.