Important Tips for Cultivation of Medicinal Plants
India is endowed with a rich wealth of medicinal plants, which ranked our country in the list of top producers of herbal medicines. This is alarming that the total forest area is reducing which has reduced the total cultivation/collection of medicinal plants in India. If this kind of damage continues, we may lose the wealth of medicinal plants, which will affect the growth of our economy. Therefore, it is essential to cultivate at large scale and to conserve heritage of medicinal plants.
It was an old interest of the farmers to cultivate medicinal plant, and unlimited research efforts have been made to improve the varieties of medicinal plants, however, we are still at the developing stage with regard to cultivation of medicinal plants because there is no standard organization/agency for the certification of these plants in India. Therefore, in such situation it is essential to know the tips and follow them carefully for cultivation of medicinal plants:
- Try to collect the available literature on medicinal plant which you can able to collect. Read it
carefully for many times. The literature is available in the forms of books, magazines,
research papers, films, etc. You may develop habit to participate in seminars/conferences or
training programmes, etc.
- Try to visit the farms of those farmers who are cultivating medicinal plants successfully and
listen their experiences with special reference to their techniques for growing these plants,
storage and packing practices, procedure of their sale, etc.
- You have to evaluate your own capacity honestly in following ways:
• You will cultivate the plants at your own.
• The plants will be cultivated by others on your farm.
• How much of land you owned?
• How much time you will spare for cultivation?
• The land value.
• It is a ownership/rental land.
• Type of land and soil quality.
• Irrigation facilities and climatic condition of your land. Rain fall, wind velocity etc.
If you have selected say 'X' plant for cultivation, find out its sale potential and market
position. You should know the names of buyer/company, exporters. The plant name should be
discussed with these buyers very carefully. When you are satisfied with the capacity and
requirements of the buyer along with his terms and condition, then and then proceed with the
cultivation. You may know this potential by meeting with the person(s)/ through Internet etc.
This is called market survey.
You should know that which part of the plant has demand in the market e.g., root, fruit,
You should know various parameters of the standard as required by buyer. This needs market
You should know the climatic, edaphic and other requirement of the plant, which you are
proposed to cultivate.
After extensive survey of the plant, select only 4 or 5 plants for cultivation purpose.
Unfortunately, not much new varieties of medicinal plants have been developed, however, a
few new varieties have been developed. Therefore, the grower should carefully purchase
seeds/planting material from institution/farmer directly. Do not depend on agents etc.
Never use fertilizers for cultivation. As far as possible, use organic manure only.
- Most of the medicinal plants are not infected with diseases, however. If they are infected, try
to cure them using indigenous practices or biopesticides. Try to avoid use of chemical
- The cultivation of medicinal plants may be a new field for you. Therefore, at initial stage, try
to cultivate at small scale to know the characters/properties of the particular plant.
- When you have started cultivation of medicinal plant, do not advertise much among your
fellow-farmers. As and when you get success and launch commercial cultivation, let you
propagate your success to others, if you are failed, you may be depressed.
- After getting success in your venture, let other farmers should know your success and people
will join you. This will result into reorganization of your village/place as a prime growing
area of a particular medicinal plant.
- Your success and cultivated area should come in record of local/State Government, specially
for those plants which can not be exported.
- After getting success, try to conduct experimentation on the cultivated plant, this will help
you to improve/understand the nature, properties of the plant in detail.
- For this purpose, it is necessary to read magazines, research papers or to contact research
institutions. This will encourage you to develop proper skill for cultivation.
- Cultivate those medicinal plants, which are banned from export point of view. This will pay