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Jharkhand women reap good profits

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Cultivation of lemongrass has not only earned praise for women in many villages in Gumla district of Jharkhand, but also make them economically self-reliant

Ranchi: Cultivation of lemongrass has not only earned praise for women in many villages in Gumla district of Jharkhand, but also make them economically self-reliant. No less than Prime Minister Narendra Modi has praised these women in his monthly Mann ki Baat radio programme.

At least 30 women self-help groups are involved in the cultivation of lemongrass in Bishnupur block, who have been roped in under the aegis of Sakhi Mandals to cultivate medicinal plants. Lemongrass is one of the main medicinal plants grown here.

The women growers, with the help of Kisan Seva Kendras, are doing value-addition to their yield and earning good profits in big markets. Officials said members of around 500 Sakhi Mandals were working with the help from Kisan Seva Kendra and earning in lakhs from the cultivation of lemongrass.

Lemongrass or citronella is a tall, stalky plant with a fresh, lemony aroma and a citrus flavour. It is a common ingredient in Thai cooking. It is also a bug repellent, and has antimicrobial properties. It also aids in digestion and is beneficial in controlling cholesterol and weight loss. Its essential oil is used in aromatherapy to freshen the air, reduce stress, and uplift the mood.

Rehkooba Toli resident Sumati Devi started lemongrass cultivation on 60 dismil (one dismal equals 435.6 sq feet) of land after taking a loan from the self-help group. She said: "We had never heard of lemongrass before. But after our experience with its cultivation, we recommend it to others as well. Lemongrass grows wonderfully in infertile land."

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