Prosperity through MAPs cultivation on degraded lands of India
The Indian farmers are looking at farming options for achieving income enhancement and livelihood security. The cultivation of medicinal crops is less risky in terms of the incidence of wild animals, pest, diseases attack and price fluctuations, and has potential returns and these crops can be grown in degraded and marginal soils, or grown as intercrops in orchards. Even Bacopa monnieri, Centella asiatica, Ocimum sanctum and Pogostimon patchouli could be considered as high returns per rupee investment and better system productivity crops. Medicinal and Aromatic Plant based cropping systems in India have shown that farmers gain significantly higher profits from their lands.
The health benefits of tulsi, relief from respiratory disorders, as well as treatment of fever, asthma, lung disorders, heart diseases and stress. This crop is being under cultivation in Gujrat, Rajasthan, M.P., Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Bengal and Tamil Nadu. Intercropping of Tulsi with different fruit crops offer greater scope to utilize the land and other resources to the maximum extent. Shri Neil Saha from Pandori and Nishant Kumar M. Patel from Porda, Petladh both the farmers were motivated under Central Sector Scheme sponsored by DASD, Calicut, Kerala for cultivator of medicinal crops. After a year of cultivation, they achieved good amount of profit. The highest net return (Rs. 59,201/ha/year) was obtained as intercropped with lime. On the contrary, the lowest net return (Rs. 32,095) were obtained in sole crop. This obviously reflected the importance of intercropping to increase the productivity per unit area and also offers insurance against crop failure (Fig. 1).