Apart from its cosmetic and medicinal properties, henna (Lawsonia inermis the natural dye -is ideal as a commercial crop for drylands cultivation, say researchers at the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) in Andhra Pradesh. Capable of growing with the minimal maintenance, the plant does not require protective irrigation or special manure. CRIDA experts plan to raise this crop in vacant stretches of land along the railway lines, and are also developing si,nple post-harvest and processing technology to increase the returns to growers.
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