Wonder plant

An eco-friendly plant, the Senna can be used to regenerate wastelands with less water and without pesticides

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

SENNA (Cassia angustifolia 17ahl) a native of Saudi Arabia is now cultivated extensively in western Rajasthan The main advantage of the crop is that it is does not require the application of any fertilisers as it is not devoured by insects or other animals or birds. Further, the plant is also eco-friendly as it can be used for to become eco-friendly developing wastelands, and does not require frequent irrigation. The leaves are extensively used as a laxative in Unani, Ayurvedic and aflopathic medicines.

The soil and climatic conditions of western Rajasthan are very suitable for this crop. It has successfully been cultivated in more than 120 ha of wasteland in the Jodhpur district. Says Narayan Dass Prajapati, who cultivates medicinal plants, "I am cultivating this crop since the last three years without irrigation, without using chemical fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides."

He has now made a plan to cultivate this commercial crop on 800 ha in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Banner districts of western Rajasthan.

Senna can be economically grown on an average distributed rainfall of 25 to 40 cm to produce a good harvest. No extra irrigation is required.

Primarily a medicinal plant, Senna flowers and pods, apart from its leaves have purgative properties. The plant is also used as a liver stimulant, and parts of the plant have traditionally been used to cure anaernia, typhoid, cholera, skin diseases, wounds and burns and to remove pimples.

The plant is commercialty valuable. its leaves are in great demand in European countries where they are used to prepare herbal tea, and in bakery products. Producers can make a neat profit by growing the Senna plant (S Iee table. Senna reaps profits).

Considering the substantial profit that accrues from growing Serma leaves, the government should promote it vigourously. The reaper, thresher and the press bating equipments should be improvised adequately. Farmer's training programmes should be organised on a Total expenses regular basis across the Not profit region. The state agricul- 1000 kg dry tural marketing board 1,DO,000 kg should make a net-work Less expenses programme to help the Net Profit farmers in the marketing of this valuable crop in domestic and inter- national markets. The government, in order to promote the cultivation area of this crop, should encourage the farmers by announcing a subsidy policy on the crop.

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