1. Introduction :
Safed Musli (Chlorophytum borivilianum) is a
tuber crop belonging to the family Liliaceae. It is partly a herb with sub-erect
lanceolate leaves. There are about 256 species of Chlorophytum and 17
among them are found in India. Among these, Chlorophytum borivilianum has
good market both indigenously and globally. It is an annual crop capable of
giving good returns to farmers under irrigated conditions. Safed Musli is found
growing in thick forests in its natural form. The roots of safed musli is
reported to contain 2-15% saponin, which has the medicinal property of enhancing
vitality and immunity to human beings. It also helps in correcting
gynaecological disorders. There are many other therapeutic uses of safed musli
where dried tubers are used as a curative for pre-natal and post-natal illness,
arthritis, restorative and a health tonic etc. Because of its medicinal
property, safed musli is known as divya aushadhi and ayurvedic anori. Safed
musli is naturally grown in the hilly areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya
Pradesh. It is reported that the annual demand for dried safed musli roots is
500 t in India. The natural source is getting fast depleted necessitating field
cultivation of this medicinally important crop.
Chemical fertilisers have played a significant role in Indian
agriculture facilitating green revolution and making the country self reliant in
crop production. However, concentrated and continuous use of easily soluble
chemical fertilisers disturbs soil health, leading to acidification, micro
nutrient depletion, soil degradation, reduction in the activity of soil micro
flora and fauna, poor crop health and lower crop yields and quality. Besides,
use of fertilisers may contribute to environmental risks like increase in global
temperature, ground and surface water pollution, etc. In view of this, it is
desirable that we may have to return to less resource demanding agricultural
practices viewing the gaps in domestic production as also nutrient depletion
estimates. In this direction, organic farming offers scope to mitigate the above
problems especially to medium and large farmers who can create their own organic
manurial resources / do recycling of farm waste. The National Programme on
Organic Production (NPOP) of Government of India has defined Organic Farming as
a " holistic system of farm design and management that seeks to create
healthy ecosystem which can achieve sustainable productivity without the use of
artificial inputs such as chemical pesticides and fertilizers".
2. International Scenario :
The cropped area under organic farming was 26.4 million ha.
with an estimated production of 26 million tonne. The organic market, though
growing, is still in a nascent stage and accounts for 1 % of conventional
agricultural production and consumption. Almost 92% of the organic industry
comprises of farm products and 8% of animal products. Over 95% of organic
products are reported to be consumed in developed countries. The major producers
and importers of organic products are European Union, United States of America
3. National Scenario :
In Indian agriculture, organic manures have been used since
Vedic period and Sir Albert Howard, a British agronomist had started organic
agriculture way back in 1900. Since then farmers in some parts of India have
been practicing it either by default or under compulsion in the absence of
resources. According to a survey of IFOAM and Stiftung Oekologie & Landban (SOEL),
February 2005 India had about 76,326 ha land under organic management, which is
only 0.05% of total agricultural land. According to the survey there were about
5,147 certified organic farms in India.
The Indian organic farming industry is estimated at US $ 20
million and is mostly export oriented. As per APEDA report annually about 6792 t
of organic products worth Rs.72 million are exported from India. The data on
area and production of Safed Musli both under organic as well non-organic mode
is not available. However, Safed Musli is cultivated in most states of the
country, the prominent amongst them being Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab,
Andhra Pradesh etc. Based on agro climatic suitability, Safed Musli can be
cultivated in Eastern, Western, Central and Southern Plateau and Hill regions,
East and West Coast Plains and Hill regions and Gujarat Plains and Hill regions
comprising the states of Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan,
Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu and Gujarat.
4. Organic farming in Madhya Pradesh :
Madhya Pradesh is one of the fore runners in promotion of
organic farming. The State Government has adopted a concept called Bio farming
through bio-villages for the promotion of organic farming. Bio-farming is
implemented in 1565 villages selected from 313 blocks of 48 districts in the
state. It is reported that the message of growing crops through organic
resources is spreading from village to village through farmers contact
The survey conducted by the Indian Institute of Soil
Science (IISS-ICAR), Bhopal on organic farming in Central Madhya Pradesh
revealed that the major crops grown under organic farming are soybean, wheat,
lentil, safed musli, maize, pigeon pea, vegetables and sugarcane. The survey
also revealed that more number of large and medium farmers are involved in
organic farming as compared to small farmers. The average area under organic
farming varied from 0.80 ha (with small farmer) to 5.00 ha (with large farmer)
Adoption of organic farming is reported to have a positive
correlation with the number of cattle maintained by the farmers, in the state.
The large farmers have more cattle and hence more resources for organic manure
which facilitates more area under organic farming. Compost or Farm Yard Manure
(FYM) is the common source of organic manure used by the farmers, followed by
Vermicompost and Narayan Devaraj Pandey (NADEP) compost. Farmers are also
using bio-gas slurry, green manure and cow horn manure. Poultry manure, neem
cake, karanjee cake and bio-fertilizers like rhizobium, azospirillum,
phosphate solubilizing bacteria etc, are the other supplements under off-farm
The IISS survey has indicated that the quantum of organic
manure applied by the farmers do not have any scientific basis to meet the
nutrient requirements of the crops grown. The quantity applied is based on the
on-farm availability and the nature of crops grown. However, the periodicity
of application is found to be regular, either every season or crop grown under
organic farming as against application once in two or three years under
5. Organic Production :
5.1 Climate and Soil
Safed Musli can be grown in hot and subtropical climate.
Normally the agroclimatic conditions suitable for potato, onion and garlic are
also suitable for safed musli crop. Well drained soils with rich mineral content
is ideal for this crop. Hard and acidic soils are to be avoided.
Fingers or tubers are commonly used as planting material.
Before planting, the fingers are separated in such a way that each finger has a
portion of crown disk attached to it. Seeds can also be used for planting, but
for good results fingers are preferred. Tissue culture plantlets can also be
used for planting.
Being a kharif crop, sowing starts with the onset of monsoon.
Planting of fingers is done in beds or ridges depending on the slope and
drainage of the soil. Generally fingers are planted at a distance of 35 to 40
cm. About 80,000 fingers weighing 10-12 q are required for planting in one
Vermicompost, well decomposed organic manure and FYM are
the major sources of organic manure. 30 to 35 t/ha of organic manure is
applied to take care of the major and micronutrient requirements of the crop
and also soil conditioning, biological activity enhancement etc.
5.5 Plant Protection
Diseases like leaf spot, anthracnose and wilt affect this
crop. Spraying of neem or chrysanthemum or tobacco extracts (upto permitted
levels) or application of Trichoderma etc., are adopted under organic
growing. Plant extracts and biological agents are also used for pest control.
Three to four months after planting, the leaves start
yellowing. Subsequently they become dry and fall off and get detached from the
tuber/ disc. The moisture level in the soil should be maintained for another two
to three months. After this, the skin of tubers mature and it turns dark brown.
At this stage the tubers and fingers are dug out.
On an average the crop gives a yield of 40-50 q of wet musli
tubers per ha. After peeling and drying nearly 20% dry musli (8-10 q) is finally
6. Processing :
After digging out the musli tubers from the soil, they are
thoroughly washed in fresh water. The large and healthy fingers are separated
from the tubers and the small ones are kept aside to be used as planting
material for the next season. The large fingers are taken for processing. The
outer brown skin is peeled off with a stainless steel knife and sun dried for
three to four days. Dried fingers are packed in polythene bags and sent to the
7. Linkages :
Safed musli is one of the important medicinal crop grown in
Madhya Pradesh. Organic growing of safed musli is gaining importance among the
farmers, mostly because of the bio-farming and bio-villages concept promoted by
the State Government and other support systems made available though National
Horticulture Board (NHB), National Horticulture Mission (NHM) etc., for organic
Safed Musli is mostly marketed locally in Madhya Pradesh. The
weekly mandies at Indore (Tuesday), Mansur (Thursday), whole sale buyers at the
farm are the major market outlets for safed musli in the State. Besides, the
crop is also marketed at Organic India, Lucknow; Baidhyanath, Lucknow/Delhi etc.
However, a separate / premium price for organic safed musli is yet to be
stabilised in these markets mostly because of lack of awareness and
certification for organic systems. With the area expansion under organic safed
musli, the situation is likely to improve and incentive price for organic
products is expected to be introduced in the markets.
8. Financial Aspects :
8.1 Unit Cost
The unit cost for organic cultivation has been worked out
based on the technical and financial parameters indicated in Annexure II. The
unit cost for one ha of organic safed musli works out to Rs.518000. The details
of the unit cost are given in Annexure I.
8.2 Sale Price & Income
The average domestic price of good quality dry musli is Rs.450/- kg and from
one hectare a gross income of Rs.3.60 lakh to 4.50 lakh can be obtained.
8.3. Margin Money
The percentage of margin / down payment to investment cost
prescribed is 5, 10 and 15% for small, medium and large farmers respectively.
The rest of the investment cost will be provided as bank loan. Margin
considered in the present model is 10%.
8.4 Bank Loan
Bank loan of 85 - 95 % shall be available from the
financing institution. Bank loan considered
in the model is 90%.
The rate of interest to be charged to the ultimate borrower
would be guided by RBI guidelines issued from time to time. However, the
ultimate lending rate has been considered as 12 % for working out the
bankability of the model scheme.
Banks are guided by RBI guidelines issued from time to time
in this regard.
8.7 Financial analysis
The detailed economics for one hectare model of Safed Musli
has been worked out based on the discussions and data collected on the
techno-economic parameters, and the same is given in Annexure III & VI. Some
of the important financial indicators are given
- NPW : Rs.462837
- BCR : 1.52 : 1
- IRR : > 50%
8.8 Repayment schedule
Based on the cash flow the detailed repayment schedule has
been worked out in Annexure V. The bank loan along with accrued interest can be
repaid in five years including a grace period of six months.
9. Conclusion :
Based on detailed economics, the one hectare model for
organic cultivation of safed musli is found to the technically feasible,
financially viable and bankable.