Farmers along the coastal belt of Krishna district appear to have taken a cue from the phrase ‘Think innovatively’, and they are reaping dividends. They have deviated from the tradition farming of cash crops and have zeroed down on mint leaves cultivation.

With the leaves promising good returns both to the farmer as well as retailer or the middlemen, the acreage is on the rise and the best season of the year has just begun.

The farming is largely done by the women and it is spreading along the swathes of sandy soil regions between Machilipatnam and its neighbouring villages. In these locations, the mint farming is preferred by the small and marginal farmers as their habitation is very close to the tail end area of the existing irrigation canal system. In Kothareddypalem village, which is located about 10-km away from the Krishna district headquarters, more than 40 farmers have shifted from different crops to the mint farming in about 70 acres. Most of them are tenant or small farmers.

“The cultivation of mint on the sandy soil has proved lucrative. The profit on an acre in each harvest, done every twenty days, is above Rs. 15,000,” Subhareddy Munnam of Kothareddypalem village told The Hindu.

The average yield per acre is around 30,000 bundles, each weighing about 150 grams in each harvest. According to the farmers, the income on the mint is almost double than other floriculture crops including jasmine.

Field day

In Krishna district, the middlemen are having a field day as they make four times the profit compared to the price paid to the farmers. “Being a farmer, we cannot manage the sale of the entire produce. However, the mint cultivation is still lucrative even at that price. Except in rainy season, the crop is largely risk free” said another farmer Peruboyana Subrahmanyam.

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