Sci-Tech » Agriculture

Updated: August 10, 2011 12:22 IST

Melia dubia tree holds promise of good returns for ryots

M. J. Prabu
Comment (26)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
REMUNERATIVE: G. Kumaravelu with some high yielding yielding tree varieites. Photo: M.J. Prabu
The Hindu
REMUNERATIVE: G. Kumaravelu with some high yielding yielding tree varieites. Photo: M.J. Prabu

About Rs.2 lakhs per acre can be expected from sixth year of planting

One of the main problems that farmers face today is decreasing income from an acre per year against sudden increase in the value of agricultural lands due to newly formed rural roads, mushrooming of industries, and concrete dwellings.

This forces several small farmers to sell their lands and settle in urban concrete jungles.

Low income

Diminishing income from an acre against increasing land value, forces many farmers to sell their lands. A family of 4 members need a monthly income of Rs.40,000 from an acre if they have to survive. But today from an acre one gets anything between Rs.10,000 to Rs.12,000.

“How is this enough? Naturally he prefers to sell his lands than continue farming. If we are keen that farming lands should not be sold then we must ensure income generation of at least Rs.20,000 to Rs.30,000 from an acre a year,” explains Dr. G. Kumaravelu, Member, Tamil Nadu Planning Commission and former Chief Conservator of Forests, Tamil Nadu.

Easy method

The easiest way to increase income from an acre is by planting certain tree varieties such Melia dubia (Malai Vembu in Tamil) which fetch a handsome price in the market, assured buyback, and require low maintenance expenditure.

In addition, the trees also aid the planet by preventing temperature rise and checking gas emission into the atmosphere as the trees are naturally endowed to absorb maximum CO{-2}.

Money spinner

Melia is a money spinning tree of short duration. Even if planted as a single row along the field bunds, about 60 trees can be planted per acre, which will fetch an income of about Rs.2 lakhs in the sixth year of planting.

“Since there is a total mismatch between demand and supply for wood and veneer, block planting of 300 to 400 trees per acre can ensure a minimum profit of rupees one lakh per year from an acre.

Under good maintenance and controlled irrigation from sixth year onwards, depending on the soil depth and quality trees of 80 to 100 cm gbh with a clear bole of 5 metres height can fetch Rs.4, 000 at today's price (7 per cent escalation can be added per year for the sale price).

Intercultivation can be done with annual crops in the first three years and then spices such as pepper can be grown.

Single row planting

Even if planted in a single row along the field bunds, about 60 trees can be planted at six feet spacing which will fetch an income of about Rs.2 lakhs in the sixth year.

Under high density planting with 1,000 to 1,500 trees in an acre, a yield of 40 to 50 tonnes is possible from the second and third year of planting.

“As the demand for Melia wood is quite high, minimum profit of about Rs.40,000 per year from an acre can be ensured for the farmers today,” says, Dr. Kumaravelu.

Pest infestations

Regarding pest infestations affecting this tree Dr. Kumaravelu says, “the variety is susceptible to root rot. Only optimum irrigation is required .

While planting the seedlings application of 2-3 kgs of vermicompost, 40 gms of Phosphobacteria, Azospirillum and Trichoderma Viride each in addition to 10-20 gms of Pseudomonas and 100 grams of VAM (vesicular arbuscular mycoriza) helps in promoting good growth.

Buy back

“Interested farmers who want to buy the seedlings can contact our office and we are willing to guide them right from purchasing the seedlings to buy back,” assures Dr. Kumaravelu.

For information contact Dr. G. Kumaravelu, State Planning Commission, 5th floor, Ezhilagam, Chepauk, Chennai: 600005, email:, Phone: 044-28545482 (Off).

sir,valuable information is disclosed in your article.i am planning this melia dubia in 100 acres of land.look forward your kind support.cell no.09393822457,anantapur,andhra pradesh.

from:  N Chithambar
Posted on: Jul 19, 2011 at 22:23 IST

Thank You Mr.Dr.Kumaravel for your efforts on Malia Dubia. We want to Plnt Malia Dubia in our Land of FIVE near Hyderabad. Kindly enlighten whether you can supply the seedlings.If so what is the Price per seedling including Transportation to Hyderabad. Or kindly inform us that where shall we get the above Malia Dubai.

from:  Satyanarayana. Manne
Posted on: Jun 22, 2011 at 01:00 IST

As per your article if the farmer can get more income which is less risky , it would be really a great service to the farmers and our nation. Please organize a website which gives the authentic information like source links for the seedlings, the soil requirements, market links etc.

from:  Narender
Posted on: Jun 21, 2011 at 00:29 IST

I went through your valuable article. It says that it has huge demand in the market. Further, I have some more doubts in this regard. first, I want to know who are the main buyers for melia and what are major industrial uses of melia? Then what is annual increment/year and what is market rate for 1 cft of melia wood? Pl give details, sir. I have 20 Acres acriculture land.

from:  Prakash T
Posted on: Jun 16, 2011 at 11:56 IST

I am interested to cultivate melai dubia Kindly let me know whether I can grow pepper neary Mysore along with? What verieties of Melai dubia and pepper are matching? Kindly inform me the method of planting, space, manure, watering, and whether pruning of the tree branches will help to the growth of tree as well as to the pepperwine? Please guide me any body got experience in this.

from:  R K Bhat
Posted on: May 27, 2011 at 13:03 IST

Where are malaivembu sapplings available and its price? I kindly reqest you to give me the details.

from:  muthiaah.s
Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 at 18:23 IST

Dear sir,
I went through your valuable article. It says that it has huge demand in the market. Further, I have some more doubts in this regard. first, I want to know who are the main buyers for melia and what are major industrial uses of melia? Then what is annual increment/year and what is market rate for 1 cft of melia wood? Pl give details, sir.

from:  Dr M V Durai
Posted on: Feb 13, 2011 at 18:19 IST

Friends, Mr.Vishnu Sankar of Tirunelveli District is giving more details about this Melia Dubia (Malai Vembu) in his blog. His blog link is below and very useful. If the below link is not working copy and paste directly. Happy Planting!!

from:  JBRSSM
Posted on: Feb 10, 2011 at 01:03 IST

After the article was published in The Hindu, Mr Kumaravelu is not replying to anyone. How can he answer our question? The members of the planning Commission are busy in their own purpose. If any one can pay more to him, he may find time to reply your query. Expertise is wasted if he will not answer queries.

from:  A Vellaichamy
Posted on: Feb 6, 2011 at 12:26 IST

Very good information indeed. It will help the farmers if availability of planting material is made available as germination is no doubt a problem. Government can take up such projects in the interest of farmers and in greening.

from:  Dr. V. Suryanarayana
Posted on: Jan 14, 2011 at 16:12 IST

Hai sir which use for melia dubia and any land make to melia dubia and where is avilable for melia dubia in vellore - dt
Thank sir

from:  M.BASKAR
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 20:28 IST

The author is not responding to our queries. What is the fun of coming to media and giving such a statement?

from:  a vellaichamy
Posted on: Oct 10, 2010 at 12:23 IST

Hello Sir,

I am very much impressed about your article and planning to do this melia dubia plantation so could you please send me few details

1) where we can get good quality plants
2) Cultivation techniques.
3) Marketing after the crop.

from:  suman Reddy
Posted on: Sep 29, 2010 at 04:44 IST

Sir, I have melia dubia seeds I would like to know the germination process. Everybody say its very difficult since you are in this field you might have did research to achieve 100% germination I request you to guide me. I will be grateful and thankful to you. I confirmed with local forest department about the seeds they said its genuine.

from:  D.Amal raj
Posted on: Sep 12, 2010 at 11:13 IST

Melia dubia can be grown in almost all soils. It won't flourish well in problamatic soils such as acidic, alkaline soils.

As quoted by Dr. G. Kumaravelu, it is a crop of income. Depending upon the density, farmers can expect the income.

from:  N. Raghu Ram
Posted on: Aug 9, 2010 at 18:00 IST

Dear Sir,
I would like to know the full details on Melia dubia tree plantations,type of soil ,water requirement, climatic conditions, where shall i get seplings, its cost, Buy-Back arrangements. Can I plant it in Maharashtra ?

Please forward me the detailed information on the subject to proceed with further dealings.

pradeep rokade
cell : 09821096811

from:  pradeep rokade
Posted on: Aug 3, 2010 at 14:38 IST

What kind of climate & soil is suitable for such plantation? What is the water requirement. What is the waiting period to get first crop.

We are growing oil palm near vizag. We have some vacant land, can we use it for this plantation?

let me know



from:  krishna kishore
Posted on: Jul 22, 2010 at 10:35 IST

Res sir i have read your explanation about malayvembu tree.i have some doubts given below pls give details.
can we plant both malayvembu & saveku one by one so that we can get income thow saveku on 3.5years & from malayvembu on 7th year

you have given that we can plant inter crops such as pepper. so pls give
details about pepper plantation.

from:  jeyaprakaash.r
Posted on: Jun 7, 2010 at 18:47 IST

I sent Dr.Kumaravel a email; sorry to say his response was not very satisfactory.

from:  Antony
Posted on: May 21, 2010 at 23:05 IST

I would like to know whether melia dubia can also be used for pulpwood in place of species like eucalyptus,acasia,casurina subabul etc.Would this grow and give the yield as mentioned in the article in the rainfed plantations?

from:  A K Bhatia
Posted on: May 17, 2010 at 09:17 IST


Posted on: Apr 29, 2010 at 19:29 IST

I see your article, please details about melia dubia plantation.

from:  v v rama krishna
Posted on: Apr 25, 2010 at 14:46 IST

Dear Sir,

I am repeating my query. can we grow this tree in Karaikudi area, I have already sent soil and water samples for detailed analysis to TNAU Madurai. Welcoming your early response.



from:  S.N.Mani
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 03:44 IST

We want all data about this plantation. pPease send data to this email.

from:  Chakravarthi
Posted on: Mar 19, 2010 at 21:22 IST

Dear Mr. Kumaravelu can we grow this tree in Karaikudi area?

from:  S.N.Mani
Posted on: Mar 15, 2010 at 08:19 IST

After reading this article, I've developed an interest in Melia Dubia trees. At present I stay in Hyderabad and own 45 acres of land in Kurchedu Mandal near Vinukonda, about 80 km from Ongole town in coastal Andhra. For the past 10 years I have been growing Eucalyptus trees not the clone ariety. Actually I did not take proper care. So the yield was very low even though my neighbours extracted lot of yield by planting the clone variety. Only last week I cut the trees and I will be digging out the roots soon. In the meantime I read this article and I hope you can give some advice regarding what to grow next.I have good water source. Can I grow Melia Duba trees? What will be the cost/investment?

from:  g subbarao
Posted on: Mar 11, 2010 at 11:11 IST
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