KOCHI: One need not own acres and acres to earn a decent income from farming. Even people having a few cents of land in the city can earn money, by cultivating jasmine plants in their courtyard.
This has been proved by Thapovanam Centre for Youth Development, Ochanthuruth, Vypeen. Established in 1985 by a group of 25 youth, the centre is among other things, engaged in selling jasmine (kuttimulla) saplings at Rs.2 per sapling.
"We give training in cultivating jasmine and also provide saplings," says Mahesh Mangat, director of the centre. "One can get up to Rs. 50 per day from even a five-cent plot of land, by planting jasmine. Two hundred and fifty pits can be dug in this much area, and two plants planted in each pit. The plants will begin to flower in three months. The flowers are plucked when the plant is six months old. From then on, one can get 500 grammes of jasmine each day from the plants. The yield increases after one year," he said.
Though jasmine fetches up to Rs.120 per kg in the market, the farmer gets a maximum of Rs.75 per kg. It is a good income generator, especially as a home-employment for women, he says.
Apart from this, the centre uses traditional treatment methods to cure ailments.
"We adopt traditional methods to rid migraine, asthma, psoriasis, piles etc," claims Mr. Mangat. Camps are organised every Sunday to treat people with migraine.
A month back, the centre organised an exhibition of medicinal plants on its premises.