From Central America, Simaruba makes its way to Kadur

Last Updated 14 November 2011, 18:28 IST

Parinathi, an organisation aided by Nabard has distributed 40,000 Simaruba saplings in 23 villages of Kadur in just one month. Parinathi Chief Dr Joseph Panakal said that the organisation will provide assistance to farmers for cultivation of the plants.

There are over 60 million hectares of barren land in India and Simaruba is being cultivated in as many as 11 states including Karnataka. The cultivation of this plant is advisable for places receiving 300 mm annual rain, located at an altitude of 1,500 mts above sea level with temperature about 10 to 40 degree Celsius. The region should receive adequate sunlight.

These plants need minimum maintenance and it will start yielding within five years of planting. Oil, soap, detergent, diesel, beverage, medicines can be manufactured using the fruits of this plant. One hectare of land can yield 2,000 kg of cooking oil per year.

Sowing method
Seeds are not sown directly in the farmland. Instead, two to three seeds are sown in plastic covers.

The plastic bags containing seeds should be watered everyday. After 25 to 35 days the seeds will start germinating. When the sapling bears six to seven leaves, it should be planted in 45cmx45cm pit along with organic manure and coir underneath.

About five metre distance should be maintained between two saplings. In this way, 400 saplings can be planted in one hectare land. It is advisable to take up planting during monsoon.

The flowers borne by the Simaruba tree are classified as male flowers and female flowers.

A male plant bears only male flowers while a female sapling bears female flowers. While female flowers grow into fruits, male flowers do not. There are another category of flowers, which will have characteristics of both male and female and these flowers do not contribute to the yield at all.

The pollination takes place by air and by bees. Since the plant has resistance to disease there is no need for the farmers to be worried over the health of the plant. Further the leaves of this plant are not eaten by cattle. The plants start bearing fruits by March and April.

Experts say that the juice that oozes out from the fruits while separating the seeds from the fruits can be effective organic manure.

The seeds should be stored after drying. Since the seeds contain about 70 per cent of oil, it is called an oil plant. The waste left after extraction of oil can be used as fodder for animals and can also be used as manure.

It is learnt that the oil from this plant is used as cooking oil prominently in Central America. It is mainly used in bakeries for bulk baking.

The pulp of the fruits is also used for manufacturing beverages. The skin of the fruits, leaves and roots are used for treating stomach pain, malaria and various other stomach related disorders.

Suitable here
Since the plant ensures steady flow of income for farmers even in difficult circumstances, the plant is looked at as a good alternative in Kadur, which is a drought hit region.

(Published 14 November 2011, 18:25 IST)

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