Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that grows mainly in Asia and Africa. It is commonly used for stress but Ashwagandha has many other benefits such as improving sleep and memory, reducing inflammation, managing blood sugar and more. Today, we will discuss ‘Why Ashwagandha is profitable for farming’.
What is Ashwagandha good for?
Ashwagandha contains compounds that may have a calming effect on the brain, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improve the immune system. Given its traditional role as an adaptogen, Ashwagandha is used to treat a variety of stress-related conditions. Adaptogens are believed to help the body better cope with both physical and mental stress.
Ashwagandha is the new boom for Indian farmers.
The Ashwagandha market is experiencing increasing demand in sectors such as herbal medicine, pharmaceuticals, cosmeceuticals, and nutraceuticals. Therefore, it is very important to develop high quality raw materials using advanced high yielding varieties and improved agricultural and processing techniques. The annual requirement of Ashwagandha is around 7000 tonnes, while India’s estimated production is only 1500 tonnes. This considerable disparity between supply and demand emphasizes the need to expand Ashwagandha cultivation and adopt new, high-yielding varieties for commercial production to meet industry demand for Ashwagandha roots, leaves and seeds.
Why is Ashwagandha beneficial for agriculture?
Ashwagandha (Vythenia somnifera) is a popular medicinal herb in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, and has received considerable attention in recent years for its potential health benefits. From a farming perspective, Ashwagandha can be profitable for several reasons:
The growing demand for Ashwagandha products both locally and internationally is due to its health benefits. This growing demand has created opportunities for farmers to capitalize on this trend.
Ashwagandha is known for its adaptogenic properties, which means it can help the body adapt to stress and promote overall well-being. It is used to treat various ailments in various traditional and alternative medicine systems.
Nutrient rich soil:
Ashwagandha thrives in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. If the soil is properly prepared and maintained, it can lead to higher yields and better quality herbs.
Ashwagandha is a relatively low-maintenance crop once established. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate a range of environmental conditions, making it suitable for cultivation in a variety of regions.
High Market Value:
Ashwagandha has a relatively high market value compared to some other crops. This can become a profitable choice for farmers, especially if they can access markets where Ashwagandha products are in demand.
For farmers who want to diversify their crops, Ashwagandha can be a good option. Diversification can help reduce the risks associated with relying on one crop and lead to more stable income.
Value Added Products:
Ashwagandha can be processed into various value-added products such as powders, capsules, extracts and tinctures, which can command higher prices than the raw herb.
Sustainable farming practices:
Ashwagandha can be grown using sustainable farming practices, which may appeal to environmentally conscious consumers and further enhance the product’s market appeal.
It is important to note that successful Ashwagandha cultivation requires careful attention to factors such as soil quality, climate, cultivation techniques, and pest management. Additionally, market conditions and demand can fluctuate, so farmers should do thorough research and possibly consult with herbal agronomists to ensure that they are using Ashwagandha in their fields. Make informed decisions about cultivation.
First Published: 30 Sep 2023, 16:14 IST