Smells like a fortune: Rising demand for kewda oil a blessing for 200,000 people in Odisha’s Ganjam

Households within the coastal pockets of Odisha‘s Ganjam district have been eking out a dwelling by getting ready fragrant kewda oil for years, and a latest development in demand has put a smile on their faces. 

Ganjam kewda (Pandanus fascicularis) oil is steam-distilled from the flower of the fragrant screwpine plant and used as an fragrant within the meals trade and different sectors. It’s registered below the Geographical Indications of Items (Registration and Safety) Act, 1999 by the Authorities of India.

The flower is harvested from round 5,000 hectares within the district. Its oil is produced in Ganjam, Chatrapur, Chikiti and Rangeilunda blocks of the district, stated Narendra Sahoo, a kewda flower oil maker from Chikiti.   

For round 200,000 individuals dwelling in 220 villages of the district, it’s the foremost supply of earnings. The farmers and collectors obtain an advance from Ganjam’s oil makers who purchase the flowers from them throughout June to September — the harvesting season, stated Dandapani Sahoo, a kewda flower collector in Chatrapur. “Farming of kewda flowers has been a supply of livelihood because the time of our ancestors.”

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Kewda oil makers promote to Kannauj, Agra, Kanpur, New Delhi, Mumbai and different locations at round Rs 5 lakh a litre, stated  VV Rama Rao, officer-in-charge and senior scientist of Fragment and Flavour Improvement Heart (FFDC) extension unit at Berhampore, Ganjam below the Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. “Yearly, kewda farmers, flower sellers and oil makers earn round Rs 50-60 crore.”

The worth per litre of kewda oil was Rs 4.5 lakh final 12 months, stated Sudrashan Patra, secretary of Shree Sidha Bhabani Kewda farmers affiliation, Mahasahipentha village in Rangeilunda block. “Rising kewda oil costs have put a smile on the faces of farmers and oil makers.”

A kewda oil distillery in Ganjam district, Odisha. Picture: Ashis Senapati

Earlier, within the absence of ample advertising and marketing amenities, farmers could be compelled to resort to misery sale of flowers to middlemen, in accordance with Rao. “We shaped flower producer teams and stuck the value of a flower at Rs 10-12 to get rid of the function of middlemen and supply correct advertising and marketing amenities. Consequently, kewda oil makers at the moment are buying flowers immediately from the producer teams.”

FFDC can be coaching oil makers and serving to them buy trendy gear to start out distilling models via the government-managed District Trade Heart, the official stated. 

At current, there are round 160 distilling models within the district, he added. “The District Trade Heart gives loans of Rs 25-30 lakh to locals to arrange a distilling unit.”

An oil maker wants 30,000 flowers to extract a litre of kewda oil, in accordance with Rao.  

“For generations, we have now been extracting fragrant oils from kewda flowers in our distillery unit. Demand for regionally made fragrant kewda oil is growing by the 12 months as a result of availability of excellent high quality kewda flowers in our space. We get orders to produce kewda oil from many reputed meals, zarda (flavoured tobacco) and pharmaceutical firms,” stated Nakul Nayak, proprietor of a distilling unit in Biswanathpur village.

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