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Lemongrass cultivation project report, process of growing, investment, and profit per acre in India

In India, only 0.03 percent of the farmers practice lemongrass cultivation per year.

Neither any animal eat lemongrass nor any kind of fungal infections or diseases touch the lemongrass. Sometimes it's leaves get dry because of dryness and they become green again in presence of moisture, otherwise lemongrass is healthy plant that grow for the whole year.  

Once you plant lemongrass, you will get the yield for the next five years on a certain difference of time. Maximum, you can get three to four(sometimes) yields of lemongrass per year. You don't need to sow another lemongrass cuttings till the time. 

Lemongrass cultivation project report(1-acre)

The main purpose of the cultivation of lemongrass is to get the lemongrass plant oil. This lemongrass oil uses in the making of detergent, soap, cosmetic products, and some particular medicines.

People get confused about yield, investment, and profit per acre before getting start lemongrass cultivation. Let's understand how lemongrass cultivation works and what are basic requirements(including investment).

Requirements for lemongrass cultivation

Following are basic and fundamental requirements for lemongrass cultivation-

  • Temperature and humidity

The ordinary temperature must not be more than 30 degrees Celcius, and not lower than 10 degrees Celcius during sowing of lemongrass cuttings.

For mid-growth temperature can vary. The lemongrass plant can handle higher temperatures or lower temperatures during mid-growth. At the time of harvesting, the temperature must be moderate.  

lemongrass cultivation project report

If humidity is very high at the time of sowing, then there is no extra requirement of irrigation water soon, but if you are sowing lemongrass cuttings in the offseason, then you have to do it with plenty of irrigation water.

Normally, in the month of September, humidity increase to very high, that's why this ideal month helps at the time of sowing.  

  • Soil type and pH 

One of the major advantages of lemongrass cultivation is that it can grow in almost every kind of soil. But still, there are debates on desert soil for lemongrass cultivation.

For lemongrass, soil pH must be between 6.5 to 7.3 on the pH scale.

  • Fertilizers

For lemongrass, people use some basic chemical fertilizers but it is better to use organic compost instead of chemical fertilizers. In the recent period, it is noticed that organic compost provides better and faster results in comparison to chemical fertilizers without any side effects on plant growth.

For one acre land 5 quintals of organic compost is enough at once in a liquid form with water with ratio of 1:2. 

  • Irrigation water

It is certain that there is no high demand for irrigation water for lemongrass. It doesn't mean that there is no need for water for lemongrass plants to grow. But when moisture in the air doesn't help the plants then the participation of irrigation water increases. 

For mid growth, some amount of irrigation water is required per duration of 40 to 45 days and the last irrigation is just 10 days before harvesting. 

Oil making vapor tank 

The ideal size of the vapor tank to separate the oil from the lemongrass plants is 5000 liters. 

The total vapor plant requires land of 15x10 square meters. 

Sections of oil making vapor tank plant 

  • The vapor tank

This vapor tank is cylindrical with a 5000 liters capacity. It has a big cap of metal on the top that is associated with a pipeline. This pipeline goes through the cold chamber of water. This pipeline end in a collecting drum to separate the oil from the yield. 

  • Heat furnace chamber

Before making a vapor tank, a huge hole dig in the ground, and then the tank keep over it. Later, it works as a chamber to provide heat directly to the tank.

Vapor tank working principle to separate lemongrass oil

It works on the principle when lemongrass keeps in the vapor tank which is already filled half with water. It produces vapor mixed with the oil of lemongrass plants. 

It goes through the pipeline associated with the colling chamber and then collects in form of liquid in a drum. Because water and oil don't mix with each other, oil starts to float as the upper layer of liquid.

Hence, it separates later and it is pure produced lemongrass oil. 

Cuttings of lemongrass

In one acre of land, a total of 18000 to 20000 cuttings are required for cultivation. With a  mortality rate of 3%, the number of lemongrass cuttings becomes less and covers the 1-acre land. 

You can bring lemongrass cuttings from a local nursery or a local lemongrass farmer. If none of them are available in your area, then you can call or order from online individuals.

Process of lemongrass cultivation

Let's understand lemongrass cultivation in steps-

Land preparation 

The first step of lemongrass cultivation is land preparation. Check the soil pH and plow it properly. Keep the land moist with irrigation water. Instead of direct irrigation water, you can use liquid organic compost. This will provide an easy mix of compost with the soil and plenty of moisture for lemongrass sowing. 

After mixing compost with soil, you can make small soil beds similar to the line-to-line distance of cuttings. 

Sowing of lemongrass cuttings

Lemongrass cuttings angle of pinching in the ground is not similar to super Napier grass. Each of the lemongrass cuttings pinches and keeps on 70 to 100 degrees.  

On one acre or 80x50 square meter land, following distance maintenance is important during sowing of cuttings-

  • The line-to-line distance 

The line-to-line distance must be 0.50 m for each row. Maximum 100 lines are possibles with 200 columns of lemongrass cuttings. It means there are around 100 cuttings can sow in rows. 

  • Plant to plant distance

The plant to plant distance must be 0.40 meters with each other. This wide space provides a place to get full bushy growth for lemongrass plants. 

In one acre of land(80x50 square meters), maximum of 200 cuttings can sow at once in columns. 

With this calculation, total space for 200x100 cuttings is available, in that you can sow 18000 to 20000 cuttings of lemongrass. 

Irrigation of lemongrass

There is only a few quantity of irrigation water is required in lemongrass cultivation. 

First cultivation must start between the 40th to 55th day of sowing. Second irrigation follows after the 80th day and so on. But important thing is that you should provide irrigation water to plants just 10 to 15 days before harvesting. 

In one acre of land, at once 10 to 12 thousand liters of water is required.  

Fertilizers and Composting 

Fertilizers are not necessarily required for lemongrass plants. But to maintain soil pH and proper elements required for plants, 3 to 5 times compost can provide to all the plants during the whole year.

Either you can use liquid compost(animal dung compost mixed with water with a ratio of 1:3) or use dry compost and irrigation water separately.  

But more helpful is liquid compost. It reduces the requirement of separate water for irrigation. 

Weeding

Lemongrass plants require weeding only a few in a harvesting cycle. Because of the low moisture in the soil, the spontaneous plants don't appear in a large number. But still few plants appear in mid-growth, so their separation is required.

Weeding must be done two to three times in a harvesting cycle on a certain difference of time.

Harvesting lemongrass

Harvesting of lemongrass is similar to super Napier grass harvesting. For that, you need to cut the green portion of the plant just above the ground. If a plant is 3 feet tall, then cut the green section 8 to 10 cm above the ground. 

After harvesting, let the remaining portion of the plant get ready for the next harvesting. 

Lemongrass yield per acre in India

Lemongrass total yield depends on how many times it is harvested in a year. Most people believe that 3 times a year is enough to harvest the lemongrass. 

Period and yield of harvesting lemongrass 

The first-year cycle of harvesting
  • Yield in first harvesting(After 5 months)- 6 Tons 
  • Yield in second harvesting(in next 3 months)- 5 Tons
  • Yield in third harvesting(in next 3 months)- 6 Tons
Total yield- 17 Tons

Second-year
  • Yield in first harvesting( in first 3 months)- 5 Tons
  • Yield in second harvesting(in next 5 months)- 5 Tons 
  • Yield in third harvesting(in next 4 months)- 6 Tons
Total yield- 16 Tons

Third-year 
  • Yield in first harvesting(after first 4 months)- 4 Tons 
  • Yield in second harvesting(in next 5 months)- 5 Tons 
  • Yield in third harvesting(in next 3 months)- 5 Tons
Total yield- 14 Tons

Fourth-year
  • Yield in first harvesting( after 3 months)- 5 Tons 
  • Yield in second harvesting(in next 5 months)- 4 Tons
  • Yield in third harvesting( in next 6 months)- 4 Tons
Total yield- 14 Tons

In it's lifetime, lemongrass yield harvest 60 to 61 Tons of green portion to collect the oil from per acre land. 

Investment in lemongrass cultivation per acre per annum

One time investment

  • Cuttings cost(once in 4 years)- 5000 INR
  • Oil vapor tank and chamber(once in 15 years)- 50,000 INR 
Total cost- 55,000 INR

Per cycle investment

  • Irrigation water- 8000 INR
  • Compost- 5000 INR
  • Labor cost- 25,000 INR
  • Fuel- 3000 INR
Total cost- 41,000 INR
Total cost in the first year- 55,000+cost of three cycles.

#From the second year, the total cost reduces to only the cost of three cycles of harvesting lemongrass.  

Profit margin in lemongrass cultivation per acre

  • Total oil produce in 1st cycle- 25 liters
  • Total oil produce in 2nd cycle- 30 liters
  • Total oil produce in 3rd cycle- 28 liters
  • Total oil produce in 1st year- 83 liters
  • Cost of liter lemongrass oil in the market- 1100 to 1300 INR
  • Value of produced lemongrass oil first year- 91,300 to 1,07,900 INR
Profit margin in the first year- -4000 to -5000(in loss)
Profit margin in the second year- 80,000 to 90,000 INR
Profit margin in the third year-90,000 to 1,00,000 INR
Profit margin in the fourth year- 80,000 to 85,000 INR

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