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Is it really a win win situation: Henna (Lawsonia inermis L.) farming for rural sustainability and economic security in arid zone

Dheeraj Singh, M.K. Chaudhary, Chandan Kumar, B.R. Kudi and Aishwarya Dudi

No 316599, Agri-Tech Economics Papers from Harper Adams University, Land, Farm & Agribusiness Management Department

Abstract: Henna (Lawsonia inermis L.), is a perennial shrub dominating the agro-ecosystem of Pali district of Rajasthan, India, which is priced for its leaves which have natural dying properties. From ancient times, Henna has been employed as a cosmetic dye for hair, skin and nails and it has acquired a particular significance in Islamic culture. It is dryland shrub which can tolerate extreme dry and high temperature conditions and survives well on problematic soils with high pH and saline water where other crops cannot be grown. The development of Henna cultivation and processing in Pali, Rajasthan, is a blend of indigenous knowledge and people's innovations. Presently Henna cultivation in the region is under 40,000 hectares which is the largest area under this crop at single location and it is purely rainfed with no use of fertilizers or pesticides. In this crop generally, no fertilizers and plant protection measures are used and a single leaf cutting is taken every year under the rainfed conditions and two cuttings where water is available. Under rainfed conditions for a dense planting the dried leaf yield in the first year is about 250 kg ha-1 while over the second, third and fourth years the yield normally ranges from 500 to 2,500 kg ha-1. The crop starts generating returns from its second year onwards, which continues for 20 years while incurring only maintenance costs in the form of hoeing, weeding and harvesting. By following these measures, on average they produce 15-20 quintal dry Henna leaves ha-1 from their barren fields. The financial analysis indicated that Henna farming due to its high quality at Pali is a profitable and attractive option for farmers livelihoods. Sustainable income from Henna benefits the farmers of the district as it can tolerate high salinity, drought and incidences of pest and diseases.

Keywords: Crop Production/Industries; Production Economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 7
Date: 2021-09-21
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-env and nep-isf
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.316599

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