Menthol farmers taking to wheat cultivation in Uttar Pradesh

December 17th, 2008 - 8:14 pm ICT by ANI  

By Vibhav Porov
Chandausi (Uttar Pradesh), Dec.17 (ANI): The reduced demand for mint and the processed menthol has badly affected the local farmers in Chandausi Tehsil of Uttar Pradeshs Moradabad District.
Farmers lament that the falling prices of mint and the processed menthol have made the local farmers to take to wheat cultivation instead of mint.
Many people here have long viewed Chandausi as literally the Menthol City. It is because this place has been a major contributor to the total world produce of menthol.
India exports menthol to most of the countries around world. It contributes a large amount of the total world production of menthol. And Chandausi produces a great part of menthol, which is exported to other countries.
Besides farmers, the exporters and the manufacturers are afraid of the fall down in the menthol industry, as they are not getting export orders.
“India contributes 80 percent of share of production of menthol in the world market and rest 20 percent is of other countries. India accomplishes the 80 percent of supply of menthol. Inspite of that due to global meltdown, the demand is less and the rates are very low, so the farmers are not earning any income. That is why the farmers are moving towards the production of other crops,” said Lokesh Chandra, manufacturer and exporter of menthol, Chandausi.
“The recession has affected our country in a great way. We are not getting any export orders. Besides we are not getting any support from the government. If the government continues neglecting the exporters and menthol manufacturers, the industry will face a huge loss, said Ramesh Babu, another exporter and manufacturer.
Many farmers are involved in the production of menthol, this is a cash crop for the farmers. The farmers take their oil to the market and sell it at the same time but the rates have gone down,” Ramesh added.
The development has affected the menthol industry, estimated to be worth millions of rupees in Chandausi alone.
“We are not producing menthol this year because. There is no water; during summers. There is no electricity; we have all types of problems. We are not able to earn enough money because of the low prices. So we are not producing menthol this year. I am sowing the wheat only this year,” said Mahesh Chandra Mentha, a farmer.
There are several farmers like Mahesh Chandra Mentha, who have diversified to other crops.
“Earlier, we used to produce mentha (mint). But we are not earning any profit from its cultivation, so we have decided to sow wheat crop. The menthol has good record in the previous years but this year there is no other better crop to cultivate than wheat,” said Basant Lal, another farmer.
Chandausi is the heart of mentha herbal belt, where over 80 percent of Indian mentha oil is produced. (ANI)

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