Tulsi farming initiated in Mattathur to enhance immunity during pandemic times
Mattathur (Thrissur): The Labour Cooperative Society in Mattathur that used to supply 2500 Kadali bananas to the Guruvayur temple every day has started cultivation of Tulsi leaves (holy basil). As temples were closed following the COVID outbreak, the Kadali banana sale was affected. With this, the labour society started tulsi farming.
Mattathur labour society has signed a contract with the government firm 'Oushadhi'. As per the agreement, 25 percent of tulsi required for Oushadhi will be supplied by the society. This is expected to be a relief during the lockdown crisis.
Tulsi is one of the major ingredient in 'Ayush Kwath', an immunity booster recommended by the the Ministry of AYUSH. It is a mixture of holy basil, dry ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. Ayush kwath can be consumed like tea in order to enhance immunity. As the pandemic threat exists in the society, this has high demand in the market.
The labour society will collect leaves and flower spikes from the farmers. Rs 150 is paid for one kilogram of dry tulsi leaves without stems and Rs 90 for flower spikes. Tulsi can be harvested upto 3-4 times a year. It is expected that upto 1 kilogram of leaves can be collected from one plant.
The society is planning to provide tulsi saplings for free to the farmers so that it can be harvested in the next season. They are engaged in developing saplings from the spikes to start cultivation.
The society's experience in cultivating flannel weed in 32 villages in the district helped them in initiating tulsi farming. They are willing to supply tulsi leaves and spikes to any interested parties in the district.