Tales From The Coast Part 3 - Post Thane Cyclone, Cuddalore farmers shift to climate-friendly Vettiver plants
Though the state was traditionally growing this crop for bund strengthening, the practice reduced over time. A few traditional farmers still practised it. What further gave an impetus to vettiver farming in Tamilnadu was the announcement of Aroma Mission in 2016 by the Indian government. Cuddalore was declared as the hub for vettiver cultivation by the Prime Minister. Over the last five years, the acreage of vettiver plants increased in Cuddalore due to climate change, and the announcement of aroma mission.
The crop made environmental and business sense, as the profits seemed good. However, the graph changed this year, with fluctuating prices. The plant is climate-resilient, good for the environment, and makes good business sense. To make vettiver a robust climate-resilient crop that also gives sustainable income to farmers, government support is needed. Farmers believe that if the government supports in marketing, setting a minimum price, gives concessions on solar pumps, and encourage exports, it would be greatly beneficial for them to sustain.