We in India use Gandha -sandal powder in pooja and also it other products in so many ways -but seldom see a Sandal wood tree. The Karnataka Govt. gave much encouragement to grow Sandal Trees. This feature is on the growing of Sandal Tree.
न हि स्वदेहशैत्याय जायन्ते चन्दनद्रुमा: ।।
Sandalwood trees do not come to life and grow for providing coolness to themselves.
The virtuous spend their lives helping others.
This is a role model story in such work.
Sandalwood Tree Grower – Shyam Prasad Shastri.
Article by: Kishore, B C Road: Pics by: Karthik Studio, B C Road
Bantwal : Shyam Prasad Shastri is the first farmer in Karnataka who has started and achieved a remarkable success in Sandal Tree Plantation. India contributes 85% of the whole world’s sandal wood production. As sandal plantation is very rare, Shyam Prasad is famous all over the state.
Shyam Prasad is recognized on the state level for his achievement in growing sandal trees. He was encouraged and given financial assistance by the Chief Minister of Karnataka during his recent visit to Mangalore, on behalf of National Medicinal Herbs Mission through Horticulture Department.
Two years back Shastri with his elder brother Divakar, started growing sandal at Annengala. Started with 100 plants two years ago, now 4000 plants are spread in 12 acres of farmland called Nethra Farm.
Government is encouraging sandal wood plantation. Earlier the farmers who want to grow sandal trees were required to go under many formalities. Now government has passed a resolution declaring ‘grower is the owner’. Government also provides training, marketing and storing facility.
A tree has to be watered and nurtured for 7 years to 8 years. It becomes ready to cut within 12 to 15 years. One tree gives around 40 kgs of pulp. One kg of pulp costs around Rs 4,000/- and the waste pulp costs around Rs 150/- per kg. Even the seeds cost Rs 60 to 80/- per kg. Each part of this tree is valuable.
There is a great demand for sandal all over the world. Karnataka Soap and Detergent Company buy around 40 lakhs kg pulps every year.
Shastri says, “People are proficient in different fields. Being a farmer I wanted to get into this field. I bought plants from the nursery owned by Nelyadi Balya Jayaram Sharma who encouraged me in this endevour. My brother and sister-in-law supported me on all the levels. I read book in this regard, got training and started plantation in my own style. I am thankful to the Government and Horticulture Department and all the people who have helped me in making my dream come true.”