Introducing Mentha cultivation to create Agriculture-based Livelihood options through Entrepreneurship model- CSR Projects India

Last Updated:  16/10/2019


Project Pitch By: Indo Global Social Service Society


Proposed Project Title

Introducing Mentha cultivation to create Agriculture-based Livelihood options through Entrepreneurship model


Thematic Area

Eradicating hunger, poverty and malnutrition, promoting health care, sanitation & safe drinking water

Sub Thematic Area

Livelihood Programmes

Project Synopsis

Typically, a marginal farmer in drought prone areas do not have the resources to take up from than a single crop, most commonly rain fed Paddy or a similar staple with a few other crops. The introduction of high value medicinal plants like Mentha, Aloe Vera, has the capacity to immensely enhance their livelihood. The crop is usually grown during the off-season between Rabi and Khariff seasons which therefore will bring land lying fallow under cultivation. Other cultivable waste lands additionally can be brought under cultivation. Mentha is an off season cash crop. Though it can be cultivated through-out the year, the best time for mentha cultivation is from March to June. During this time, in Jharkhand, farmers keep their plot idle so cultivating mentha will give them an additional income.

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
INR 0.6 Cr - INR 1.0 Cr
Proposed Location

Key Project Partners
Government,Gram Panchayat

Project Status


Beneficiary Type (Primary): Youth
Beneficiary Type (Secondary): Youth
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: 500 -1000 Individuals
Status of Baseline Survey: Already Done

Proposed Project Description

Formed in the year 2000, Jharkhand is a highly industrialised state with proven reserves of 40% of the country’s mineral reserves including large deposits of coal and iron ore. The state has a high rate of urbanization which has outpaced the population growth trend in the state due to migration from rural to urban centres in search of employment.


The state, however, is predominantly agrarian with 80% of the population still dependent on agriculture for their livelihood and sustenance. The favourable agro-climatic condition facilitates year round production of seasonal vegetables and fruits and within a few years since formation, the state has graduated from a vegetable procuring state to a vegetable surplus state. The benefits of this, however exclude small and marginal farmers who form the backbone of agriculture in the state. The state is ranked very low in the Human Development Index (19 out of 23). Rain fed agriculture, lack of institutional support; weak policy framework has resulted in multiple vulnerabilities. The poor agricultural productivity is ultimately reflected in the food deficiency prevailing in the state.


The proposed project area comprises 15 villages in Gola block of Ramgarh district. A rigorous Participatory Vulnerability Capacity Assessment (PVCA) and Technical Feasibility Study (TFS) was conducted in these villages. The findings revealed a predominantly tribal population (95%) of 1227 households. Agriculture is the chief source of livelihood, supplemented by livestock, mainly go and to a lesser extent, sale of NTFP (Non Timber Forest Produce).


The topography of the proposed project area is undulating and the soil is shallow with limited ground water usage. All villages are a combination of forest land, hilly land, grazing land and agricultural land. The net sown area is only 588 acres (30%) of the total 1960 acres of potential arable land. Lack of knowledge and poor resource base has left cultivable tracts in uplands, embankment and forest fringes uncultivated. The red laterite soil, particularly suitable for vegetable cultivation and the presence of a vegetable hub in Gola has been beneficial to the community who have built on past learnings and grow multiple crops in more than one season for consumption as well as sale.


The land has steep gradient and the small plots (0.003-0.01) acres are intensively cultivated according to the land form (low, mid and upland) with increasing use of chemical fertilizers. Local adaptations have also helped access water through streams and the construction of a few local structures which are mainly rain fed. With increasing variability in weather patterns, these adaptations are of limited use. Climate induced variability and extreme events are on the rise and farmers who are forced to drop crops variability in rainfall. In the last two decades, the District has received normal rainfall in only two years.


As a result climate variabilities like drought or below average rainfall always creates a sense of unsurity among the farmers. Thus they cash in the off season (March-April-May-June (1st fortnight) by migrating to big cities to earn money, so that they can bring some money for the up-coming Kharif Season (June-July-August-September) and also as backup in case there is crop failure. Inspite of such difficulties, the community tries to maximize production through agricultural activities, with every possible opportunity and look sell the surplus after own consumption. But lack of assets and technical knowledge are the major hindrance to their progress.


Given the context, wherein, marginal farmers require funds prior to the cropping season and their express interest in marketing their produce, promotion of Mentha Cultivation and Mentha Oil processing is proposed as part of Agriculture based entrepreneurship model. Although cultivated throughout the year, March to June constitutes the major period for Mentha cultivation. In this period, there is a low or no agricultural activity and the fields lie fallow as farmers usually migrate to bring back funds for the Kharif Season (July – September). The introduction of a cash crop in the off season will be an additional source of income; more importantly generate funds for investing in the cropping season on one hand and reduce the need for migration on the other hand.


Mentha Cultivation:

Mentha is an off season cash crop. Though it can be cultivated through-out the year, given the off season of the Jharkhand agriculture system, the best time for mentha cultivation is from March to June. During this time mainly farmers keep their plot idle so cultivating mentha will give them an additional income as well. Cattle are averse to the smell and taste of the plant and avoid menthe crop. Hence there is no problem of open grazing.

Strategies for implementation

  • Formation of Strong Community led organizations
  • Technical skill Transfer to the community through strong Community led organizations
  • Business plan development in order to institutionalize the production through proper channel
  • Strong Market Linkages with established and private vendorsFormation of Mentha Producer’s Group   

Expected impact on target group

INCOME SECURITY of poor and marginal farmers will improve through Income Generation activity in the lean season, which will bring in crucial funds for investment into Agriculture activities and will reduce need for migration, leading to an overall improvement in the quality of life.


  • Increase in incomes of small and marginal farmers through the adoption of innovative agri-based livelihood options.
  • 500 Target farmers have enhanced income by undertaking sustainable agri based Entrepreneurship Models of Mentha Cultivation
  • 15 Mentha Producing Groups formed
  • 15 Community Based Organizations linked directly to market through Entrepreneurship model
  • Understanding of innovation/scaling up/prototypes (technical knowhow if any).
  • Rural households/families are more income secured at the household level through adoption of High Value agriculture practices, more specifically Medicinal Plants.               

Salient Features

  1. Social Inclusion: The programme will focus on the most socially excluded families from area comprises 15 villages in Gola block of Ramgarh district. E
  2. People Led and Community Participation: Participation is the key to the success of all the projects done by IGSSS. All the activities as envisaged in
  3. Engagement with Government and other stakeholders: To work more efficiently aspects related social, economic and environment factors will be focused u

About Indo Global Social Service Society

IGSSS is a non-profit development organization, established in 1961 to support development programmes across India, especially to empower the vulnerable communities and grassroots community based organizations. We are accredited by Credibility Alliance, Give2Asia, GlobalGiving, NGO Darpan (NITI Aayog) and BSE Sammaan.


Our subject matter experts come with hard core experience of designing, monitoring, evaluating and implementing impactful programmes using innovative community mobilization techniques. Real needs of communities and sustainability are the core of our programme design. We have robust systems and processes in place ensuring timely delivery in accordance with stringent compliance requirements.


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