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Usually, mint is sown on flat surfaces using stolon bits. As there is a chance of failure of the stolons to germinate, 100 % of the farmers use more quantity of planting material to make up for the germination losses thus incurring higher seed input costs. As 100% germination is not assured, the plant population/unit area is also lesser leading to lower yields.
Mane Kancor agronomists with the help from scientists from CIMAP have introduced the” Early Mint Technology” that trains the farmers to have stolons, raised in a nursery and to transplant the grown-up plants on the ridges thereby ensuring minimal causalities and optimum plant population.
Mane Kancor agronomists not only train the farmers on the latest Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), but also prepares the farmers to get their sustainable farming practices certified by a third-party auditor. Currently, 7196 small & medium mint farmers having landholding of less than 2 Ha have been certified under the Gold & Silver Category, which show that the farmers are adhering to the highest standards of sustainable cultivation. This certification helps them in accessing better markets and in turn better prices.
Mane Kancor makes use of remote sensing technology to ensure traceability of the raw materials that it produces through sustainable farming practices. About 2500 farmers’ fields have been geo-mapped & geotagged and all their farming data is updated regularly, so that at the end of harvest there is clear data available for each lot produced right up to the farm level.
Mane Kancor’s team upon working closely with farmers and steam distillation unit owners found out that the condenser design adopted by local farmers was resulting in oil loss during the distillation process. The water that is inside the condenser is not refilled regularly resulting in the abnormal heating up of the condensing unit. Due tothis, the temperature of oil coming out from the condenser was too high and there was oil loss through evaporation.
Mane Kancor chose a lead farmer cum distillation plant owner who was active in Mentha arvensis cultivation and distillation for the modification project. The plant owner was given two Steam Distillation (SD) units. Mane Kancor modified one SD tank and the other was maintained as the control that followed conventional distillation practices.
Mane Kancor has tied up with CSIR-CIMAP, Lucknow (Central Institute of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants) to offer regular hands-on training programmes on EMT, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Irrigation Management, Weed Management, Improved Processing Techniques, Improved Mint Varieties Trial Cultivation & Monitoring, Traditional Pest & Disease control measures, etc. so that the farmers can be abreast with all the latest cultivation and processing technologies developed by the institute.