Lemongrass oil extraction is a long-standing custom among the tribal communities of Kerala, who reside near the grassland areas of Wayanad and Idukki. Lemongrass oil is one of the most demanded essential oils on the market. However, the tradition of extracting lemongrass oil is diminishing among the tribal communities. RGCB, Thiruvananthapuram, with the financial support of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India under the program Science Heritage Research Initiative (SHRI) has made an attempt to revamp the tradition, lemongrass oil extraction among tribal communities. As part of the project, the project team established a tribal self-help group 'Haritha lemongrass oil Unit' at Valad, Thavinjal Panchayath, Wayanad District. and supported them with a workshed and advanced machinery. By introducing the steam distillation system, the entire process of extraction become more effective, and definitely, the unit members will get better economic returns to improve their quality of life.

Prof. Chandrabhas Narayana, Director, RGCB inaugurated the unit on 7th April 2022 at Valad, Wayanad. Shri Ibhrahim, Vice President, Thavinjal Grama Panchayath, and Smt. Salma Moy, Member, Mananthavadi Block Panchayath, and the coordinators of the project, Dr. Manoj P, Dr, Anish N P, and Dr. Archana S, RGCB were also attended the function. The efforts taken by RGCB tribal heritage project team to restore the lemongrass oil extraction at Valad will provide direct benefit to 40 tribal families of the region. The Unit may evolve as a successful business model for community enterprises.


Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB),
Thycaud Post, Poojappura,
Thiruvananthapuram - 695 014, Kerala, India
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