Bengaluru: We have heard several stories of how the coronavirus-induced lockdown in India has made life miserable for many. From migrants to farmers, life has become a hard nut to crack with the pandemic consequences playing truant.

A village near Ranchi, Jharkhand was in the news recently for its knack in earning rich profits, at a time when rural strips in other parts of the country do not have good stories to narrate.

Dewri village has been rechristened ‘Aloe Vera village’ as it has planted a number of such medicinal plants.
 
It was taken up under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)- Birsa Agricultural University (BAU) tribal sub plan (TSP) in December 2018, as reported by Telegraph India.

“We did a survey in this village and most of the villagers expressed interest in planting aloe vera medicinal plants and since it had a majority of tribal population, we decided to take it up in our project and named it aloe vera village to motivate more villagers to take up plantation of aloe vera and other medicinal plants to boost their income, which was primarily reliant on paddy. We are happy to hear that it has given them good dividends during the lockdown period,” the website quoted Kaushal Kumar, head, department of forest products and utilisation, faculty of forestry, BAU.

The leaves of Aloe Vera take around 2 years to grow. As they grew well during the lockdown period, they were sold profitably. Several NGOs and entrepreneurs visited it and purchased them. These leaves are in high demand for their medical properties.
Villagers are happy with their improved financial prospects.

“Earlier, we used to earn around Rs 3,000 per month from paddy cultivation if we were able to get work for all the 30 days. However, this year, apart from working in paddy fields, we were able to boost our income by selling aloe vera leaves. Our income has increased between Rs 5,000 and 6,000 per month,” the website quoted Manju Kachyap, a farmer as saying.

The move has prompted the farmers to take up aloe vera cultivation along with paddy crops, as they can earn better.