Innovation at the Sicarappam
Innovation at the Sicarappam: the cultivation of organic perfume, aromatic and medicinal plants using conservation agriculture systems
Being a producer of organic perfume, aromatic and medicinal plants means that their cultivation is carried out without pesticides and that the crops will be used or consumed directly by consumers or otherwise processed into medicinal or cosmetic products, etc.
The work at the Sicarappam must therefore result in perfectly healthy plant products that haven’t been subjected to damage of any kind (disease and pest damage). Above all, these plants must have grown in healthy and stress-free conditions, with ample water and fertiliser and without competition from weeds that could hinder their growth. They must also have high levels of therapeutic molecules, the key reason behind all the work carried out here at the Sicarappam.
Farming nowadays has to be sustainable. Setting up the organic production of wild or cultivated perfume, aromatic and medicinal plants, means that producers must know how to work without the use of custom-made equipment, help from genetic research and plant protection products.
Consequently only two vital tools remain available to them: the soil and “good old-fashioned farming know-how”.
This approach was first adopted by producers at the Sicarappam 2 years ago, as they began to systematically plant cover crops and to acquire and tailor equipment to their needs.
This approach also requires evaluating the characteristics of each plot of land, the presence of any bio-indicator plants and the soil profile. Producers then think carefully in order to make the right agronomic decisions to improve the soil.