Status & Economic importance of kewra oil Presented by: H.S.Bisht, Dy. Director (Admn.) O/o DC(MSME) NUT SHELL INFORMATION ON KEWRA BACKGROUND Kewda plant is a shrub belonging to the family pandanaceae. The botanical name of the plant is Pandanus Fascicularis Lim. Syn. P. Odoratissimus. is called “Keora” in Hindi, “Kia” in Oriya, “Keda” in Marathi, “Kewoda” in Gujarati, “Ketaki” in Sanskrit. It It is a densely branched shrub supported by aerial roots. It grows to a height of 4 to 6 metres and is generally found along the banks of rivers, canals, rice fields, ponds etc. Kewda is having commercial important due to the utilisation of male spadices (popularly known as flower) in the production of kewda oil, kewda attar and kewda water. GROWING CENTRE This plant is widely available in pockets of Puri, Cuttack, Balasore and Jagatsinghpur district, but there is no commercial exploitation in these parts. The main concentration of kewda plant in Ganjam District are found at Keluapali, Chhatarpur, Indrakhi, Rangeilunda, Gopalpur, Tulu etc. Ganjam district of Odisha supply about 85-90% of country’s kewda essence with estimated turnover of Rs. 35-45 crores. So far Kewda flowers are collected from widely growing trees on bunds, roadside and Government land. However, recently some farmers have taken up cultivation and developed some agro practices. A fully grown “Kewda” tree lives upto 40-45 years though flowering starts from 5th year onwards. It is estimated that there are 2-3 million trees growing on about 5000 hectares and produce more than 35 million male spidices per year. FLOWERING SEASON About 70% of flowers are produced in the months of June and lasts upto September. o The remaining are picked mostly in November, January and April. o CULTIVATION AND ECONOMIC ANALYSIS The analysis of plants per hectare of land reveals that it contains on an average 250 plants in one hectare on its boundaries. Each plant can produce 50-60 flowers after 5 years of plantation and 100-120 flowers from 10th year onwards upto 3040 years. STATUS Today there are more than 130 number of units (Bhattis) operating with more than 1000 stills for kewda processing. It has resulted demand for flowers manifolds. Kewda distillation in Odisha was first started about 200 years back in Berhampur and Chhatarpur region of Ganjam District of Odisha by some Muslims of earstwhile Punjab Province of undivided India. Thereafter some others from Kannauj, Gajipur, Lucknow and other parts of North India entered in this field. It is estimated that 90% of total production of kewda perfume in the country with estimated annual turnover of Rs. 35-45 crores is being done in the Ganjam District of Odisha. PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY Hydro distillation technology is still in use for distillation of kewda flower oil. Kewda water, attar and absolute oil i.e Rooh are prepared by distillation of ripe spadices. Distillation is carried out in the fire heated still, using equipment of tradition type which are preferred over improved ones and existing method is stated to be the cheapest of all other methods and quality of the oil is also better. Fresh flowers after removing green spinulose spathes, if any and the pointed tips are removed then charged in a big copper still (Deg) and water is added at the rate of 60 litres per 1000 flowers. Inverted over the still is an earthern pot (Handi) which is connected to the receiver vessel (Bhabhka) by a bent bamboo pipe (Chonga). The receiver vessel which is also made of copper contain sandalwood oil for absorbing the aroma of kewda is kept cool by partially submerging in water tank. The steam along with vapour of kewda oil passes over the sandal wood oil before condensing in the receiver vessel. The aroma of kewda thus gets absorbed slowly in the sandalwood oil. Distillation is continued for 4 to 5 hours and then receiver vessel is removed. Several grade kewda attar is prepared depending upon the number of flowers distilled per kilogram of sandalwood oil which normally varies from 1000 to 10,000 but can go upto one lakh flowers. Attar in sandalwood oil of 10,000 flowers distilled into 5 kg of sandalwood oil called Dus Hazara. Attar is being sold @ Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000 per litre. Kewda water is prepared by distillation of the flowers with water in similar manner and collecting the distillate in an empty receiver vessel. On an average 1000 flowers on distillation yield about 10-18 litres of kewda water. This is known as Ek Hazara. Kewda Attar and water are packed in air tight galvanized iron drums and transported to Kannauj, Lucknow and other places of perfumery industry in northern India for blending and manufacture of various types of preparations. Kewda oil is extracted with the same techniques by repeated the distillation of oil. About one lakh flowers gives one kilogram of kewda oil and this oil is being sold @ Rs. 2.25 to Rs. 2.50 lakhs per kg. QUALITY CONTROL FACILITY Unfortunately in absence of quality standard malpractices have reached threatening proportions as no standard other than aroma is known for determining the quality of Attar or other products of kewra. Generally the evaluation of quality of Attar and Rooh of kewra is being done on the basis of olfactory or by smelling by the experience persons in the trade Efforts has been made by O/o DC(MSME), M/o MSME, Govt. of India and MSME-DI, Cuttack to setup a quality control facility at Behrampur which was setup based on the report prepared by the officers by MSMEDI, Cuttack and the centre was setup under Cluster Development Programme in the year 2001-02. This centre is now functioning as Extension Centre of FFDC Kannauj providing training and quality control services to the enterprises engaged in this field. DIVERSE USE OF KEWRA PLANT 1. THE INFLORESCENCE (MALE FLOWERS) Production of kewra oil / attar / water Anthers of male flowers are considered for curing diseases of blood. The juice or the inflorescence is useful in rheumatic arithritis in animals. The tender buds are sometimes eaten raw or in a cooked form. 2. LEAVES Used for covering huts, for making mats, cardage, hats and baskets. The fibres present in the leaves can be utilised for papermaking. Therapeutically the leaves are very much valuable in the treatment of leprosy, smallpox, scabies and leucoderma. The tender leaves are valuable in curing diseases of the heart and brain. 3. ROOTS A good soil binder. Long aerial roots contain very strong fibres, which are mostly used for making ropes and baskets. The fibres are also useful for making high quality handmade paper. 4. KEWRA OIL Used as a stimulant. Antispasmodic Relieves headache Anti Rheumatic. 5. KEWRA ATTAR Blends with all types of perfumes. Used for scenting clothes, bouquets, lotions, cosmetics, soaps, hair oils, tobacco, pan masala, agarbathi etc. 6. KEWRA WATER Used for flavouring of sweets, syrups, soft drinks etc. Cures many skin diseases. EXPORT POTENTIAL Kewda oil and its product is having very good demand in Middle East and Arabian countries which continues to be the big buyer of traditional natural perfume used in Pan Masala.