Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge
IJTK-Vol 6(2)-April 2007-pp 253-261

Ecology and traditional technology of screw pine perfume industry
in coastal Orissa

Deenabandhu Sahu & Malaya Kumar Misra*

Ecology & Floristic Laboratory, Department of Botany, Berhampur University, Berhampur 760 007, Orissa

Email: malayakmisra@rediffmail.com

Received 14 July 2005; revised 28 September 2006

Kewda perfume industry is one of the important cottage industries in coastal Ganjam district of Orissa, which has initiated about 200 years ago. The semi-natural Kewda vegetation provides flowers and performs many ecological functions. The objective of this study was to analyze the ecology of flower collection and the technical know-how used in Kewda distillation and its ecological implication. The traditional methods of flower collection, processing and extraction of essence (Kewda attar, Kewda water and Kewda oil) from the flower were described in detail. Three sample sites were surveyed for flower collection and annual flower production ranged from 6253 to 6993 flowers per hectare. Maximum daily flower distillation in the 10 units surveyed ranged between 6084 and 13,235 flowers while annual consumption varied from 125 × 103 to 505 × 103 flowers. The material inputs were fuel wood, base oil and a large number of other traditional materials such as copper containers, lid and chunga. The annual firewood consumption in the distilleries varied from 18.83 to 75.72 Mg. The annual production of Kewda attar, Kewda water and Kewda oil in the distilleries varied from 57 to 243 l, 50 to 124 l and 150 to 469 gm respectively. Other outputs were charcoal and flower waste materials, which were used locally.

Keywords: Ecology, Distillery, Kewda attar, Kewda water, Kewda oil, Screw pine, Traditional technology, Perfume industry

IPC Int. Cl.8: A61K36/00, A61K8/18


Screw pine or Kewda (Pandanus fascicularis Lam.) locally known as Kia is a common species of Pandanus in India. About 36 species of Pandanus are recorded from India1.Various species of Pandanus are widely distributed in the moist tropics of the world from Africa on west to Pacific Islands in the east.
The most common species P. fascicularis, grows abundantly in the coastal areas of Ganjam district of Orissa in between the rivers Rushikulya on the north and Bahuda on the south. This zone is known as the Kewda belt, which covers an area of approximately 45 km × 15 km along the coast of the Bay of Bengal2. The main areas, where Kewda plants are concentrated in Ganjam district are-Keluapalli, Chatrapur, Indrakhi, Rangeilunda, Gopalpur, Tulu, Gunpur and Loudigaon. Plants grow luxuriantly on sands, field margins, banks of estuaries, rivers, canals, ponds and roadsides. This is not only an important species from ecological point of view but also an economically important species due to its male inflorescence, which are valued for the fragrant smell emitted by the tender white spathes covering the flowers. The attar (essential oil) extracted from the Kewda flowers by the process of distillation was first started about 200 years ago in the suburbs of Berhampur and Chatrapur in the Ganjam district of Orissa, by some Muslims from Punjab province of undivided India. Thereafter, others from Kannauj, Gajipur, Lucknow and other parts of north India entered to this industry3.

 

 Kewda attar, Kewda water and Kewda oil (rooh Kewda) are important perfumery products in India. Kewda attar is mostly used in soaps, cosmetics, bouquets, lotions, snuffs, hair oils, incense sticks (agarbatties) scenting of clothes and for flavouring of betel (pan masala) and tobacco. Kewda water is used for flavouring syrups, soft drinks and other food preparations. It is also used as a natural ingredient in packaged food items. Kewda oil is a stimulant and antispasmodic, and is administered for headache and rheumatism4-6. The demand for Kewda perfume has been rapidly increasing in the country and abroad. It is having very good export potential especially in Arabian countries and Middle East countries. Besides the Kewda male flowers, its branches, roots and leaves have economic value. The fiber extracted from the aerial roots of the Kewda plants are used in rope making. The branches of Kewda plants are used as pillars in the small huts for cattle. The leaves of the Kewda plants are used in making durable nets, mattresses, hats, flower baskets, money-purse, handbags and file folders7-8. The dried branches and leaves are used as fuel in rural areas. Natural vegetation of screwpine flowers thrice a year. Flowers are collected daily for about two months during each flowering season. The coastal climate and sandy soil suit the vegetation than the climate and soil of the interior regions.

 

 Work on kewda is limited and is primarily concentrated on its essential aromatic oil and the perfumery industry3,9. Report on other aspects such
as genetics and economics have also been reported2,8,10-13. However, ecological study on the flower collection, its processing and the indigenous technology involved in perfume distillation has not been done. Attempt has been made to study the ecology of the flower production and collection taking some sample sites in the coastal Ganjam district, to study the various inputs and outputs of the perfume distillery taking some sample distillation units, to evaluate the traditional technology involved in Kewda distillation, and to suggest means and methods for the improvement of production of flower and efficiency of the distillation process.

 

Methodology

 Ganjam one of the 30 districts of Orissa in the eastern part of India lies between 18° 58' N to
20
° 17' N and 84° 06' E to 85° 11' E. The coastal belt of Ganjam district (Fig. 1) with in an aerial distance of 8-10 km from sea is about 37,500 ha. Out of which screw pine grows luxuriantly on an area of about
4800 ha. The experiments were conducted at two levels-flower collection sites and distillation sites. Three collection sites viz, Laxmipur, Sitalapalli and Hatipada of Ganjam district were selected. In all these areas kewda plant grows luxuriantly. Similarly, ten kewda distillation units selected at different sites in the coastal Ganjam were: Laxmipur (site 1) and Sitalapalli (site 2) are 8 km from the sea, whereas Hatipada (site 3) is 2 km from sea. In site 1 and site 2, the plants grow around the villages and margins of the crop fields and some grows along the bank of the canal (Bahada nala). But in site 3, plants grow abundantly here and there. Out of ten units, selected for the study, Kaliaballi (unit 1), Jangyasala (unit 2) and Bhairabi (unit 3) had one unit each; Hatipada (unit 4 & 5) and Kirtipur (unit 6 & 7) had two units each, and Keluapalli (units 8-10) had three units. All these distillation units were situated in the coastal area.

 

 Survey was carried out in the field with the help of a special questionnaire and laboratory work. The sample sites, viz., Laxmipur (site 1), Sitalapalli
(site 2) and Hatipada (site 3) were visited in 5 different dates in a month during December 2002 to September of 2003. During each visit, information on persons engaged for collection, plantation area and number of flowers collect in each site was collected. Moreover, total number of working days and total number of persons engaged in each site during each season were observed. From total daily collection, in each site, per capita collection was calculated by divided the number of persons engaged for collection. Annual flower collection was calculated by adding the seasonal totals.

 

 Ten kewda distillation units (Bhattis) selected for the study were visited every month during the study. Different activities such as selection and counting of flowers, picking and separation of green spathe, processing of the flowers and extraction of attar performed by the workers (men and women) in the industry were observed. Number of labourers engaged in every season was also recorded. The owner and workers of each unit were interviewed to get necessary information regarding time spent for different activities, number of flowers utilized in each month, amount of base oil used for attar preparation, amount of attar, oil and kewda water produce and so on. A complete inventory was made by noting all inputs and outputs of the flower collection and flower processing system. The inputs were flowers, base oil and other materials including the fuel. While the outputs were the production of kewda attar, kewda oil and kewda water with some byproducts like charcoal and manure (waste) in the distillation units.

 

Results

 Kewda flowers were collected in the early morning by the local people with the help of a plucking stick (Fig. 4) from 3 different study sites. In Laxmipur
(site 1), which constituted 28.91 ha, flowers were collected in December and January in winter season, April and May in summer season and August and September in rainy season. No flower collection was reported in other months. Number of days of flower collection during different months varied between 12 (May) and 31 (August). Daily per capita flower collection ranged between 34.2 and 105.4 numbers per day. During the year, highest amount of flower collection was 1,99,435 while the rate of flower collection was 6898-flower ha
-1 (Table 1). In Sitalapalli (site 2), total area covered for flower, collection was 9.61 ha. Flowers were collected only in 2 months in every season (rainy, winter and summer). Daily average per capita flower collection was highest in September (53.8) and lowest (38.2) in May. The total day of flower collection was maximum in rainy season and minimum in summer season. Annual total flower collection in this site was 60,090 flowers and productivity was 6,253-flower ha-1 (Table1). In Hatipada (site 3), flower collection was made from an area of 34.56 ha. Per capita average flower collection per day ranged between 47.2 flower (May) and 136.6 flower (August) during the year. Total annual collection from this site was 2,41,724 flowers and the productivity was 6,993 flowers ha-1. The seasonal trend of number of flowers collected from these sites was rainy > winter > summer. The collected flowers were first counted (Fig. 3) and then processed by removing the green parts of the spathe (Fig. 5).

 

 Out of the ten distillery units surveyed, six units operated for 6 months, 3 units for 5 months and 1 unit for 2 months. In all the units, highest working days was observed in August, which varied from 20 to 31 days. In summer (April and May) the distilleries worked for a minimum period of 6 to 10 days
(Table 2). In all the units, daily utilization of flowers varied in different months depending upon its availability. During the year, daily flowers distilled were highest in September in all the units, which ranged from 6,084 to 13,235 while minimum consumption was in summer. Monthly flower consumption was also highest in September in all the distilleries, which varied from 91
´ 103 to 328 ´ 103 flowers. Annual consumption of flowers in the distilleries varied from 125 ´ 103 to 505 ´ 103 flowers (Table 2). In all distillery units, more than 94% of flowers were used for attar (essence) extraction while rest used for kewda water and oil extraction.

 

 The Chula (furnace) was specially designed for the extraction of Kewda essence. Five Degs (Big copper still) (in some units 10 Degs were also used) were linearly arranged on a furnace for distillation
(Figs 2, 6). The length of 5-deg furnace was 685 cm and one deg was placed 20 cm apart from each other while the distal ends were 40 cm wide. The width of the furnace was 140 cm. The height of the furnace was 90 cm. The walls of the furnace were made up of mud and bricks. Each deg was closely fitted to the furnace with the help of bricks and mud. However, the outside of the furnace was cemented. For every deg, there was an inlet of 60 cm height and 50 cm wide through which fuel was fed. The furnace was constructed in east-west direction as per the direction of wind to increase burning efficiency. The bottoms of the Degs were faced towards the furnace and thus exposed to flame and received heat continuously as fuel was pushed towards the inner side of the furnace. A person at the inlet continuously monitored the supply of fuel. Each deg was connected to the bhabka (small copper still) or receiver vessel through a connector called chunga made with a bent bamboo and the chunga was bound with coir rope. The bhabka was placed inside the water bath. The water bath was close to the furnace (opposite side of the inlet)
(Fig. 2). There were five water baths, one for each deg. The length of the water bath was 90 cm and width 80 cm while the depth was 80 cm. Degs were of equal size and volume. The volume of the deg was estimated by taking the height and diameter at different heights. This volume was crosschecked by filling water into the deg. The water capacity was about 300 l. By the above method the volume of the bhabka was also calculated and their volume was approximately 65 l. The chunga or connecter, which was a bent bamboo pipe, had two portions, the small portion was 19 cm and fitted to the deg and the
other 135 cm fitted to the bhabka. Descriptions of different parts of the distillation apparatus are given (Table 3).

 

 Distillation of kewda flowers was carried out for three perfumery products, viz. kewda attar, kewda oil (rooh) and kewda water. It was observed that most of the units in Ganjam were engaged mainly in preparation of attar and kewda water, whereas oil extraction minimum in the distillery units.

 

Kewda attar

 The fresh flowers were first processed by removing the outer green spinulose spathes and the pointed tips of the spathe by hand. Known number of flowers such as 500, 1,000, or 1,500 depending on the situation was charged  in  a  big  copper  still  (deg)  and  water  was

Table 1¾Screw pine flowers collected (± SEM) from various sites of coastal Ganjam

 

Site I

Site II

Site III

Month

No. of days of collection

Flower
(No. cap-1 day-1)

Flower
(No. month-1 site -1)

No. of days of collection

Flower
(No. cap-1 day-1)

Flower
(No. month-1 site -1)

No. of days of collection

Flower
(No. cap-1 day-1)

Flower
(No. month-1 site -1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec.

18

46.6

20970

15

48.2

7230

20

75.8

30320

 

 

± 2.9

± 1319

 

± 1.0

± 146

 

± 6.2

± 2476

Jan.

22

47.4

26070

24

50.6

12144

25

64

32000

 

 

± 2.8

± 1546

 

± 3.0

± 715

 

± 3.2

± 1610

Apr.

15

34.8

13050

14

46.4

6496

15

58.8

17640

 

 

± 2.7

± 1016

 

± 2.6

± 357

 

± 2.4

± 726

May

12

34.2

10260

10

38.2

3820

13

47.2

12272

 

 

± 2.3

± 687

 

± 4.7

± 467

 

± 3.6

± 941

Aug.

31

105.4

81685

31

46

14260

31

137

84692

 

 

± 8.6

± 6626

 

± 3.0

± 927

 

± 5.4

± 3354

Sept.

30

63.2

47400

30

53.8

16140

30

108

64800

 

 

± 2.7

± 2033

 

±2.0

± 612

 

± 6.3

± 3750

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

199435

 

 

60090

 

 

241724

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: 1. Number of persons engaged in flower collection in site I, II and III were 25, 10 and 20 respectively.

         2. Total number of flowers collected per month was obtained by multiplying the daily per capita collection with the number of days of collection during the month and the number of persons engaged in the site.

 

added at the rate of 60 l per 1,000 flowers. A lid made up of copper with a hole in one side, was covered over the still and the hole was fitted with the bent bamboo pipe known as chunga, the other distal part of the chunga was connected with the copper receiver vessel (bhabak). The receiver vessel contained sandal wood oil for the absorption of the aroma of kewda. The receiver vessel was kept cool by submerging in a water bath. The lid region was sealed with the help of a paste made up of cloth and special clay that was called multani mitti. Other two connections were tightly fitted with the help of polythene. The still (deg) was heated with firewood over an open furnace (chula). On heating, the steam along with vapour of kewda oil flowed through the chunga to the receiver vessel where it passed over the sandal wood oil before condensing in the receiver vessel. The kewda aroma was gradually absorbed in the sandal wood oil to produce kewda attar. The sandal wood oil is commonly called base oil. Sometimes liquid paraffin (white oil) was used as base oil when cheaper grade attars were made. About 5 kg of base oil was taken in the receiver vessel during attar preparation. When 10,000 flowers were distilled in 5 kg of sandal wood oil it was called Dus Hazara. The 1st distillations was called Agadi and were absorbed by base oil, while the 2nd and 3rd distillations were called pichadi and tichadi respectively, where base oil was not taken and the water was only collected. This water was again recharged in the next distillation. The concentration of attar was determined by the number of flowers used. Attar making was practiced through out the year even when the quality of flowers was not good. However, the quality of attar depends on several factors such as season, ambient temperature, time of plucking, time between collection and distillation and so on.

 

Kewda oil (rooh kewda)

 The essential oil from kewda flower is obtained by hydro-distillation and the oil is commercially known as rooh of kewda or absolute. Extraction of kewda oil was not done in large quantity due to high solubility in water. The technique involves repeated distillation of flowers and the receiver vessel does not contain base oil. About 30 gm of oil was extracted from 1,000 flowers, which varied from season to season and site to site.

 

Kewda water

 Kewda water was prepared by distilling the flowers with water in the similar manner and collecting the distillate in an empty receiver vessel. Distillation of 1000 flowers yields about 10-18 l of kewda water. This was known as Ek Hazara. Kewda attar and water were packed in airtight galvanized iron drums and transported to Kunnaj, Lucknow and other places of perfumery industry in north India for blending and manufacture of various types of preparations. Final processing of kewda perfume is trade secret.

Table 2¾Total number of flowers utilized (±SEM) in various distilleries

 

Total number of flowers

 

Distillery

December

January

April

May

August

September

Annual

 

Day

Month

Day

Month

Day

Month

Day

Month

Day

Month

Day

Month

total

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1085

33635

10300

185400

219035

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

± 176

±14

± 948

±17066

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(31)

 

(18)

 

 

2

371

5565

-

-

272

4624

219

1752

1137

35247

9310

232750

279938

 

± 68

± 1025

 

 

± 8

± 128

± 6

± 45

± 217

± 6735

± 1121

± 28011

 

 

(15)

 

 

 

(17)

 

(8)

 

(31)

 

(25)

 

 

3

744

11160

378

3402

625

4375

442

3978

1318

40858

12056

301400

365173

 

± 130

± 1952

± 37

± 330

± 28

± 193

± 14

± 124

± 155

± 4815

± 1820

± 45497

 

 

(15)

 

(9)

 

(7)

 

(9)

 

(31)

 

(25)

 

 

4

512

7680

301

3010

295

2950

278

1946

1112

27800

8210

172410

215796

 

± 55

± 827

± 18

± 179

± 10

± 95

± 11

± 78

± 191

± 4765

± 12780

± 26877

 

 

(15)

 

(10)

 

(10)

 

(7)

 

(25)

 

(21)

 

 

5

570

11400

371

4452

335

3350

229

1374

5017

155527

12173

328671

504774

 

± 50

± 1006

± 29

± 346

± 20

± 196

± 7

± 44

± 2470

± 76564

± 954

± 25745

 

 

(20)

 

(12)

 

(10)

 

(6)

 

(31)

 

(27)

 

 

6

495

4455

342

2052

281

2529

228

1824

1170

23400

6084

91260

125520

 

± 51

± 459

± 11

± 64

± 9

± 84

±7

± 56

± 231

± 4613

± 2162

± 32446

 

 

(9)

 

(6)

 

(9)

 

(8)

 

(20)

 

(15)

 

 

7

571

10278

392

3920

428

4280

258

2064

995

30845

13235

291170

342557

 

± 62

± 1109

± 11

± 107

± 23

± 230

± 19

± 149

± 161

± 4990

± 669

± 14707

 

 

(18)

 

(10)

 

(10)

 

(8)

 

(31)

 

(22)

 

 

8

438

6570

-

-

363

4356

273

2730

1092

27300

10440

208800

249756

 

± 64

± 964

 

 

±17

± 206

±12

± 117

±142

± 3560

±1143

± 22853

 

 

(15)

 

 

 

(12)

 

(10)

 

(25)

 

(20)

 

 

9

426

6390

-

-

272

1904

201

1608

1107

30996

10453

156795

197693

 

± 59

± 891

 

 

± 15

± 101

± 4

± 36

± 153

± 4277

± 1147

± 17209

 

 

(15)

 

 

 

(7)

 

(8)

 

(28)

 

(15)

 

 

10

610

8540

420

5040

271

2710

215

1505

1335

40050

10826

216520

274365

 

± 45

± 624

± 17

± 206

± 12

± 124

± 5

± 37

± 77

± 2304

± 1070

± 21396

 

 

(14)

 

(12)

 

(10)

 

(7)

 

(30)

 

(20)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Figures within parentheses indicate number of working days during the month.

 

Table 3¾Description of the Kewda distillation apparatus

 

 

Name

Brief description

 

 

Deg (still) (10)

In this copper still Kewda flower was boiled with water for 4 - 5 hours.

Bhabka (15)

It is also called receiver vessel. It receives steam from deg through chunga. It contains base oil during attar extraction.

Lid (12)

It covers the deg and made up of copper and tightened with specially prepared paste (mud)

Chunga (5)

This connects the deg and receiver vessel and made up of bamboo and surface was covered with coir rope.

Bamboo basket (1)

Made with bamboo and carries
the flower.

Punja (2)

Made up of iron and removes the waste flowers after processing from the deg.

Funnel (2)

It was used during separation of oil and made with glass.

Measuring cylinder (2)

It measured the quantity of oil and made up of glass.

Tripad stand (2)

Made with iron and on which the receiver vessel stands during oil separation.

Oil tin (1)

Used for carry water to measure the quantity of water added in deg.

Drum (Big) (5)

Big drum was used for storing of products (attar, oil and Kewda water)

Drum (Small) (1)

It was used for the transport of the product and having the capacity of
20 liter.

Mug (2)

It was made up of aluminum and used for removal of water from receiver vessel during oil separation.

Pump set (5)

It was used for the lifting of water from well and filling of water bath.

 

 

Figures within parentheses in column 2 indicate the life of the material in years

 

 

The accessory materials utilized in kewda industry were fuel wood, base oil and a large number of other materials such as deg, bhabka, chunga, drum and other materials (Table 4). These materials were used in the industries during distillation of kewda flower.

 

Table 4¾Annual consumption of materials in the kewda distillery units

 

 

Distillery units

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Material

Quantity (Numbers)

 

 

Deg

10

11

16

8

10

10

12

10

10

10

Bhabka

12

13

18

12

12

12

12

13

11

13

Lid

10

11

16

8

10

10

12

10

10

10

Chunga

10

11

16

8

10

10

12

10

10

10

Bamboo basket

3

4

7

5

6

5

4

5

3

7

Punja

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Funnel

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Measuring cylinder

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Stand

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Oil tin

12

14

20

10

12

15

10

10

10

15

Big drum

1

2

3

1

1

1

2

1

1

2

Small drum

24

26

35

25

22

22

20

20

21

25

Mug

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Pump set

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: For life of the continuously used materials see Appendix I

 

 

The materials such as copper containers (deg, bhabka), lid, and chunga were continuously used for many years, while the consumable items such as bamboo basket, oil tin and small drum etc. were annually renewed (Table 4). The number of deg and other containers used in the industries depends on the amount of flower distilled during the year. The annual firewood consumed in the industries varied from 18.83 to 75.72 Mg. Firewood was used for heating the water along with kewda flowers. The firewood mainly consists of rootstocks of beefwood (Casuarina equisetifolia), which were collected mainly from the plantations available in these coastal areas, mainly in the sandy wastelands. Beefwood contributed 80-90% of the consumption while other species such as Togari wood of Madras (Morinda pubescens), Java plum (Syzygium cumini), Gumbari tree (Gmelina arborea) and (Lannea coromandelica) contributed the rest (Table 5). In the distilleries, base oil consumption varied from 57 to 242 l, which depended on the amount of flower used for kewda attar production (Table 5). The non-biomass products such as petrol, diesel (used for transport), and kerosene (used for triggering of fire) were also used in the distilleries. The consumption of petrol, diesel and kerosene in the distilleries varied between 21-180 l, 312-1314 l and 12-27 l respectively.

 

 

 

Table 5¾Annual firewood and base oil used in the distillery units and fuel consumption in transportation.

 

 

Distillery units

Material

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fuel wood (Mg)

32.86

41.99

54.78

32.37

75.72

18.83

51.38

37.46

29.66

41.15

Base oil (l)

102

134

172

103

243

57

161

118

93

141

Petrol (l)

60

114

180

119

57

54

21

38

68

39

Diesel (l)

468

534

736

414

1314

312

1224

588

984

684

Kerosene (l)

12

24

24

22

27

17

25

21

18

23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:  (1) Total fuel consumption was calculated basing on the consumption of 150 kg fuel wood for 1000 flower distillation.

           (2) Total base oil was calculated basing on the use of 5 litter base oil for ten thousand flower distillation during attar preparation.

           (3) Per trip 1.5 l petrol and 6 l diesel was consumed for transport and per day 0.25 l kerosene was consumed in the distillery units for ignition of fire in the chula.

 

 

 

 The main products of these distilleries were kewda attar, kewda oil and kewda water while the byproducts were charcoal and waste (Table 6). Out of three main products, in all industries, attar was produced in highest amount during the year followed by kewda water. Attar quantity varied between 57 l and 243 l in these distilleries, while kewda water production ranged between 50 l and 124 l. Kewda oil productions was very low and it ranged between 150 and 469 g in these distilleries. Amount of charcoal produced in the industries varied between 1.9 and 7.6 Mg during the study year. The flower waste materials after extraction of oil were dumped in the nearby place for decomposition. These decomposed wastes were used as manure (organic manure) in the crop fields. The extracted waste varied from 5.0 to 20.2 Mg annually in different distilleries (Table 6).

 

Discussion

 Although coastal area of Ganjam district of Orissa is covered with screw pine plants, the precise area covered by plants is not accurately known. No systematic attempt has been made to estimate the area covered by screw pine by any agency. This is mainly because the plant grows in bunds (sides of water reservoirs and canals) and sides of the crop fields. Plants are also found on the sides of high and lowland crop fields. As most of these plantations are common property resources, they are leased out for flower collection in every year and the money collected goes to the common fund of the villages. This fund is utilized for the cultural activities and other developmental work of the villages. For collection of flowers, people spent few hours in the early morning i.e. before 9 am. This activity does not hamper or interfere with the normal work or occupation of the people engaged in kewda flower collection. Thus, this is an additional occupation for local people engaged in flower collection. This practice economically supports the people in the area. Each collector covers at least 5-6 km every day for the collection of flower at each site.

 

 Out of three sites, flower collection was maximum at Hatipada (site 3) followed by Laxmipur (site 1) and Sitalapalli (site 2). Flower production per unit area (6,993 no ha-1) was also highest in Hatipada than Laxmipur (6,898 no ha-1) and Sitalapalli (6,253 no
ha
-1). This was due to availability of more kewda plant at site 3 than the other two sites, which enabled the people to collect more flowers. Moreover, Hatipada is situated nearer to sea and the kewda plants available at the coastal areas were healthier compared to plants of interior sites7. The other two sites are situated nearer to each other and about 10 km away from the sea. Out of these two sites, the flower collection was more in Laxmipur because of more area and availability of moisture as it was present near a nala unlike Sitalapalli where it was situated on dry land. Compared to the number of distillery units the plantation area is not sufficient and thus the number of flowers available to the distilleries is not sufficient. For the economic operation of the industries, a minimum number of about 2,00,000 flowers per annum are essential. These needs new plantations in the area as most of the naturally growing plantations are already explored. By augmenting the plantation areas, the soil conservation as well as the utilization of flowers can be enhanced. The local inhabitants should be encouraged to grow the kewda plants as far as possible in the coastal area of the district. This is essential because it is said that the quality of flowers in  the  Ganjam  coast  is  the  best  compared  to other

 areas. The quality also varies with the locality. The environmental factors such as climatic, edaphic and other parameters, which influence the quality of flowers, need to be investigated for the improvement of the quality of the flower.

 

Table 6¾Annual distilled products (attar, oil and kewda water) and byproducts in different kewda distilleries

 

Distillery

Product

Bye products

units

Attar
( l )

Oil
( g )

Kewda water ( l )

Charcoal
( Mg )

Waste
( Mg )

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

102

315

50

3.3

8.76

2

134

170

95

4.2

11.2

3

172

357

124

5.5

14.61

4

103

150

73

3.2

8.63

5

243

469

70

7.6

20.19

6

57

195

65

1.9

5.02

7

161

441

95

5.1

13.7

8

118

200

106

3.7

9.99

9

93

225

52

3.0

7.91

10

141

410

63

4.1

10.97

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The selection and propagation of superior strain should be taken up for higher productivity. Some attempt has been taken to reduce the incubation period of flowering in kewda through genome selection as in natural plants the flowering starts after 5 years of plantation and maximum flowering takes place at 25-30 year13. Some attempts have already been made to increase the flower production through application of inorganic fertilizer7. Moreover, application   of   25   ppm   of  planofix  increased  the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flower production in kewda7. Although, the kewda distillation industry started about 200 years ago in the coastal Ganjam district, the traditional technology involved remains the same. There is no improvement in the technology of flower distillation. However, improvement of traditional methods of distillation by application of modern technology will increase recovery of oil and improve the quality of kewda perfume. As there is a heavy demand for kewda perfume in India and abroad, the kewda industry has great potential for expansion. In different industries, maximum number of flowers was utilized during rainy season, which was also reported earlier7.

 

 The study of the kewda industries reveled that, out of the 10 industries industry 5 generated a maximum of 4,607 economic human days and industry 9 a minimum of 1,834 economic human days, the average economic human days being 2,495. Considering all industries (about 120) functioning in the coastal Ganjam, the total economic human days generated annually were 2,99,448, which provides employment opportunity to large number of people in this rural area. The kewda plantations are mostly concentrated in the coastal belt extending to 3-4 km from the sea. During the flowering season most of the villagers in these areas are involved either in flower collection or in the distillation process.

 

Conclusion

 Collection of flowers is an additional economic source for the local people. The local people may be encouraged to increase the kewda plantation area in the region. Careful attempts should be made to increase the productivity of flowers through scientific methods without disturbing the ecological balance in the region. Introduction of modern technology may lead to reduction in the quality of essential oil. The traditional technology of extraction of essential oil should be maintained as for as possible with improvements in the chula for fuel efficiency.

 

Acknowledgement

 Authors are thankful to the local people and distillery owners for their cooperation and providing necessary information.

 

References

1         Wealth of India, Raw Materials, Vol VII, reprinted 1991, (Publications & Information Directorate, New Delhi), 1966 218.

2         Panda K K, Mohapatra S, Das L N, Misra M K & Panda B B, Optimal utilization of kewda (Pandanus fascicularis) to ameliorate economy and ecology of costal India, Proc Natl Seminar Frontiers Res Dev Med Plants, (Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow), (2000) 679.

3         Dutta P K, Sexena H O & Brahmam M, Kewda perfume industry In India, Economic Botany, 41(3) (1987), 403.

4         Kritikar K R & Basu B D, Indian Medicinal Plants, Vol VI, 2nd, Edn, (Lalit Mohan Basu, Allahabad), (1935).

5         Chopra R N, Nayar S L & Chopra I C, Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants, (Publications & Information Directorate, New Delhi), 1956, 184.

6         Anonymous, The Useful Plants of India, (Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi), 1986, 423.

7         Maharana T & Lenka P C, Productivity and Industrial use Study in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Orissa with special reference to Pandanus and Cymbopogon, (Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi), 01-31 November 1993.

8         Shiva V & Jafri A H, Stronger Than Steel: Peoples Movement Against Globalization and the Gopalpur Steel Plant, Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, New Delhi (1998).

9         Dutta P K, Aromatic plants of Orissa and the scope of perfumery industry in the State, Sixth All India Bot Conf, (1983) 38.

10      Jagadev P N, Naik B, Beura S & Moharana T, Variability, selection and planting material in kewda (Pandanus fascicularis Lam.) Indian J Genet Plant Breed, 53 (1994a) 310.

11      Jagdev P N, Naik B, Beura S & Maharana T, Correlation and regression study of flower production and its components in Kewda (Pandanus fascicularis Lam.) Indian J Genet Plant Breed, 53 (1994b) 315.

12      Rao Y R, Kewda (Pandanus fascicularis), an economical aromatic shrub in Ganjam district, Orissa, Indian J Med Aromat Plant Sci, 22 (2000) 377.

13      Sahoo S, Rout P K & Panda P K, Elite Kewda genotype selection from Keluapalli, Ganjam District, Orissa, In: Proc Natl Sem Plant Resource Utilization Backward Area Development, (RRL, Bhubaneswar), (2002) 253.

_________

* Corresponding author