Report of National workshop on Protocol Development for Sustainable Governance of NTFP Resources
Cultivation and Harvesting

Withania somnifera

The plant Withania somnifera is an erect shrub belonging to the family Solanaceae. It is commercially known as 'Aswagandha'.
Cultivation Technique
Land Preparation
Before planting, the field should be ploughed 2-3 times during May-June. At the time of sowing again replough the field to make the soil fine.
Propagating Material

Seeds are used as propagating material. Seeds are broadcast in the nursery just before the onset of rainy season. 5Kg of seeds are sufficient to provide seedlings for a hectare.
When the seedlings are sufficiently tall they are planted in the field at a distance of 15cm in a row.
Just after transplanting the seedling, watering should be done in the field. After that irrigation is hardly required in the field.
Manuring is not done. Nitrogenous fertilizers (15kg N/Ha) promote heavy leaf growth with less yield of roots.
Weeding should be done as needed during rainy season.
The crop becomes mature with in 150 to 180 days. The plants flower and fruit in December. Harvesting starts from January and continues till March. The entire plant is uprooted for roots, which are separated from the aerial parts by cutting the stem 1-2 cm above the crown. They are then transversely cut into smaller pieces for drying.
The yield of roots is 500kg per hectare when fresh and 150 kg per hectare when dried.

Sale price

: Rs.50/kg


: Rs.4000/ha

Net Profit

: Rs.21000/ha

(Ref. Medicinal plants of Madhya Pradesh: Distribution, Cultivation and Trade; State Forest research Institute, 1998)