Meeting Castor on my trip for Consultivo sustainability assessment services in North Gujarat, India
Have you heard of our friend “Castor”?
Well, Castor is not a human being but a plant.
This February, I went on a visit to North Gujarat for a project under Consultivo sustainability assessment services where I got the opportunity to see the farms producing castor crop. I wonder how many of us have ever seen castor cultivation.
The weather was nice & cool, just right for the Gujarat visit. During my stay, I also got the opportunity to witness some of the interesting places in Gujarat – the beautiful “Umiya temple” at Unja, the Rani Ki Vaa stepdown well at Patan (an excellent piece of architecture), the partly destroyed Sun Temple at Modera, the Balaram Palace (renovated into a hotel), a palace destroyed by Khilji at Patan, the vandalised palace at Idar fort, etc.
However, my rendezvous with Castor crop is what has enriched me with an experience and knowledge worth sharing.
Gujarat produces over 80 percent of India’s total production of castor. The castor seeds are used for the production of castor oil, which in our childhood, we had to consume this distasteful liquid as a purgative. However, if you search on the internet today, you will be surprised to know about the many medicinal uses of castor oil for glowing skin, healthy hair, etc.
Castor crop is one of the important cash crops in North Gujarat. Almost every farmer there has a plot of land producing castor. The villages in North Gujarat are well developed and very well laid out with concrete roads 20 to 30 feet wide, having beautiful two to three storied houses. However, the cow dung kept for compost in front of most of the houses is an eyesore.