Sandalwood Cultivation in Small Farms, Can it be profitable ?

03 March, 2017

As someone looking to but a farm plot or agriculture land near bangalore, You may be wondersing which crop offers the best returns from your farm plot over a period of time... If you are ready to wait for 15 to 20 years after plantng in your farm, Then Sandalwood is a good option.

Santalum album commonly known as East Indian Sandalwood or Chandan belongs to the family Santalaceae. It is highly valuable and becoming endangered species.

Sandalwood is perhaps the most expensive wood in the world. With the wood fetching upto Rs. 10,000 Per Kg. Though the sale and processing of the wood is solely by the government, The government has made it possible for farmers to grow the wood and supply to them.

India and Australia are two countries where sandalwood is cultivated. Natural sandalwood trees can be found in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Sandalwood requires a lot of light to grow and can be easily suppressed by faster-growing species. Cultivation of sandalwood in India is not very prevalent though the potential is high. Particularly in your agri lands near Bangalore as the climate is best suited for the crop.

Sandal trees propagate through seed and natural regeneration occurs both via seedlings and through root suckers after trees have been uprooted and the stump removed from the ground.

Sandalwood oil also known as fragrance oil, perfume oil, body oil has a woody, exotic smell which is subtle and lingers. The colour is a pale yellow to pale gold. The essential oil contains Alpha-santalol and beta-santol amount to more than 90 % of the oil – making it very superior sandalwood oil. The main chemical components are santalol, santyl acetate and santalene.

In order to encourage sandalwood cultivation, the Karnataka Forests Act, Tamil Nadu Forests Act, Kerala Forests Act and Andhra Pradesh forests Act has been amended. The ownership of sandalwood trees grown on private lands now vests with the landowners. So growing sandalwood in your farm plot / agriculture lands near bangalore is a convinient option.

The rules governing felling, transport, conservation and disposal of sandalwood have been liberalized. Provision has been made for payment of market value to owners of sandalwood trees

Thsi is a good reason for you to consder growing sandlewood in your farm plot / agrculture land near Bangalore.

Red ferruginous loam is the most common soil on which sandal tree occurs, the underlying rock often is metamorphic and chiefly gneiss. It is not exacting as to the depth of the soil and is frequently found on rocky ground and on stony or gravelly soils.
Sandal requires good drainage and does not stand waterlogged ground. Sandal grows better in slight alkaline condition soil PH Range between 6.7. To 7.5.

When you cultivate sandalwood in your farm land near Bangalore, Below are some of the commercial calculations that you can bear in mind.

Spacing : 10 ft x 10 ft   
Area: 1 Acre   
Plant Population of 435 per Acre   

1. Seedlings cost including transportation 435units X 80Rs. = Rs. 34800/-
2. Casuality Replacement for 2nd year and 3rd year(taking 20% mortality) 87units X 80Rs. = Rs. 6960/-
3. Host Plant Seedling cost including gap filling 480 units X Rs. 10 = Rs. 4800/-
4. Planting cost including Soil working @ 10 per pit (435+87 sandal  + 480 host)1002units X Rs.10= Rs.10020/-
5. Cost of Drip IrrigationLS = Rs. 90000/-
6. Cost of Fencing and ProtectionLS = Rs.50000/-
7. Weeding and Soil Working for 8 years ( @ 8000 x 8 years)8 X 8000= Rs.64000/-
8. Irrigation for 1st 8 years 8 X 4000 = Rs. 32000/-
9. Fertilisation and Plant protection 8 X 6000 = Rs.48000/-
10. Security and Vigilance for 15 years 15Years X 20000 = Rs. 300000/-
11. Land and other infrastructure exp per acre for 15 years = 150000/-
12. Miscellaneous and unforeseen = Rs. 9420/-

  (Eight Lakh Rupees )

Pls allow 50 % escalation in costs. due to inflation.


1. Heart Wood from 400 tree @ 15 kg per tree 6000 KG X Rs. 6000 = Rs. 3,60,00000/-
2. Sap wood and middle wood @ 30 kg per tree from 400 tree = 12000 KG X Rs. 1000 = Rs. 1,20,00000/-
 TOTAL INCOME  4,80,00000/- ( 480 Lakhs )
   = Rs.  47200000
  ( ie 472 Lakhs Rupees )
  ( ie 4.72 Crore )
Planting specifications
Pits of 50X50X50 cm3 are dugout at a spacing of 3 mt x 3 mt or  4 mt x 4 mt. Healthy sandal seedlings; preferably above 30 cm in height are planted in the pits. Miscellaneous secondary forest species as host plants are planted in the same pit or they may be planted in separate pits in a quincunx pattern. This method has proved successful in many forest areas. At the time of planting in the field a perennial host, if given, increases the growth of sandal, otherwise it shows stunted growth with pale yellow leaves and ultimately dies in about one year. Sandal has over 150 host plants, some of the good hosts being Casuarina equisetifolia, Acacia nilotica, Pongamia pinnata, Melia dubia, Wrightia tinctoria and Cassia siamea.

Spacing: 6 mt X 3 mt (Sandal), 6 mt x 6 mt ( Mango)

In conclusion, Plants like Sandalwood can be a great investment for small farms near Bangalore. But the time taken to get the wood to market is a minimum of 15 years. 

The question is “ Are you ready to wait that long ?”

Cultivation economics Source:

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