- Pongamia is a genus
of legume in the Fabaceae family.
- It is a hardy
blighter and grows well in wet, dry and saline soils.
- It travels under a
number of names and is also called Indian Beech, Pongam, Honge, Ponge,
- Pongamia seeds contain 30-40% oil.
Growth & Processing
Fruits setting of Pongamia starts from fifth
year onwards of plantation.
- Pongamia can grow on most soil types ranging
from stony to sandy to clayey.
- Pongamia is often planted in homesteads as a
shade or ornamental tree and in avenue plantings along roadsides and
- Pongamia is easily established by direct
seeding or by planting nursery-raised seedlings or stump cuttings of 1-2
cm root-collar diameter.
Commercial productions of seeds
start from 10 years onwards of plantation and a full-grown tree may
yields up to100 kg. or even more fresh seeds per annum up to 60-70
Pongamia is extracted from the Karanja Tree in India.
- Pongamia is a drought resistant, nitrogen
fixing leguminous tree. It is also salt tolerant and to some extent
tolerant to slight frost.
- The shade provided by Pongamia tree is said to
have cooling effect and is good for health.
- The oil from Pongamia seeds are perfectly
suited for the production of biodiesel.
The money (Rs30,000)
from World Bank was invested in expanding the pongamia nursery (with
Pongamia pinnata has been found to
be one of the most suitable species in India being widely grown.
Indigenous production of Pongamia
oil could save foreign exchange worth of several million dollars and
also generate employment opportunities in rural areas.
from foreign exchange savings potential, rural employment is a top
consideration in planting pongamia in a country like India that is
world’s sixth largest energy consumer at 3.5 percent of total or
particularly 50 million metric tons for diesel.
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