Lemongrass Oil Production – Ghana

Project Description: OG Lemongrass is a social enterprise producing lemongrass essential oil & dried cut/sifted leaf for both local & foreign markets, while building capacity to enhance the long term growth of organic, botanical value chains in Ghana.

OG Lemongrass is a project of Bliss Botanicals Ghana & Lionpaw Botanicals, who both share a passion for promoting social entrepreneurship & sustainable land stewardship.

Our OG, lit. Organic Ghana, scheme is designed for individual farmers, entrepreneurs, farmers associations & cooperatives who are seeking ways to diversify income streams and transition to more sustainable and ecological land use.

Project History: Bliss & Lionpaw came together to help the advancement of the Ananda Madhura Master Unit in Ejura, a project of Ananda Marga Ghana Yoga Society. It’s 97 acres has gone unutilized for the past 3 decades, and area farmers were encroaching and planting chemical dependent corn & beans, depleting soil & destroying the potential of the land for generations to come. In 2014, under the guidance of Dada Shiveshvarananda, the Intl Neo Humanist School was moved to AMMU and other buildings were constructed. To halt illegal encroachment and chemical spraying on MU land, we held dialogue with farmers & designed a transition scheme that is currently being modeled on 20 acres of the AMMU land. 

Project Mission: We are creating scalable farm-based models that promote regenerative agricultural practices, value-added processing and farmer education.

Our transition scheme features holistic farm design consult & management plan services, assistance with business plan, access to credit, nursery stock, essential oil distillation & transport services, organic certification & GAP certification, access to organic essential oil & dried leaf markets & membership to OG susu micro-lending group. 

The farm is also the future campus of the Ananda Marga Agroecology Training School. 

Microdonation Request: We’d like to request $1000 to construct a simple shed to shelter our new essential oil distillation unit. This is until we generate enough revenue to construct a multi-functional agro-processing facility for the community. Currently, all of our investment was put towards a costly stainless steel essential oil processing unit which thankfully was recently completed. Now we need to shelter it from rain. 

Yes, the grant from the Foundation really came at a crucial time when we spent all of our initial investment on establishing the 18 acre lemongrass farm & custom manufacturing the essential oil distillation unit. The grant enabled us to construct a shelter for the new distiller, getting it operational. (see pictures) We have since distilled the 18 acres of grass nearly 3x and have inventory to begin sales. As our international market has dried up a bit this year, we are focusing on research and product development on lemongrass centric broad spectrum herbicides, pesticides, cleaning/sanitation product & mosquito spray. Day to day is still a struggle, but our infrastructure & farm is solid, so long term stability is more likely. 

I’ll also report that the Ananda Marga Agroecology Training School is set to open its doors sometime in the not so distant future, on the MU in Ejura. The lemongrass farm will become the school’s living campus, so students will be able to study theory & practice. It’s another big piece in the MU puzzle that I’m excited to see in action.