Visakhapatnam: A steady Pippala revolution is taking place in Vizag Agency, which is otherwise famous for coffee farming and notorious ganja cultivation. Piper longum, called Pippala in local parlance, contains high medicinal values and it is used in making ayurvedic medicines by top companies like Himalaya, Dabur, Zandu pharma and also US-based Banyan Botanicals. Pippala is cultivated in only Vizag Agency across Andhra Pradesh and a few other parts of north India.
Pippala is a rejuvenating herb that supports digestion and proper functioning of the respiratory system. As per various research works, Pippali also reduces excess body weight by digesting stagnant toxins in fat tissue and preventing them from building up due to improper gastric assimilating.
“Pippala or piper longum or pippali has so many medicinal qualities. Locally, it is given to pregnant women as appetiser and also to deal with post-pregnancy issues. It is only in Vizag Agency that pippala is gro-wn and nowhere in Andhar Pradesh it’s cultivated. We have suggested the authorities to introduce its cultivation in Seethammapeta Agency of Srikakulam district,” said ayurvedic doctor and environmentalist Dr T. Siva Kesava Rao, who also wor-ked with Chintapalli agriculture research station on medicinal plants.
Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) horticulture officer K. Chittibabu said the cultivation had increased manifold over the years as traders from other states started queuing up for the prized herb.
“There are three grades of pippala that is cultivated in Vizag Agency. Of all the Agency mandals, Paderu has large swathes of this herb. It is cultivated roughly in 9,000 acres in Paderu alone and next comes Hukumpeta. Finest and first grade fetches around `500 to `600 per kilo and each acre can produce an average 200 to 300 kgs. More farmers are now coming forward and started cultivating the herb. Pippala can be cultivated only in the temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees,” Mr Chittibabu added....