Cultivation of medicinal plants is timely, says chief minister

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said growing medicinal plants is beneficial for farmers. The importance and demand for herbs has increased due to changing global conditions and health needs. The Devaranya program set up to encourage the cultivation of medicinal plants comes at the right time. To ensure its effective implementation in the state, farmers must be identified through appropriate and competent voluntary organizations.

Arrangements should be made to establish appropriate market linkages for farmers for necessary training, capacity development and sale of produce. Cultivation of medicinal plants in the state should be encouraged according to the demand of companies selling Ayurvedic products. Farmers should also be involved in processing work.

Chief Minister Chouhan was addressing Devaranya Yojana’s review meeting at the residence office.

Chief Secretary Iqbal Singh Bains, Additional Chief Secretary Horticulture and Food Processing JN Kansotia, Principal Secretary Forest Ashok Varnwal, Principal Secretary Panchayat and Rural Development Umakant Umrao, Principal Secretary AYUSH Prateek Hajela and other officers were present. Additional Chief Agriculture Secretary Ajit Kesari attended the meeting virtually. Devaranya Yojana is implemented by the Department of Agriculture, Horticulture, AYUSH and Panchayat and Rural Development with the Department of Forestry.

He was informed that the program is initially implemented in Anuppur, Narmadapuram, Satna, Jhabua, Dindori, Betul and Sehore. Projects related to lemongrass and pomarosa in Anuppur, asparagus, stevia, moringa, tukumari and lemongrass in Narmadapuram are planned to be implemented.

The medicinal plant crop is cultivated by 132 self-help groups from 21 state development blocks by the Madhya Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission. Cultivation of Amla, Surjana, Ashwagandha, Safed Muesli, Isabgol and Stevia is encouraged in Dhar, Jhabua, Mandla, Anuppur, Umaria, Sehore, Alirajpur and Sheopur.

Companies like Dabur, Maharishi Ayurveda, Omni Active, Botanic Health, Natural Remedies, Cipla and Emami have been approached to establish business links with herbal medicines. Arrangements have been made to make training available to farmers from Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Universities, Research Centers, for the preparation of high quality plants, seeds and product testing from the Facilitation Centers and plant cultivation, drug extraction, processing, storage, packaging and marketing.

Alvin J. Chase