Unused plots in government offices to be used for growing medicinal plants

Palakkad: As part of a major initiative to boost the cultivation of medicinal plants, the state government has decided to start plantations on unused plots in various government offices in Kerala. The Ministry of Agriculture aims to produce medicinal plants to meet the needs of Oushadhi and other outlets. In the current fiscal year, 10 hectares of land will be cultivated in different districts.

Ashoka and cinnamon will be grown on a large scale to meet the demands of Ayurveda (AYUSH) departments. There will be technical support from the Kerala Medicinal Plant Board and supervision from Oushadhi, a government body.

Agriculture includes a proper study of the physical conditions of the land and the availability of water. The Department of Agriculture will provide seeds, fertilizers and other technical facilities. In addition, an agreement will be concluded with the heads of the institutions to coordinate the basic facilities for the maintenance of the plantations.

The gardens will be planted with quality medicinal plants prepared by Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) and Kerala Agricultural University. Officials also said the agriculture department would provide financial assistance to set up the plantations.

Five hectares of land in Kottayam district will be used for agriculture. Medicinal gardens will also be created on three hectares in Kollam and Kasaragod districts. In addition, land will be acquired in Palakkad and other districts. The project will be expanded based on its success.

Alvin J. Chase