Banks of River Ganga in Uttar Pradesh to get a new belt of herbal & medicinal plants

Aiming to increase herbal plantation cover to over 10 lakh hectares, the project will boost farmers incomes to ₹500 crores.

Uttar Pradesh has shown its commitment towards improving the state's ecosystem by implementing a number of initiatives in the recent past. In the latest string of developments, the Chief Minister of the state has instructed the authorities to initiate plans for increasing the green cover of herbal and organic plants along the banks of River Ganga. He mentioned that this intervention is aimed at expanding the herbal plantations to over 10 lakh hectares.


A step towards multiplying the farmers' earning

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As per the statements given by the government's spokesperson, the proposed project comes with an allocated fund of ₹4,000 crores. This amount would be used to accelerate organic and zero budget cultivations in the state besides aiding in the distribution process bringing together a focused market. It is expected that the planned interventions shall be fruitful towards multiplying the earnings of the farmers bringing them to around ₹500 crores.

Under the new project, standardised quality seeds and saplings will be given to the farmers at economical costs. Besides a proposal to set up processing units for the produce, the government also plans to help the farmers with classification and packing of the materials in future.

The project would further witness training programs for the farmers which include the tour of the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) and an interactive session with scientists and experts for improved comprehension of the cultivation process, amongst other things. Over the course of time, the farmers will even be linked to Ayurvedic companies that can guarantee the best price for their produce.

Multiple initiatives by UP government to boost organic farming

Uttar Pradesh is blessed with an abundance of water, human resources and vast areas of productive lands sprawling over the Indo-Gangetic plains which together supplement the nine kinds of agro-climatic zones in the state. Given the increasing demand for organic produce, the latest initiative shall accrue the most number of benefits for the farmers.

As of now, the development of medicinal plants over an area of 2.25 lakh hectares is being looked after by National Medicinal Plants' Board (NMPB) in the state. It has been stated that around 800 hectares of land on the banks of Ganga shall be included in NMPB's project. Additionally, the agriculture and horticulture department of the state machinery is funding the cultivation of certain specific crops with regards to the land covered in hectares.

The agricultural department has also started another initiative called 'Amrita' with support from Ayush society, which aims to promote medicinal farming in the state. Facilitated by this project, Dehwa, an agricultural division of Mohanlalganj, Lucknow now houses an Ayush Vatika of herbal plants, that is spread over 20 hectares. Medicinal plants like Shirish, Ghritkumari, Neem, Shatavari, Punarnava, Sahajan, Jatamanashi, Tulasi, Ratanjot Ginsenga, Giloy and Aonla have been grown in this nursery.

Medicinal plants, the first resort for healthcare needs

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According to a report published by WHO, around 80% of the residents in developing countries seek medicinal herbs for meeting their primary healthcare needs. In addition to this, the yearly requirement of up to 15% for medicinal plants points towards the global dependence on herbal produce. As observed during the current pandemic, the organic products and medicinal plants can be highly conducive in our fight against diseases and infections.

-With inputs from IANS

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