UP Government plans on using medicinal plants to treat severe diseases
As our lifestyle gets more tech-savvy, we are moving away from nature. However, it is a well-known fact, that we can never escape nature, because we ourselves are an integral part of it. This closeness to nature was noted during the COVID pandemic, when people turned to natual, home remedies for a cure to the virus.
This led to a growth in the requirement of medicinal plants, the demand for which rose to about 100 lakh tonnes in 2021-22. The Uttar Pradesh government, in a bid to tackle increasing demand, is planning to launch various approaches including, contract farming, commercial subsidy and lots more.
Targeting demand for 100 lac tonnes of medicinal plants
Reportedly, in 2015-16 the requirement of medicinal plants was just around 5 lakh tonnes compared to the current requirement of 100 lakh tonnes. In addition to that, the export of medicinal turmeric also rose from a few crores some years ago, to nearly ₹14,500 crores.
To meet the increasing demand for medicinal plants, the Uttar Pradesh government is planning to procure such medicinal plants through contract farming instead of from forests.
Around 2.38 crore farmers' households in the state will help the state overcome this demand spike. In order to encourage farmers to opt for commercial contract farming for medicinal plants, the Uttar Pradesh Health Department will launch various welfare schemes focusing on ensuring technical demands, monetary demands and market support.
Adopting a grassroot level approach
As far as the use is concerned, the departments will tie up with BHU to carry out an impact study of the 500 wellness centres set up in the state. The study will be aimed at understanding the supply chain model for all wellness centres and distribution centres, hospital requirements for managing medicinal plants and more.
Additionally, to pace up the distribution of medicinal plants to level with its demand, the state health department has also initiated the process of affiliating 19 state AYUSH colleges and 86 private medical colleges under Gorakhpur AYUSH University.
Some basic herbs such as black pepper, cinnamon, aloe and sandalwood are used to heal open wounds and several fungal and bacterial infections. Medicinal plants carry huge importance in the treatment of severe ailments.
This approach towards using medicinal plants to treat diseases such as dengue and COVID, will not just help the state government, but will also help victims of the diseases, since these plants have fewer side effects and are cheaper compared to Allopathic treatment.