Medicinal farming can transform MP

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 27 May 2018 10:25:27


By Ashish Rajput,

Upsurge in domestic and industrial demand of medicinal plants has brought an opportunity for farmers to double their agricultural income. Madhya Pradesh has abundance of herbs and potential of medicinal farming. Some of the rare herbs are found in State forest after Himalaya. The State has tremendous potential for utilising its topography for promotion of medical farming and providing better opportunities to farmers.

The establishment of Regional cum Facilitation Centre (RCFC) will assist the farmers in replacing their traditional farming exercises with medical farming to get better return for their agricultural produce. RCFC, Regional Director, Dr P K Shukla, while talking to ‘The Hitavada’, informed that it is a fact that India is one of the richest countries in the world with 15 agro-climatic zones. There are around 17,000 to 18,000 flowering plants listed and around 7,000 of them are estimated to have medical usage in fold and documented systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.

Madhya Pradesh is very rich in terms of availability of rare species of herbs and other medicinal farming. A total number of 32 species have been identified for promotion of their farming. Besides this, some of the species, which are on the verge of extinction will be conserved while research works will be carried out for improving medicinal vegetation. The establishment of RCFC will give pace to farmers’ awareness in rural and remote areas for adopting medical farming for better financial gains.

RCFC Jabalpur is amongst six centres situated in Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Kolkata, Trichy and Goa for promotion of medicinal farming throughout the country. Although in recent years, the cultivation of medicinal plants has started gaining momentum, still a significant part of our requirement of medicinal plants as raw material for the herbal pharmaceutical industry continues to be met from wild sources.

To meet the increasing demand for medicinal plants, RCFC focuses on increasing conservation and augmentation of the growing stock of local medicinal and aromatic plants species by promoting research and development, capacity building through training, raising awareness through promotional activities like creation of herbal gardens at homes and schools.

RCFC will provide a common platform to the growers, cultivators, researchers, traders and other stakeholders of medicinal plants and to function in close co-ordination with State Medicinal Plant Board (SMPB) and provide a service window for growers of medicinal plants for supporting conservation, development, marketing and cultivation of medicinal plants and provide handholding support to stakeholders in terms of technology dissemination and also for establishing primary processing facilities, etc.