Thursday, Sep 29, 2022
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Workshop held to promote the cultivation of medicinal plants in J-K's Chenab valley

To promote the cultivation of medicinal plants in Jammu and Kashmir's hilly Chenab valley in a big way, the National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB) under the Ministry of Ayush on Saturday organized a stakeholders meet-cum-workshop here. The day-long workshop, attended by progressive and prospective farmers associated with the cultivation, preservation, extraction of oil, and value addition of medicinal plants, was primarily aimed at locating the available opportunities and different challenges to cultivate medicinal plants more profitably and scientifically, the organizers said.

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The stakeholder's meet-cum-workshop on medicinal plant cultivation - opportunities and challenges – was organized by regional-cum-facilitation center (RCFC) northern region II, NMPB, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) Kashmir. In his inaugural address, regional director RCFC north second plant, Medicinal Plant Board SKUAST Kashmir, Sheikh Bilal, discussed the ongoing government schemes for farmers related to the cultivation of medicinal plants and suggested they identify species and varieties, keeping in view the agro-ecological situation and market demand into consideration. He also deliberated upon the activities to be covered under new forthcoming schemes by the NMPB for bringing higher returns to farmers from the cultivation of medicinal plants.

 Nodal officer state Medicinal Plant Board Waheed said the RCFC and SKUAST Kashmir are happy to organize their first stakeholders meet in Bhaderwah to promote medicinal plants in the Chenab valley region. He lauded the workshop to bring all the stakeholders like farmers, various government departments including forest, horticulture, floriculture, Directorate of AYUSH, besides CSIR-IIIM and tourism authorities under one roof. "Conservation and development of medicinal plants are only possible if we all work together cohesively," he said.

 Touqeer Bagban, a progressive farmer and entrepreneur associated with aromatic and medicinal plants, highlighted the importance of the cultivation of medicinal plants and said resources are declining due to agricultural expansion, wood extraction, and overgrazing. "So, there is a need to conserve and cultivate medicinal plants." Representatives of the AYUSH Ministry deliberated upon the issues related to the cultivation of medicinal plants in the Bhaderwah region. They discussed the opportunity for farmers to enhance their income by cultivating medicinal plants.

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