KSFIC plans medicinal plant project in Sirsi

"The project is under the active consideration of the national Medicinal Plants Board and is expected to be sanctioned anytime. Meanwhile, a trial plantation of medicinal plants has already been taken up this year", KSFIC Managing Director A K Verma said.

This is a model project which KSFIC plans to replicate in Bangalore and Shimoga, he said.
The Indian market for medicinal plants (found in forests) is Rs 1,000 crore and Rs 1,OOO crore worth of such medicinal plants in the form of extracts and medicines are exported annually, he said.

"Extracts of plants like Garcenia (used in manufacture of anti-obesity drugs), Amruthaballi and Texas Baccata (for making anti-cancerous drugs), Ashwamedha (rejuvenation) and Rowlphia (for making drugs for high blodd pressure) are in great demand in countries like Germany, U.S and Japan", Verma said.

There was also an increasing demand for extracts of plants like aloevera, sandalwood, turmeric, champa and lemon grass used in making herbal cosmetics, he said.

Verma said KSFIC is also looking at establishing bio-fuel and pelletisation plants in Dandeli and Shimoga, besides reviving the green grass dehydration and pelletisation plant (for cattle fodder) in Sirsi set up in 1977-78, but shut down due to paucity of raw material.

"Detailed discussions are on with interested private investors to take up the projects under public-private partnership", he said.

KSFIC is also contemplating production of bamboo mats in partnership with Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute (IPRTI), he said.

"We also want to ensure that entire logging and sale of timber is done by KSFIC, as in other states like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. This will improve the efficiency of the forest department", he said.

"We are seriously contemplating opening timber yards in Mangalore which has a lot of potential. In this regard, the management has already sent a proposal to various public sector undertakings for supply of wood for their furniture", he said.

The corporation also planned to modernise its wood working unit in Bangalore, he said.
Bangalore headquartered KSFIC has a share capital of Rs three crore and has six units in Mysore, Shimoga, Dharwad, Mangalore, Sirsi and Dandeli.

KSFIC is involved in logging, commercial pulpwood supply to industries, running of subsidised firewood depots, apart from manufacturing block boards and flush boards with the seasoning kiln facilities at Bangalore unit.

It is also engaged in import of timber, export of sandalwood, supply of polythene bags and barbed wire to the forest department.

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