Medicinal plants mission progressing in snail's pace


Speaking to Deccan Herald, Horticulture Department Deputy Director K Narendra Babu informed that farmers will be provided financial assistance in the form of subsidies for cultivating medicinal plants. The mission would help in developing the medicinal plants sector through production of raw materials of quality and standardised products, he said.

A centrally sponsored programme, the mission is a tie up with National Medicinal Plants Board and AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy). At the initial stage, the area expansion scheme depending upon the aptness of the plants will be taken up under this programme in the district. 

Three types of subsidies are made available to the farmers. Twenty per cent category includes the cultivation of crops like Aloe vera (gritkumaeri), Bacopa Monnieri (brahmi), Cinnamon (Dalchini), Garcinia (Kokum), Ocimum sanctum (tulasi). Fifty per cent of subsidy includes Aegle marmelos (beal), Alstonia scholaris (satvin), Aaraca ashoka (ashoka), Tylophora asthamatica (Dambooti). About 75 per cent subsidies are given to those cultivators who take up the cultivation of endangered species.

Stakeholders

Individual farmers are preferred and NGOs, research institutions and colleges can come up with the responses to the offer. Nurseries are encouraged to take up the scheme and subsidies are given under private and public sector. This is a bank linked programme and it is mandatory for the farmer to get the benefits of subsidies through credit in the project oriented scheme. Project oriented scheme comprises nursery development, post harvest management, processing and value addition and management support.

Babu said lack of awareness among farmers is one reason for the impediment in the implementation of the programme. Government does not directly intervene during the marketing phase rather it would provide advisory assistance to promote raw materials, he said.

Organic farming is recommended in the cultivation of medicinal saplings and saplings are provided by the horticulture department.

There are two medicinal aromatic nurseries in Udupi district, one at Karje set up by Manjunath Goli and the other Annapurna nursery at Pethri. Targeted areas to be covered under this programme are 9.5 hectares of land under the category of 75 per cent subsidy. Four hectares of land under 50 per cent subsidy and 35.5 hectares under 20 per cent subsidy. This was the target for the year 2008-09, but owing to some problem in executing the plan, the target will be aimed at achieving in the current fiscal year.

Ornamental flowers

Babu said an ornamental flowers nursery will be set up in the Horticulture farm at Shivalli. The programme is taken up under KSHDA (Karnataka State Horticulture Development Agency) which aims at propagating varieties of plants in departmental farms and nurseries. Under this scheme, Shivalli horticulture farm has been preferred to initiate the idea, he said.

Contact Horticulture Senior Assistant Director, Udupi taluk—0820-2522837; Kundapur taluk—08254-230813; Karkala taluk—08258-230288; and Horticulture department district office—0820-2531950.

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