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An 'Aroma and Phyto-Pharmaceutical Mission' has been launched to boost cultivation of aromatic crops like lavender, rosemary and lemon grass and medicinal plants like ashwagandha and satavar, keeping in view plight of farmers involved in traditional agriculture and their flight from rural areas due to climate change.
Under the mission by the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, cultivation of these crops will be promoted especially in unproductive, marginal waste lands including those affected by water scarcity, drought, salinity or flood in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, J&K, AP, HP, MP, Odisha, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and North Eastern states.
The purpose is to boost cultivation and value-addition of medicinal and aromatic plants for supply to industries related to aroma business and to the traditional system of Indian medicine, Director CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CSIR-CIMAP), Lucknow, Prof A K Tripathi, said here.
Tripathi, who has been designated as Mission Director by DG, CSIR, said several CSIR institutes including CIMAP, CDRI, NBRI and IITR from Lucknow, IIIM, Jammu, IHBT, Palampur, URDIP, Pune, and NEIST, Jorhat will join hands to develop and popularise technologies for cultivation, processing, value-addition, product development and marketing of medicinal and aromatic plants.
Under the Aroma Mission various economically important aromatic crops including mint, vetiver, lemon grass, palmarosa, ocimum, patchouli, lavender, rosemary, tagetes, Jammu monarda and valerian will be taken up.
Similarly, Phyto-Pharmaceutical Mission will target several economically important medicinal plants including kalmegh, ashwagandha, satavar, senna, silybum, curcuma and swertia, he said.
On the likely outcomes in the next two years, Tripathi was hopeful that a minimum of 6000 hectares of additional area would be brought under cultivation of various aromatic and medicinal crops generating employment among rural youth, and creating trained and skilled manpower leading to an estimated income enhancement of farmers in the range of Rs 25,000 to 75,000 per hectare depending upon the crop they would grow.
Dwelling upon strategies being formulated for the launch
of the mission, Tripathi said discussions were on with various stakeholders including industries to finalise the list of medicinal and aromatic plants and the areas where their cultivation would be promoted.
An interactive meet with some leading aroma industries was organised recently at CSIR-CIMAP on the occasion of National Technology Day in which the participants unequivocally lauded the efforts of CSIR for setting up of the Mission to promote agri-entrepreneurship in medicinal and aromatic plants owing to its increasing global demand.
Tripathi said the mission would enhance participative and participatory R&D leading to the development of desired technology, product and services and would enable commercialisation and deployment of the same.
The activities will be pursued in a synergistic mode with the organisation in public and private set ups, said Anil Kumar Singh, Consultant, Technology & Business Development CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CSIR-CIMAP).