Jammu and Kashmir: Govt sanctions Rs 62 cr project for commercial cultivation
The Jammu and Kashmir government has achieved yet another milestone by announcing a pioneering project which will enable complete transformation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) cultivation in the Union Territory.
With a budget of Rs 62 crore, this five year project aims at to cultivate MAPs on 5000 kanal of land spread across 28 clusters, creating over 3000 jobs and 28 enterprises. The MAP sector is estimated to contribute about Rs 75 crore every year after 5 years which is expected to rise to over Rs 783 crore by the year 2037, reports Daily Good Morning Kashmir.
This ambitious project marks a significant transition from traditional, wild extraction based practices to a more sustainable, modern approach to MAP cultivation, conservation and entrepreneurship. The mission of this project is to achieve commercial production of MAPs outside the forests, promote organic farming, develop local and international markets besides boosting advance scientific knowledge through insightful research.
The initiative also aims to promote cultivation and conservation of MAPs, promote organic farming and standardization, provide special facilities for primary processing, preserve intellectual property rights, educate cultivators on the best practices and undertake research to develop new herbal formulations and drugs.
“There are a number of MAPs that are unique to our agro-climate and offer immense potential for employment and exports. The demand for herbal drugs and cosmetics is growing both domestically and internationally while MAPs extracted from forests put pressure on biodiversity besides pushing many plant species on the verge of extinction” said Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary APD. “J&K has 129 hectare of cultivatable wasteland, of which, only 2 per cent shall be used for MAP cultivation. Additionally, farmers who adopt MAP cultivation can expect to see a 30-40 per cent increase in their agricultural income,” he added.
“Promotion of commercial cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants” is one among the 29 projects, which were approved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration after being recommended by the UT Level Apex Committee for holistic development of Agriculture and allied sectors in J&K. The prestigious committee is being headed by Dr Mangala Rai, Former DG ICAR and has other luminaries in the field of Agriculture, Planning, Statistics & Administration like Ashok Dalwai, CEO NRAA, Dr. P. K Joshi, Secretary, NAAS, Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Horticulture Commissioner MOA & FW, Dr. H. S Gupta, Former Director, IARI, Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, APD besides the Vice Chancellors of twin Agriculture Universities of the UT.