Serious efforts needed to tap vast potential of medicinal plants in JK, says Minister

Jammu: The Minister for Health & Medical Education Bali Bhagat Tuesday said Jammu & Kashmir is blessed with abundant wealth of medicinal and aromatic plants and the people here have great faith  in traditional systems of medicine. He emphasized strenuous efforts to tap and exploit the vast potential of medicinal plants of the state by  preserving and developing the different medicinal varieties on scientific lines besides developing model nurseries both within the forest and  on private land so that the germ plasm/quality planting material is provided to the farmers who wish to adopt medicinal and aromatic  plants as an alternative crop. He said that the present government would leave no stone unturned to develop medicinal plants sector as a  lucrative industry in the State.

Minister expressed these thoughts during the inaugurated a two day National Workshop on Conservation, Development and Marketing of Medicinal Plants in Jammu and Kashmir at University of Jammu.

The event, being organized by the Directorate of Indian Systems of Medicine in collaboration with State Medicinal Plants Board and National Medicinal Plants Board, would raise awareness on the need of both ex-situ cultivation of medicinal plants as well as in-situ conservation efforts through systematic surveys, augmenting local medicinal plants and aromatic species of medicinal significance through afforestation.

While elaborating further on the herbal wealth of Himalayan region of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh with a special mention of Sanjeevani Booti which was found in Himalaya, the Minister said that the Government is ensuring best healthcare services to the people in the state both through allopathic and AYUSH and 400 posts of Medical Officers have been referred to PSC which included 50 Ayurvedic, 16 Homeopathic and 39 posts of Unani. Besides, proposal for establishing National Institute for High Altitude medicinal plants and National Institute for Yoga are under active consideration of the government and will be established soon for which he urged Union Joint Secretary of AYUSH to expedite the same.

The Minister said that the proposal for organizing Mega AROGYA conference and exhibition at Jammu is also under active consideration and the dates will be announced once formal approval is received from Ministry of AYUSH. He also stressed upon the need of imparting training to farmers, growers for cultivation of Medicinal Plants so that the sector is promoted as an industry thus raising employment and revenue resources in the state.

Joint Secretary Ministry of AYUSH, Roshan Jaggi, discussed the policies and programmes of the Ministry for propagation, promotion and conservation of Medicinal Plants, which is the basic raw material for manufacturing of AYUSH drugs. He stressed upon the need of having quality raw material for production of quality drugs which ultimately depends upon the availability of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants which are becoming endangered day by day due to their high demand. In order to address this problem, Ministry of AYUSH has established National Medicinal Plants Board so as to provide necessary support to all the stake holders through its various schemes including Mass cultivation and Marketing of Medicinal Plants, he added. He assured all possible support from Ministry of AYUSH to the proposals submitted by J&K Government.


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