‘JK can become a partner in $ 70 bn MAP industry’
IIIM identifies 20 medicinal, 10 aromatic plants, 8 culinary herbs for large scale cultivation in Valley
Srinagar, Nov 25: J&K can become a major producer of medicinal and aromatic plants provided this sector gets due attention. The MAPs can change the socio-economic status of the state.
This was stated by speakers at a one-day workshop on the development and commercialization of MAP sector in J&K organized by the J&K MAPs Cooperative Society in collaboration with Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) Srinagar.
Head IIIM Srinagar, Dr A S Shawl said the global medicinal plant industry is worth $ 70 billion and is increasing at 7-15 per cent annually.
“J&K is a rich repository of these plants and more than 50 per cent of the MAPs found in this region are prescribed in British pharmacopoeia,” he said. “We have a unique climate here: The Valley is a temperate zone, Jammu a tropical geography, and Ladakh a cold region. This all suits to the cultivation of these plants,” he said.
Dr Shawl said the IIIM has identified 20 medicinal plants, 10 aromatic plants and 8 culinary herbs for large scale cultivation in the Valley, which have assured domestic and export market.
“The importance of these plants in the global market can be gauged from this that out of top 15 selling herbs, about four of these plant species generate a business around 860 million dollars alone. All these species have been developed by IIIM for commercial cultivation in J&K state,” he said.
Shawl said the IIIM has developed “end-to-end technologies in case of high value essential oils like Lavander, Clary Sage, Rose, Metha Piperata, Rose Geranium, Artemisia Annua, Rosemary, Lemon Grass etc.”
“The total trade of these high value essential oils is 1000 million US dollars and have already entered in the UK and USA markets,” he said.
“The institute is trying to integrate the traditional medicines with the modern system of medicine,” he added.
He said the most important factor about the MAPs in J&K is that they have excellent cost benefit ratio. “The strategy for development of these species will include developing them on the basis of organic farming. More R&D efforts are required towards post harvest management, quality planting material, chemical standardization and value addition wherever necessary,” he added.
He said the institute has also done good work in Mushroom sector and in promoting the use of the Leather.
He said the government should become the facilitator for the development of this sector by providing the necessary assistance. “We should be allowed to cultivate in the forests. We have lots of degraded forests and the fallow land in the Valley which can become hot spots for the cultivation of these plants. Cultivation of Lavender will have salutary affects on the environment in addition to its economic potential,” he said.
“The government should also give some incentives to the young entrepreneurs so that they can explore both National and International markets. In view of its unique temperate climatic condition Kashmir can become Himalayan access window for the export of these oils to international market,” he added.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo who was the chief guest on the occasion said despite having the great fauna and flora the Valley is lagging behind in the production of MAPs.
“The government should encourage projects in this sector on PPP model,” he said.
Former vice chancellor Kashmir University, Professor Wahid Qureshi who was the guest of honour said the state is known for its richness in medicinal and aromatic plants and herbs. “However the cultivation of these is not done on the scientific basis and is done crudely which has endangered many species.” he said.
“In J&K this sector has a tremendous potential of growth and can play an important role in employment generation. We have to generate awareness in the society about the sector so that more people are attracted towards this. Also the government needs to play its role in promoting the sector,” he added.
Among others present in the seminar were Irfan Aziz Butta, CEO MAPs, Rouf Ahmad Tramboo, Dr S N Ganjoo and many entrepreneurs.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 25 Nov 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 25 Nov 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 26 Nov 2009 00:00:00 IST
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