The government of India recently approved Rs 6.3 billion for its proposed National Mission on Medicinal Plants project. This news was announced after a meeting of the cabinet committee on economic affairs led by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in New Delhi.
‘The scheme will be implemented by the National Medicinal Plants Board through the Department of AYUSH,’ read a statement issued soon after. AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy systems of Indian medicine.
It was informed that the cultivation of medicinal plants over 80,000 to 100,000 hectares of land in the country will be encouraged by 2011-12 under this Mission. Further on, one learns that this goal would be achieved through direct financial assistance for cultivation.
‘An almost equal area will be covered by providing incentives to farmers to switch over from traditional crops to medicinal plants,’ the statement read. The Mission is expected to create an estimated six Crore man-days of employment during the specified duration.
A key achievement of this Mission would be the betterment of the medicinal plants segment by producing raw material of premium and standardized constituents, which can be used up by the AYUSH or herbal industry. At the same time, it will help bolster exports in such items.