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Tuesday, Sep 21, 2004

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Haryana decides to undertake marketing of medicinal plants

Rajesh Ahuja

Chandigarh , Sept. 20

THE Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, on Monday said that the Government would undertake the marketing of medicinal plants as part of its drive to promote their cultivation under the diversification programme.

Presiding over a meeting of the State Planning Board here, he reviewed various steps being taken to promote the cultivation of medicinal plants.

Mr Chautala said the decision to undertake the marketing of medicinal plants through an agency of the Government was taken to safeguard the interests of the farming community. It had also been decided to appoint `Van Rakshak' to protect and maintain the medicinal plants.

The National Medicinal Plants Board had started a programme of contractual farming and had invited applications from farmers, institutions and non-Governmental organisations for promotional and commercial projects for cultivation and propagation of medicinal plants. The board would grant up to 30 per cent of the project cost. It had sanctioned 43 projects of farmers during the last financial year and they were sanctioned Rs 94 lakh.

An area of 287 acres had been brought under medicinal plants, which included mulethi, safed musli, anola and sarpgandha. Nearly 95 more projects had been forwarded to the National Board for release of grant.

The Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary (Agriculture), Mr K.S. Bhoria, said that over 26,100 hectares of area would be brought under medicinal plants during the next five years. Planting material and seeds would be prepared by earmarking at least one acre of land in each of the 25 nurseries of horticulture.

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