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Thursday, Dec 23, 2004

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AEPZ for medicinal plants at Tuticorin

Our Correspondent

MADURAI: An exclusive Agri Export Processing Zone (AEPZ) for medicinal plants is expected to become functional at Tuticorin from April next.

Stated to be the first of its kind in the State, the public-private joint venture proposal forwarded by the State Government to the Centre, is awaiting clearance. The common facility centres for quality testing of herbal raw materials and infrastructure for producing semi-processed raw materials at the zone, would help to add more value addition to the exports.

Already the export of medicinal plants and extractions through Tuticorin Port is worth about Rs 40 crore and the establishment will be helpful in raising the same by another 25 per cent, it is said.

According to the member of the National Medicinal Plants Board, Prof Sivaramakrishnan, the establishment of an exclusive zone for medicinal plants will encourage farmers adopt contract farming in a large scale, which, in turn, will help to augment the exports. To reap the full potential of the project, it is necessary that complementary schemes for the farmers such as exposure visits to foreign countries as learning experience are introduced, he added.

The President of Friends of Siddha Medicine, Mr Joseph Thas said that the initiative would help to motivate the farmers to find a suitable market abroad, the sources added.

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