Kerala to implement herbal medicine buyback project

Thiruvananthapuram: The South Indian state of Kerala is all set to implement a novel project under which the government will encourage and provide support to farmers and plantation owners to grow herbal medicines and later buy back produce by ensuring fair price to them.

The initiative is conceived to find a solution to the acute scarcity of medicinal plants in the state. Kerala, which possesses a rich tradition of Ayurveda, is investing big on the ancient healthcare system, that includes setting up of an International Ayurvedic Research Centre at Kannur and establishment of a Medicinal plant Preservation & Processing unit at Kollam.

The decision was taken in a high-level meet, attended by Health Minister K K Shailaja Teacher and Agricultural Minister V K Sunil Kumar, held at state capital Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.

“The project is to enable maximum area of cultivation of medicinal plants and to address scarcity. The support to growers will be extended using funds available with Ayush and Agricultural departments. Produce from the initiative will be bought by Ayurvedic medicinal manufacturers in public and private sector through a buy back arrangement ensuring fair price to farmers,” a statement said.

The meet observed that Ayurvedic medicinal manufacturers are facing serious shortage of herbal plants which in-turn affects the sector. Short term, interim and long-term plantation of herbal plants will be encouraged. A committee comprising members from various departments was set up for the project implementation. 

Ayush department Secretary Dr Sharmila Mary Joseph, Agricultural Secretary Dr Ratan Khelkar, National Ayush Mission Director Dr Navjyot Khosa, Agricultural Director Dr K Vasuki and Forest Chief Conservator Padma Mohanti participated in the parleys.

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