Govt to protect rare medicinal plants; to initiate Germplasm conservation

In a measure aimed at protecting rare medicinal plant resources, the Centre has initiated an inter-ministerial co-operation for conservation of Germplasm on a long-term basis.

Germplasm conservation is the most successful method to conserve genetic traits of endangered and commercially valuable species. Germplasm is a live information source for all the genes present in the respective plant, which can be conserved for long periods and regenerated when needed in future.

The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) under the Ministry of AYUSH and the ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard on July six.

“The purpose of the pact is to conserve the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Genetic Resources (MAPGRs) at designated space of ICAR-NBPGR (long-term storage module in the National Gene bank and/ or at Regional Station for medium term storage module) and acquire hands-on training on plant germplasm conservation techniques …,” the AYUSH ministry said in a statement.

Both the NMPB and the ICAR-NBPGR are committed to serve the national interests through conservation of germplasm on long-term basis, safely and cost-effectively for present and future generations to ensure social and economic security. The two organisations would develop detailed modalities for seed storage of MAPGRs and submit periodic progress reports.

Medicinal Plants are regarded as rich resources of traditional medicines and are being used for thousands of years in the health care system. India has rich diversity of medicinal Plants (MPs) resources. The natural resources are gradually getting depleted due to various developmental activities in its habitat.

There is a need to conserve these natural resources and make their sustainable utilization. The conservation of plant genetic resources is an integral part of biodiversity conservation. The purpose of conservation is to make sustainable development by protecting and using natural resources in ways that do not diminish the variety of genes and species or destroy important habitats and ecosystems.

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