Lucknow, 21 June (HS) : As part of its continuous efforts to improve the condition of farmers in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath Government is promoting cultivation of medicinal plants in the state. Nurseries are being established in villages while plantation of herbs goes on in full swing in different parts of the state.
Farmers belonging to Bundelkhand are especially taking to cultivation of medicinal plants both for monetary gains as well as its health benefits. It is the new trend among the farmers of the region.
The farmers are showing keen interest in growing basil, aloe vera, ashwagandha, brahmi, satavar, vach, artemisia, kaunch, kalmegh and sarpagandha.
The UP government has been encouraging farmers of the state to diversify crops for cultivation in order to enhance their incomes ever since he assumed charge as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 2017. His efforts have paid off as well. Today many farmers in UP are cultivating a variety of crops and making more money than they used to in the past with limited number of crops.
The National Medicinal Plants Mission scheme of the Department of Horticulture and Food Processing has played vital role in popularising cultivation of medicinal plants in UP in the recent past. The Yogi Government has given the much needed thrust to medicinal farming benefitting thousands of farmers.
According to a spokesperson of the state government the scheme has been operational since 2009-10. However, it failed to benefit many farmers during the previous governments.
The spokesperson said that the the Yogi Government has involved State AYUSH Society in providing benefits to the farmers engaged in medicinal farming. Besides, in order to increase the interest of the farmers in medicinal farming, the Government also announced a grant per hectare for farmers. As a result, the number of farmers to take up medicinal farming directly and indirectly has increased significantly during the present regime as compared to the previous governments.
More than 15,000 farmers have so far benefitted from this initiative of the Yogi Government while cultivation of medicinal plants has expanded to 9705 hectares in the state. The demand for medicinal crops has also increased substantially amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Dr VB Dwivedi, nodal officer of State AYUSH Mission and joint director of Horticulture and Food Processing Department, said that the department is making every effort to promote medicinal farming as per the intention of the Government. He said that along with Bundelkhand, farmers of Devipatan Mandal as well as Lucknow and Meerut circles have also started cultivating medicinal plants.
He added that the herbal products of Mirzapur and Jalaun farmers are making their mark in foreign countries as well. Meanwhile, a large number of farmers have taken to Satwari cultivation in Gorakhpur.
The scheme has helped farmers become self-reliant by doubling their income, and is also helping them stay healthy, he said.