Centre releases guidelines for promoting medicinal plantation under NREGA

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The Union ministry of rural development (RD) and Union Ministry of Ayush in association with the National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB) have jointly come out with guidelines to promote medicinal plantation under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (NREGA).

Union Ministry of Ayush through its various research organizations, especially through NMPB, initiated both conservation as well as cultivation of medicinal plants.

It is noted that there is a good scope for convergence between the plantations of medicinal trees species in Ayush under NMPB and tree plantation activities under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.

Plant species should be selected as per agro-climatic conditions, market opportunities, forward linkages and income generation etc. Economically beneficial perennial plants species including high yielding clones/varieties should be listed with Horticulture department, Forest department and Ayush department etc. Plantation of Tsar host plants Arjuna and Asana or medicinal plants may also be considered in consultation with respective State Rural Livelihoods Missions, the guidelines said.

Promoting medicinal plants under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA will help the farmers, local communities, and tribes for possible addition into their income. Also this initiative will provide ample resources of quality raw material for Ayush industry, it stated.

The plantation activities can be gainfully utilized for supporting quality raw materials for medicines as per NMPB. There are some trees which yield oil from seeds etc, while many other trees are known for the usage of their barks and leaves in the management of various diseases.

The States/UTs are requested to promote medicinal plantation activities.

Joint awareness meeting should be held in the village for the medicinal plantation activities chosen under convergence for benefits available to them under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.

Some of the suggestive medicinal tree species are Talisapatra, Agaru, Asoka, Daichini, Patra, Karpura, Lavanga, Nimba, Chincha, Arjuna, Amalakai, Lodhra, Bilva, Chandana, Ratka Chandana, Vrikshamla, Khadira, Peelu, Vitkhadira, etc.

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