Phenomenal rise in medicinal plants cultivation in State

THE HANS INDIA |   Sep 14,2017 , 02:28 AM IST

Phenomenal rise in medicinal plants cultivation in State
Phenomenal rise in medicinal plants cultivation in State

Visakhapatnam: Scores of farmers in the state are playing a safe game by cultivating medicinal herbs to escape high input costs and water crisis.

With growing demand among public for alternative medicinal treatments and indigenous AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) systems of medicine, the farmers of Rayalaseema and Agency areas are finding the reason to shift to medicinal plant cultivation. In the last three years, the state had witnessed phenomenal increase in the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants.

In 2014-15, medicinal plant cultivation was in meagre 1,200 acres in the state and in 2015-16 it rose to 5,200 acres. However, in 2016-17 the cultivation saw two-fold increase taking it 15,000 acres, according to Ravi Shankar Sharma, deputy executive director of AP Medicinal and Aromatic Plantation Board (APMAPB).

“Cultivation of medicinal plants is being promoted to meet the raw material needs of AYUSH industry as well as to offer opportunities for high levels of income to farmers, crop diversification and growth of exports,” said Ravi Shankar Sharma.
Echoing the similar views, “There is huge demand in the market for Ayurveda and other traditional products. 

We want to source the raw materials of herbs from this state to cut the transportation costs and avoid other legal issues,” said Ramakrishna, who is into Ayurvedic medicine business.

“Farmers are keen on growing Aswagandha and Pippalumodi. In 2015-16 the farmers who cultivated these herbs were around 5,000, but last year the count stood at 7,200. For all of them, the board gave subsidies,” Sharma said. 

Apart from encouragement of the government, there is drought factor for the farmers in Kurnool and Anantapur, which led them to grow Aswagandha (Withania Somnifera). Also the soil present there is suitable for the plant, according to him. In agency areas of the state including Visakhapatnam and East Godavari, Pippalu (Piper Longum) is being grown.

By Y Abhishek Paul

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