Posted by Admin on March, 27, 2012
It very inspiring to hear that our Ex-Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh in a Work Shop in Leh embarked on a major National initiative for commercial cultivation of Seabuckhtorn, a multi-purpose as well as meditional plan found in upper Himalayan Region, after taking cue from China.
If the above mission as stated goes as per the guide line by 2020, the move as pledge by India to bring an area of one million Hectare under the crop's ambit to reach the level achieved by the beighbouring county. As of now we are no where near to the three major Seabuckthorn Cultivation Countries. Take for example, compared to China which has 1.1 Million hectares of land under Sea buckthorn Cultivation, we are negligibal with just 11,500 hectares of land for this purpose.
According to the reports the countries like Mongolia has 30,000 hectares while Russia is cultivating the valuable plant in the 47,000 hectares.
The government for the first time has focused its attention on the commercial cultivation of Sea buckthorn
plants, which has oval shaped and flame-coloured fruits which are highly nutritious and are a very good source of Vitamins, Trace Minerals, Amino Acids, and Anti-Oxidants as well as most valuable Omega oil or fatty acids.
The honourable minister while announcing the launch of National Sea buckthorn initiative he said that the plant is extensively used by China in its traditional medicines and for other purposes.
The honourable minister also added that agencies like the Indian Council for Forestry Research, CSIR, ICAR, DBT and National Horticulture Board working on various aspects of the plant will be now under the leadership of Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), which is a nodal laboratory for research and activities on the multi-purpose plant.
"An over arching national objective of the initiative will be to bring One million hectares of land area under Sea buckthorn cultivation by 2020," Ramesh said while exhorting the DIHAR to prepare an action-plan within next two months from the date of the workshop as a part of the Green India Mission.
To start with, in the first phase, Leh and Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir, Lahul Spiti and Kinnaur in Himachal Pardesh and Chamoli in Uttarakhand will be targeted for cultivation, later to be extended to Arunanchal Pradesh in the next five years.
Priority for cultivation will be on riverbanks and hill slopes, Ramesh said at the workshop, a first of its kind which saw participation from locals, representatives from research institutions and various stakeholders, including farmers, to promote it on commercial basis.
Stressing that the project success depends on community participation, the Union Minister said that women`s self groups will be mobilised to scale up the initiative in the focus area.
This move by the formar minister will help the locals get involved in the work as well as utilisation of the baren lands which will lead to reduction in the nitrogen content in the soil as Sea buckthorn is Nitrogen fixing Plant. Cultivation on the Slopes will also reduce Land Slides as it will help bind the soil, will also prevent Soil Erosion duing rainy seasons. Also, the cultivation of the SEABUCKTHORN will also help save the HIMALAYAN ICE to melt and maintain or ehnace our carbon foot prints.
These are benefits for just from cultivation and when fruits are yeilded then with the use of the products made from the various parts of the fruits, there will be various HEALTH benefits.
Continued in the Next Post....
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