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CSIR-NEIST embarks on mission to boost traditional medicinal plants
Staff Correspondent
 JORHAT, Sept 20 - With an aim to boost traditional medicinal systems in the North East, the CSIR-North East Institute of Science and Technology at Pulibor here has planned to set up 15 multi-locational research fields on medicinal plant species in different states of the region.

 A masterplan prepared by the institute envisages about 15 multi-locational experimental research fields in the region with five centres in Assam, four in Arunachal Pradesh, and one each in Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura.

CSIR-NEIST Director Dr G Narahari Sastry disclosed that as part of the plan, the institute has partnered with Aroma India Private Limited of Rajapara in Kamrup, and first ‘multi-locational trial and regional research experimental farm’ at Rajapara, Kamrup, has been set up. Last week, Dr Sastry inaugurated the farm.

The Director informed that to achieve the objective, a memorandum of understanding was signed between CSIR-NEIST and Aroma India Private Limited, to promote cooperation in scientific research and dissemination of technology related to aromatic, medicinal, floriculture and other important plants.

Dr Sastry stated that the initiative has been launched to fructify the Prime Minister’s vision for achieving the goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and also doubling farmers’ income in the next few years.

“In order to achieve the objectives, the most essential criteria is identification, domestication and cultivation of rare and endangered species of medicinal plants to sustain the modern pharmaceutical industries and also for sustenance of India’s strong traditional system of medicines,” Dr Sastry observed.

He said that the joint venture will be undertaking all necessary work for achieving the objectives. Sastry while explaining the plan, said that high-scale production of medicinal plants would be helpful to meet the industrial demands as well as cease the import of raw material, further boosting the country’s economy.

“Sustaining the current activities of the aromatic, horticultural, floricultural, fruits, vegetables, rotational crops, new hybrid varieties and creating new space for medicinal plants and herbal gardens in bringing the health benefits to society and derive benefits from our immensely rich heritage, culture and traditional knowledge in healthcare and pass it on to the farmers of NE India is what NEIST aims to do,” the Director stated.

Dr Sastry added that as part of the initiative, the CSIR-NEIST will be extending assistance to farmers in the post-harvest processing, in establishing a strong network with the industries in order to gain maximum profit possible.

Apart from the ongoing ‘Aroma Mission’, CSIR-NEIST is into ‘Floriculture Mission’, ‘Herbal Mission’, ‘Wellness Mission’, ‘Bamboo Mission’, ‘Honey Mission’ and also Sericulture Mission’ which are the areas identified to improve the economy of the region, Dr Sastry informed.

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