Medicinal plant crops through community afforestation in Himachal

Shimla: To involve peoples participation in afforestation programs, the
government has come up with ‘Sanjha Van – Sanjivani Van’ a community based program that involves expanding plantation of medicinal plants.

The scheme, launched recently, has provided each household in the
state with one medicinal plant, expecting to draw the attention
towards environment degradation and hoping to motivate the people for
protecting fragile eco-systems by planting trees.

A government spokesman stated that the states vast forest reserves
held an economic value worth about Rs 1 lakhs crore that needed to be
protected and preserved.

As the states flora consists of around 3500 plant species of which
about 800 species have rich medicinal value and 165 species are in
fact harvested for commercial purposes. We are the country’s largest
supplier of chilgoza, kuth, dioscoria, dhoop, picrorrhiza, valeriana
and ephedra, he said.

The Sanjha Van – Sanjivani Van proposes to plant more than one-crore
medicinal plants with the help of 525 joint forest management
committees (JFMCs).

An area of 2500 hectares under different plant species which include
medicinal plants is to be planted by March end.

On maturing 75 percent of the income generated from these plantations
would go to the JMFCs and the remaining 25 per cent will be given to
the Panchayat, the spokesman said.

The state forest corporation would impart development and marketing
skills in handling the forest cultivation of these plantations

The state medicinal plant board has already signed an agreement with
Patanjali Yog Peeth, Haridwar about marketing of medicinal plants and

Medicinal and aromatic plants constitute an important aspect of
non-wood forest products management and Himachal is in a position to
provide 80 percent raw material to the herb based industry in the

‘Huge profits can be tapped if they can be exported’ he said.

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