Ayush is a department of the Indian government that promotes alternative medicine systems such as Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy. It aims to integrate these traditional systems of medicine with modern healthcare practices to provide holistic and comprehensive healthcare services to the people of India.
The Indian Ministry of Ayush promotes the sustainable management of medicinal plants through various schemes. The Central Sector Scheme for Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants offers project-based support for conservation, herbal garden establishment, value addition activities, and research and development. The National Ayush Mission supports cultivation, nursery establishment, post-harvest management, and marketing infrastructure. The National Medicinal Plants Board supports IEC activities, nurseries, and regional facilitation centres to promote cultivation among farmers. These initiatives aim to provide livelihood opportunities to communities while conserving and promoting the use of medicinal plants.
The support provided by the National Medicinal Plants Board and Ministry of Ayush can help farmers in cultivating medicinal plants on their land, establishing nurseries for quality planting material, post-harvest management, primary processing and marketing infrastructure. This can provide them with an additional source of income and livelihood. The information, education and communication activities, workshops, seminars and training programs conducted by the government can educate farmers on the importance of medicinal plants, cultivation practices and market opportunities. The establishment of regional cum facilitation centers can provide farmers with financial and technical assistance in developing quality planting material of medicinal plants and herbs. Overall, these initiatives can benefit farmers by providing them with a diversified source of income, improving their socio-economic status and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources.
- The Ministry of Ayush and National Medicinal Plants Board are promoting the cultivation and conservation of medicinal plants in India.
- Various schemes and initiatives have been launched to support farmers, such as providing financial and technical assistance, establishing nurseries, and organizing training programs.
- As of 2021, 1498 projects have been supported under the Central Sector Scheme for Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants.
- 103026.32-hectare area has been supported for in-situ/ex-situ conservation and resource augmentation, along with the development of 24,000 herbal gardens and 57 nurseries.
- The National Ayush Mission has supported 56,305 hectare area for medicinal plant cultivation, 220 nurseries and 354 post-harvest management units from 2015-2020.
- Under the Medicinal Plants component of National Ayush Mission, 140 prioritized medicinal plants were cultivated in identified clusters/zones.
- Information, Education and Communication activities, such as workshops and buyer-seller meets have been organized to educate farmers and promote medicinal plant cultivation.
- National Medicinal Plants Board has developed an e-CHARAK application and helpline to provide easy market access for medicinal plant trade.
The Indian government, through the Ministry of Ayush and the National Medicinal Plants Board, has implemented several schemes to promote the conservation, development, and sustainable management of medicinal plants. These schemes provide project-based support for surveying, conserving and augmenting resources of medicinal plants, establishing herbal gardens, supporting value addition activities, promoting cultivation of prioritized medicinal plants among farmers and providing training and education to farmers. These initiatives have supported thousands of projects, established nurseries, provided financial and technical assistance to farmers and trained thousands of farmers in the country. These efforts have led to increased income opportunities and improved livelihoods for farmers engaged in the cultivation of medicinal plants.
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