Staff Reporter

Project will be launched today in 3 districts

2 lakh rural houses to be involved

Project drawn up by Arya Vaidya Sala and NABARD

MALAPPURAM: Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala will join hands with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to involve rural households of Kozhikode, Malappuram and Palakkad districts in the preservation and cultivation of medicinal plants.

The Centre for Medicinal Plants Research (CMPR) at Arya Vaidya Sala will launch a project aimed at promoting two Ayurvedic medicinal plants with the help of the rural farmers in these districts. K.C. Shashidhar, chief general manager of NABARD, will inaugurate the project on the CMPR premises on Tuesday.

Buy-back guarantee

The project, to be funded by the NABARD, envisages farming of Chethikoduvelli and Kayapanpatavalam medicinal plants in nearly two lakh rural households in Malappuram, Kozhikode and Palakkad in three years.

“The project will help empower the rural people financially,” Indira Balachandran, project director of CMPR, will preside.

The Arya Vaidya Sala will supply saplings of the two varieties to farmers and also provide technical know-how. The Arya Vaidya Sala will buy back the plants grown by the rural households. “Apart from the buy-back guarantee, we are offering them all support for growing the plants,” said Dr. Indira.

250 farmer groups

NABARD officials said activity-based groups of farmers from Kozhikode, Malappuram and Palakkad will be involved in for project.

As many as 250 farmer groups will be selected and group leaders will be trained in scientific cultivation.

Fund sanctioned

NABARD has sanctioned Rs. 9.84 lakh for the project as part of its financial assistance for lab-to-land programmes.

The project launch on Tuesday will be followed by a seminar on ‘Ayurvedic medicinal plants cultivation.' Mr. Shashidhar will inaugurate the seminar. P. Unnikrishnan, District Lead Bank manager, will preside.

Sabu T., Arya Vaidya Sala estates manager, will speak on the ‘present scenario of medicinal plants cultivation'. Gerald Martin, scientist at CMPR, will speak on ‘propagation techniques in medicinal plants cultivation.' Satheesh K., extension scientist at CMPR, will speak on ‘cultivation practices of selected medicinal plants.'