Anna University develops app on medicinal plants for farmers

The mobile app will guide farmers on the ways of preparing land, testing soil and water, planting the crop and documenting its growth with geo-tagged photos

Anna University, through the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology at the BIT (Bharathidasan Institute of Technology) campus in Tiruchi, has developed a mobile application for farmers and industries providing information on 24 medicinal plants.

The android app will enable farmers to get direct crop advisory for medicinal plants at a click of button from agronomista, soil scientists, entomologists, pathologists, marketing experts and nominated scientists, according to the app developers.

The app will gradually guide farmers on the ways of preparing land, testing soil and water, planting the crop and documenting its growth with geo-tagged photos.

Farmers will also be provided with guidance on irrigation, application of fertilizers, management of pests, controllng weeds, handling harvest and post-harvest, primary processing, storage and transportation to meet stringent standards for Siddha medicine, ayurveda, pharmaceutical industry and international trade, they said.

The user-friendly app was developed by a university-led consortium that also includes Annamalai University, Chidambaram; National Institute of Siddha (NIS); Madras School of Social Work (MSSW); and technology partner Climate Smart Technologies (CST) that entails hosting of information on Package of Practices (PoP) online and updating it periodically based on high-quality research.

The App was developed as part of a proposal for establishment of Center for Excellence the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology had submitted to Ministry of Ayush, Ministry of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology and Department of Science and Technology.

“We have already done an extensive research on 14 medicinal plants. Ten of the plants have been prioritised in listing by the Ministry of Ayush and Ministry of Science and Technology. The App is expected to promote cultivation of high priority medicinal plants with market demand to get better prices,” said Prof. Antony Stephen, associate professor, Madras School of Social Work.

The cropping experience of lead farmers will be validated by crop scientists for creating a sustainable plant resource base for the 10 high priority medicinal plants with newer varieties and alternates in the southern region of India. The long standing cropping experience of farmers will also be validated by crop scientists.

The National Institute of Siddha (NIS), Chennai will be conducting pre-clinical trials using its various formulations such as chooranams, kalimbu and infused oils.

Jeevanandhan Duraisamy, Founder CEO of CST, stated that the medicinal plants android app framework was based on the PoPs developed for 250 agriculture crops globally and if fully adopted it would emerge as game changer in technology based sustainable medicinal plants trade globally with traceability in India.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 3:10:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/anna-university-develops-app-on-medicinal-plants-for-farmers/article31049168.ece

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