Karnataka

Germplasm conservation bank to be set up on Shivamogga outskirts

Objective is to conserve endangered medicinal plants

The Department of Horticulture will establish a germplasm conservation bank of medicinal plants and trees in its newly established integrated bio centre on the outskirts of the city.

The bio centre had been established under the Rashtriya Krushi Vikasa Yojana at a cost of Rs. 8.2 crore. The centre has a plant tissue laboratory, a phytosanitary, a micro-biology laboratory and a bio-control laboratory, besides bio-input production unit.

Seed collection

Deputy Director of the Department of Horticulture M. Vishwanath told The Hindu that it had been planned to collect seeds and saplings of about 500 species of medicinal plants, shrubs and trees at the germplasm bank. In the first phase, emphasis would be laid on the collection of seeds and saplings of herbal plants, endemic to Malnad region which had been included in the red list of critically endangered plants. It had been compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), he said.

The Malnad forests were home for medicinal plants like Vitis Quadrangularis, locally known as Mungaravalli used in the treatment of fractures, and Gymnema Sylvestre, known as Madhunashini used in the treatment of diabetes. In addition, there are diverse varieties of Mentha (mint) and Tulasi in the region. The Ashoka tree (Saraca asoca), Raktachandana (Pterocarpus santalinus) found in these forests command high commercial value owing to their medicinal properties. Many of these plants are on the verge of extinction owing to deforestation and unscientific harvesting, he said.

Assistance

The seeds and saplings of these plants would be collected from the forests around Agumbe and Kodachadri hills and conserved at the bio centre.

Assistance would be sought from the Department of Forest and the local gram panchayats. The services of students of the University of Agriculture and Horticultural Sciences, Shivamo gga would also be availed for this endeavour, he said.

The seeds and saplings of medicinal plants and trees would be borrowed from the germplasm banks of the University of Agriculture Sciences, Bengaluru, the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research and Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, Bengaluru.

The department would cultivate these herbs at its bio centre nursery through tissue culture method. The seeds and saplings of these species would also be proliferated among farmers. Interested farmers could purchase them from the centre. The twin objectives of conservation of medicial plants and augmenting the earnings of farmers would be fulfilled.

The government had accorded its nod for the proposal.



About 500 species of herbal plants and trees

to be conserved

Seeds and saplings to be collected from forests around Agumbe and Kodachadri hills


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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 8:38:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/germplasm-conservation-bank-to-be-set-up-on-shivamogga-outskirts/article6779793.ece

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