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India: Chakkittappara farmers to take up medicinal plant cultivation on about 608,000 sq meters

State Medicinal Plants Board, Chakkittappara panchayat to promote farming; herbs to be collected by Oushadi.The State Medicinal Plants Board (SMPB) in association with the Chakkittappara panchayat is gearing up to promote the cultivation of medicinal herbs on about 150 acres of land with the support of nearly 200 farmers in the village.

The labor force of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) will be used to plant the herbs in the identified areas, including 50 acres of land owned by the Plantation Corporation, in Chakkittappara.

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“This is going to be a rewarding venture for the local farmers in the area as they will get a good subsidy from the SMPB and a fair price for the ripe plants during the harvest. We will be focusing on the cultivation of six most sought-after species of herbs under the project,” said K. Sunil, president of Chakkittappara grama panchayat. He said the herbs would be directly collected by Oushadhi, the largest producer of Ayurveda medicines in the public sector.

The plan is to launch the cultivation in the identified areas within a couple of weeks. The search is on to get quality stock of saplings from various parts of Kerala. A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the panchayat and the SMPB to proceed with the timely execution. Various joint liability groups (JLG) have also been formed to take up the planting works.

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