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Tue, 20 Aug 2019

Northeast Today

Phyto-Pharma Plant Mission in Northeastern Region to Promote Cultivation of Medicinal Plants

Phyto-Pharma Plant Mission in Northeastern Region to Promote Cultivation of Medicinal Plants
January 23
11:43 2019

NET Bureau

Around eight to ten plants have been identified as initial priorities under the Phyto-Pharma Plant Mission in the northeastern region which seeks to promote cultivation of medicinal plants and link it with the phytopharmaceutical industry.

“A couple of meetings have been held with the stakeholders. Initially, we are giving priority to eight to ten plants to work with the farmers. The actual number of medicinal plants will be firmed up once we get the requirement from the industry,” Secretary in the Department of Biotechnology (Ministry of Science & Technology) Dr Renu Swarup told The Assam Tribune.

The Department of Biotechnology has sanctioned Rs 50 crore for the Mission.

Dr Swarup said once the plants are identified which the industry would like to take up for making phyto-pharma products, ‘forward and backward’ linkages will be created and connected to the farmers so that they can produce sufficient quantity of the material.

Common extraction facilities will be set up from where the industries can pick up the extracts. “We have also identified the institutes which would be part of the Mission. We are also identifying places for setting up common infrastructure facilities. In the next year, we hope to see the project on the ground,” she added.

Dr Swarup said the region has a huge potential for bio-economy growth and the key was to take research to an enterprise.

The Phyto-Pharma Plant Mission aims at conservation and cultivation of endangered and threatened endemic medicinal plants of Northeast India and discovery of new botanical drugs for unmet medical needs using the rich traditional ethnobotanical knowledge and biodiversity of these states. This mission would also help to improve the availability of authentic and quality botanical raw material on a sustainable basis for a boom in the phytopharmaceutical industry. The region is known for its rich traditional ethnobotanical knowledge.

It is expected that this mission would enable farmers and phytopharmaceutical industries to export some quality botanical drugs. The Department of Biotechnology is the nodal coordinating and implementing department for this mission and it would work closely with the Ministry of DoNER.

Dr Swarup was here to deliver a talk on ‘Driving the Bio-economy Growth: Creating Value from Bioresources” as part of the silver jubilee celebrations of the Northeast centre of The Energy & Research Institute (TERI).

Source: The Assam Tribune

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