Online Training on “Prospects of medicinal plants cultivation in Karnataka" sponsored by National Medicinal Plant Board, New Delhi was organized on 20th November 2020 for the medicinal plants stakeholders. Around sixty different stakeholders participated via zoom and YouTube.
Mr. Atheequlla G.A., Scientist from the Division of Social Sciences and Training welcomed all the participants and gave a brief introduction regarding the need of this online training program on medicinal plants amid covid-19 pandemic. Dr. M.R. Dinesh, Director, ICAR-IIHR in his introductory remarks emphasized the importance of medicinal plants in the present scenario when both the farming community as well as urban and peri-urban people have shown a great interest in cultivating and using them for their primary health needs. He opined that there is a urgent need for market expansion of medicinal crops to prioritize crops for research which have high value and can earn more revenue. He proposed the promotion of entrepreneurship opportunities in medicinal plants with the help of incubation centre at ICAR-IIHR. Dr. Naresh Kumar, Research officer, NMPB, New Delhi in his remarks told about the relevance of medicinal plants cultivation and mentioned that NMPB has supported different stakeholders in terms of creating awareness, marketing, R & D activities of medicinal plants. He also explained about different schemes of NMPB like central sector schemes, National AYUSH mission etc. and congratulated ICAR-IIHR for organizing this training.
Dr. K. Hima Bindu, Principal Scientist gave lecture on the topic "Scope and importance of medicinal plants cultivation in India". She emphasized the importance of natural or plant derived medicines, national and international trade scenario of medicinal plants, prospects for cultivation of medicinal plants in Karnataka and commercially important medicinal cops with immune boosting properties. Dr. M.R. Rohini, Scientist covered different aspects of improvement of medicinal plants and also explained the different improved varieties of medicinal plants which are available at the national level for taking up cultivation. Dr. G.R. Smitha, Scientist explained the need and scope for brining the medicinal plants into commercial cultivation, region wise suitability, cultivation, harvest and post harvest management practices, integration of medicinal plants into different cropping system, good agricultural practices and organic farming of medicinal plants. Dr. Prabhu, Consultant, Karnataka Medicinal Plants Authority, Bengaluru elaborated the role of NMPB and KaMPA in organizing awareness and promoting the cultivation of medicinal plants in Karnataka. He detailed about the activities of KaMPA like organizing cluster groups of medicinal plants farmers, conducting buyer-seller meet, formation of cooperatives and societies for the dissemination of information related to medicinal crops. At the end of the programme, queries of the participants related to availability of quality planting material, suitability of crops in different cropping systems, regions, marketing, subsidies etc. were attended by the resource persons.