10-07-2017 12:30 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
How can growing of medicinal plants can provide more employment
The Punjab government is promoting the cultivation of medicinal plants along the Pathankot hills to protect the thousand hectare forest area of Pathankot district. This move will not only provide employment to the local people but will also ensure that the forests are not exploited.
Divisional forest officer Pathankot range Sanjiv Tiwari stated that Punjab hills soil is very conducive for the cultivation of various medicinal herbs. 74 Self Help Groups (SHG) have been formed for this purpose and they are being provided with the required technical know-how in a phased manner.
Work has already begun and people are being encouraged to grow amla(Indian gooseberry), lemongrass, harar, bahera, tulsi(basil) among many others. They are also being provided with tin sheds, shredding machines, automatic drying machines and utensils so that the dried product could be sold to ayurvedic medicines manufacturing units.
According to Tiwari, ninety percent of SHGs comprised of women who could earn additional income by taking up the cultivation of medicinal plants along with their regular household chores.
There are double benefits of this scheme. The first advantage is that the poor people will get an additional source of income and second, they will inform the department about encroachers, poachers or those who deliberately set fire to forest areas. Thus, this initiative will not only help to protect forest area but will also help to increase forest cover.
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