The government of Jammu and Kashmir has recently decided to go for commercial cultivation and conservation of herbal plants to have herbal drugs and cosmetics.
Government has sanctioned a 62 crore rupees project for this purpose. The initiative aims to promote cultivation and conservation of MAPs, promote organic farming and standardization, provide special facilities for primary processing, preserve intellectual property rights, educate cultivators on the best practices and undertake research to develop new herbal formulations and drugs.
There are a number of MAPs that are unique to our agro-climate and offer immense potential for employment and exports. The demand for herbal drugs and cosmetics is growing both domestically and internationally while MAPs extracted from forests put pressure on biodiversity besides pushing many plant species on the verge of extinction.
J&K has 129 hectare of cultivable wasteland, of which, only 2 per cent shall be used for MAP cultivation. Additionally, farmers who adopt MAP cultivation can expect to see a 30-40 per cent increase in their agricultural income.
Promotion of commercial cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants is one among the 29 projects, which were approved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration after being recommended by the UT Level Apex Committee for holistic development of Agriculture and allied sectors in J&K.