Govt to assist poppy farmers with medicinal, aromatic plants

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 8th Dec: In a step to rehabilitate the farmers in the hills, whose poppy and cannabis plants were destroyed for violating law, the state government would be assisting them in taking up medicinal and aromatic plants farming, said health and family welfare minister L Jayantakumar.
During his visit at the Arogya Fair being held at City Convention Centre here on Saturday, the minister said that planting of poppy and cannabis is illegal and the government has to destroy such illegal plantations even if it cuts off the source of income of several farmers.
The government has come up with a policy so that those farmers are not deprived of their source of livelihood by extending help in a legally acceptable way. The policy would be executed by AYUSH department in association with State Medicinal Plant Board with funding from AYUSH ministry under National AYUSH Mission, he said.
He further informed that the government will conduct an assessment for soil and climatic condition suitability for identifying the types of plants for different areas. Experts from horticulture department and Manipur University would be rope in for the assessment, he added.
With the upgrade of AYUSH from a small section under the health ministry, the Centre has been taking up various initiatives to promote and develop AYUSH medicine in the country as well as around the globe. The government had inaugurated a 10-bedded AYUSH hospital at Konjeng Leikai. Another 50-bedded hospital is under construction at Keirao. Moreover, the government is constructing a laboratory at Keirao to study the medicinal values and uses of the medicinal plants available in the state. Besides, some drug manufacturing units have been set up in the state, Jayantakumar informed.
On the other hand, the State Medicinal Plant Board is providing financial assistance to the people in developing herbal garden in their homestead so as to practice self-treatment with the help of those medicinal plants. The financial assistance is provided for maintenance of the medicinal plants. Similar initiatives would also be taken up in schools under the board, he said. The union minister of AYUSH, during his recent visit in the state, advised that the state submit proposal for construction of AYUSH hospital in every district, the minister said, while adding that the state government has started preparation of DPRs for some districts for the first phase since it would not be possible to take up such projects in all the districts at the same time. 


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