The Bundelkhand region in Uttar Pradesh is reaching new heights in medicinal farming, with the Yogi Adityanath government promoting cultivation of medicinal plants in a big way.
Nurseries are being established in villages while plantation of herbs is on in full swing in different parts of the state.
Farmers belonging to Bundelkhand are switching over to cultivation of medicinal plants, both, for monetary gains as well as for its health benefits.
According to the government spokesperson, the farmers are showing keen interest in growing basil, aloe vera, ashwagandha, brahmi, satavar, vach, artemisia, kaunch, kalmegh and sarpagandha.
The UP government has also been encouraging farmers to diversify crops for cultivation in order to enhance their incomes.
The National Medicinal Plants Mission scheme of the Department of Horticulture and Food Processing has played vital role in popularizing cultivation of medicinal plants in UP in the recent past.
Though the scheme has been operational since 2009-10, it had failed to benefit farmers during the previous governments.
The Yogi Adityanath government has involved State AYUSH Society in providing benefits to the farmers engaged in medicinal farming.
In order to increase the interest of the farmers in medicinal farming, the government also announced a grant per hectare for farmers. As a result, the number of farmers to take up medicinal farming directly and indirectly has increased significantly during the present regime as compared to the previous governments.
The government spokesperson said that more than 15,000 farmers have so far benefited from this initiative of the state government while cultivation of medicinal plants has expanded to 9,705 hectares in the state.
The demand for medicinal crops has also increased substantially amid the Covid pandemic.
Dr V.B. Dwivedi, nodal officer of State AYUSH Mission and joint director of Horticulture and Food Processing Department, said that the department is making every effort to promote medicinal farming as per the intention of the government.
He said that along with Bundelkhand, farmers of Devi Patan division as well as Lucknow and Meerut circles have also started cultivating medicinal plants.
He added that the herbal products of Mirzapur and Jalaun farmers are making their mark in foreign countries as well.
Meanwhile, a large number of farmers have taken to Satwari cultivation in Gorakhpur.
The scheme has helped farmers become self-reliant by doubling their income, and is also helping them stay healthy.