During the Covid pandemic, when people turned to home remedies for a cure to the virus, the requirement for medicinal plants grew to about 100 lakh tonnes in 2021-22.
This is a whopping rise from about 5 lakh tonnes in 2015-14.
Medicinal turmeric export also rose from a few crores some years back to about Rs 14,500 crore.
According to AYUSH minister Daya Shankar Mishra ‘Dayalu’, to meet this shortfall of medicinal plants, which were earlier procured largely from forests, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to source these plants through contract farming.
The 2.38 crore farmers’ families in the state are now being encouraged to grow medicinal plants as well.
Another task undertaken by the department was to tie up with BHU to carry out an impact study of the 500 wellness centres set up by the state government.
The department also initiated the process of affiliating 19 state AYUSH colleges and 86 private colleges with the Gorakhpur Ayush University.
“We also started mobile food laboratories in 15 divisions, food labs in Jhansi and Gonda and provided high end equipment to food labs in Meerut and Varanasi. The department identified 100 schools and institutions and 75 temples where food and prasad are served and carried out inspection of food products. Around 2,000 restaurants and shops were registered based on food testing. We registered over 6 lakh institutions which have a turnover of Rs 12 lakh or more,” he said.