Kerala: KFRI sets up help centre for medicinal plant cultivation | Kochi News

KOCHI: Herbal cultivation, unlike paddy or horticulture is highly unorganized and mostly planned by individual farmers in Kerala.
Most of these products go on to become the raw material for various medicinal and cosmetic industries. To come to the aid of these farmers, the Kerala forest research institute (KFRI) launched an ‘On call help centre and farmers’ library on Tuesday.
The three-year project launched with grants from the state medicinal plants board (SMPB) seeks to guide farmers and societies looking to start herbal cultivation. “Most of this knowledge is traditional and vastly unknown to the public. There are a lot of commercial farmers in some districts that are exclusively into medicinal production,” said A V Raghu, principal investigator of the project.
He said that this facility will enable farmers to seek expert opinion and solution to any issue they may be facing with respect to cultivation of medicinal plants. The facility will also offer timely delivery of technical assistance announced by the Government as well as other agencies to medicinal plant growers. The help centre would also provide assistance in preparing projects/agreements related to farming and buyback of commodities,” he said.
The facility was inaugurated virtually by health minister K K Shailaja. The SMPB is planning to implement new similar projects in the state to rejuvenate our traditional health care systems, said T K Hrideek, chief executive officer, SMPB.
KFRI director Syam Vishwanath said that this is a social research initiative of the institute and it will contribute to the agriculture index in the state.
Farmers can contact 0487-2690333 for clearing any doubts related to medicinal plants. The requests will be recorded and answers will be provided from experts within 24 hours. Brochures and booklets related to medicinal plants will be published along with the experiences of various farmers. This could lead to building up reference material for the future.

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