It’s not every day that you get to hear something good and positive from North East India – an underdeveloped region where dozens of armed insurgent groups are fighting the government, demanding separate states. Today, however, is an exception because, I just learned of something that is worth a thousand smiles: the government of Tripura, the smallest state in the region, has decided to encourage cultivation of medicinal plants and rare herbs among locals.
“If successfully implemented, the new plan would boost the economy of the state,” says a press statement by Tripura Forest Development and Plantation Corporation (TFDPC). According to the statement, TFDPC would begin by giving financial and technical support to the locals for cultivating Kalmegh (Andrigraphis Paniculata) and Shatamuli (Asparagus Recemosus Wild).
|Shatamuli or Asparagus Recemosus Wild, a herb used to revitalize female reproductive organs, cure gastrointestinal disorders and as an external wash for wounds.|
India has, of late, seen great growth in its herbal industry. According to the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the herbal industry is currently worth INR 7,500,crore (approx $2 billion) and set to reach Rs.15,000 crore (approx $4 billion) by 2015. The growth has increased the demand of herbs and medicinal plants manifold. For example, a kg of Shatamuli seeds now fetches about INR 4,000 in the market.