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November 23, 2000

Take to cultivation of medicinal plants, farmers urged


Salem No.22. At a seminar on "Herbal cultivation" organised at Thalaivasan here recently, the speakers highlighted the benefits that would accrue to farmers who would take to cultivation of medicinal plants. It was stated that those raising herbs would get better returns than the seasonal crops.

The participants also under scored the point that the Insurance companies were ready to Insure and herbal crops. While speaking on the occasion, Dr. Muhammed Majeed, Managing Director of Sami Labs Ltd., Bangalore, a leading export house for Ayurvedic products, called upon the farmers to cultivate medicinal plants like coleus and marigold.

He said exports of herbs from India constituted hardly one per cent of the world markets, and therefore there was ample scope for increasing the output. He hoped that if the farmers realised that the growing medicinal plants would pay off well, there would be "herbal revolution" in the country.

The regional manager of the United India Insurance Company (Coimbatore), Mr. D. Nathamuni, stressed the need for insuring the medicinal plants against natural calamities, pests and diseases. The officials of the United India Insurance Co, Mr. C.N. Chinnasamy, senior divisional manager (Coimbatore), and Mr. G. Balaji, divisional manager (Salem), pointed out that their company was the first in the country to start insurance scheme for turmeric and other medicinal plants.

Mr. Palanivel of the M.G.P. Marketing Centres, said with the help of sami Labs, his organisation had brought over 2000 acres of land under herbal cultivation within the past three years. It had adopted drip irrigation system in water deficit areas, and organic farming, mainly to encourage women farmers.

The company was coordinating with the United India Insurance Co. and State Bank of India in extending insurance schemes to turmeric and other medicinal plants.

The scientists from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University – Dr. Asokan, Ms. Maragatham and Dr. Rajendran – presented the latest technologies in herbal cultivationand mechanisation schemes.

The bankers assured the prospective farmers of financial and technical assistance in raising medicinal plants. The branch manager of the United India Insurance Co. (Salem) Mr. K. Sampath Kumar, proposed a vote of thanks.