A new lease of life for medicinal plants

By TheHindu on 10 Mar 2017

The Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) has launched a project ‘resource conservation, augmentation, sustainable harvesting and value addition of medicinal plants resources’ to conserve the critically endangered medicinal plants in the Western Ghats region.

The project implemented with financial assistance of the National Medicinal Plant Board also aims at ensuring sustainable income to the tribal people who earn their livelihood collecting minor forest produces.

The project will be executed in association with the biodiversity management committees functioning at the grama panchayat level and the Forest Department.

Conservation

The project aims at conserving the critically endangered medicinal plant species, S. Rajasekharan, senior programme coordinator of the KSBB, told The Hindu.

Minor forest produces such as Kurmthotti (Sida alnifolia); Nellikka (Phyllanthus emblica), Thanika (Terminalia bellirica), and Moovila (Pseudarthria viscida) would be collected and processed under the project, Dr. Rajasehkaran said.

Value-added products

He said the KBB was planning to make value-added products from medicinal plants and improve the standard of living of the tribesmen engaged in collecting minor forest produces, Dr. Rajasehkaran said.

The project would be executed at an estimate of Rs.50 lakh at Thavinhal, Thurnelly, Moopainad, Poothadi, and Noolpuzha grama panchayats in the district in the initial phase and would be expanded to other grama panchayats in the State later. North Wayanad divisional forest officer Narendranath Veluri inaugurated the programme at Mananthavady on Tuesday.