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Bandaru Dattatraya for promoting asafoetida, monk fruit farming on large scale

Addressing CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bio-resource Technology, Palampur (IHBT) function at Palampur in Kangra distict, he said the success of saffron cultivation in potential new growing areas in HP, would not only bring prosperity to the local farmers but meaningfully contribute towards the dwindling status of its production in the country.

SNS | Shimla |

Governor Bandaru Dattatraya on Tuesday said the introduction of Heeng and Monk fruit in Himachal Pradesh needs to be further promoted through active collaboration with relevant state agencies to achieve fast associated benefits at a larger level.

Addressing CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bio-resource Technology, Palampur (IHBT) function at Palampur in Kangra district, he said the success of saffron cultivation in potential new growing areas in HP, would not only bring prosperity to the local farmers but meaningfully contribute towards the dwindling status of its production in the country.

“The Institute has made an important contribution in the north-eastern states of the country by way of introduction of apples in 16.25 acre and a number of aromatic crops, and contributed in their capacity building.

The solid waste management is a burning issue today and using temple waste to make better incense cones was a notable step taken by the Institute,” he said.

He said developing entrepreneurship around such and similar ongoing activities at CSIR-IHBT and by promoting start-ups and developing skills were of great value for inclusive growth.

Dattatraya said Himachal was a rich producer of apple, almonds, cherry, peach, mango, citrus and other fruits.

“Preventing post-harvest losses of these fruits as well as of vegetables was one of the serious national problems. Institute’s technology on ready-to-eat crispy fruits and vegetables was highly relevant in enhancing their shelf life, yet maintaining nutritional status, and the product holds high market potential,” he added.

The Governor said the increasing dependence on medicinal plants and their ruthless extraction has sharply declined its status in the wild.

In this direction, CSIR-IHBT works on promotion of cultivation of medicinal plants and conversion of their rare, endangered and threatened (RET) status to the non-RET status, which was a matter of immense appreciation.

He expressed satisfaction that 1.4 lakhs plants of Valeriana jatamansi, Inula and Podophyllum have been rehabilitated in natural habitat in the forest and said these efforts lay the basis of linking the activity with Van Samridhi Jan Samridhi Yojana.

He said Lilium cultivation in cold desert area of Lahaul and Spiti resulted in 3-5 times higher returns over the traditional crops which opens up a new vista in such remote areas.

The popularization of pollution-abatement-plants was expected to contribute significantly in likely hazardous places, including hospitals, to tackle toxic vapours, he added.

He also appreciated that this Institute was developing innovative ways to utilize the vast bamboo resource of the Himalayas for the development of various industrial products such as wooden board, textile yarn, activated charcoal and other industrial products. Such technologies have a great future for the benefit of mankind.

He congratulated the authority for carrying out high-quality research in the areas of fundamental sciences to assess and harness the potential of bio-resources, particularly of Himalayas, and developing technologies of industrial application for societal upliftment and betterment.

The Institute also signed five memorandum of understanding (MoUs) for collaboration for postgraduate research between ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, Karnal and CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvvidyalaya, Palampur in the presence of the Governor.