Jorhat based Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-North East Institute of Science and Technology (CSIR-NEIST) has launched a Multi-locational Trial and Regional Research Experimental Field at Mokokchung in Nagaland

The field is a part of the second phase of CSIR’s Aroma Mission and is the first facility to be set up in Nagaland.

NEIST is going in a big way to popularise the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) in northeast India under CSIR Aroma Mission programme.

CSIR laboratories have successfully completed the first phase of the aroma mission, which is a flagship project of CSIR.

A team of scientists led by the director CSIR-NEIST, G. Narahari Sastry met the village council of Nukshiyim village in Yaongyimsen, Mokokchung district led by I Nukshi, its president and they jointly inaugurated the facility.

Dr Sastry stressed the importance of converting the rich biodiversity and abundant occurrence of rare medicinal and aromatic plants, for the benefit of the local people.

“The very cause of propagating MAP is to promote local rural entrepreneurship and augment the standard of living in rural areas by encouraging this new alternative economic activity.

“Cultivation of medicinal plants and herbs which boosts the immunity and develops resistance to fight infectious diseases by promoting the general health of the population is of outstanding importance,” he said.

Dr Sastry further said that the high value of aromatic plants and fragrant flowers due to their rich possession of natural oils are doing very profitable business and linking them to the perfumery industry is expected to pay rich dividends to farmers.

“Therefore, CSIR along with other organizations have embarked on a mission directed towards the cultivation of MAP is likely to augment the earnings of the people living below the poverty line by adopting this new means of livelihood.

“CSIR-NEIST has undertaken the plan of setting up of about 15 Multi-locational experimental research fields in the North East Region (5 farms in Assam, 4 in Arunachal Pradesh, 1 each in Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura) to fulfil the vision of  Prime Minister Narendra Modi in doubling the farmers’ income in the next few years,” Sastry said.

He added that the principal approach was to ensure identification, domestication, and cultivation of rare, threatened and endangered species of medicinal plants to sustain the modern pharmaceutical industries and also for sustenance of India’s strong traditional system of medicines.

High-scale production of these medicinal plants will be beneficial to meet the industrial demands as well as cease the import of the raw materials further boosting the country’s economy.

The team of scientists handed over saplings of Tinospora Cordifolia (Giloy), which is a powerhouse of antioxidants and boosts the immunity levels, to I Nukshi, president, S Wati, secretary.

The team comprises SP Saikia, principal investigator, CSIR Aroma Mission, Mohan Lal, co-investigators Ilika Zhimo, senior scientist and Himangshu Lekhak and Director, CSIR-NEIST.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com