In a bid to boost commercialization of traditional medicinal systems in the Northeast, Jorhat based the CSIR-North East Institute of Science and Technology has planned to set up 15 multilocational research fields on medicinal plant species in different states of the region.

In the first of such research fields, NEIST partnered with Aroma India Pvt. Ltd., Rajapara, Kamrup, Assam recently.

The master plan by NEIST envisages  about 15 multilocational experimental research fields in NE India with five centres in Assam, four in Arunachal Pradesh, and one each in Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura.

CSIR-NEIST director G Narahari Sastry said the institute has embarked on making plans to fructify the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in doubling the farmer’s income in the next few years.
“The most essential to achieve these objectives is the identification, domestication and cultivation of rare and endangered species of medicinal plants to sustain the modern pharmaceutical industries.

“It is also for sustenance of India’s strong traditional system of medicines for which the crucial factors such as breeding of new plant varieties, identification of stable performance through multilocational trials, integration of modern science along with market and industrial application potential are the key,” he said

Sastry explaining the scheme said that high scale production of these medicinal plants would be helpful to meet the industrial demands as well as cease the import of the raw materials further boosting the country’s economy.

“Sustaining the current activities of the aromatic, horticultural, floricultural, fruits, vegetables, rotational crops, new hybrids varieties and creating new space for medicinal plants and herbal gardens in bringing the health benefits to society and also derive benefits from our immensely rich heritage, culture and traditional knowledge in health care and pass it to the farmers of NE India is what NEIST aims to do, ” he said.

Further the post harvest processing, value chain and strong networking with the industries are the key points in which CSIR-NEIST, Jorhat would be helping the farmers to gain maximum profit possible.

It will also provide an ambience to conduct highest level of fundamental science and translational research.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between NEIST and Aroma India Private Limited, Guwahati to promote cooperation in scientific research and dissemination of technology related to aromatic, medicinal, floriculture and other important plants.

Sastry said the initiative is aimed to enhance participative and participatory R&D leading to the development of desired technology, product and services and would enable commercialization and deployment of the same.

Apart from the ongoing ‘Aroma Mission’, CSIR-NEIST is into ‘Floriculture Mission’, ‘Herbal Mission’, ‘Wellness Mission’, ‘Bamboo Mission’, ‘Honey Mission’ and also Sericulture Mission’ which are the areas identified to improve the economy of the region.

Smita Bhattacharyya

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