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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Pilot project on ‘Artemisia Annua’, a medicinal plant, on the anvil

source:Sikkim Now

GANGTOK, 20 Jan: A meeting on cultivation of Artemisia Annua, a medicinal plant, in consultation with the Council for Socio-Economic and Environmental Research [CSER], Guwahati, was held at the Forest Department conference hall at Deorali today.
The meeting was attended by the Chief Consultant, Arindam Choudhary and Coordinator Gunamani Das, from CSER Guwahati, PCCF-cum-Secretary, ST Lachungpa and Joint Director, Karma Legshey.
In his presentation, Mr Choudhary mentioned that the climate of Sikkim is best suitable for growing Artemisia Annua and can be successfully cultivated by the farmers. He further informed that the project proposal was also discussed with the Project Director and it has been decided to implement this project in Sikkim as a pilot project with the approval of the State Government. A meeting with selected farmers from four districts regarding the project was held on 10 January, he informed.
The Chief Consultant, speaking on his organization informed that it was a semi-governmental non-profitable organization working for the promotion, cultivation and marketing of medicinal and aromatic plants throughout the North Eastern states.
“We have selected a total number of 36 farmers from all the four districts including 15 farmers from North, 6 from South, 10 from East and 5 from West Sikkim and we need support from all sides,” he said.
Mr Choudhary also stated that there is a lack of marketing in Sikkim, so the CSER will be focusing on that.
“The main objective is establishment of herbal garden, demonstration unit and experimental trial plots of some selected medicinal and aromatic plants having high market value which can be taken up for commercial cultivation in the North East Region,” he added.
CSER Coordinator, Ms Das mentioned that the organization has chosen Artemisia Annua especially for the State of Sikkim as the climate here is more suitable for this plant in comparison to other medicinal plants.
It is a short-day [requiring long periods of darkness] temperate plant, which requires cold winters and moderate summers and is a cash crop with industrial importance and export potentiality with less investment involved in cultivation, she further mentioned.
She also shared that the main objective of the organization is to promote the cultivation of this medicinal plant in Sikkim as it is fast gaining importance as a source of drugs against choloroquin [quinine] resistant malaria and cerebral malaria.

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