JK News Today 



In first of its kind step in Jammu and Kashmir Minister of Education, Naeem Akhtar, today asked the school and college authorities to expedite the establishment of herbal gardens, so that a new breed of entrepreneurs will come out of such educational institutes.

The Minister said this while addressing a meeting to review development of herbal gardens in educational institutes at Women’s College here.

The Minister said, “the State with its unique geography has enormous potential in medicinal plants. He said that Education Department in liaison with State Medicinal Plant Board can show the way forward in this regard”. He offered the surplus land in schools and colleges to be developed as herbal garden.

It was said that in the first instance, 100 educational institutes will have the exclusive herbal gardens.

On the occasion, the Minister said, ‘very garden will grow one particular specie of medicinal plant”. He ordered the education department officials, experts and officials of Medicinal Plant Board to chalk out a business model that will have multi-pronged benefits.

The minister said, “Number of high value medicinal plants is endangered and best way to conserve them is to commercialize these species”.

In a power point presentation, the research officers of SMPB said that the world trade in herbal raw material is over $120 billion and the State has a huge potential in this sector. He informed the meeting that there are various schemes with huge subsidies for establishment of herbal gardens at home, institution and at a mega levels.

The Minister asked the officials to immediately start work for establishment of herbal gardens at Bandipora, Kishtwar, Lolab and other colleges that are near to forests. He said that these colleges would act as nurseries and provide plant material to other schools and colleges as well.

A decision was also taken in the meeting to organize awareness sessions in every college by the officials of SMPB.

The meeting was attended MD JKPDC, Dr. Shah Faisel, College Principals, J&K Medicinal Plant Board representative and other concerned officials.