Realizing the high potential of seabuckthorn in environmental conservation and livelihood improvement, HP government has decided for the large scale seabuckthorn plantation. View more at #YesPahari.
Himachal Pradesh government has decided for the large scale seabuckthorn plantation on thousands of hectares of forest land under Rs 800 crore forestry programme of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Seabuckthorn fruit oil remained a main market raw material for long, as omega rich oil has many health benefits. Recent clinical studies by Indian scientists have found much more health benefits of seabuckthorn leaves, as they are useful in treatment of diabetes, skin and cardiovascular diseases.
JICA programme will also cover afforestation of other forestry species in Kullu, Kinnaur, Mandi, Shimla and Bilaspur districts. For last two decades scientists of CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur and other institutes were working hard to make the seabuckthorn plantation a success in the state.
Professor Virendra Singh, seabuckthorn expert from CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur said that large scale cultivation of seabuckthorn will help in upliftment of rural economy of tribal areas and will create job opportunities and help in control of soil erosion and conservation of biodiversity, soil and water.
He said that development and harnessing of seabuckthorn resources can be a help in providing nutritional security to the country, as seabuckthorn juices and other food products are very rich in multivitamins and anti-oxidants. He said that seabuckthorn oil and drugs are useful in protection from cardiovascular, gastric ulcer skin and diabetes.
He said around 200 people including officials, scientists and farmers attended the one day workshop on seabuckthorn at Dev Sadan, Kullu on Tuesday. Additional chief secretary Tarun Kapoor informed that Himachal Pradesh government has decided to carry out massive plantation of seabuckthorn in tribal areas of the state.
He said that principal chief conservator of Forest S S Negi has informed that environmental conditions of cold desert areas of the state are fragile and seabuckthorn will be now priority species for afforestation on the marginal lands, which is available in plenty. He said local village communities and other stake holders will be involved in the formulation and execution of the programme.
Former vice-chancellor of CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur, Dr Tej Partap said that Chinese, Russian and Indian studies have proven that cultivation of seabuckthorn can transform the economy and ecology of cold desert areas. He said it is high time that the forest department should make large scale investment in commercial forestry of seabuckthorn.
Dr S S Samant, coordinator of GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Mohali said that seabuckthorn has wide natural distribution in cold desert and it should also be planted in Parvati valley, where it can be a solution to drug menace in the Kullu district. He said seabuckthorn fruit and leaves have application in health food, cosmetics and drug industries, besides a useful soil binder, fuel wood and quality fodder.
Farmers Seabuckthorn Society, president, B D Parshera said that project should be formulated and executed by involving all stake holders and appropriate financial assistance should be provided for fencing, irrigation and weeding operations to farmers.
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