200 Farmers learn about high-value cultivation of Kutki & Chirayita 

Around 200 farmers mostly women were trained on Monday to commercially cultivate  Chirayita and Kutki in  Dhangiara village of  Mandi district under the Nachan Forest Division. 

Under the JICA project, farmers belonging to high-altitude villages Bukhras, Chhain Maigal, and Ruhal of Kandi Karmunag Panchyat in Gohar Development Block of District Mandi in H.P were trained in commercial cultivation of high-value medicinal plants Picrorhiza kurroa (Kutki) and Swertia cordata (Chirayita) at the Himalayan Research Group (HRG) Mountain Technology Center.

During the training seeds were also distributed among farmers so that they could grow highly economical medicinal herbs. 

Addressing the Farmers on this occasion Mr. Nagesh Guleria  Chief Project Director of JICA  stated that the project is strengthening the role of the community in ecosystem management and community livelihood and it would achieve the target to double the income of farmers by involving them in the project components.

Dr. Lal Singh. Director HRG Shimla said that sustainable harvesting techniques of these high-value species would help farmers to earn regular income.

Dr. Sushil Kapta, Addl. Pr. CCF ( Management ) emphasized the sustainable harvesting technique for high medicinal plants and appreciated the efforts of the HRG in this direction with the active involvement of community groups in remote and difficult areas of the District Mandi in H.P.

Dr. Ramesh Chand Kang of JICA (Director Flora and Funa cell) stressed the need for commercial production of these high-value medicinal plants for the generation of new sources of cash returns to the farmers. 

He appreciated the technical and developmental progress made by the scientists of the HRG in this direction and mentioned this was the reason for collaboration with the HRG for commercial cultivation of two high values ​​high demand medicinal plants species of Kutki and Chirayita. 

 A progressive farmer Tek Chand of village Chhain Maigal also presented a bank draft of Rs. 7000/- for producing 1700 cuttings of high-value medicinal plant Kutki for establishing cultivation in private lands of other farmers. Nagesh Guleria praised the Farmer terming it a unique example of the multiplication of species and earning good regular returns with the least damage by wild animals like monkeys near forests. 

 15 organized women farmers groups were provided with about 1500 grams of Chirayita seeds for cultivation of this high-value species in their private land for which JICA- PIHPFEM & L is providing financial assistance. 

A large contingent of the frontline forest staff and JICA PIHPFEM & L staff ranging from Forest Guard to the Divisional Forest Officer Nachan Forest Division Sh Tirath Raj. Dhiman participated in this one-day training.

 The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has launched a Project to improve state forest ecosystems management & livelihood (PIHPFEM&L).

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