Title : Conservation and Production of Medicinal and Aeromatic Plants for Sustainable Livelihood
As per FAO 2007 definition,“a concept for resource-saving agricultural crop production that strives to achieve acceptable profits together with high and sustained production levels while concurrently conserving the environment” is the need of the hour. Conservation has become critical because the global population has increased over the years and more food, fuel, fibre, medicine etc needs to be produced continuously with limited resources. Medicinal and aeromatic plants in India and other developed country need to be cultivated following Principles of conservation agriculture i.e. Direct sowing, Soil cover (mulch), Crop rotations Improved soil fertility management is often a requirement. Package includes avoiding soil disturbance, planting basins, direct seed drills, rippers, jab planters soil cover mulching with crop residues, Cover crops and crop Rotation, Resembles a natural eco-system- soil is continuously covered, Build soil organic carbon, Less soil erosion, No turning of the soil- less use of energy (30-40 % less use of energy, Yields comparable to conventional agriculture, Less need to keep oxen, Improved soil structure – reduced erosion, Water retained in soil, Low impact - avoids problems of conventional agriculture
In india Herbal Industry is expected to reach US$ 5 trillion in 2050 and market growth for the industry is expected to be 7% per annum. There are 20 Agro-Ecological zones, one of 17 mega biodiversity countries, accounts for 7 % of world biodiversity, possesses bio-diversity of 17000 flowering plant sps, about 9000 spp. used in ISM & Folk medicines. 1172 species in trade of which 242 with consumption > 100 MT, 40% of species in high demand sourced through cultivation (coverage 0.3 million ha.), large network of institutions/Universities involved in medicinal plants R&D. The constraints of higher production of MAP are Unscrupulous harvesting of natural population resulting into loss of species and habitat, lack of novel high yielding plant varieties enriched in quality trains as wll as biotic and abiotic stress torelrance, limited information on genomics and secondary metabolites synthesis, non-availability of standardized production and processing technologies (GAP, organic, GCP and GMP) for scientific, economic and safe utilization, lack of post harvest technologies and value addition for better shelf life, quality, targetes delivery with delivery with enhanced bio availability and economic rerun, technological gap for judicious and time framed operations and application of inputs for cultivation and post harvest processing lack of strategisc approaches for production under changing climate scenario, lack of economic and efficient technologies for extraction, characterization and isolation of bioactive molecules for high value standard products, non- availability of database on area, production, demand and supply and traditional knowledge, Conservation of natural habitats and RET (rare threatened and endangered ) species and their sustainable utilization for maintaining ecological balance, Breeding for high yielding, pests and disease tolerant superior varieties with improved quality profile using conventional as well as biotechnological approaches (market assisted selection, DNA finger printing, barcoding, sequencing etc.), standardization of mass multiplication techniques for the production of quality seed and planning material using frontier technologies, understanding of biosynthetic pathway for manipulating secondary metabolites production.