Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal assures Rs 200 cr investment for CSIR-NEIST in Jorhat to boost medicinal plant market of northeast India

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Guwahati: The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal visited CSIR-North East Institute of Science & Technology (CSIR-NEIST).

The Minister assured complete support for an approximate investment of Rs 200 crores to build capacity around the medicinal plant sector of the region. This amount is aimed at creating infrastructure that will strengthen the medicinal plant storage for commercial purpose, boosting research and development of the local herbs and plants for medicinal purpose as well as providing a platform for traditional healers to further their treatments to a wider section of the society.

The Union Minister Sonowal said, “Mother Nature has blessed this beautiful region of Northeast with rich flora and fauna. This rich bounty of nature must be used responsibly so that the ecology of the region is sustained, while the medicinal benefits from the herbs can be extracted responsibly to ramp up India’s rich heritage in traditional medicine. Under the inspiring leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, India has once again discovered its glory with rich heritage of traditional medicine, which was once lost due to ignorance and arrogance of Congress governments in the past. Our rich heritage of traditional medicine, be it Ayurveda, Siddha, Yoga, Unani, Naturopathy, Sowa Rigpa or Homoeopathy, has proven its efficacy for generations after generations and has withstood all the challenges that time posed against it. Under Modi ji, we are revitalising the traditional medicine with a rational approach to scientifically validate its outcome so that more and more people can avail its life enriching benefit. As India leads the resurgence of traditional medicine globally, the Northeast, with its rich resource of medicinal plants and herbs, will play a crucial role to act as harbinger of growth for the healing industry of India.”

During this visit, the Minister reviewed the progress of different activities undertaken by the institute to strengthen the huge potential of medicinal plant market in the region. Of the proposed investment for capacity building at CSIR-NEIST, multiple cold storages will be set up for storage of herbal plants for commercial usage. An approximate investment of Ra 100 crores is set to develop these specialised cold storages for Medicinal Herbal plants. A Centre of Medicinal Herbs and Aromatic Plants is also proposed to be set up which will act as a lynchpin of research and development in medicinal plant from the region. The Centre of Excellence is proposed to be developed with an outlay of Rs 35 crores. In order to explore possibilities from the folk medicine, with scientifically validated outcome, for treatment of ailments, a hospital for traditional folk healers is also proposed. The cost for development of this hospital is pegged at Rs 50 crores.

Sonowal said, “The CSIR-NEIST have been doing some important work in the research of medicinal plants of the region. During our review today, I was briefed about various activities around medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) cultivation, as well as work done under Aroma Mission. Given the immense potential of the region, as a hotspot of medicinal plants, we are considering to set up cold storages so that commercial viability of medicinal herbs and plants can be explored and enhanced. To further the application from essence of the medicinal plants found in the region, a centre of excellence is also being considered to be set up in the region. Our rich wisdom in traditional and folk medicine needs careful exploration as well as validate through a scientific approach. A hospital for folk & traditional healers is being considered so that our age old treatments gets scientifically recorded and accorded treatment to the needy in a scientifically valid environment to enrich their quality of lives. Altogether this investment of more than Rs 100 crores is yet another step by the Narendra Modi ji led government to empower and enable traditional form of medicine for wider use by people as well as it becoming a major contributor to the global wellness movement towards enriching the quality of lives across the world. With Northeast as Asta Lakshmi with Mother Nature’s blessings, we can power the engine of India’s growth by investing in its natural advantages and becoming a hub of medicinal plants in the world.”

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