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HomeIndiaOrganic-Pharma industry emerges in Jammu and Kashmir

Organic-Pharma industry emerges in Jammu and Kashmir

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Jammu and Kashmir [India], January 19 (ANI): The Brand Kashmir of the Make In India campaign has spread so far that one should not be surprised to find anything, from as small as a bottle of Lavender essential oil to Kashmiri carpets, in any corner of the world.

Earlier the edibles from the Valley were limited to fruits and dry fruits, mainly for the Gulf export. But today you will find the smallest shops in Germany and other European states stocking up on dried apricots, rose oil, herbs, etc from Kashmir.

The revolution is the result of diversification in agricultural products. Through government intervention, J&K is competing with international names in the aromatherapy and naturopathy sphere.

Nature has bestowed the Himalayas with some of the rarest herbs and medicinal flora. Due to the absence of proper law and order in the past and 30 years of continuous unrest in the region, theft and smuggling of these rare species of plants and flowers were common. In 1997 the extension of the Forest Conservation Act on the erstwhile state of J&K was only a formality.

But today with the complete integration of J&K Union Territory with India the threat to nature has been abated. The Forest Department has built a repository of maximum plant species in the form of herbal parks. In a pine forest at Viji Top (altitude of 1900 meters) a herbal park, which was set up three years ago, is bearing fruits of abundance. Thousands of plants are scattered over 18 hectares of land.

Extinct herbs and plants have been brought in from outside of India. Prominent universities have taken it upon themselves to dig deeper and find ways to propagate these varieties in the Valley. The Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, SKUAST-Kashmir, is the frontrunner in the initiative.

The post-Covid era has witnessed a jump in consumption of ayurvedic herbs, aromatherapy, organic superfoods, and natural supplements. People want to prioritize health. This demand has created an enormous opportunity in J&K. The West is looking at the East as their saviour.

2022 was a golden year for the Saffron and Lavender crops. Young adults are returning home from large metropolitans to tend to their lands, animals, and traditional family businesses have become commonplace. The hilly J&K has immense entrepreneurship opportunities in agriculture and allied sectors.

The J&K administration received 338 proposals in the biotech sector which is expanding and taking priority after the New Industrial Development Scheme was launched. The 3,500 medicinal plant species in J&K are a jackpot for locals. It’s a huge opportunity to begin an Organic-Pharmaceutics revolution. Many such companies operate in mainland India selling organic biotin and other health capsules at high prices. When J&K joins the brigade, it will add immensely to the local economy.

Strict quality control measures and a ban on pesticides in certain regions dedicated solely to organic farming have helped soil health. And increased soil health will mean the highest quality produce.

Presently Australia and the US are the top players in the organic-pharma business. And both have their demerits. While the US imports most of its raw materials from South America and tropical countries like Malaysia and Thailand, its final price is unaffordable to most. Australia, though abundant in herbs and medicinal plants, also prices organic products at a large premium.

Therefore, J&K has a huge gap of haves and have-nots to fill in. Industrial Biotech Parks across the UT will transform the UT and fuel development in health, agriculture, and cosmetic/lifestyle industries. The local Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) present in all districts will be the golden parachute to young entrepreneurs and SMEs through various government schemes aimed at the promotion of organic and medicinal farming.

Prominent agriculture scientists and universities are working in a controlled environment with farmers in real time. Through the elimination method commercially viable medicinal plants have been distributed to schools, colleges, and other institutions for use and to spread awareness about Kashmir’s lost treasures.

During the Covid times, India emerged as the leading vaccine manufacturer and distributor. It is ranked 12th in the world in the biotechnology field. Let this proud distinction be our driving force to utilize our god-gifted land and its bounty to secure the highest position of J&K on the world map. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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