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Need to popularise herbal medicines stressed

By Our Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI, FEB. 11 . Herbal medicines are gaining popularity among the masses and herbal products are already becoming part of the international market, members of self-help groups involved in herbal cultivation and collection were told at a workshop on herbal medicine held here on Thursday.

The workshop was organised under the initiative of the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) by the Mahalir Thittam and Anthyodaya Sangh (ANSA), an NGO.

G. Raju, resource person from Grama Mooligai Company Limited (GMCL), Bangalore, spoke about the various medicines prepared from herbs and the diseases that could be cured by them.

The Project Officer of Mahalir Thittam, K. Jayalakshmi, stressed the need for making herbal medicines available to the local population, thereby popularising them among the masses. She said the herbal products had a good market in India and abroad and urged the SHGs to be confident of their venture.

The Assistant Project Officer (training) of DRDA, Kalimuthu, spoke on the various government schemes that the SHGs could take advantage of.

The APO, Mahalir Thittam, Anthony Stephen, said the workshop was a means to give the members of SHGs an orientation on how to go about the collection and cultivation of herbal products. Similar training programmes and field visits would be organised for those interested in knowing more about the process.

About 60 SHGs in Tiruchi district were exclusively involved in herbal collection and cultivation at present, he pointed out.

The Programme Coordinator (Cultivation and Collection) of ANSA, J. Nandakumar said the SHGs could market their products as well as collections through a network formed under the auspices of the Sangh, which comprised about 15 SHGs at present involved in collection and cultivation at Vaiyampatti.

He said about 52 acres of land at present was under herbal cultivation and SHGs made an average profit of Rs. 30,000 per acre in the area.

Members of the SHGs from Tiruchi, Perambalur and Pudukottai took part in the workshop.

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