SHILLONG: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday launched the Aroma Mission and also inaugurated the Processing Unit of Essential Oil at Byrwa in Ri Bhoi district.
Addressing the gathering, Sangma said that the Aroma Mission is a very important initiative of the State Government that will create value to the available resources. Stating that GDP is the benchmark of economic growth of a nation or a State, it becomes all the more important for any government to think of the overall development in all sectors so that the economy moves in a realistic and sustainable manner.
He said that agriculture and allied sectors are very important in the economy. The government is ensuring that this primary sector get its due returns and the farmers get the income and importance that they deserve, Sangma said.
He informed that products like broomsticks, bay leaves, etc., will now be categorized as agro forestry products so that farmers can easily engage in the sale of these products. He also said that people of the State have traditionally used medicinal and aromatic plants available in the State for various ailments and diseases and it is about time that the knowledge of the medicinal plants should be given to the rest of the world while ensuring that this indigenous knowledge and skill are protected and patented.
The Chief Minister also stated that though the State is abundant in medicinal plants, not much research is conducted and urged institutions like CSIR-CIMAP to do research and document these plants.
Earlier in his address, Additional Chief Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner, Meghalaya, KN Kumar informed that the Mission is exclusively for the development of aromatic and medicinal plants of the State. He said that Meghalaya has lots of cultivable wastelands where plantations of this kind can be encouraged. He added that lemon grass and citronella plants will be grown in areas of 50 acres covering 5 hectares in every district to meet the eventual target of 1,000 hectares depending on the response of the farmers in the next four to five years.
He further informed that the Mission of Rs 18 crore is an end-to-end mission and plantations will be enhanced only when buyers are assured.
The Chief Minister also released the Aroma Mission document and inaugurated the Distillation unit during the occasion.
Also read: Meghalaya news