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National Workshop on "Sustainable Development of Medicinal Plant sector in North Eastern India".

CNS: The inauguration of the National Workshop on "Sustainable Development of Medicinal Plant Sector in North East India" organized by the Forest Department, Government of Manipur in
collaboration with the National Medicinal Plant Board, Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India on 16/2/2015 at Jubilee Halll RIMS Lamphelpat, was conducted in a grand way with Shri.P.C.Lawmkunga, IAS the Chief Secretary of Manipur gracing the occasion as Chief Guest of the function; Shri. Nilanjan Sanyal, IAS Tthe Secretary (Ministry of AYUSH), GOvernment of India as the president and Shri.Shekhar Dutt, IAS (Retd.) former Governor of Chattisgarh as Guest of Honour of the function.

The Welcome Address was delivered by Shri.Bala Prasad, IFS Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force, Manipur. In the welcome address he emphasized on the relevance of conducting the National Workshop for the Sustainable Development of Medicinal Plant Sector in Imphal. He threw light on the comparative advantage the North Eastern States of India had in the medicinal plant sector which is yet to be utilized properly. He said that the state of Manipur will be on the top of the world with the proper utilization of the potential of the sector which is ample in the state.

The Guest of Honour Shri. Shekhar Dutt spoke on the importance of digitization of Siddha a form of traditional medical practice which had its evolution in the South India (Kerala and Tamil Nadu). He explained that the most potent drugs used in many deadly diseases have their origin from the traditional knowledge in medical preparation and quoted the example for hepatitis C for which the drugs has its origin from Japanese tradition. He urged the need for taking the challenge in manufacturing the medicines from medicinal plants especially in the North Eastern India which is a store house of biological diversity. He highlighted the role of Forest Department in developing and sustainably utilizing the medicinal plants sector.

In his Presidential address, Shri. Nilanjan Sanyal spoke on the revival of  interest of the major population in natural products. He Explained how the natural product free of chemical use get a premium price in the market compared to those produced with synthetic fertilizers and insecticides. The different countries have their own traditional system of medical formulation and the collaboration and joint venture between them will yield miraculous formulations which can be answer to cure of many diseases which can answer to the cure of many diseases which are grappling the world now. The unsustainable extraction of resource materials for medical preparations has bought the problems of availability of the same in required amount which can be sourted out only through the development of the sustainable harvesting methodologies coupled with increasing the available stock in the forest. He urged the importance of cultivation of medicinal plant in ex-situ and conservation of the same in-situ. He gave ideas on development of guidelines for good value addition practices. The sector can become a livelihood generation activity for the marginalized section of the society and especially for the tribal population. He said that this workshop will create awareness on the medicinal plants sector to a large section of the people in the North Eastern India and especially in Manipur which has the conducive climatic conditions and opportunity of international trade by virtue of having the border with Myanmar. He concluded by saying that the Government of India through the Ministry of AYUSH is committed to fund the medicinal plants sector in North Eastern state and the Ministry will give top priority for projects from the North Eastern states.

P.C.Lawmkung, in his speech as Chief Guest mentioned on the commitment of the State Government of Manipur in developing the medicinal plants sector and gave an example of the newly constructed office building of AYUSH at Lamphelpat. Imphal and had already started recruitment of staffs for its full-fledged functioning. He said that the focus of the nation in the medicinal plants sector is on the North Eastern state by virtue of the diversity in the region and that Manipur is occupying the vital position as it becomes the gateway to the South East Asian countries. He concluded by stating that Manipur will play a leading role in the medicinal plants utilization in the future. P.N.Prasad, IFS, Chief Wildlife Warden, Govt of Manipur in his vote of thanks highlighted the importance of medicinal plants in increasing the life expectancy of people and developing drugs for various ailments will expressing his gratitude to the previous speakers and all who gather for the function.    

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