A three-day national seminar and stakeholder meeting on "Startup Opportunities in Medicinal Plants" began on March 20 at the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K) Shalimar campus in Srinagar.
The workshop is organized by the Regional Cum Facilitation Centre, Northern Region-II, National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), SKUAST-K in collaboration with the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) for the institutional development of SKUAST-K.
Aim of the seminar?
The seminar's purpose is to educate farmers, entrepreneurs, and educated youth on the preservation, cultivation, and marketing of medicinal plants. To encourage other farmers to follow their example, ten progressive farmers from the UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh were honored.
Commissioner of the Science and Technology Department, Saurabh Bhagat, who was the chief guest at the inaugural session, briefed attendees about the importance of the medicinal plant sector and the different schemes available for entrepreneurs and researchers. He stated that SKUAST-K has an important role in making the medicinal and aromatic sector a reality in Kashmir.
Vice Chancellor of SKUAST-K, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, stated that the agricultural sector in Jammu and Kashmir is in a transitional phase, and the goal is to move from subsistence to sustainable commercial agriculture, from food security to nutritional and economic security, with due care to ecosystem health.
He mentioned that Jammu and Kashmir has the potential to be a model bio-economy given the vast natural resource base of the region, and the focus should be on low-volume high-value business in medicinal and aromatic plants. SKUAST-K is a socially responsible institution working hard for the transformation of agriculture in Jammu and Kashmir. It has reoriented Agri-education in line with NEP 2020, respecting individuality and creativity, and focusing on employability, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
Former Director of the Department of Environment and Remote Sensing, Dr OP Sharma, appreciated the RCFC, NR-II for conducting the timely seminar on medicinal plants and impressed upon the participants to come forward and take it at the commercial level. Prof Ravindra Kumar Sinha, Chancellor SMVDU, Jammu and Kashmir, acknowledged the efforts of RCFC, NR-ll in promoting the rare and endangered medicinal plant species and spreading the word regarding the same among the masses.
Regional Director, Prof Sheikh Bilal Ahmed welcomed all the dignitaries and briefed the audience about the need and importance of conducting such kind of seminars for the generation of livelihood. Officer on special duty to Vice Chancellor, Prof Azmat Alam Khan presented the vote of thanks.
Activities on Day-1?
On Day-1, two technical sessions were conducted, wherein fruitful deliberations were done on the different aspects of this booming sector. More than 150 participants, including scientist staff, scholars, researchers, entrepreneurs, and farmers, attended the seminar and benefited from expert speakers.
In conclusion, the three-day national seminar and stakeholder meeting on "Startup Opportunities in Medicinal Plants" aims to raise awareness regarding the medicinal plant sector and the opportunities available for entrepreneurs and researchers.
The seminar brought together experts, scholars, researchers, entrepreneurs, and farmers to discuss various aspects of this booming sector. The seminar also aimed to promote medicinal plant conservation, cultivation, and promotion among the educated youth, entrepreneurs, and farmers. Overall, the seminar was an important step towards realizing the potential of the medicinal and aromatic plant sector in Jammu and Kashmir.