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Farmers throughout the country are getting financial assistance by the AYUSH Ministry to encourage cultivation of herbs and other medicinal plants, parliament was informed on Friday. Subsidy, as high as 75 per cent, is being given as part of a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) said: “Under National Ayush Mission scheme, there is a component on ‘Medicinal Plants’ which is primarily aimed at supporting cultivation of herbs and medicinal plants on farmer’s land with backward linkages through establishment of nurseries for supply of quality planting material, and forward linkages for post-harvest management.”

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Currently, 140 medicinal plants species have been prioritised for supporting cultivation throughout the country for which subsidy is provided to farmers, such as 75 per cent subsidy for medicinal plants which are highly endangered. “A 50 per cent subsidy for cultivation of medicinal plants where sources of supply are critically declining and 30 per cent for other medicinal plants species which need support is also being given,” said Naik. Naik informed the parliament that the cultivation programme is implemented through the identified implementing agency of the concerned state (generally state Agriculture or Horticulture Departments) and the financial assistance is provided as per the State Annual Action Plan approved for it.

As per scheme guidelines, the financial assistance to northeast and hill states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir is provided in the ratio of 90:10, whereas in other states it is shared in the ratio of 60:40 between Central and the state government.

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