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Sea buckthorn to check soil erosion in Lahaul-Spiti

The government has drawn a 10-year plan to bring 1,000 hectares of land under sea buckthorn in Lahaul and Spiti district to check soil erosion.The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Deputy Commissioner BS Thakur to review the progress of the sea-buckthorn project at Keylong today. Krishi Vishva Vidyalaya, Palampur, will raise 50,000 saplings of the Drilbu variety of the plant annually. The Drilbu variety has 10 times more Vitamin C as compared to the Russian variety and it is rich in three omega acids.

The plantation of sea buckthorn will be carried out under MGNREGA so that farmers could get remuneration for the effort aimed at checking soil erosion in the fragile cold desert area. The Horticulture and Agriculture Departments will provide subsidy for growing the medicinal plant under various schemes.

A delegation led by local MLA Ravi Thakur will visit Germany to attend a conference on sea buckthorn where the team will interact with the scientists of China who have developed the knowhow for growing the plant in dry conditions.

In the meeting, it was also decided that a task force would be set up to monitor the implementation of the plan under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner.

Sea buckthorn project in-charge Virender Singh said the agricultural university in Palampur had developed 15 food products from sea buckthorn and seven types of feed for animals and poultry. Besides, five drugs had also been developed for curing animal diseases for gastric ulcer and healing wound. So far, 80 hectares of the area had been brought under the plant and another 80,000 plants would be planted this winter to increase it to 100 hectares. 

The Tribune (07-10-2013)