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Growth of wild sea-buckthorn to be cultured, says minister

 

Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri said today that more and more farmers would be motivated and wild sea-buckthorn jungle would be cultured for the benefit of farmers in Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and Pangi.

Addressing a workshop on sea-buckthorn organised by the Lahaul-Spiti Sea-buckthorn Society in collaboration with Agricultural University, Palampur, at Bhuntar, the minister said the Forest Department would motivate farmers, cooperatives and NGOs to raise new plantations under the National Sea-buckthorn Mission in the cold desert region of the state. The Forest Department was the nodal agency under the mission, he added.

“It will conserve environment, check soil erosion and give income to locals as they have rights over forest produce under the Forest Dwellers Rights Act,” he said.

Dr Virender Sharma, Professor at Agricultural University, Palampur, gave a presentation on sea-buckthorn, highlighting how new variety and wild varieties could be harnessed to conserve environment and build sources of livelihood for the locals.

Lahaul-Spiti MLA Ravi Thkaur told the participants that he would encourage locals to go for plantations and training programmes and workshops would be organised in the region.

BD Parshera, president, Lahaul-Spiti Sea-buckthorn Society, and vice-president of the society Prem Chand said the private land was limited and the waste government land would be brought under the plantation.

They said the society had produced pulp from sea-buckthorn after collecting it from the local collectors and sold it to the Lahaul Potato Society.

Representatives of private companies said they had made omega capsules and food supplements from sea-buckthorn after buying its juice and pulp from the society.

“Several products can be made from the juice and pulp of the sea-buckthorn and even its leaves can be used as herb,” they added. 

 

The Tribune (04-03-2013)