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Union ministers to inaugurate post-harvest management centre for medicinal plants, AYUSH units in J&K

NEW DELHI: Union ministers Shripad Yesso Naik and Jitendra Singh will launch on Friday a post-harvest management centre for medicinal plants in Bhaderwah and 21 AYUSH health and wellness centres across Jammu and Kashmir, according to an official statement on Thursday.

The inauguration will be done through a digital event, the AYUSH ministry said in the statement.

Work is underway for establishing 194 health and wellness centres in Jammu and Kashmir this year and the Ministry of AYUSH has provided Rs 12.81-crore central grant for this purpose. There is a target of establishing 319 such centres in the Union Territory in the next three years, the statement said.

Union Minister for AYUSH Naik and Union Minister of State for the Prime Minister''s Office Singh will jointly launch 21 such centres on Friday.

On the post-harvest management centre in Bhaderwah, the ministry said Jammu and Kashmir has great potential for cultivation of Himalayan medicinal plant species which have a good domestic as well as global market demand.

"The people of the UT have traditionally been engaged with cultivation and trade of medicinal plants. It was a long pending demand of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to have post-harvest management facilities in the area," the ministry said.

"It would help in motivating farmers to adopt medicinal plants cultivation and processing as long term land use practices to augment their income," it said.

It will have facilities for drying, sorting, processing, certification, packaging and scientific storage of herbal raw materials produced and collected by local people, so as to have value addition and better price to farmers.

The centre is expected to develop linkage with local agro-research centre of Agriculture University to provide research and development backup in cultivation, post-harvest management and marketing including e-market support to farmers.

Under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the Ministry of AYUSH has been mandated to operationalise 12,500 health and wellness centres across the country in a phased manner over a period of five years i.e. by 2023-24, by upgrading existing stand-alone AYUSH dispensaries and sub-health centres, at a total cost of Rs 3,399 crore.

The vision is to establish a holistic wellness model to reduce the disease burden, out-of-pocket expenditure and to provide informed choice to the needy public, the ministry said.

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