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Thursday, August 17, 2006

`Senna and medicinal park' to be established in Tuticorin

The Shellac and Forests Products Export Promotion Council (SHEFEXIL), a body under the Union Ministry of Commerce, will soon establish a `senna and medicinal park' in Tuticorin, the first of its kind in the country.

It is aimed at doubling the exports of `minor forest products' from the country by 2010-11. Presently, the country exports Rs.2,600 crore of MFP per annum.

Speaking to The Hindu, Debjani Roy, Executive Director, SHEFEXIL, said the proposed park would be established on public-private partnership with 60 per cent of the project cost to be borne by the Centre and the State and the rest to be raised through private sponsorships.

"The park will house facilities for pre-possessing, post-possessing and value addition of medicinal plants and a common testing centre to check the quality of products."

Besides, the council would promote `lac' development on a large scale in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh involving self-help groups.

(Lac is a secretion from an insect called Laccifer Lacca, which then turns into a finished MFP product called shellac)

Besides, cultivation of `chironji' (botanical name is Buchnan lanzan), a dry fruit, in Chindwara district of Madhya Pradesh, would be brought under the organised sector this fiscal to ensure 10-15 per cent annual growth.

"We plan to render value-addition to the fruit and export it to the Middle East, where such products are in a great demand," Dr. Roy said.

Dr. Roy said the council planned to promote guar seed cultivation at a cost of Rs.15 crore over three fiscals starting 2006-07, in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, to increase guar gum production.

Source: The Hindu

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