In a bid to diversify the crop pattern, as many as 40 farmers of the district have started the farming of Ashwagandha, a vital medicinal plant. The cultivation of the new crop is showing good response.
Ashwagandha is traditionally grown in India as a medicinal as well as a cash crop. Along with the root of Ashwagandha, income is also obtained from its leaves and fruits. The state government that wants to double the income of farmers and make farming a profitable business is encouraging cultivation of Ashwagandha.
Shirley John Thomas, project director Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) informed that under this initiative, about 40 farmers have started cultivation of Ashwagandha in the district. Along with Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Lucknow, popularly known as CIMAP, webinars are also being organised about the critical stages of the crop. In this connection, an event was organised jointly by ATMA and CIMAP Lucknow at the city’s Agriculture College.
Dr Trupti Zhang, senior scientist of Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants explained the production technology of Ashwagandha crop in detail. She discussed with the farmers about the different stages of planting before harvesting the crop, as well as solving the problems of farmers related to the crop.
Prior to this, a field trip was conducted by Dr Zhang and ATMA. The tour team visited the fields of farmers growing Ashwagandha crop in villages like Manchal, Kuvali, Khudail, Garipipalia, Rampipalya, Solsinda etc., in which important suggestions were also given to the
Ashwagandha is effective medicine in many diseases
Ashwagandha is used extensively in Ayurvedic and Unani medicines. Use of its root is very beneficial in reducing insomnia, excess blood pressure, palpitations, headaches, heart disease, blood cholesterol. There are 13 types of alkaloids found in its roots. Proteins, calcium and phosphorus are found in large amounts in its stem and branches, and there are also tannins and flavonoids in the root, stem and fruits.