Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Premier garden in Haryana for herbs

CH. Devi Lal Herbal Nature Park - Chuharpur, Yamunanagar, HaryanaThe Herbal Nature Park is situated at Chuharpur Reserved Forest near Khizrabad on Bhud Kalan road in Yamunanagar district. It is about 35 km from Yamunanagar, 130 km from Chandigarh and 255 km from Delhi. Chuharpur Reserved Forest has an area of 184 Acre, with medium tree density of Khair (Acacia catechu), Teak (Tectona grandis), Simbal, Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo) etc. The park was opened on 6 November 2001.More than 300 species of medicinal trees, herbs, shrubs, climbers ferns and aquatic plants have been planted. Some of the important plants grown in the park are Ashwagandha, Sarpagandha, Safed Musali (Chlorophytum borivilianum L), Brahmi, Vach, Chitrak, Shatavari, Isabagol, Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Pippali, Makoy, Bhumi amalki, Bahera, Gwarpatha, Harad, Amla (Phyllanthus emblica), Rudraksh, Bael, Kalihari, Patharchur, Lemon grass, Liquorice, Jatropha, Palmarosa and Haldi (Turmeric).Shivalik hills have a rich history of medicinal plants and herbs. A repeated mention of "Kalika Kshetra" (now Kalka) is observed in ancient Sanskrit texts for its valuable medicinal plant wealth and flourishing trade in marketing of medicinal plants. India has one of the oldest and richest cultural heritage of using wild plants for treating various ailments. Our country is the birthplace of Ayurveda, the art and science of healthy living. This indigenous system of medicine thrives on naturally occurring flora diversity, collectively referred to as medicinal plants. The global interest in Ayurveda, which has a known history of treating and curing mankind across five millennia, has increased once again. It is in this context, Chaudhary Devi Lal Herbal Nature Park has been created and developed.Medicinal herbal plantation has been done under matured trees and along with tree plantation. Since the park spreads over a large area, a demonstrative herbal garden near the entrance has been made which displays more than 200 varieties of different medicinal plants on aesthetically designed herbal beds. This garden also provides sitting and walking places for tourists. Description of each plant and its uses has also been displayed through name plates. This is a major tourist attraction in the Park.Landscaping has been given important consideration for the development of this park. Meandering walkways and aesthetically designed herbal beds add to the beauty. Effective use of locally available raw material has been made resulting in a soothing design that blends with the natural forest surroundings. Presence of water bodies and circuitous walk ways add aesthetic appeal, attracting a large number of tourists.Due to the large size of the park the latest irrigation systems of drip, sprinkler and rain guns have been adopted. A 2.5 km long and 7 feet high chain link fence protects the Herbal Nature Park from by wild animals. A poly house on 500 sq m has been installed. The Poly House is helping in preparing planting material and establishing medicinal plants resource base for propagation and distributing to farmers. The green house helps in hardening young tender plants before plantation.A bamboo cottage serves as information center for the convenience of visitors in the park. Farmers' training camps are regularly organized here. A small man made lake has been dug parallel to Green House which is fed by Western Yamuna Canal. Some migratory birds have begun visiting this lake during winter. A small park has been developed at lake island for attracting children. An attempt is made to educate children by giving them a glimpse of valuable medicinal plants.The main objectives for developing this herbal park are:1. Conservation of medicinal plants of Haryana for study and research.2. Developing a gene-pool of indigenous and exotic plant species for conservation and propagation.3. Popularizing use of local medicinal and aromatic plants in the area.4. Establishment of sustainable medicinal plants resource base.5. Developing a centre for tourist attraction in Haryana to help popularizing Indian Ayurvedic System.6. Training of local people to popularize farming of economically viable medicinal species.4. Quality seed and seedling production for distribution to farmers.5. Trial of new medicinal species for introduction in agro-forestry models.6. Development of protocol for cultivation techniques for important medicinal plants as cash crops.7. Standardization of storage conditions.

Grow tea to earn

TEA TREE, Melaleuca alternifolia, is a high value plantation crop, known for its oil-yielding leaves of high medicinal value.
A native of Australia, it is commercially grown in advanced countries such as the U.S. and Australia.
"India has plenty of suitable lands for commercial cultivation of Tea tree, and they should be tapped to their full potentials," says Mr. K.V.S. Krishna, a veteran tea planter of South India, specializing in high-value plantation crops.
"Tea tree, just like the Eucalyptus tree, belongs to the family Myrtaceae, and the oil extracted from its leaves are endowed with a number of medicinal properties.
It is a perennial crop of about 50 to 60 years of economic life, and it lends itself to quite a high density planting.
As many as 40 000 plants can be accommodated in well laid out rows in a hectare. Initially, the trees are harvested on a 12 to 24 month cycle. However, established plantations are harvested on 12 to 18 months cycle.
Yields as high as 20,000 kg leaves yielding 460 kg oil have been recorded in commercial plantations in California," says Mr. Krishna, who has extensively studied this high-value plantation crop.
The plant comes up well in high humidity regions and it can tolerate even damp area.
Sandy loams and deep friable loams are ideally suited for its cultivation.
In South India it is best to grow it in higher elevations of 900 to 1500 m. As the crop is highly susceptible to frost damage, it is better to avoid frosty belts, according to him.
While raising commercial plantations, special care should be taken to identify the right variety of proven performance, adaptability and high oil content.
The tree has a very dense branching habit and coppices readily after cutting. Re-growth of 2 metres in height yielded 40 to 60 per cent twigs with 60 to 70 per cent leaves.
Therefore, it is better to prune the plants when they are 1.5 m tall to get higher production of leaves, according to Mr. Krishna.
By adopting improved agronomic practices and value-addition to the oil, the profitability from the tea tree plantations can be made more attractive.
Positive cash flow from the crop can be expected from the second or third years of planting itself, according to him.
Tea tree oil is produced by distilling the leaves of established plants. Large commercial plantations were established following increased global demand for this medicinal oil in 1980s.
The oil is clear, colourless or pale yellow, and it contains a complex mixture of over 45 biochemical substances.
High quality tea tree oil should contain a maximum cineole content of 5 percent, and a minimum terpinene-4-01 content of 35 to 40 per cent, according to him.
Production of tea tree oil in Australia rose from 20000 kg in 1985 to 1,20,000 kg in 1993, and its demand has increased manifolds since then.
Its area around the globe has also been on the increase, according to him.