Saturday, August 22, 2009

Phalsa cultivation in Jammu

We can redress the problem of ecology and economy in Jammu region to a greater extent, if we go for Phalsa cultivation. Phalsa is a type of berry found in Shivaliks of Jammu.Firstly for ecology of the Shivaliks it is a soil binder, prevents erosion, it helps in recharging ground water by harvesting rain water thereby preventing flash floods and conserves water. By itself it is drought resistant and can survive even thrive on rainfall of the Shivaliks which is over 1200 mm yearly. Its leaves are ideal fodder. It does not demand any special effort except a fence to protect it from cattle.

It is a medicinal plant with the following characteristics and usages:-
* Leaves are known to have antibiotic action and are applied on skin eruptions.
* Fruits are a cooling tonic and aphrodisiac; they allay thirst and burning sensations, remove biliousness, cure inflammation, heart and blood disorders and fevers. The fruit is astringent and stomachic.
* Administered in respiratory, cardiac and blood disorders as well in fever reduction.
* Infusion of bark is given as demulcent, febrifuge and treatment for diarrheoa. It cures urinary troubles and relieves burning in the vagina. The root bark is employed in treating rheumatism.
* The phalsa seeds produce approximately 5% yield of a bright yellow oil that contains % palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, and major component is linoleic acid

Secondly, Economy : It is planted 10 feet apart line to line and plant to plant with a density of 1000 plants per Hectare (50 plants per kanal & 400 per acre). Each plant gives an average of 4 kg of fruit in the month of Jun which is selling at Rs. 100 per kg today in Jammu i.e. Rs. 400 per plant worth Rs. 4 lacs per Hectare. Even if the farmer gets Rs. 50 per kg he would earn 2 lacs every year besides providing Rs. 60,000 to the local landless labour particularly women who pluck the fruit at Rs. 15 per kg at Suchani. There cannot be anything better for income generation in Kandi area which has a very large population without resource and sources of income generation and employment. Hamdard and other herbal industry including Pepsi are interested in developing Phalsa as herbal drink "Shivalik Berry" like Leh Berry now selling in Army Canteen, Airways & Railways.

It has a great potential and now Ghulam Nabi Azad Union Minister for Health has promised full support to develop herbal and medicinal plants in the State and at the same time Phalsa has been included in the State Horticulture programme. Now is the time to go all out and plant hundreds of acres of phalsa in the kandi which should extend to thousands and later lacs of acres of phalsa cultivation from Ravi to Rajouri which is the answer to our economy (employment) and ecology and environment of a tourist State which has a ready market of a crore of pilgrims to Sri Mata Vaishno Devi,Shri Amarnath Ji and other shrines and tourists for these herbal products through kiosks on the National Highway from Lakhanpur to Katra, Pahalgam and Baltal offering Aloevera juice,Ashwagandha andTrifla churans which have already caught the imagination of the health conscious Indians, Thanks to Swami Ram Dev and the call for Ayurveda from the West. Let us make our State a herbal State and start with Jammu region this year 2009.ious Indians. Thanks to Swami Ram Dev Ji and the call from Ayurveda from the West. Let us make the State a herbal State and start with Jammu region this year 2009.

Let Phalsa (Shivalik Berry) be on focus in the Shivaliks during the Environment Month this year.It can indeed transform the Shivalik Kandi into a green oasis which will take care of ecology and economy of the region through self employment.

1 comment:

alotstuff said...

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