In order to get access to the rural technologies developed by Lucknow based Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Mata Amritanandamayi Math signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the institute today. The MoU will help benefit the farmers of the 101 villages the spiritual organisation has adopted throughout India as part of its village-upliftment project, Amrita SeRVe. CIMAP, under the umbrella of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), conducts research in the field of medicinal and aromatic plants.
Highlighting about MoU, Swami Jnanamritananda Puri, Director, Amrita SeRVe, said, “Through this collaboration, we are hoping to provide farmers with additional sources of income.” “With CIMAP’s assistance, we can help farmers in Amrita SeRVe villages grow a second crop, independent of the rainy season which will double their income,” he added.
CIMAP will initially begin working with farmers in the Mata Amritanandamayi Math’s adopted village of Deurbal, Chhattisgarh, helping them begin cultivating nurseries of tulsi and lemongrass plants.
“Both tulsi and lemongrass can be dried and sold as tea; these are marketed in this manner all over the world. From the stem of the tulsi plant, beads can be made. Thus, every part of the plant can be used for income generation. Lemongrass oil finds many useful applications,” he further said.
Dr. Sanjay Kumar from CIMAP said on the occasion, “Tulsi and lemongrass can grow even in rain-fed conditions. They bring good returns. We will initially work with a few farmers. From their nurseries, we hope to supply planting material to any farmer in the region who wants to grow these crops. We are happy to see that farmers in Chattisgarh are committed to grow these plants on their barren lands without using chemical pesticides and fertilisers.”
Amrita SeRVe, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math’s village upliftment programme, is currently underway in villages in 21 states of India. It focuses on creating sustainable development in the areas of Health, Education, Water and Sanitation, Agriculture, Eco-Friendly Infrastructure, Income Generation and Self-Empowerment.