This is arguably one of the most innovative initiatives ever taken by the various stake-holders ( a ) who have already contributed towards the commenceent of the project, as also those ( b ) who are being requested to join- in because of their willingness, capacity, similarity in mission and vision and inetesest in doing so. The stake-holders are both individuals and institutions, private and public, the latter being approached to contribute where they can by way of demonstrations and flexibility in the design of their interventions.
Location and Theme:
Location is the trans-Himalayan and Alpine location of Munsyari Tehsil, presently its Sarmoli village, in disrict Pithoragarh, with the possibility of all three regions of Johar valley being included in it, for coverage of benefivciries, namely, ( i ) The Munsyari region, ( ii ) Malla Johar region and , ( iii ) The Talla Johar region. These three would cover what administratively gets described as the Johar Pargana. The maximum reach of this innovative project would be , if it succeeds, as many as 132 villages ( Census Location Code 2011: ( 00315 ), Munsiari; Location Code( 001), Census 2001). These include Golfa RF, Hoom RF, Mandkani RF,Alam RF, Athasi RF, Khaliya RF, Nabhik RF and Majla ka Dana RF )
Themes takes off from where Uttaraakhand Hill Districts started in 1947, establishment o the Bheshaj Vikas Vibhag ( B V V: Herbal Development Department, 1947 ) by then Premier of United Provinces ( later Chief Minister Uttar Pradesh, after Constitution of India was adopted ). Bhashaj Vikas was anchored in Co-operative Department, with a Co-operative Drug Factory and a Training Centre, at Ranikhet. Uttarakhand Hills being celebrated for the provenance of soe of the most valuable natural begetation for the preparation of Ayurvedic formulations, it later led to establishment of the Ayush department''s ( GoI ) Regional Research Institute, in Tarikhet, and a Ayurvedic Drug manufacturing Company, at Mohan, near Ramnagar, but in district Almora. UP Govt had 40 percent share in this Ayush joint venture. Further development was registered with registration of the Herbal Research Development Institute ( HRDI ) , at Gopeshwar, Chamoli, by the then Uttarakhad Vikas Vibhag, in UP. It had its headquarters in Gopeshwar and the work-station at Manadal-sera, next to the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary.
HRDI was later handed some government horticultural farms and sizeable land area in Malla Ghopatta village, in Munsyari Tehsil, duly fenced. In 1982/83 A Milam Jadi Buti Kishi Sahakari Samiti was registered as a co-operative society, which received more than 500 Nalis of land available ( an mutated in its favour ) alongwith some corpus funds as grant from the UP Cooperative Federation, Lucknow. Both HRDI work-site and the Maila Cooperative have hitherto taken up some development work but remained by and large dormant. HRDI was empoweed to register Herbal farmers and assisted with seedlings, occasional training and visit programmes. After formation of Uttarakhand ( 2000 ) Uttarakhand Medicinal Plants Development Board was constituted, which anchors the HRDI, Bheshaj Vikas Vibhag and other hers development initiatives, including the development in Ayush drug manufacturing. HRDI also established a Aromatic Plants Centre, at a waste-land site at Sela Quin, on Dehardun-Vikasnagar road, with the hel of
Outside government domain Garhwal University's High Altitude Plant Physiology Reserach Centre ( HAAPRC), steered by Prof AN Purohit lent academic and reaserch inputs, with establishment of nurseries at high-altitudes near Chopta bugyal. Private sector India Clycols chipped in with establishment of ML Bhartiya Chair, for 6 years, that activated the Aromatic Plant Centre and an carbon cracking unit at Sela Quin. On the side line, Ayush sector was promoted, both Colleges at Rishikesh up-graded, establishment of Ayush University by state goevrnment. Pantanjali and Dev-Bhumi University, also actiavted the dormant Ayush sector, ultimately resulting ina Ayush Ministry, at the Centre.
In short, from Bhashaj Vikas Vibhag in 1947 to establsihment of Ayush Ministry in 2014 the herbal based Ayush sector has not only registered a good, although sporadic, progress. Institutions , reaserachers and employment in these institution has incresaed over time, but wahta has not happened is its impact either on the regional level or economic benefit at the household levels. All the knowledge accumulated and institutionalised has not travelled to the house-holds level, especially in the regions where herbal development, both for drug development and nutraceuticals puposes.
In the private Ayush sector several major enterprises have been existence but none of the public sector interventions, right from Bhaeshaj days of Co-operative department to the HRDI-led direct institutional intervention, have bothered to complete the circle of " farmer-produce-procurement-value addition-remuneartive return to the producer and manufacturere", the crucial circle of procumenent /puchase -led production, or say even contract-farming, in a manner of saying. Uttarakhand Medicinal Plants Development Board ( UMPDB ), in the long run and ultimate analysis, is expected to ensure this collaboartion between the product-user and the producer-farmers. The UMPDB is expected to approached, as this innovative projct makes some forward movement.
PART I : PRODUCTION OF RAW MATERIAL & EXTENSION WORK
O Prime -Movers :Collaborative Initiative
First two stakehoders, based on the above situation analysis are, one individual with approximately 40 Nalis ( 50 Nalis make a hectare ) of culturable land, at Sarmoli village, offered to LOCK FOR FIVE YEARS , FREE OF COST, for its use for raining a few specieds of herbal plants, that could be raised by the interested farmers, and to be procured by M/s Dabur Pvt Ltd, a Phamaceutical Co. M/S Dabur's Resaerch Division, that has established its Regional Research, in US Nagar district, has agreed to collaborte with this offer. M/s Dabur;s Research Division would facilitate raising of relevant species for dsitribution among interested farmers and it would help them get it purchased by interested parties. In short, it consist of Cultivable land, made available Free of cost, for next 5 Years and it is backed by M/s Dabur Reserach Dibvision's help to raise herbal plant seedlings for commercial cultivation by neighbourhood farmers in Munsyari block, under an agreement, that is to be enetered with each of them.
Like the FIVE YEAR FREE LAND LOCKING and M/s Dabur Research Division'a main initiative a few others who wish to join in as a Prime Mover would also be welcome, with some substantive contribution from their own resources, bot in cash and kind.
O Other Stake-holders of MASP project:
Given the expertise available in the herbal sector ( see Background, Location and Theme ) the prime mover being an individual with an offer of free cultural land for the next 5 years and M/s Dabour's Research Division, it is proposed to make use of a public announcement made by the Chief Minister that in the mountain regions the state Government would match every new initiative taken by individuals and group of individuals. This annaouncement of Chief Minister Uttarakhand is proposed to be leveraged by seeking assistance in te form of co-operation ALL POSSIBLE DEPARTMENTS and ORGANIZATIONS that have the potential to contribute to the success of this initiative.
All possible departments and organizations that have so far been identified and proposed to be approached are as follows, with indicative item for support to be sought from them:
I. Forest Department : Improvement in access road to the MASP site, though their patch and Sarmoli Van Panchayat; development of proposed site with the seedlingst at their Patal Thaur Nursery ( Forest Research ) , availability of Taxus baccata seedlings for the fenceing wall of MAP project, and other herbal plant species
II. Van Panchayat, Sarmoli: Improvement in access road, from Sarmoli bend and Raghunath Temple to the entry of the MASP project site.; various schemes for community purpose avaible via CAMPA, JICA, State and District Plan or other siurces, including via Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation.
III. Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation: Establishment of Huts for workers and supervisors, within the project site, free-wood required for fencing and hut-construction purposee.
IV: Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency ( UREDA, Pithoragarh & Dehradun ):Demonstration Solar Light, with points to light-up the project site, as the site is away from fixed-electric lines, Solar Fencing against wild animals ( wild boar, Back Bear, porcupine infests and destroys sown crops ), and other utilities like small water mills/gharats etc
V. Potato Development Officer/Horticulture Department : Power-tiller, available for demonstration for cultivating the field, and plants like stone-fruits ( walnut ), sweet chestnets etc:; Poly-houses for raising herbal and hoticultural plants and seedlings
VI: Munsyari Development Block: All possible assiatnce e.g. road connectivity, Fencing, electrification, toilets for the workers, trainin g funds for interested farmers, various woemn-empowerment programmes; Blco Unteied-Funds for meeting expenses like offices and labour charges; expenses for farmer training and orientation programmes/events
VII:Himmotthan/SRTT Project: Assistance for the Co-ordinating NGO selected for liasioning work between this project and interested farmers, their training and visits, siteselection and various co-ordination work; technical assistance and co-ordination , which is the main weak-link in the enetire project; co-ordination between the Ms Dabur Resaerch Division and farmers.Co-ordination work between the project partners and the intended farmer -benefiaries, day to day co-ordibnation among vatious departments. potential stake-holders/contributers is a major function and this CRUCIAL GAP can not be met under any governmnet scheme, Himmotthan.SRTT is to be requested for a 3-5 years Technical Assistance under the Small Grants Funds assistance.Application to be forwarded for assistaning the co-ordinating NGO, Samnvaya Samiti, based in Munsyari.
VIII: HRDI, Gopeshwar and Munsyari Branch: Availability of technical help, availability of seedlings as required by the farmers, training and awareness events, field visits and all other assiatnce that is available under HRDI's range of activities, including organization of farmers, their registration etc.
IX: GOING ORGANIC :
All organisations like SIPA Organics, Clovers Pvt Lt and Uttarakhand Organic Development Board, Organic Certification Agencu would be approached to keep the entier intervention totally Organic from the very beginning.
X: JOINING GENECAMPAIGN & BIO-DIVERSITY CAMPAIN:
This would strongly integrate with initiatives like Genefcampaign and states' Bio-Diversity Board;s mapping of species in High Himalana ranges.
PART II OUTREACH TO PRODUCER FARMERS:
All interested farmers interested in growing the selected species of herbal plants, as decided by the Prime Movers, would be reached via the project Co-ordinator NGO and agencies, earmarked to do so, officially or privately.
Details of selection and engagement with interested farmers would be taken up simultaneously with the help of ultimate users of the produce with the help of project staff and the Co-ordinating agencies/NGOs.
One initial meeting has been held in Munsyari during the summer months of 2015 and even 2014, also whe a Workshop was organised with the help of HRDI, at Munsyari and an Action Plan was prepared, based on which HRDI has now prepared a project to be funded by the Medicinal Plants Board, Govt of India, on Seabuckthorn and plantation of Seabuckthrorn available at Bogdyar and Milam.
This extension work is an official responsibility of HRDI, and several organisations. Effective collaboratio and co-ordination among extension workers and farmers would be establsihed through the project operations.
PART III : FUTURE EXTENSION AND UPSCALING AND LINKING WITH RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS
Simultaneosuly with progress in Parts I and II, the MASP looks forward to going the lenghth of its logical expansion, commenced as far back in 1947 and later in 1980s, linking it with the latest initiatives that are continuously unfolding in the region. Some of these futuristic scenarious and proposed actions, are as follows:
I. LINK UP WITH MILAM JADI BUTI SAHKARI KRISHI SAMITI, MILAM:.
As the MunsyariMilam road construction is catching up speed all the villages that become easily accessible would be covered by the project, villages northwaord from Munsyari towards Lilam-Bogdyar axis, along both sides of river Gori; in a pincer like move, both covering villages east and west of Gori river.
When the Munsyari-Milam road gets connected alongside the villages the long term plan of activating Milam based Bheshaj Sahakari Samiti, with its funds and 500 Nalis of land will be activated, using the development generated via MASP project, and funds available with it, if needed with more funds procured from other sources, including the government.
II: MILAM LIBRARY& MOUTAIN RESEARCH CENTRE ( MLMRC )
In anticipation of all three divisions of Johar Pargana being opened up and linked up in a holistic development of the entire region, initiative has already been taken u to constitute a High Mountai Research Centre, with headquarters at Munsyari, that will access knowledge base of Munsyari region, noth physical sciences and social sciences, to trigger and activate resaerches and edevelop further project, leveraging the main resource of this region, its world class unique eco-system, where worlds best herabal species can be grown and farmed using an outstandingly diverse weathr, from 1,000 feet asl to as high at 11, 000 ft over a short distance of just 60 kms !
A world-class Conferencing and Knowledge Management System is proposed to be put in place with the help of MLMRC, which has very experienced planners, development functionaries and researchers of very high caliber, capabale of planning and transforming the plan into ground action.
IV: APPEAL TO JOIN HANDS & COOPERATE
The above provides the over-all thninng behind the MASP project, which has commenced, with whatever was possible and available . Every day something or the other gets added !
Join the excitement and the development of your region and contribute to development of the border-region of our State.
Some of the photographs, showing action, are attached..