Agreement inked to conserve genetic resources of medicinal Aromatic plants

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The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) and ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) have signed an agreement to conserve genetic resources of medicinal and aromatic plants.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, the objective of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed on Monday, is to conserve genetic resources of medicinal and aromatic plants at designated space of ICAR-NBPGR in long-term storage module (as per availability) in the National Gene Bank, and or at Regional Station for medium-term storage module. The agreement also aims to provide hands-on training on plant germplasm conservation techniques to the working group of NMPB under the Ayush Ministry.

As per the MoU, NMPB and ICAR-NBPGR, on behalf of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), would develop detailed modalities for seed storage of genetic resources of medicinal and aromatic plants, and submit periodic progress reports to their respective organisations.

Both NMPB and ICAR-NBPGR are committed to serve the national interests through conservation of germplasm on a long-term basis, safely and cost-effectively for present and future generations to ensure social and economic security, it said.

Medicinal plants are regarded as rich resources of traditional medicines and are being used for thousands of years in the health care system. India has a rich diversity of medicinal plant resources, the ministry said. The natural resources are gradually getting depleted due to various developmental activities in its habitat. There is a need to conserve these resources and make sustainable utilisation of them, it added.

The conservation of plant genetic resources is an integral part of bio-diversity conservation. The purpose of conservation is to make sustainable development by protecting and using natural resources in ways that do not diminish the variety of genes and species or destroy important habitats and ecosystems, it said.

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