STATE TIMES NEWS SRINAGAR: Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar on Tuesday visited Forest Bhawan and reviewed the functioning of Forest Department and its allied wings at a meeting convened with all HoD’s, senior officers and field functionaries. He also inaugurated the facility of Video-conferencing at PCCF office. During the meeting, the Advisor separately reviewed the functioning of State Medicinal Plant Board (SMPB) and discussed the proposed action plan to strengthen this important body. The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary Forests Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, PCCF J&K Suresh Chugh, Chairman JKSPCB Ravi Kesar, heads of all wings of Forest department, CCF Kashmir Farooq Gillani, CEO SMPB T Rabi Kumar, Director Finance R S Bali and other senior officers. On the occasion, a detailed presentation was made by Chief Conservator of Forest and CEO SMPB T Rabi Kumar about its background, working of Board, its activities, and proposed action plan for 2019-20. Threadbare discussions were held on the objectives of SMPB, its functioning, steps required to strengthen the Board and coordination among all stakeholders especially all the wings of Forest department etc. It was informed that SMPB is working with the objective of policy formulation, sustainable use of medicinal plants, addressing improper marketing of medicinal plants, coordination with other departments ensuring sustained availability and use of medicinal plants, checking the erosion of natural resources & degradation of resources in the wild. It was told that in the coming time, SMPB would work for establishing market linkages, organize buyer-seller meets and make the farmers aware about cultivable and marketable plants. Addressing the meeting, the Advisor stressed for adopting holistic approach towards medicinal and aromatic plants so that the objective can be achieved in a real sense. He also asked for having strong Advisory Committee so that the Board with their inputs moves in a right direction. A small but efficient research team in the Board should also be created for carrying out research activities and to be abreast of happenings in the medicinal plant sector.
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