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Realizing the paramount increase in the popularity of the herbs with a bearing on Medicinal plant species, the Govt. of India, New Delhi – through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and particularly the National Medicinal Plants Board has been encouraging the cultivation of these throughout the length and breadth of the country, since 2002.

The Board is implementing both Promotional and Contractual Farming schemes. The aims are bringing awareness about the importance of medicinal plants and medicinal plants sector as a whole, besides covering projects in areas like inventorisation, applied research and development, in-situ and ex-situ conservation, production of quality planting material, value addition, studies on demand, supply/market studies and cultivation on commercial scale etc.

The task of Monitoring and Evaluation of above schemes across the country was entrusted to AFC India Limited.

Scope of the Assignment

The basic objective of the monitoring exercise was to measure the outcome and impact of the programme against the desired objectives. In addition, it also attempted to study the delivery mechanism across the States. The NMPB desires to have necessary mid-course corrections based on the outcome of the on-going monitoring exercise. Various checklists have been designed to capture the details under two broad two parameters of both the schemes being implemented by NMPB.

Contractual Farming Scheme

Quantitative: To understand socio-economic status of the farmer, land holding, area under cultivation, type of the planting materials used, prices expected/realized, quantum marketed, networking with the buyers, interaction with other stakeholders (Banks, SMPB/NMPB, other financial and technical institutions).

Qualitative: This comprised both close ended and open-ended questions to capture farmers’ perceptions, expectations and constraints faced, if any, and suggestions for scheme modifications for more effective implementation in future.

Funding: Total cost, source of funding, repayment schedule, NMPB grant sought and received, utilization of grant, institutional credit received , amount raised from own sources, amount repaid, etc.

Physical dimensions: Area approved versus actual area covered.

Limitations faced during scheme implementation against the proposal approved by NMPB.

Extent to which goals/objectives have been realized.

Promotional Schemes.

The focus was to capture the following information from the implementing agencies like Government and Non-government organizations.
  • Funding: Total cost, NMPB grant sought/received, utilization of grant etc.
  • Physical Dimension: Targets/Achievements against the proposed work plan.
  • Extension activités, démonstration effects etc.
  • Extent to which goals/objectives have been realized.
  • Problems/ constraints faced in the implementation of the scheme as per proposal approved by NMPB.
  • Extent to which goals/objectives realized.

Status of the Assignment

The field work of M & E was began in right earnest in February 2008 and has proceeded since then, uninterrupted. The AFC, Northern Regional Office. New Delhi was appointed as the Nodal Office for coordinating this prestigious assignment at National Level. The work was distributed amongst the AFC Regional offices located at Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, and Guwahati.

S. No. Regional offices State-wise work allocated
1 Head office (Mumbai) Goa, Gujarat, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Maharashtra
2 Northern Regional Office (New Delhi) Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, H.P, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, and Madhya Pradesh
3 Regional Office (Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh) Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry
4 Regional Office (Banglore in Karnataka) Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry
5 Eastern Regional office (Kolkata) Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry
6 Bhubaneshwa Office (Orissa) Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry

Root of Safed musli dug out from the field of Mr. Ajay Trivedi of village Jagdalpur, District, Bastar, Chhattisgarh

In Chhattisgarh, farmers have successfully sown the crops in the area approved by NMPB. Major crops raised were Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), Coleus (Coleus forskohlii), Sarpgandha, Safed-musli (Chlorophytum borivillianum), Amla, Kalihari (Gloriosa superba) and Bixa (Bixa orellena). Area coverage under these crops was 119 acres during the year 2007 8. The total production has been recorded as 138.6 kg/acre

A total number of 11 species were approved to 142 farmers in Madhya Pradesh. An area of 462 acres was earmarked for these crops during the year 2007-08. Like-wise 593.5 acres and 1,082 acres of land were approved for the years 2006-07 and 2005-06, respectively.

A view of Safed mulsi crop in the field of Ms. Sita Bai Patidar of village Vayad, District, Dhar (Madhya Pradesh)

Standing crop of Safed musli in the field of Mr. Madhukar Rambhau Marode, District : Buldhana (Maharashtra)

In Maharashtra, majority of the farmers have raised Safed-musli (Chlorophytum borivillianum) and Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) crops. The average production was 343 kg/acre and 240 kg/acre respectively in case of Safed-musli and Stevia.

Standing crop of Safed musli in the field of Ms. Rekha Tejrao Patil of village Yadgaon District: Buldhana (Maharashtra)

In Orissa, out of total 57 farmers interviewed, 56 have successfully cultivated the crops approved to them. The total area coverage has been assessed to be 417 acres in the year 2006-07 and 150 acres during the year 2005-06. The average production of the approved 10 crops was 464 kg/acre during 2007-08 and 757 kg/acre during the year 2005-06. Out of 10 crops, the production of Aloe-vera (Aloe barbadensis) has been assessed to be 1322 kg/acre.

Bach crop being grown by Mr. Dinabandhu Mahana of village Andhari Palli of District : Dhencanal, Orissa