Demand for herbal plants on the rise in UP during Covid-19 crisis

Topics Uttar Pradesh | Herbs | Coronavirus

The UP government too has started promoting herbal tree plantation in the state
There has been a spurt in the sale of herbal plants in Uttar Pradesh amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. A large number of nurseries in UP have been doing brisk business selling plants such as Tulsi (Basil), Brahmi (water hyssop), Ashwagandha (winter cherry), Giloy (heart-leaved moonseed) and Lemongrass. Orders for these plants are pouring daily from other parts of country as well as foreign countries.

The demand has gone up so much that many nurseries have solely started preparing saplings of herbal plants, setting aside plans to grow mango, guava and other fruits. According to them, the demand for herbal plants will not go down even after the end of pandemic and business will only improve. Once regular flights for overseas start, export orders will increase.

According to Shabihul Hasan, owner of Nafees Nursery from Malihabad, the demand for herbal plants start rising in March, when the lockdown began. He said that various varieties of Tulsi and Ashwagandha are the most sought after these days. Many people living in apartments have also been asking for Lemongrass, a mosquito-repellant. Besides, young entrepreneurs have been enquiring about commercial farming of plants such as Palm rose, Jawa and Citroneila, which have medicinal use. Hasan said the demand has helped nurseries do good business during the lockdown period as well. He himself got orders for 10,000-15,000 saplings in a single day.

Ankit Maurya of Hariyali Nursery said orders are coming for curry-leaf saplings from states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Haryana and the rates have gone up these days. According to him many nurseries dealing in traditional plants such as fruits and flowers have now been growing and selling herbal plants.

Hasan said that a Lemongrass sapling is available for Rs 2, and Giloy and Tulsi for Rs 8 each in the nurseries at Malihabad, while in the retail markets in the city, they sell for up to Rs 20.

The UP government too has started promoting herbal tree plantation in the state. The government has directed the authorities to plant herbal trees in villages via MNREGA. The state government started work under MNREGA on a large scale during the pandemic to provide jobs to migrant labour. Now it wants to use this workforce for herbal plantation as well.

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