Peppara: The district administration is planning to start cultivation of medicinal plants in the tribal regions of Agasthyavanam to ensure the presence and participation of tribals in the field of medicinal plant utilisation and to provide job opportunities to them.

As a first step, a team of officials led by district collector S Venkateshapathy visited the tribal settlements.

The matter was discussed with the tribals and the land for cultivation was identified. The team visited Pothottam, Erumbiyadu, Cherumankal and Podiyam settlements.

The district administration intends to implement the project with the co-operation of Medicinal Plants Board, Forest Department, Agriculture Department, Horticulture Mission and Panchayats.

16 acres of land have been identified for the project. Altogether seven units including three Kudumbashree units and two self- help groups (Purusha Swayam Sahaya Sangham), will co-operate with the project.

Medicinal plants including Asparagus, Wild Turmeric, Long Pepper and Aloe Vera will be cultivated.

The District Collector said that the project has been envisioned in such a way that tribals can earn money. 

Technical training will be provided to those who are cultivating the medicinal plants. Seeds will be provided by the agriculture department.