9 villages of Vadodara to convert agricultural waste into medicines

VADODARA: Those who are blamed for the harmful fumes of Delhi for burning stubble, may receive some signal from their counterparts soon.

Farmers in nine villages on the periphery of the city will no longer burn their agricultural wastes, but will convert them into Ayurvedic medicines and even air fresheners.

Without realizing the benefits of several wild plants growing in their fields, farmers had simply burned or buried them, which resulted in air pollution. However, the Ecological Society (GES) educated them about the medicinal and commercial benefits of plants such as 'kuvadiyo', 'nagod', 'galo', 'damro', 'guggal', 'bhangro' and 'gudmar' and began to train them through a series of workshops.

In the coming months, farmers will produce hair and body oil, sorbets, cough syrup, medicinal powders and oral refreshers from these wastes. The workshops were held in the villages Sherkhi, Sindhrot, Dena, Mota Fofalia, Muval, Gavasad, Barkal, Lola and Bhanpur.

The Board of medicinal plants of Gujarat put us in touch to carry out training programs on the added value of medicinal plants, so we initially conducted workshops in nearby villages, said Dr. Deepa Gavali, director of GES. Illuminated by the benefits, villagers voluntarily began contacting GES for more information.

With the help of ayurveda experts, villagers were given formulas to make cough syrups and other products that are useful for joint pain, arthritis , diabetes, hypertension, kidney diseases, etc.

Since these plants did not serve us, we used to burn them or feed them with our cattle, said Valji, a farmer in the village of Bhanpur.

Shruti Shah of GES, who led the workshops, said: These plants also have a lot of commercial value, as pharmaceutical companies use them as medicines, but from now on farmers will use plants to make products domestically.

Dr. Kamlesh Bhogayata, who helped GES with the workshops, added: “There are 40 wild plants that grow along the farmland in Gujarat. Farmers dispose of them as waste, but these plants have immense medicinal values. Farmers pay the cost of labor to eliminate and dispose of this agricultural waste, but if used properly, they can increase farmers' incomes.

Women plan to market products

The women of two villages, Sherkhi and Sindhrot, have decided to form self-help groups to manufacture the medicines and market them. Farmers burn drumsticks and seeds if they don't get the right price, but now that we've been trained to make their diabetic powder, we will pack them and market them properly, said Jivat Parmar of Sherkhi. In Sindhrot, women plan to make cough syrups using wild plants that grow in their villages along with other herbs. These plants grow during the monsoon and are consumed by cattle or dried during the summer, said farmer Ashok Nizama.