Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Friday, 26 May 2017

How About Herbs that Heal ?

An Editorial in Hindustan Times ( 25 May ) reads :

“ Promote viable crop alternative to tobacco “

Extracts :

·         Cigarettes account for just 11 % of tobacco use in India . Bidis , chewing and smokeless tobacco constitute the rest

·         Tobacco is highly addictive and kills half of its users

·         One million of the seven million annual deaths worldwide from tobacco-related disease occur in India

·         India is the world’s second largest producer of tobacco with 60 % of its annual production of 800 million kg , being exported

·         Domestic demand amounts to just 40 % of FCV ( Flue-Cured Virginia ) cultivated in India, so the gains from improved health and lives saved from shrinking domestic demand clearly outweighs losses to farmers

·         Increasing export of this highly addictive crop is not an ethical option

·         The challenge then is to ensure that farmers have a viable substitute for a tobacco crop


The editorial does not suggest WHAT such alternate viable crop could be

I suggest that the government goes out of its “ normal helping ways “ to enable our tobacco-growing farmers to grow HERBS ( MEDICINAL PLANTS ) and SPICES, for which , India has :

·         Rich traditional knowledge ( read  “ Charak Samhita “ )

·         The right kind of climate

·         Domain expertise in processing for high “ value addition “ ( for exports ? )

I urge our well-established Ayurvedic Industry to take a lead in this matter and form Farmers Cooperatives , along the lines of AMUL

As for the Cigarette Industry is concerned , the disruption can be mitigated by implementing my earlier suggestion :

Going Up in Smoke ? ( 18  Aug  2013 )

Can we expect Smt Harsimrat Kaur ( Minister for Food Processing ) , to adopt this reform ?

How about growing “ herb that heals “ rather than “ tobacco that kills “  ?

27  May  2017