HP ideal upcoming BT destination, says PHDCCI
Shimla, June 6: Owing to its unique climatic and geographical conditions, Himachal Pradesh has a huge potential in biotechnology as compared to other states of the country, a PHDCCI spokesman said today.
Biotechnology has a huge potential for generating additional income and employment for the people of the state by adopting diversification of crops, organic cultivation of high value herbal and aromatic plants using suitable protocols and value addition through tissue culture, bio-chemicals and bio-pharmaceuticals.
The spokesman said knowledge-based and environmentally clean industry could be created in Himachal provided the state government focussed on research and formulated prudent economic policies.
''The state is rich in medicinal and aromatic plants with approximately 66 per cent of the state land under forest cover and has 175 species of rare medicinal plants out of a total of 500 in the whole country.'' He said with a wide network of technical and higher educational institutions, besides reputed research and development insitutions like Institute of Himalayan Bio-resource Technology (IHBT) at Palampur in Kangra district, Himachal could produce the skilled manpower for the sector.
The PHDCCI was also of the view that biotechnology practices should also be set up for seeds, fertilisers and pesticides, which could help the farm and agriculture sector, he said. Inviting public-private partnership for setting up new biotechnology practices, the spokesman said opportunities existed in bio-fuels, bio-pesticides, phyto-chemicals, bio-informatics, diagonostic-based industries and biotech-based production of seeds, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals.
The research and development institutes and universities should take lead in developing technologies for increasing the shelf life of the agriculture produce, besides imparting training to the farmers for its proper handling, cropping, storage, packaging and transportation, he said.
Besides increasing productivity, biotechnology could also increase down line operations in agriculture, floriculture and horticulture, the spokesman added.