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India to partner with China, Pak on Sea Buckthorn cultivation

By Mamatha

Leh, July 15 (ANI): As part of the Green India Mission, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh has launched a national sea buckthorn initiative for cultivation of the berries in the high-altitude cold deserts areas of the country.

Ramesh said that the initiative would prove to be beneficial for the Himalayan states, particularly Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, where cold deserts of the comprise some 40 percent of the area.

Ramesh said that this was a mini-mission of the Green India mission to develop the ecosystem.

"I think what we should do is weave in the national Sea Buckthorn mission as part of the Green India Mission, as part of the ecosystem, the cold-desert ecosystem, afforestation activities, restoration activities," he added.

He also said that India could also cultivate sea buckthorn with the help of countries like China, Pakistan, Russia and Mongolia.

He also announced an initial allocation of Rs. 250 million for the initiative in 2011, for initial preparatory work, awareness and pilot programmes.

Sea buckthorn berries can be used for medicinal and nutritional purposes and is also useful for soil conservation. (ANI)

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