Himachal Pradesh Becomes First State to Begin Organized Cultivation of Liquorice (Mulethi)

Current Affairs

  • For the first time in the state, the commercial cultivation of liquorice (mulethi) has been started by the CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur.
  • Liquorice is an important perennial shrub having sweet roots due to the presence of glycyrrhizin, which is 50 times sweeter than sucrose.
  • It is used as a natural sweetener in herbal medicines, flavouring in candies and tobacco. It is also used in traditional medicines for treating chest and lung diseases, pneumonia, bronchitis, kidney and heart diseases, coughs, low blood pressure, liver toxicity and pancreatic disorders.
  • It is mainly grown in Afghanistan- while Pakistan, China, Nepal and India produce it in less quantities. We receive 8047 tonnes of liquorice from Afghanistan, China and Nepal every year.
  • The import value of liquorice is large in India and therefore, the cultivation of mulethi will soon expand in the areas of Himachal Pradesh which are suitable for it.
  • The districts shortlisted thus far are Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Kangra, Una, Solan and Sirmour.
  • The director also launched the “One Week- One Laboratory” program at CSIR-IBHT, Palampur from February 20-25, 2023; showing their agricultural technology to the world.
  • Apart from Mulethi seeds, the planting material of various crops were also distributed to farmers belonging to different parts of Himachal.

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