Bhubaneswar: Researchers at the SOA Deemed to be University have taken up organic farming of Basil (ocimum tenuiflorum), locally known as Tulsi, to encourage farmers to take up farming in large scale as it was of immense medicinal value in the era of Covid-19 while having myriad other uses.
The Centre for Biotechnology (CBT) under SOA is working on a project on Basil cultivation and research received from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) involving farmers, Prof. Basudeb Kar, who is the Project Investigator, said.
“Each part of the Tulsi plant such as its seed, leaf and stem have medicinal benefits if consumed as they contain enormous amount of Vitamin A and B as also minerals like Calcium, Zinc and Iron,” he said.
Tulsi has properties to cure illnesses like common cold, fever, cough, bronchitis, respiratory tract infection, gastric problems, gout, leprosy and could act as a preventive against infections. “Swallowing and assimilation of decoctions of Tulsi leaves helps in boosting the immunity to fight the coronavirus as has been propagated by the Ministry of Ayush in the central government,” Prof. Kar said.
SOA had taken up organic farming of Tulsi in three identified panchayats of Angarpada, Chhatabara and Mendhasala in Khurda district and a team has been working at the grass root level to create awareness among farmers so that it could help them generate sustainable livelihood, he said.
The team was providing extensive training and on-field demonstration about organic cultivation of Tulsi and value addition to the local farming community. Prof. Niranjan Nayak, who was the Agricultural Advisor for the project, was heading the activities while Prof. Kar and Prof. Sanghamitra Nayak, Head of the CBT were guiding the project.