Mumbai: Yoga guru Ramdev has expressed interest in using produce from Maharashtra's forests for his ayurveda company, officials said on Wednesday. Ramdev met state Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar late on Tuesday and expressed a desire to provide a broader market to medicines prepared by processing the forest produce.
Mostly collected by the tribal communities, the forest produce helps them lead a better life. Ramdev assured that he would source honey, amla, aloe vera, giloh plant and other products from the forest department. The Patanjali group, founded by Ramdev in 2006, and the state forest department will soon sign an MoU by which the department will get a fixed amount for the forest produce, Mungantiwar said at the meeting. The yoga guru estimated that there could a minimum annual turnover of around Rs.240 crore from the sale of forest produce, benefitting the tribals living in forests across the state. Forest department officials will now hold another meeting in Haridwar with Patanjali officials to finalise the deal. Mungantiwar said the state government has launched the Shyamaprasad Mukherji Janvan Yojana under which the Joint Forest Management Committee provides a wider selling platform to ayurvedic medicines. Besides, Ramdev sought support for his group's plans to plant two crore saplings on July 3 this year with the help of 300,000 volunteers. He also announced plans to construct a huge Food Park in Nagpur, on the lines of the Patanjali Food Park in Haridwar.