As stewards of traditional Indian herbs, the Sami-Sabinsa Group has added reforestation to the company’s program of good agricultural practices. Sami-Sabinsa has entered into an ambitious plan in funding cultivation of Pterocarpus marsupium in 250 acres in the Seoni and Balaghat regions in Madhya Pradesh, India, for the next ten years. The cultivation will be managed by the reforestation organization Madhya Pradesh Rajya Van Vikas Nigam Limited.
Sami-Sabinsa has long had a program of cultivation partnership with farmers under the company’s contract farming fair trade program, so reforestation is a logical extension of Sami-Sabinsa’s sustainability commitment. With a view to ex situ conservation of the highly valued but neglected tree species Pterocarpus marsupium (vijaysar) this project sponsorship will ensure plantation of over 166,600 trees on 250 acres of forest land over the next ten years. This is the first attempt to conserve this high value threatened tree species in India.
Under this initiative, the land will be provided by the forest department of the state of Madhya Pradesh with the Madhya Pradesh Rajya Van Vikas Nigam performing the cultivation and maintaining the plants for a minimum period of five years. After five years the trees are self-sustaining.
Pterocarpus marsupium extracts from the Indian Kino tree have been used for control of blood sugar in Ayurveda for centuries. The traditional Ayurvedic method of controlling diabetes involved drinking a water extract of Pterocarpus obtained either by soaking pieces of the wood in water overnight or utilizing a tumbler carved from that wood filled with water.
“As our research on Pterocarpus marsupium extract confirmed traditional usage and we began to anticipate future demand for the extract, we became concerned that demand could quickly decimate available supplies,” said Shaheen Majeed, Sabinsa’s worldwide president. “The cultivation will not only help us have a sustainable supply, but will preserve this traditional plant in India.”