Shimla : Governor Bandaru Dattatraya said that Himachal Pradesh has benefited immensely through research, technology developed and products produced through available medicinal plants and herbs in the Himalayan area by CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur. The institute has also made its valuable contribution in the battle against COVID-19.The Governor was addressing the scientists of CSIR-IHBT Palampur as Chief Guest through video conferencing from Raj Bhavan on the occasion of CSIR-IHBT’s 38th Foundation Week today.While expressing happiness on 9th ranking of CSIR by SCI MEGO International among 38 institutes and first rank among research institutes of Himachal Pradesh, Governor said that this institute was promoting entrepreneurship with its technologies through MSMEs in the state and country. He said that the institute has not only set up testing labs for COVID-19 and is doing more than 500 COVID tests daily, but also providing equipment, consumable items and training required to the staff of medical colleges in Tanda, Chamba and Hamirpur in the state. He also expressed happiness that the institute had prepared alcohol-based hand sanitizer and herbal soap technology and had also produced it extensively through local entrepreneurs. He also commended the efforts of the institution for preparing packaged food for migrant labourers and corona warriors and for working in coordination with the local administration for its distribution. He assured the institution of cooperation by the State Government in the research work on COVID-19.Shri Dattatraya said that the institution has played an important role in making Himachal Pradesh a leading state in the production of aromatic oils under ‘Aroma Mission’ in the field of aromatic plants. The annual production of aromatic oil from wild marigold is around 6.5 tonnes and has earned Rs. 5.19 crore, benefitting 861 families. He expressed happiness that the institute started growing asafoetida crop for the first time in the country, which will prove to be a game changer. He said that Lilium cultivation started in Lahaul would give farmers an income 3-5 times more than traditional cash crops.He said that the hydroponic and aeroponic technology by the institute would strengthen agriculture sector. He also expressed happiness over developing innovative ways of using bamboo wood. Besides this, he also congratulated the institute for developing vitamin D-enriched shiitake mushrooms, flow-hive for popularizing honey production and developing techniques to keep vegetables fresh and nutritional for longer duration.On this occasion, the Governor also released four publications of the institute.Earlier, Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Director, CSIR-IHBT welcomed the Governor and apprised him of the activities of the Institute.ormer Director of CSIR-IIIM Jammu, Prof. S.S. Handa the keynote speaker expressed his views on the Phytopharmaceutical Drug Development – New Regulations.Dr. Anil Khush, President of Research Council of IHBT, Vice-Chancellor of Agricultural University Prof. Ashok Saryal and other scientists were also part of this video conferencing. Secretary to the Governor Rakesh Kanwar was also present on the occasion.