January 31, 2020
Medicinal plant cultivation can help double farmers’ income: Dr J L N Sastry, CEO, NMPB, Ministry of AYUSH
Farmers can benefit immensely from high-value medicinal plant cultivation as Indian medicinal systems are gaining prominence not just in India but across the world. To ensure the farmers make more money, the Ministry of Ayush is preparing a blueprint of backward integration projects.
Urging the industry to take the initiative in these projects, Dr J L N Sastry, CEO, NMPB, Ministry of Ayush, said the way the projects are being designed, the benefit will go to the farmers. He was addressing an Interactive Session on ‘Ayush for New India: Doubling the Farmers’ Income through Cultivation of Medicinal Plants’, organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday.
Dr Sastry said at present the benefit was cornered by the middlemen – neither the industry, not the cultivators are benefitting substantially from the Rs 10,000 crore business in raw materials for medicines used in Indian traditional medicinal systems like Ayurveda, Sidha and Unani.
Few herbs – 17 to 23 – are endemic to Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and these herbs are the ingredients used in the top hundred formulations in traditional Indian medicines, Dr Sastry said and top 23 companies are contributing to 85 per cent of traditional Indian drugs.
He called for the cooperation of these companies and the industry at large in the efforts of AYUSH to generate valuable data on drugs and herbs and medicinal plant extracts used in the manufacture of drugs.
Dr R K Manchanda, Director, Directorate of AYUSH, Government of NCT, Delhi, expressed happiness that the future of Indian traditional medicinal systems was bright but urged the industry to concentrate on making the drugs cheaper and affordable for the people. The traditional Indian medicinal systems are getting popular across the world, he said and urged the industry to ensure the manufacture of high quality. In fact, the industry has a huge responsibility.
Padma Bhushan awardee Shri Devender Triguna, President, Association of Manufacturers of Ayurvedic Medicines (AMAM), traced the association of the PHD Chamber with the AYUSH initiative of the government and said the PHD Chamber was the first chamber to form a Committee for AYUSH. The time is just right for giving another push to the AYUSH, representing the traditional Indian medicinal systems of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Sidha and the German system of Homeopathy that has gained wide acceptance in India over the past many decades, Shri Triguna said. The world is looking at India and our traditional medicines, and system of treatment, he said and said this is why there should be greater research into medicinal plants and their use in the drugs. He urged the industry to ensure that the drugs are affordable.
Earlier, Mr Pradeep Multani, Vice President, PHD Chamber and (Hon) General Secretary, AMAM, asserted that AYUSH medicinal system and medicinal plants are the only way to double the farmers’ income.
PHD Chamber was the first chamber to form a committee on AYUSH and now with the help of AMAM is making efforts to double the farmers’ income, Mr Multani said.
Mr Sameer Kant Ahuja, Executive Secretary, AMAM presented the vote of thanks.
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry