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  Section: Medicinal Plants / Medicinal Plants: Present and Future
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Future Strategy for Medicinal Plants

⇒ Market Scenario of Medicinal Plants
  ⇒ Domestic Market
  ⇒ Global Market
  ⇒ Export
  ⇒ Standards and Quality Control
  ⇒ Constraints
⇒ New Hopes for Herbal Market
⇒ Challenges Ahead
⇒ Future Strategy for Medicinal Plants
  ⇒ Development of Medicinal Plant Sector
  ⇒ Products Standardization
  ⇒ Globalization of Ayurveda and Medicinal Plant Sector

World bank group have several project to support the cultivation of medicinal plants through various lending and non-lending initiatives, the World Bank is assisting the countries of South Asia to address these needs. Some of these efforts are, The Kerala Forestry Project, The Sri Lanka Medicinal Plants Project, Ritigala Community Based Development and Environment Management Foundation, The India Capacity Building for Food and Drugs Quality Control Project, etc. There is a need to launch number of projects for arid region of India.

Although the Bank has supported some pioneering work in the South Asia region related to medicinal plants and, more generally, natural resource management, much remains to be done. In the future, it will be important to mainstream medicinal plants and other non-timber forest products into natural resource management and development programs. To boost the quality of plant resource management and increase supplies of these resources:

  1. Agricultural support agencies should strengthen extension efforts to farmers.
  2. Research institutions need to improve basic knowledge about cultivation practices and dissemination of plant species.
  3. Conservation agencies and NGOs should promote conservation of vulnerable species at the grass-roots level.
  4. Community organizations need to adopt sustainable collection and management practices on public lands.
  5. Profitable private enterprises for processing, transporting, and marketing must be developed.
  6. Government institutions need to be strengthened to regulate these important resources and, at  the same time, foster their sustainable development and conservation.
  7. Future initiatives should also link the management and conservation of medicinal plants (and other non-timber forest products) with the commercial development of these resources. In this spirit, every new forestry project should be designed to have a significant effect on the sustained use of non-timber forest products. Management and conservation must be integrated with programs in other sectors: in health, to foster better use of plant materials; in education, to build awareness of the need for protection and judicious development; and in agriculture, to strengthen farmer extension methods for plant cultivation.
  8. The Bank's new lending instruments-learning and innovation loans and adaptable program loans-are well suited to these efforts. They can allow for project design flexibility to incorporate lessons learned, encourage institutional reforms, and, where appropriate, foster pilot exercises to test new approaches.  With  the commitment of governments,  local communities, and NGOs, coupled with international support, the medicinal plant resources of South Asia have a chance of surviving, thriving, and continuing to aid billions of people.
  9.  The Global Environment Facility (GEF) provides grant and concessional funds to developing countries and those with economies in transition for projects and activities that address four aspects of the global environment: biological diversity, climate change, international waters, and the ozone layer. Activities related to land degradation, primarily those addressing deforestation and desertification as they relate to the focal areas, are also eligible for funding. Along with the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Bank is an implementing agency for the GEF.

International Conference on Medicinal Plants and Ayurveda
was held 16th December, 2002 at India International Centre 40, Max-Muller Marg, New Delhi. The Conference was organized by UTTHAN (Centre for Sustainable Development and Poverty Alleviation) in association with RIFA (Russian-Indian Federation of Ayurveda). The Chairman of UTTHAN, Dr. D. N. Tiwari, Member, Planning Commission, and Govt. of India was the Organized Secretary. On Conclusion, the conference made following Recommendation. During the conference following issues were discussed:

  1. Policy and legal issues for the development of Ayurveda and medicinal Plants.
  2. Development of Medicinal Plants sector.
  3. Ayurvedic Drugs Development and Product Standardization.
  4. Globalization of Ayurveda and medicinal plant sector.

After a detailed discussion the conference made following recommendations

  1. Ayurveda is a holistic health science, having diversity, flexibility, accessibility, affordability and have a potential to meet with the new challenges to human life.
  2. The concept of destress and detoxification packages of Ayurveda can largely solve psychosomatic problems.
  3. Panchkarma and Yogic therapy are popular and health tourists visiting India should be treated well.
  4. The Ayurvedic treatments are simpler, gentler and cheaper and therefore to be popularized.
  5. The Ayurveda should play the major role in national health care system. Globalization of Ayurveda should be our goal.
  6. Ayurveda is the only medical science which gives equal stress to the preventive and curative aspects of health to be highlighted.

Development of Medicinal Plant

  1. Demand for medicinal plants is rapidly increasing; therefore, organized cultivation of medicinal plant is urgently required for meeting the demand.
  2. While selecting the germplasm, standardization of toxicity, self-life of the product, the potency and the concentration has to be taken care of.
  3. Harvesting, drying and storage of medicinal plants must ensure the purity and safety against microbial contamination and quality deterioration.
  4. There should be a linkage between growers and pharmaceutical companies to ensure marketability of raw drugs.
  5. Village   level   cultivation   of   medicinal   plants   should   ensure   health,   nutritional   and environmental security.

Products Standardization

  1. For popularizing ayurvedic medicine it is necessary to promote (a) standardization, (b) safety, (c) quality, (d) integrity and (e) authenticity of the practices and the products. 
  2. At least one drug for each major disease should be identified and the manufacturing process, standard, quality and clinical trial should be completed within stipulated period.
  3. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) should be adopted while manufacturing Ayurvedic medicines.
  4. There should be State Drug Testing Laboratory to check the quality and standard of Ayurvedic medicines.
  5. All pharmacies should have a research and development activity at least to provide rationale to the products they want to sell in the market.
  6. Ayurvedic industry should incorporate the latest advances of science and technology in the manufacturing process and clinical practices.
  7. Ayurvedic industries should be given "priority industry status" and declared as "green industry".
  8. Guidelines should be framed for patent and proprietary medicines and manufacture to have efficacy and safety.
  9. Priority would be recorded to research covering clinical trials, pharmacology, toxicology, standardization and study of pharmacology kinetics in respect of identified drugs.

Globalization of Ayurveda and Medicinal Plant Sector
  1. Ayurveda community of the entire world should be brought [under the single banner of a global federation for ayurvedic practitioners.
  2. India should upgrade educational centers of Ayurveda such as BHU Varanasi, Gujarat Ayurveda University, Jamnagar, National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur and proposed Deemed University of Ayurveda, Paprola, H.P. to extend educational facility to in India and abroad interested people.
  3. India should produce quality ayurvedic medicine and make it available to different countries for utilization.
  4. Collaborative   research   should  be  encouraged  between  India  and  other  countries   for propagating Ayurveda.
  5. Panchkarma and Yoga therapy should be popularized in other countries.
  6. India should prepare a website to provide all the required data in Ayurveda such as GMP regulations, R & D findings, raw material standardization, trade and market information and other things relevant for the global community.

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