The Union Ayush Ministry is conducting a survey to assess the demand and supply of medicinal plants and their raw materials in the country according to the national as well as international market perspective, both of which are witnessing increasing demand for herbal drugs and supplements.
A senior official from the Ministry said that though various studies have been carried out in the country on medicinal plants, their medicinal uses and geographical spreads etc, however, limited information is available on the production /demand/consumption and supply quantum of the medicinal plants.
“It has been consistently felt that there is a need to conduct a fresh study to determine the demand and supply of Indian medicinal plants both domestically and in international trade over the years, as the industrial demand for the medicinal plant resources has been on the rise due to the world wide buoyancy in the herbal sector engaged in production of herbal healthcare formulations, herbal based cosmetic products and herbal nutritional supplements,” he said.
The study will assess the current supply of medicinal plant and raw materials of various species in India from different sources such as wild sources and wastelands, cultivation, import from other countries. It will also look into the demand of the medicinal plants from various sectors such as traditional healers, demand of trade and industry including demand for exports.
According to the WHO, the global herbal market is expected to reach to $5 trillion by the year 2050. As of today, Europe and the United States are two major herbal product markets in the world, with a market share of 41% and 20%, respectively.
Various Indian herbal drug companies too are trying to cash on in the growing demand through their well researched products. Take the case of the AIMIl Pharmaceutical in Delhi which is engaged in producing anti-diabetic herbal medicines such as BGR-34 which is scientifically validated by the Government’s organisation CSIR. Its another herbal drug, lukoskin, meant for management of the white patches also known as leukemia has found good market. It has been developed by the DRDO, yet another Government’s organisation.
As the right quality of ingredients and safety are the most needed requirements, the survey will cover extract industry as well those involved in the manufacturing of the ayurveda and traditional medicines across the country.