Policy imperatives to promote Indian trade and industry

medicinal and aromatic plantsTrade involves primarily the dried parts of medicinal plants and industry uses them for the production of indigenous systems of medicine in India. Modern allopathic medicine as well as herbal and phyto-medicines also obtain active ingredients from these plant parts. The current trade processes are largely opaque and unregulated, with extraction affecting wild populations as well. The trade continues to grow in the face of both domestic and global demand, and in the absence of serious policy review, and assessment for corrective action. In addition, enforcement of even policies on the books and long term environmental planning for sustainable development are lacking.

medicinal plantsIn order to tap into the growing potential of the market, the demand and supply data and a portal on Medicinal Plants trade are essential first steps. Certifications such as ORGANIC and FAIR TRADE would promote domestic trade as well as commanding higher prices in the export of herbs. Many of the issues hampering growth of the industry in a sustainable manner require market-specific analysis because of differences in market conditions, approaches used, and materials and products being focused on. Case studies of successful marketing approaches may serve as models for entrepreneurs.

aromatic plantsAn enabling policy environment for market promotion, brand development and incentives for value addition in India should be developed. Above all else, policies that encourage an equal emphasis on social, environmental and economic dimensions of medicinal plant industry will promote long term sustainable development of a healthy medicinal plant sector.

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