medicinal plants are not just a major resource base for the traditional medicine and herbal industry but it also provides livelihood and health security to many people in india. government of india established the national medicinal plants board (nmpb) on 24 november 2000 with an aim to promote medicinal plants sector. at present the nmpb is working under the ministry of ayush.
As far as medicinal plants are concerned, 8000 plant species have some or the other medicinal uses. About 1000 are traded and 250 are traded in large volume which are available in market. The demand for medicinal plant has increased by 5% since last year. NMPB have been exporting lots of medicinal plants that are consumed by various industries. It is not only used in traditional medicine system but consumed and extracted for culinary medicine purposes. Conventional system also uses 200 plant species. Phytochemistry is the upcoming sector which will enhance its uses. Plant based chemicals is going to increase many folds in the near future. There are many varieties of medicinal plants. More than 80% varieties are from wild and waste land.
Weeds can also be used as medicinal plants, which can be a secondary source of income to the farmers. Weeds basically are medicinal plants which have lots of scope and still many species can be brought under cultivation. While talking to Krishi Darshan on the same, NMPB said, it has two schemes. One is Central sector scheme and the other one is centrally sponsored scheme which is now managed under National Ayush mission as one component. Under Central sector scheme, they promote conservation of medicinal plants. IEC activities, herbal gardens and under centrally sponsored scheme they promote cultivation of medicinal plants with form and backcross linkages like nurseries and post harvest management.
Moreover, farmers as well as traders can now interact through Mobile app, “e-sharad”. It is similar to OLX platform wherein you can sell and buy the produce and it also gives you knowledge about medicinal plants and agro-technologies of 104 species, which the NMPB has developed through various R&D Technologies. It said that “We have also come up with certification of good agri practices and good R&D practices.