The medicinal plant industry is one of the attractive industries globally. Global herbal market size is estimated approx. USD 72 Billion and is expected to grow further at CAGR of 14.88% to reach USD 7trillion by 2050.The shift in healthcare towards natural products with therap peutic values provides vast opportunities for medicinal plant sector. Up to 80 % of people in developing countries are totally dependent on herbal drugs for their primary healthcare.Many of these medicines are still produced using age old methods which can affect their quality, stability and efficacy.Therefore interest in green products in the industrialized countries has created an expanding market for plant based products that could provide competitive advantage to developing countries provided the quality and safety specifications are satisfied. Today Over 25 % of prescribed medicines in developed countries are derived from wild plant species. Demand for wild resources has increased by 8–15 % per year in Europe, North America, and Asia in recent decades .
Medicinal plants s are used in various industries such as the production of pharmaceuticals, extracts, cosmetics, and coloring agents .The consumer industries of medicinal plant are worth more than USD 80 billion. Depending on the segment, growth is steady, ranging between 3% and 12%. Herbal dietary supplements ($11 billion) and herbal functional foods ($14 billion) make up over a third of the market. The global herbal pharmaceutical industry (including drugs from herbal precursors and registered herbal medicine) contributes $44 billion. Herbal beauty products make up the remaining $14 billion of the market.
The largest global markets for medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) are China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK and the USA. Europe is the largest herbal product market worth USD 7.5 billion. Germany and France are the region’s market leaders. In 2015, German consumers spent £1.15billion (retail prices) on self-medication herbal medicinal products. Having market share of 28% within EU. France held a share of 24% of the European market for herbal medicinal products. In Eastern Europe, Poland is the main and growing market. A rough estimate of the Polish market is €600 million. In Asia,Japan alone is valued at USD2.6 billion (17% global share); and China USD 8 billion. Japan has the highest per capita consumption of botanical medicines in the world
More than 1/10th of plant species are used in drugs and health products with more than 50,000 species being used. China and India have the highest numbers of medicinal plants used, with 11,146 and 7500 species, respectively, followed by Colombia, South Africa, the United States. Percentages of medicinal plants in Asia ranges from 7 % in Malaysia to 44 % in India. China is the major exporter of medicinal plants accounting to 15% of total medicinal plant export globally. India ranks second globally in exports contributing 0.5% only.
India has the unique distinction of possessing a substantial bio-diversity of medicinal plants, knowledge associated with their use and a good network of infrastructure required for their promotion, propagation etc. Indian systems of medicine use various raw materials and medicinal plants constitute 90% of it. Approximately 15,000 medicinal plants species are available in India. About 3000 plants species are reported to be used in the codified Indian Systems of medicines.Out of this Ayurveda use largest number of botanical species (900) followed by Siddha (800 species), Unani (700 species) and Amchi (300 species). This richness of resources coupled with a well codified & documented traditional knowledge of use of this resource and modern scientific capability for validating this knowledge gives India considerable comparative advantage in the medicinal plants sector over other countries.
With its 15 Agro-Climatic zones and 16 Forest Types, India is home to 7% of the world’s bio-diversity making it one of the 17 mega bio-diversity rich countries in the world. 85% to 90% of these come from the wild.70% of these are found in tropical areas across the Western &, Eastern ghats, Vindhyas, Chotta Nagpur plateau, Aravalis &,Himalayas. Out of the total medicinal plants in India 33% are higher flowering plants i.e. trees followed by herbs 32% , Shrubs 20%, Climber,12% and remaining other are 3%
Demand for herbal raw drug in the country has been growing at CAGR 4.83% since last 10 years and reached 5,12,000 MT.in 2015. 38% of the total commercial demand was driven by Herbal industry which consumed 195000MT herbal raw drug (USD 303 Million) followed by rural household which has approx. 33% (USD 76 Million) share in consumption. Export of herbal raw drug stood at 134500MT which is approx. USD 499 Million. Export is below potential duevarious reasons such as no inventories, no collection procedures or protocols, no standard cultivation procedures outlined or adhered to, mo monitoring of production, lack of standardized pricing mechanisms, lack of proper surveillance on wild plant collection versus cultivated plant harvest
Indian trade value of herbal raw drugs in commercial demand reached 856 mio. USD growing at CAGR of 17.82% since last 10 years. About 1178 medicinal plant species recorded in the practices of trade. 242 plant species recorded in high annual trade. Japan, Europe and US are key export destinations for herbal raw drugs in India. Out of the top 20 highly demanded medicinal plants traded, 8 species found in Meghalaya. with 960 species popular in trade where roots (31%) and whole plant (17%) are used by various pharmaceutical industries, drug manufacturers, herbal teas and other industries.
At present very few species have been exploited for commercial production in India. Among them, Opium is the most important crop, cultivated for production of morphine over 23000 ha land in U.P., M.P. and Rajasthan. Senna is another crop cultivated in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, covering around 2700 ha, yielding about 5000 tons of leaves and pods. Psyllium (Isabgul) is another important crop grown on 30000 ha in North Gujarat and adjoining area of Rajasthan, yielding 30,000 ton seeds. Out of this, about 82-85% of the produce is exported.
Indian govt. has been supporting this sector through various schemes. Under the scheme of “Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants” govt. supported 3646.22 hectares under Resource Augmentation of Medicinal Plants, 2102.15 hectares of revisit of old (ongoing projects) on Medicinal Plants Conservation Areas (MPCAs), Support for projects setting up of Herbal Gardens, School Herbal Gardens and Home Herbal Gardens. O ther major initiatives to boost this sector includes creation of virtual market place for sellers ,buyers and farmers of medicinal plants ‘e-charak, developing Geospatial Database of Indian Medicinal Plants pertaining to traditional healthcare practices using Geographical Information System (Gis); development of Geospatial Database of Medicinal Plants Conservation and Development Areas (MPCDAs), Aush industry cluster development and many more. NMPB is also planning to set-up 6 regional centres in different regions of the country viz. East, West, North, South, Central and North-east covering all respective states and UTs of India
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