Awareness of export potential of herbs is low in India: NPMB

Despite conducive environment, growing demand and a rich heritage, India’s share in the global herbal market remains much below potential

Sachin Manawaria | The Dollar Business Herbs-TheDollarBusiness According to a government report, the global herbal market is expected to grow steadily in the coming years with growing demand for herbal products worldwide. The Ministry of Science and Technology says in its report that the global herbal market is expected to be grow to around $5 trillion by 2050, but India’s current share is estimated at below 2%. The report adds that herbal remedies are important in countries like China and would become increasingly important in developing countries like India in the coming years. Standardisation is a bottleneck that has gained some attention among companies producing herbal products across the world. However, efforts are required to develop the cultivation of such plants in India. According to the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), India is uniquely placed to become a leader in this growing sector. It says that India has 15 Agro-climatic zones and 17,000-18,000 species of flowering plants of which 6,000-7,000 have medicinal use in traditional systems of medicine. “About 960 species of medicinal plants are estimated to be in trade of which 178 species have annual consumption levels in excess of 100 metric tonnes,” says NMPB. However, there is a need to promote the awareness of such potential. Earlier, T.U. Haqqi, Assistant Advisor (Botany), NMPB, had told The Dollar Business that the herbal plants that have high export potential are generally those which are pre-approved for use as medicines or dietary supplements in the big markets of the world. In USA, only those plants can be sold as dietary ingredients/dietary supplements which are considered pre-DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act). Similarly, in Australia, only those plants which are listed in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) are permitted for sale as listed medicines under the Therapeutics Goods Act. Similarly, many European countries have prepared their own positive list of botanicals, said Haqqi. He added, “Those herbs which are common to all these lists will have the highest business potential. Unfortunately, in India, the awareness about such lists itself is poor.” According to NMPB, the top 20 Indian botanicals that have high export potential are listed below: NMPB-TheDollarBusiness

This article was published on December 26, 2014.