Measures have been taken for agricultural conservation, processing and promotion of medicinal plants

Ayurvedic herbs


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Measures have been taken for agricultural conservation, processing and valorization of medicinal plants

By GDP Delhi

India currently has 8000 species of medicinal plants according to the Botanical Survey of India (BSI). The BSI mandated to study the country’s plant diversity; its documentation, including traditional knowledge associated with it at the national, regional, state and ecosystem level and its conservation in different parts of the country has conducted a survey and documentation of all plant resources in the country, including medicinal/aromatic plants and herbs. The survey is the nodal repository of reference plant collections and currently houses approximately 3.2 million specimens in its various herbaria, which aid in taxonomic characterization and species tracking, including medicinal plants. Details of medicinal plants found in the country are given below:

S.No. Region Number of species of medicinal plants
Western Himalayas 1500
Eastern Himalayas 3000
Western Ghats 2000
Eastern Ghats including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1500
TOTAL 8000

According to data available in different sources, there are more than 2800 species of medicinal plants used in different traditional systems of Indian medicine. Through ex-situ conservation, BSI conserves medicinal plants in its botanical gardens, located in different phyto-geographical regions of the country. The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India is implementing the Central Sector Program on “Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants” in which the following activities are supported:

  1. In situ conservation / Ex-situ conservation.
  2. Livelihood linkages with Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) / Panchayats / Van Panchayats / Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) / Self Help Groups (SHGs).
  3. IEC activities such as training / workshops / seminars / conferences, etc.
  4. Research.
  5. Promotion, marketing and marketing of medicinal plant products.

Till date, the NMPB, Ministry of Ayush has supported an area of ​​20,589.45 hectares under 105 Medicinal Plant Conservation and Development Areas (MPCDA). The NMPB, Ministry of AYUSH, under its Central Sector Program, has provided financial support for projects based on the collection, identification and characterization of various medicinal plants. To date, the NMPB has supported 10 projects over the past five years.

However, in the past, the Ministry of Ayush, Government of India, under the herbal medicine component of the centralized program of the National Ayush Mission (NAM), had provided financial assistance in the form of grant to promote and encourage farmers to grow/cultivate medicinal plants all over the country. the country from fiscal year 2015-16 to 2020-21. Cultivation activities were implemented through the identified implementing agency of the relevant state, in accordance with the approved annual state action plan for the relevant state. Under the same program, 140 species of medicinal plants have been prioritized to support cultivation across the country. The program was implemented from fiscal year 2015-2016 through 2020-21 through the state implementing agency.

Till date, Ministry of Ayush had supported an area of ​​56,305 hectares for cultivation of medicinal plants nationwide from fiscal year 2015-16 to 2020-21 under National Ayush Mission (NAM) program ).

Under the herbal medicine component of the NAM program, there is a provision to support semi-processing (small processing unit) / processing units and the Ministry of Ayush has supported 25 semi-processing (small processing unit) / processing unit nationwide from fiscal year 2015-16 to 2020-21.

Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Govt. of India, formulates forest protection policies. Legislation, such as the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, to grant protection to forests and their components, including medicinal plants. The Biological Diversity Act 2002 and its rules (2004) regulate access to forest elements, including medicinal plants. The MoEF&CC has pre-screened the species subject to extinction at the state level, formulated the guidelines to prohibit or regulate their taking from the wild and circulated it to different states and union territories for notification under Section 38 of the Biological Diversity Act 2002. In addition, it is also supporting a number of projects on the conservation of some specific medicinal plants as well as Medicinal Plant Conservation Areas (MPCA) which are mainly forest areas.

The cultivation of medicinal plants in degraded forest lands is supported by programs of the National Afforestation & Eco-development Board (NAEB), MoEF&CC. Many endangered species are conserved in the botanic gardens associated with the BSI and in the gardens associated with different universities/colleges under the “Botanic Garden Assistance” program of the MoEF&CC. Threatened plant species are conserved by adopting the two strategies viz. on the spot conservation (i.e. in their own habitat) and ex-situ conservation using conventional and modern techniques (tissue culture).

This information was given by Minister of Ayush Shri Sarbananda Sonowal in a written reply to Rajya Sabha today.

About the author of the article


Souman Munshi

Founding editor of IBG NEWS (15/March/2012- 09/August/2018). 2018 Udar Akash Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain Award Recipient. 2011 National Geographic & Canon Wild Clicks Jury and Public Poll Winner. Studied Post Graduate Advance Dip in Computer Sc., MBA IT, LIMS (USA & Australia), GxP (USA & UK), BA (Sociology) Dip in Journalism (Ireland), Diploma in Vedic Astrology, Numerology, Palmistry, Vastu Shastra & Feng Sui 25 years in digital and IT industry with global multinationals has worked and traveled in USA, UK, Europe, Singapore, Australia, Bangladesh and many other countries. Education and training advance R&D management and technology from India, USA, UK and Australia. More than 30 certifications from world leaders in R&D and education. Computer science teacher, IT and LIMS expert with a large following of fans in his community. Secretary General of West Bengal State Committee of All India Journalists Association


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