National programs for the development of 24 species of medicinal plants

TEHRAN – Three national technological development programs of 24 species of medicinal plants have been developed with the support of the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology.

Herbs that will be harvested under the national 10-year plans include Damask rose, cucurbita pepo, thymes, chamomile, savory, mint, Persian cumin, coriander, tarragon, Hypericum perforatum, valerian, rosemary, blacksamson echinacea, hyssop, marian thistle, lemon balm, passion flower, marjoram, saffron, common sage, aloe vera, fennel, marigold and hibiscus tea.

Some 83,000 tons of medicinal plants are consumed annually in the country. One of Iran’s agricultural potentials is medicinal plants, which for some reason have been less considered so far. Despite the fact that out of about 8,000 plant species in the country, more than 2,500 species are classified as medicinal plants, but the research conducted over the past decade has met only a small percentage of the needs in this area .

In the field of medicinal plants, it is very difficult to obtain suitable seeds and healthy plant organs, and the preparation and implementation of research plans and projects, especially in the field of technology and transformation of seeds of medicinal plants, is an inevitable necessity.

By defining three national programs, these gaps are to be filled and 24 species of medicinal plants will be harvested in the country, ISNA reported on Wednesday.

Herbaceous species in Iran

To date, around 30,000 plant species have been identified worldwide.

While herbal medicines account for one-third of the medicines used in human societies, the global trade share of these products is around $124 billion, and Iran’s share is $570 million, which is only 0. 5% of total.

The Sixth National Development Plan (2016-2021) provides for the rehabilitation of 9.6 million hectares of rangelands and medicinal plant habitats and the cultivation of medicinal plants on 100,000 hectares.

The per capita consumption of medicinal plants in Iran is about one kilogram of dried plants, i.e. 83,000 tons of medicinal plants worth 1,200 billion rials (about 29 million dollars in official rate of 42,000 rials) are consumed in the country, while in Europe this amount is 900 grams, and in the United States is 2.5 kilograms.

224,000 ha under cultivation of medicinal herbs

Hossein Zeynali, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture, said in 2019 that some 224,000 hectares of land are currently under medicinal herb cultivation.

“During the past 2 years, we have focused mainly on the development of a number of medicinal plants such as saffron, rosemary and Persian cumin, which their cultivation is high in the country and has brought an income of exporting $400 million a year,” he said. noted.

Statistics show that the consumption of herbal medicines in the country has become transformed, and the decline in imports by $50 million to $60 million has in turn increased exports, he noted.

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Alvin J. Chase