Steps taken by the Government for Promotion of Herbal and Medicinal Plants
The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and Rules, 2004 makes the provision to check the exploitation by foreigners of the biological resources occurring in India which also includes medicinal plants. As per Section-3 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 any foreign individual or entity has to obtain prior approval of the National Biodiversity Authority for undertaking any research on the Indian biological resources and / or associated knowledge. There are also quarantine measures to check on any biological material imported by foreigners which also covers medicinal plants.
The Government of India has set up the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) in November, 2000 to coordinate matters related to development of medicinal plants sector in the country. The NMPB has been implementing different Schemes / Programmes for overall development of the medicinal plants sector in the country.
The NMPB since its inception in 2000 has been supporting Research & Development projects on various aspects of medicinal plants like Survey-cum-documentation of medicinal plants and associated traditional knowledge on medicinal plants; standardization of Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACPs); development of Agro-techniques, development of phytochemical reference standards, monographs; laying down standards of quality, safety and efficacy, and quality assurance.
The other departments / organizations of Government of India viz. Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education (ICFRE), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) also supports Research and Development activities on various aspects of Medicinal Plants. However, the reason for low share of Indiaâ€™s presence in global trade of medicinal plants is due to huge domestic / national consumption of medicinal plants.
In the year 2008, NMPB has also conducted a study on assessment of demand & supply of medicinal plants. Recently, in year 2014 the NMPB has also assigned a similar study to Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun, to conduct a detailed study-cum-survey to assess the demand and supply of medicinal plants in India in the national perspective, as well as in respect of the international Market.
In addition, to promote the global trade of Medicinal plants, the NMPB is also supporting cultivation of medicinal plants under â€œCentrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM)â€.
This information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik in reply to an unstarred question in LokSabha today.