Visakhapatnam: In the wake of Ayurveda medicine becoming popular across the country, the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) has decided to promote the cultivation of medicinal plants and herbs at a massive scale. Already, the board has been giving subsidies on the expenditure of the total cultivation and also increasing the subsidies according to the varieties of the plants and herbs.
Meanwhile, the use of Ayurveda medicines has risen not only in the country but also abroad. According to the statistics, in the past five years, the use of Ayurveda medicines has been increasing by 10 to 12 per cent every year.
In view of this, the NMPB has decided to increase the extent of the medicinal plants cultivation and is the providing subsidies on the total cost of the cultivation and also added more valuable plants in its subsidies lists. The NMPB is offering 30 per cent subsidy on the cost of cultivation for 55 varieties of plants, 50 per cent subsidy to 27 plants and 75 per cent subsidy on 13 plants.
“Normally, for any cultivation, the government in the recent times is sanctioning input subsidy. But the NMPC has been offering the subsidy on the total expenditure of the cultivation cost. The cultivation of medicinal plants has is gaining momentum. To meet the increasing demand for medicinal plants, the board has been offering highest rate of subsidy to promote Indian branded Ayurveda medicine.
The board is also promoting and development activities by encouraging the NGOs in the field,” a senior female officer and researcher of the board told The Hans India.
In order create more awareness on the Ayurveda medicine and its importance, the board has also started capacity building through training, awareness programmes on the medicinal plants at school level, she added.
India has 15 agro-climatic zones and over 18, 000 species of flowering plants, of which 6,000-7,000 are estimated to have medicinal usage in folk and documented systems of medicine, like Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy. According to 2015-16 statistics, 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.
Medicinal plants are not only a major resource base for the traditional medicine and herbal industry but also provide livelihood and health security. The Indian medicinal plants and their products also accounted exports to the tune of Rs. 1,000 crore in 2015-16.