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Medicinal plants sector: Cabinet okays MoU between India, African nation

Medicinal plants sector: Cabinet okays MoU between India, African nation
Highlights

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the nations was signed on March 14 this year, according to an official statement. The decision was taken in the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.

In an effort to increase cooperation in the field of medicinal plants, the Union government on Wednesday gave an ex-post facto approval for an agreement signed between India and an African island nation, Sao Tome and Principe.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the nations was signed on March 14 this year, according to an official statement. The decision was taken in the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here.

The MoU assumes significance in view of the global developments in traditional and alternative healthcare systems. It is resulting in world herbal trade which stands at $120 billion and is expected to reach $7 trillion by 2050, the release stated.

"Moreover, there are large number of medicinal plants, particularly those found in tropical region, which are common to the two countries given similar geo-climatic factors," it added.

India has 15 agro-climatic zones and is said to be one of the world’s richest countries in terms of biodiversity.

Of the 17,000-18,000 species of flowering plants, over 7000 are estimated to have medicinal usage in folk and documented systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha & Homoeopathy.

About 1,178 species of medicinal plants are estimated to be in trade of which 242 species have annual consumption levels in excess of 100 metric tonnes per year.

A large population of India depend on medicinal plants as a major resource base for the traditional medicine and herbal industry and source of livelihood and health security.

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