‘China is one of India’s top importers of medicinal herbs’: Piyush Goyal in Lok Sabha
The past three years export data was presented in the Lok Sabha by minister of commerce and industry, Piyush Goyal, on Wednesday, and apart from China, the Indian government also is a big exporter to countries such as United States of America (USD 102.89), Germany (USD 34.07), and Vietnam (USD 26.76).Updated: Dec 04, 2019 22:29 IST
The export of medicinal herbs to China has increased from USD 5.4 million in 2016-17 to USD 13.4 million in 2018-19, making China one of the top five countries to which India majorly exports medicinal plants and plant products.
The past three years export data was presented in the Lok Sabha by minister of commerce and industry, Piyush Goyal, on Wednesday, and apart from China, the Indian government also is a big exporter to countries such as United States of America (USD 102.89), Germany (USD 34.07), and Vietnam (USD 26.76). In all, India exports medicinal herbs to 164 countries.
There are about 8,000 medicinal plants that can be used in making herbal medicines.
Over the years the government has taken several measures in order to promote India’s exports and to create export avenues for farmers opting for the cultivation of herbs and medicinal plants.
“The Department of Commerce has set up Export Promotion Councils for promoting exports of various product groups / sectors… The export promotion of several Herbal Products has been assigned to Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council, besides others. These EPCs facilitate the exporting community and undertake various measures for promotion of export of their products,” Goyal said in Parliament.
“Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) provides incentives to the exporting community for specified goods so as to offset infrastructural inefficiencies and the associated costs of exporting products produced in India, giving special emphasis to those which are of India’s export interest and have the capability to generate employment and enhance India’s competitiveness in the world market,” he added.
With the number of export agreements in the field increasing, the ministry of Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy) has also been focussing on quality control.
Through its Quality Certification programmes such as Ayush mark and Premium mark it is also assisting the industry in setting up of quality standards. The ministry has been signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with countries for promotion of traditional medicines to help exports in the long run.
“India’s total worth of exports of Ayush products is growing and currently stands at about USD 500,” said an Ayush ministry official, requesting anonymity. However, to meet the growing demand of Ayush products, there is also a need to ensure conservation of medicinal plants as a recent Botanical Survey of India (BSI) report revealed that out of 8,000 medicinal plants, 53 species were under critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable categories.
“The National Medicinal Plants Board under Ayush ministry has created herbal gardens, primarily focusing on the endangered species, and go in for research and development. Incentives are being offered to farmers for cultivation that should help,” the official added.