The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) under the Department of Ayush has received a six to seven fold increase in the funding under the 11th plan, it has been reported. A substantial portion of the outlay is for the cultivation of plants in high demand.
The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush) is the nodal agency to promote alternative systems of medicine in India.
The NMPB has been providing financial assistance for cultivation of medicinal plants to ensure that supplies are regular and to prevent its extinction.
The board has proposed to the herbal industry in the country to identify clusters for the cultivation of selected medicinal plants.
The industry could come forward to enter into a buyback agreement with growers cooperatives/ associations/Self Help Groups (SHGs) in selected clusters, according to B S Sajwan, head, NMPB.
The board has called to pinpoint the regions in the country which the industry would like to cover for cultivation of selected medicinal plants and organize growers into cooperatives, associations, SHGs and get bankable proposals prepared for assistance under NMPB scheme. The industry also needs to facilitate supply of Quality Plant Materials (QPM) quality seeds, technology dissemination along with a buy back for the purchase of raw material.
In the absence of proper marketing linkage farmers do not get remunerative prices for their produce which resulted in discontinuing cultivation after the initial one or two years. Though there is a system of a pact between the grower and the buyer, it is rarely enforced and often it is the farmer who is the looser. On the other hand, the industry continues to source most of its raw material from the traders.
Therefore, there is a disconnect between the growers and the industry and this has to be remedied, the Board stresses in a recent letter to industry representatives, Pharmabiz website reports.