India to more concern with quality of Medicinal Plants

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India's wonder plants with medicinal properties will now come with a special "good quality tag" with the government putting in place a voluntary certification scheme for medicinal plant produce based on good agricultural practices and good field collection practices. 

This, the government said, will enhance confidence in the quality of India's medicinal plant produce and make available good quality raw material to the ayurvedic and herbal drugs industry. 

Under the scheme, launched jointly by the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) and the Quality Council of India (QCI), any producer/collector or group of producers/collectors can obtain certification from a designated certification body (CB) and will be under regular surveillance of the certification body. 

An option of getting a lot inspected and certified has also been made in the scheme. It also allows certification of intermediaries like traders who may source certified medicinal plant material and supply further thereafter. 

India has 15 agro climatic zones and 18,000 species of flowering plants of which 7,000 are estimated to have medicinal usage in folk and documented systems of medicine, like ayurveda, siddha, unani and homoeopathy. About 960 species of medicinal plants are estimated to be in trade of which 178 species have annual consumption levels in excess of 100 tonnes. 

The domestic trade of the AYUSH industry is of the order of Rs 90 billion. Indian medicinal plants and their products also account for exports of around Rs 10 billion. 

Experts say there is a global resurgence in traditional and alternative health care systems resulting in growing world herbal trade which stands at $120 billion and is expected to reach $7 trillion by 2050. Indian share in the world trade, at present, however, is quite low. 

Dr G J Gyani, secretary general of QCI, said, "The scheme has been designed keeping best international practices in view – the standards are based on WHO documents which were adopted by NMPB and the compliance checking will be done by independent, third party agencies conforming to international standards. The aim is not only to provide medicinal plants producers a means of differentiating themselves based on quality and sustainability but also obtain international acceptance for the scheme in the long run." 

According to experts, the voluntary certification scheme will reduce risk of recall/rejection of Indian produce in the international market, increase buyer confidence in Indian herbs. 

Labs duly accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) will be used under the scheme.

News Courtesy: Times of India

Image Courtesy: derek

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1 comments:

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October 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM comment-delete
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