The government gave an ex-post facto approval
for an agreement signed between India and an African island nation, Sao Tome
and Principe on Wednesday April 25, 2018, to increase cooperation in the field
of medicinal Plants.
The memorandum of understanding was signed on March 14 this year, an
official statement said. The decision was taken in the Union Cabinet meeting,
chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
With alternative healthcare system getting increasing emphasis and
popularity, the world herbal trade records an upward trend across the globe. It
is said the global herbal trade stands at at USD 120 billion and is expected to
reach USD 7 trillion by 2050.
The MoU also added, “"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.”
India is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of
biodiversity, having 15 agro-climatic zones. Out of the 17,000-18,000 species
of flowering plants, more than 7000 are estimated to have medicinal usage in
folk and documented systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha &
Homoeopathy. About 1178 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.
Medicinal plants are not only a major resource base for the traditional
medicine and herbal industry but also provide livelihood and health security to
a large segment of Indian population.