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Medicinal plants have been in use in India since time immemorial and cater to the needs of about 80 percent of Ayurvedic, 46 percent of Unani and 33 percent of allopathic Medicines. The collection and trade in medicinal plants constitute a major share of the livelihood means of the forest dwellers, forest dependent people and other people trading in medicinal plants. Out of about 47,000 plant species in the country, about 15,000 have medicinal value. Millions of rural households use medicinal plants in traditional medicines. Over 80 percent of world’s populations meet their healthcare needs through traditional medicines. The traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicines account for 70 percent share of the formal medicine market in India.
The current level of international trade in medicinal plants is estimated to be in the order of US $ 62 billion per year and likely to grow up to US $ 5 trillion (Rs. 5 lakh crore) by the year 2050 with an annual growth rate of 7-15 percent. The largest global markets for medicinal and aromatic plants are China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK and the US. In India, the current trade in medicinal plants alone estimated at around Rs. 550 crore. This market is growing steadily and annual export of herbal and medicinal products from India was expected to earn Rs.10,000 crore by the year 2010. AFC has been associated with the National Medicinal Plant Board, Ministry of Health and Family welfare for the past three years in monitoring and evaluation of it’s development schemes for promotion medicinal plants sector in India.
The list of various assignments in the medicinal plants sector are given below:
AFC India Limited has been associated with this sector through monitoring and evaluation of projects sanctioned by National Medicinal Plant Board at National level.