UFDC auctions medicinal plants worth Rs 40 crore

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Forest Research Institute (FRI) on Wednesday said that the Uttarakhand Forest Developmental Corporation (UFDC) auctions medicinal plants worth Rs 40 crore every year. But, the experts said this can be increased up to four times if packaging, branding and marketing facilities are enhanced.

he state government currently has no policy for fixing costs of these plants and often, rare plants are sold by farmers at nominal prices since they do not have proper training for cultivation and availability of good quality seeds.

Omveer Singh, head of Silviculture department said, “Medicinal plants have great value for ayurveda as well as pharmaceutical industry which are related to human health. However over extraction of plants in absence of any monitoring has badly affected the trade.
In order to address this, officials said that training is being currently imparted to villagers at the FRI campus.

“There is acute dearth of proper policy framework with regard to marketing of medicinal plants. The state government has not fixed minimum support price. These plants are sold at different prices. So we need to bridge the existing loopholes in this direction,” HP Singh, forest economist said. STS Lepcha, managing director of UFDC said they need scientists with business acumen who can identify and evaluate the value of medicinal plants and help in their marketing.

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