Herbal market to touch Rs 14,500 cr by 2012: Assocham

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New Delhi, Mar 29 (UNI) Registering a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 20 per cent, the country's herbal market is likely to touch Rs 14,500 crore by 2012 from its present market size of Rs 7,000 crore, according to a study.

The study 'Herbal Industry Biz Potential' conducted by industry body Assocham further said the exports of herbal products, which is growing at 25 per cent annually, is expected to touch Rs 9,000 crore.

''The herbal industry experimental growth comprises setting up of Herbal Farm Clusters by the government for improving quality of drugs and promotion of exports, doubling the cultivation of medicinal plants by converting existing farmland, continuous focus for R&D on product and process development and effective marketing of herbal products,'' the study said.

The Chamber President Venugopal N Dhoot said, ''the study also reveals that out of 700 plant species commonly used in India, only 20 per cent were earlier being cultivated on commercial scale and 90 per cent of medicinal plant used by the industries are collected from the wild.'' The study, however, stated that the major hurdle for cultivating medicinal and aromatic plants as a sustainable agricultural profession are the lack of organized and regulated markets in India.

''The regulated production on scientific lines, effective enforcement of licensing system and setting up of Export Promotion Zones (EPZ) in select states will push up exports of herbal material and medicines,'' it said.

The study also points out that the farmers should also be trained, particularly in post-harvest handling of the products and stressed for the dissemination of information about the prospects of cultivation, processing and marketing of medicinal plants.

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