Iran’s share of worldwide medicinal plant trade barely 2%

February 3, 2007 - 0:0
TEHRAN -- World trade in medicinal plants hit $100 billion last year, but despite Iran’s rich and diverse flora, the nation’s share of the market is barely two percent.

More than 2,000 plant species are grown in the nation only 100 of which are being used in pharmaceutical industries. The land covered by Iran’s natural flora is four times that of the Europe’s.

As some experts say, if saffron, cumin and herbicides are excluded from Iran’s medicinal plants, virtually there would remain nothing else in the sector to be exported. Nevertheless, Italy, Taiwan, the UAE, Pakistan and Germany have been the main importers of Iran’s medicinal plants in the current year.

Ahmad Naji, an official with Iran’s Agricultural Jihad referred to creation of research center for Iran’s medicinal plants and noted that the center is currently working on six different plants and the results of the related researches would be soon published, the Persian daily, Abrar Eqtesadi said in its special report on the issue.

Also, the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad in collaboration with the Ministry of Health has set up a committee tasked with the development of the medicinal plants industry in the nation. Site surveying aimed at the identification of potential lands for the cultivation of medicinal plants, maintaining hygiene standards during the production and packaging processes of the products as well as supervision over the shops across the nation where medicinal plants are traditionally sold have been cited as some of the major measures taken by the committee.