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The medicinal plants are necessarily to be cultivated organically and there is no

other option. The medicinal plants were collected so far from the forest where there was
no cultural intervention and plants have grown luxuriously in nature. Such wild gathering
phase was over by now and many of the commercially important herbs are to be grown
under cultivation owing to its increasing demand. E. Senna, Gloriosa, Coleus forskohlii
and Aswagandh.
Bio inputs in organic production and other versions of organic
farming Bio manures
Bio manures though contain less quantity of essential nutrients, they help to build
the capacity of the soil to generate its own nutrients. They help to enrich the humus,
sustain microflora, accelerates soil dynamics. They help the plants to become sturdier and
tolerant to pests and diseases. Farm yard manure is a universally accepted bio manure
while goat manure is supposed to be superior but its availability is limited. The poultry
manure is available in bulk but should be used after an year of complete degradation.
Poultry manure is suggested to crops which requires irrigation once in five days. Organic
cakes viz., neem, castor, groundnut, pungam etc., enriched form of organics which are to
be applied in lesser quantities. Press mud is composted and now made available as
manure but cost is prohibitive. Vermicompost is most sought after item and can be
produced within the farm. It is best suited for hi value medicinal plants. Vermi wash and
casting are enriched form of vermicompost.
Bio fertilizers
Many of the fungi and bacteria are useful to upgrade the soil quality and helps for
maximum root ramification and absorption of elements by plants VAM (Vascular
Arbiscular Mycorhizae) phosphobacteria, rhizobial cultures, azospirillum, blue green
algae and azolla are few bio inputs which are largely in use whether organic cultivation is
practiced or otherwise.

Bio control agents

Herbal pesticides are made out of plant extracts. The plants which are nonbrowsable by animals are best source of herbal pesticides. The leaf or whole plant water
or urine extracts acts as a pesticide. Calatropis, Prosopis, Aloe, Clerodendran, Vitex,
Neem are few examples. The composition and quantity may vary for each kind of pest
and disease. Further, some of the fungi (Trichoderma viride and Pseudomonas
fluorescence, Pseudomonas harziarum) can act against many of the harmful fungi and
bacteria and safeguard the soil environment.
Bio promoters
Panchakavya, a product combination of cows dung, urine, curd, milk and ghee
acts as a growth promoter as well as immunity booster. It has its roofs in vriksayurveda

and now made applicable to plants, animals and human as a remedy to many of the
ailments. Cow's urine is patented by CSIR in US patent office for its efficacy to enhance
the potency of antibiotics. Manchurian tea decoction and moringa leaf extract also
possess the same efficacy as that of panchakavya.
Other versions of organic farming
Bio dynamic farming
Organic farming system when extrapolated with plants and stars became
biodynamic farming. Moon and Saturn are taken into account as moon influence the
water (90% of plants and human consists of water only) and Saturn governs the
agriculture. The crop operations which are (-) ve in nature like, cutting, pruning,
harvesting, etc can be done during the waning phase of moon, while the crop operations
which are (+) in nature viz., planting or sowing, application of manures etc can be
performed. There is an agricultural almanac developed for this purpose taking into
account the stellar movements.
System advocates inclusion of sound waves in a particular frequency through
mantras which they said purify the environment and ensures cosmic flow on the field for
better 'expression of crops.
The essential feature of organic cultivation is that the farming should be made
viable without any extra input from outside. The farm waste, farm animal waste are to be
recycled in such a way that the crops enjoy all the comfort from soil and atmospheric
environment and derive nourishment continuously over years from the revitalized soil
and atmosphere.
Organic Certification
Organic certification - An introduction
As the public becomes increasingly concerned about the negative effects of
industrial and high input intensive agriculture on the environment and on their health, the
demand for safe food is increasing day by day. In this context, Organic horticulture offers
a bright light in the troubled future of farming community by providing an economically
and environmentally healthy alternative for their survival. Now organic horticulture is
experiencing rapid worldwide growth through the creative energy of thousands of
grassroots organizations, farmers and traders.
The historical data on organic farming indicated that, it was started in 1924 with a
biodynamic concept and the pioneers gave' different names. The global development of
organic farming is reflected by International Federation for Organic Agriculture
Movemessnt (IFOAM), during 1972 and it now cross with a membership of more than
200 organizations from 130 countries. Austria is the absolute organic boom country
having more than 10% of the agricultural area under organic farming. Switzerland
accounts for 14% area and Denmark for 35%. There is a very good awareness among the
peoples of developed countries and now all are in the way to shift from inorganic to
organic farming practices.
Organic certification for medicinal plants

The reports on organic agriculture showed that, most of the farming communities
from the developed countries have already switched over to organic farming system and
now having organic produces of many crops and allied activities. Now the organic
growers were in the stage of selling their products with premium prices through some
measures. In this context, organic certification becomes an important inevitable step to be
implemented to sell their products in the domestic or in global market.
Organic certification in Horticulture especially in medicinal plants provides
transparency in certification and improves the images of organic agriculture. The organic
certification by any agency includes the following programmes:
i) Certification ii) Inspection -

Carried out by the certification Manager

Done by inspection manager well trained in organic
iii) Adopting standards Carried out by the quality control manager
The certification programs vary with country or regions and the certification label
is very particular to the country. All the standard used in certification was developed
early by IFOAM and is reviewed every two years by the General Assembly of IFOAM.
IFOAM has established an accreditation programme for supervising the international
trade of organic products.
Various Organic standards
The standards are indicated as directions of sustainability and should be looked
upon at global level. The standards acknowledge measure of comparison of or qualitative
or quantitative value for degree or level of requirement of excellence or attainments and
rules of production.
The organic standards were defined as minimum production practices and
requirements, which must be followed strictly if the agricultural products to be labeled as
organic. The standards may be of
1. Global standards
i. Mandatory Standards
ii. Voluntary standards
2. Regional standards
3. National standards
4. Certification standards


Cultivation of cut flowers is quite popular in about 145 countries as there is a
large global market, which is as big as US $35 billion in terms of consumption and over
US$ 4 billion in terms of international trade. This includes $ 2.7 billion for cut flowers
and $ 1.2 billion for pot plants. The growth in demand is estimated at around 15%.
The demand of flowers is continuously growing in the world. According to the
figures of 1999 total world trade in flowers was around $30 billion. In Western countries
S 18 billion worth of flowers are sold every year. In USA flower trade is more than $11
billion worth.
Major Importers
Major importers of flowers are Germany, France and Holland. 81 per cent of
flower consumption is in these countries.

Major importers and their share of world trade


Major Exporters
Spain, Denmark and Belgium are considered to be front ranking floriculture
countries next to the Netherlands in the European Community. Outside EC, the other
important countries producing/exporting cut flowers are Costa Rica, Thailand, Zimbabwe
and Turkey. India's exports are mainly to the Netherlands, Middle East and Far East
countries. Going through Dutch auctions will help India to get product acceptance and
quality approval. However, the major markets are very quality conscious and have tough
quarantine rules.
India is also exporting RS.750 million worth of cut flowers annually to Japan,
Singapore and European countries. The government was very helpful and providing
facilities to the cut flower exporters. Production of cut flowers in India has increased to
about 34,000 acres of land. South India's share is the highest, the government has given'
incentives like: Joint venture facilities for the agriculturist who wants to grow cut flowers
in green houses; foreign collaboration was allowed with the companies which are
specialists in the production of cut flowers and were ready to buy-back the production;
seed, flowers, germplasm and tissue culture facility were exempted from custom duty for
the agriculturist; air freight subsidy was given to these exporters; where ever these types
of companies exists a Floriculture Development Centre was formed to teach them latest

techniques and short courses either on nominal rates or free of cost.

Domestic Market
India's domestic market has a great potential compared with other flower
producing and exporting countries such as Kenya, Israel, Ecuador, etc: Indian people like
flowers and by creating new markets and the surrounding infrastructure, consumers will
have better access to quality flowers. It is therefore very likely that the markets and the
whole flower industry will be successful. Of course the development will take some time.
As the main floriculture nation, the Netherlands has proved that a strong domestic market
has been the springboard for exports. As the recent development of the domestic market
shows, India could become one of the world's largest markets for floriculture products.
This advantage is unique and precious to Indian floriculture and Government has
recognized this in promoting and developing regional flower auctions. If producers in
India are encouraged to supply and develop the growing domestic market, this will
provide a safety-net and base cash flow, an outlet for non-export quality; encourage
producers to be more rigorous on export grading and more willing to accept enforced
quality controls.

It can serve as a test area for products and prices.

It gives quality feedback.

It can serve as a back up market to exports.

Development of Domestic market
The first step will be the development of the domestic market by the setting up of
new auction markets. In the second stage these, new markets will be used to improve
exports. The new auction markets should provide them with transport, handling, grading,
etc and guarantee payment.
Foreign Markets
Largely, floriculture industry remains a labour oriented industry and as a result the
production facilities are moving out of affluent countries to developing and
underdeveloped countries. Kenya's production capacity has grown multi fold in recent
years from 350 hectares to 2000 hectares. New production facilities are emerging
significantly in Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, etc. The foreign markets continue to offer
remunerative prices. For India, European & Japanese markets are lucrative from
September to March, while the markets like Australia are good from July to October. The
peripheral markets like Middle and Far East are good round the year. The markets CIS
are quite good from March till July, but it is difficult to capture these markets. The global
imports have been increasing consistently and India stands a good chance to improve its
share from 0.04% to a respectable level.
Market structure and distribution
There are three distinct types of market in Europe. The traditional wholesale
system where goods are received by importers and distributed to the primary and
secondary and terminal markets where the buyers are mainly retail florists the unique
Dutch Auction system where goods are received prepared and auctioned on a daily basis
to registered buyers who in turn sell on to exporters who repack and distribute world
wide direct sales from growers or importers to specialist operators who pre-pack, bunch

and service the non traditional florists such as the supermarkets.

Marketing Solution
Consideration must be given to group(s) of producers who should be encouraged
to export. The low and mid-tech producers don't have any means of their own to offer
their produce to the export market. Large growers and exporters should also be backed
by small and medium growers. The most obvious solution is the creation by the auction
markets of a national FLOWER EXPORT CORPORATION (FEC) that actively takes
care of the worldwide marketing of Indian Flowers.
Governmental Vision and Support
Government of India is determined to establish a flourishing export oriented
floricultural industry. The efforts already made in various parts of the country in this
regard. Six AEZs have been declared and EXIM policy has been reframed to suit the
needs of export oriented agricultural activities. Flower exports in India have grown by
300% over the last 4 years and while this is a minuscule amount of total world trade, the
Indian share of this market is expected to rise dramatically with APEDA fixing a target
of a Rs.100 Crore for exports of cut flowers within the next 3 years. National
Horticulture Mission is expected to be commissioned during the current plan with a
whopping 18000 crore budget.
Medicinal plants are the cornerstones of both human and veterinary medical
systems worldwide. In developing countries, where traditional medical systems prevail,
the majority of people depend on medicinal plants to meet daily health needs.
The increase in market led demand for medicinal plant products which are based
on natural materials and which are produced without harmful chemicals or pesticides has
been increasing rapidly in many countries as consumers become increasingly healthconscious, and the search for cures for many major health problems continues.
The world trade of medicinal plants is increasing at the rate of 7 % per annum
and also India's trade of medicinal plants is in an increasing trend. This market led
demand and the importance of medicinal plants in international trade necessitate to
analyze international trade on medicinal plants and potential and opportunities of India in
world trade of medicinal plants.
Demand for Medicinal Plants
In the US and Europe, the medicinal plants trade has typically been growing at an
average of 10 percent per annum Among this vegetable medicaments have a30% market
share. According to Nutrition Business Journal, global sales for herbs/botanicals
accounted for 18.5 billion of sales in 2000. The major market is Europe, accounting for
some 38 percent of the world market. The leading European market is Germany,
accounting for over 42 percent of the European market, followed by France (25%), Italy
(9%) and the UK (8%). The medicinal plant trade is largely conducted through Germany.
Most importers are found in Germany and it is the leading market for exporters in
developing countries. The large European markets (Germany and France) are

consolidating, while smaller markets show stronger growth. New markets at a global
level include Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, India, China and Indonesia.
The international market of medicinal plants is over 60 billion US dollar per year,
which is growing at the rate of 7 percent per annum. The top selling medicinal plants
presented in Table 1.
Table 1. Top selling medicinal plants in Europe
Gingko(Ginkgo biloha)
Valerian( Valerian a officinalis
Horse Chestnut(Aeschulus
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Bitter Orange Extract (Citrus aurantium)
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Haw Thorn (Crategus oxyacantha)
Ginseng (Panax quinquifolium)
Psyllium -(Psyllium species)
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
Butcher Broom (Ruscus aculeatus)
Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)
Pygeum (Pygeum a{ricanum)


(Source M.K. Eaves, 1998 in Commonwealth (2000)

The assessments of international trade in medicinal plants include plants and their
parts like roots, tubers, wood extract, bark, leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds indicated that
China tops the list of exporting countries followed by India, Hong Kong, Japan,
Gern1any and USA. Market survey results also confirm that this trade will increase
geometric progression. The herbal cosmetic industry playing a major role in fuelling the
above said demand for herbals.
World Export
Markets for herbal medicines in developed countries are highly regulated and
very difficult to penetrate, particularly for developing countries whose materials have not
undergone the stringent tests required by developed country pharmaceutical Industries.
Therefore developing countries tend to export unprocessed or slightly processed
materials to developed countries. In the case of India, around 80 percent is export of raw
materials including dried plants, extracts and isolated ingredients. The export of finished
medicinal products, mostly homoeopathic and ayurvedic medicines, accounts for the
remaining 20 percent.

The world export value of medicinal plants is presented in Fig 1. During last
decade (1991-2002), the world's average export is 1227.6 million US $ and in this the
developed countries have exported value of 421.4 million US $ (34.3 %) and the
developing countries have 806.2 million dollar (65.7 %) . Among developing countries,
India has exported 61.4 million US $ (7.6 %).

World Import
The main importing (by value) countries are China, Hong Kong, US, Japan and
Germany. Germany is the leading importer within Europe because its pharmaceutical
companies are major players in the world market. The market for herbal products is very
diverse throughout the world, with each region or each country having its own
prerequisites for bringing those products on the market.
The import value of medicinal plants is presented in Fig 2. During last decade
(1991-2002), the world's average import is 1252.4 million US $ and in this the developed
countries have imported value of 669.8 million US $ (53.5%) and the developing
countries have 582.7 million dollar (46.5). Among developing countries, India has
imported 4.1 million US $ (0.7 %)
Table 2.Leading Suppliers of Medicinal plants to Selected Countries
Importing Countries
Poland (13%), USA (9%), Egypt (7%), China
(7%), Bulgaria (6%), Chile (6%), France (5%),
South Africa (4%)
Spain (13%), Germany(l2%) Morocco(11 %),
China (7%), Belgium (6%), Italy (6%), The
Netherlands (4%), India (4%)
United Kingdom
USA (28%), Germany (14%), France (10%),
China (8%), Belgium (8%), India (5%), Israel
(5%), Cyprus (4%)
Germany (20%), The Netherlands (11 %), India
(11 %), Bulgaria (9%), France (8%), USA (6%),
Morocco (4%)
China (17%), USA (15%), France (14%), Austria
(8%), Germany (7%), India (4%), Croatia (3%),
Albania (2%)
The Netherland
Kenya (32%), Israel (20%), South Africa (9%),
Belgium(8%),Germany (7%), Nigeria (4%), USA
(2%), India (2%)
Sudan(22%) , Germany (20%), China (9%), India
(6%), Nigeria (5%), Egypt (5%), Chile (4%),
Turkey (4%)

Marketing channel for medicinal plants

Generally, the plant material is bought from collectors and cultivators by various
types of traders, including local dealers, village cooperatives and district traders. It is then
passed on to wholesalers, manufacturers or directly to retailers. This makes it very
difficult to identify sources of materials. Also, those at the start of the value chain have
limited access to information on value addition throughout the value chain and the actual
value of their product. The marketing channel for the medicinal and aromatic plants for

world market is presented below.


Cultivation or wild collection of
Exporters / importers / wholesalers /
brokers/ traders

Bulk ingredient suppliers and

processing companies

Manufacturers of finished products


Retail / consumer sales