New Delhi: According to The Print, Centre has set up an inter-ministerial group to fix the minimum support price for cultivators of medicinal herbs, in a bid to boost the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
Four ministries — commerce and industry; agriculture and farmer welfare; environment, forest and climate change; and AYUSH — are working on a plan to decide the MSPs for over 1,200 traditional herbs.
“India sells the cheapest traditional medicines across the world. To encourage the cultivators and discourage the exploitation of these farmers by middlemen and pharmaceutical companies, we will introduce MSPs of the herbs under the Ayushman Bharat scheme,” said Rajesh Kotecha, secretary of the AYUSH ministry.
For instance, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has become one of the most popular ayurvedic herbs, as it supports the immune system during critical procedures such as chemotherapy. The MSP for the herb is likely to be fixed around Rs 300 per kg.
The move is expected to give a big push to the market for AYUSH (ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy) products and services — from the current Rs 19,500 crore to a ministry estimate of Rs 65,000 crore in the next five years.