Member of this council said, “The producers of medicinal plants seeds will be supported.”
Considering the importance of National Document of Medicinal Plants and Traditional Medicine, Fazlollah Safikhani said, “In the directive of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, for each of the members that are responsible for policy-making and implementation of this document, certain obligations have been determined and defined.”
He went on to say, “In compliance with that, National Council for Science and Technology Development of Medicinal Plants and Traditional Medicine of Vice-presidency for Science and Technology has some responsibilities concerning executive, strategic and collaborative policy-making as well as monitoring of the indexes and establishing a connection between divisions in order to develop knowledge-based technology and industry.”
Safikhani explained, “National Council for Science and Technology Development of Medicinal Plants and Traditional Medicine of Vice-presidency for Science and Technology consists of various executive divisions, representatives and undersecretaries of Ministry of Agriculture Jihad, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare, and other related divisions.”
“In order to implement its responsibilities of National Document of Medicinal Plants and Traditional Medicine, This council has defined a long term plan for itself to include all those goals,” he said.
This member of Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands added, “Among these aims which have been predicted in 1404 Document, we can specify one goal, that is to gain 20 percent share of the medicine market value for medicinal plants.”
Safikhani further specified, “Since medicinal plants are identified as industrial plants, and agro-industry is applied to them, this has made it possible for us to take steps in this path by means of the knowledge-based companies and with the modern know-hows.”
Referring to the decrease in the harvest areas from natural resources, which is presently on the rise, he said, “This fact is threatening the genetic resources and is destroying the ecosystem of nature. Therefore, this area must reduce to 200,000 hectares.”This member of National Council for Science and Technology Development of Medicinal Plants and Traditional Medicine of Vice-presidency for Science and Technology, indicated that another one of the aims of this document, is to increase the cultivation areas of medicinal plants up to 500,000 hectares.
He pointed out, “The production of medicinal plants active compounds in nature is the reaction to adverse environmental conditions and are identified as secondary metabolites. These active compounds are what we use as herbal medicine.”
Safikhani further noted, “When transferring the plants from their rangelands to the farms, a decrease in active compounds can be seen. However, in order to address this issue, we can take agricultural measures so that the active compounds of the plants remain as their natural amount and that they meet the society’s demands.”
He stressed that agriculture is a science just like any other economic branches. Therefore, any activities and productions in this field needs to be based on knowledge and technology. Aligned with that, those research projects that are implemented in Ministry of Agriculture Jihad, such as applicable projects, since their topics and primary subjects are taken from the executive divisions, therefore, the results derived from them are also applicable and are given to the executive divisions.
This academic member of Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands considered the important point in this regard as, the fact that any production of medicinal plants in the country requires a suitable and standard seed.
He said, “National Council for Science and Technology Development of Medicinal Plants and Traditional Medicine of Vice-presidency for Science and Technology has determined each and every member of the council to prepare a road map as their main mission. One of the most important points that have been predicted in this road map is the production and distribution of standard and certified seeds.”
Safikhani indicated that, “According to the law, it is the responsibility of Seed and Plant Certification and Registration Institute to monitor and supervise the production and distribution of seeds, saplings and the vegetative organs of medicinal plants. To do that, this institute started forming teams of experts consisting of governmental sectors and private companies producing medicinal plants since 2014, and it is planning to prepare the related standards for medicinal plants.”
He specified that, “So far, we have produced improved seeds of Rosa damascena, chamomile, thyme, coriander, cumin, savory and saffron bulbs , therefore, we promise the producers of medicinal plants seeds and saplings, that this will be put to practice and implemented as of April 2016. Any of the manufacturers that are ready to produce varieties of medicinal plant seeds, having fulfilled the required standards, will be supported by Seed and Plant Improvement Institute.”