200,000 Tonnes of Medicinal Plants Produced Annually; Medicinal Plants a Substitution for Non-Oil Exports
The executive manager of Medicinal Plants Development Plan of Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization stated that cultivation development and harvest of medicinal plants are potentials of the country’s natural resources, making it possible to import currencies, replacing the great oil resources.
Fariborz Gheibi, The executive manager of Medicinal Plants Development Plan of Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization, referring to the country’s 2300 herbal species with medical properties, added, “Considering the diverse climates of Iran, it can be said that most of the world’s plants can be cultivated in the country, and can have medical, cosmetic and industrial use.”
Fariborz Gheibi indicated that the nature of Iran has a wide variety, out of the 13 global climates, 11 of which exist in Iran, and we must make the most of God’s greatest blessing.
The executive manager of Medicinal Plants Development Plan of Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization mentioned that the history of medicinal plants’ properties dates back to a long time ago and said, “The most significant scholars such as Avicenna, Jorjani and Zakariya Razi used medicinal plants as a source of treatment of diseases and ailments.”
He further stated that over 200 thousand tonnes of medicinal plants are annually produced in the country-70 medicinal plants species are cultivated by the locals in an area of 183,000 hectares in Iran.
Medicinal plants’ cultivation will increase up to 500 thousand hectares.
Dr. Gheibi referred to one of the most important goals of Ministry of Agriculture Jihad as, the development of medicinal plants cultivation in rangeland, he went on to say, “In the course of the Sixth Development Plan and according to the Medicinal Plants Development Document, Ministry of Agriculture Jihad has been required to increase the medicinal plants cultivation area, both agricultural lands and people’s lands, from 183,000 hectares to 500,000 hectares.”
Gheibi insisted that the cultivation of medicinal plants can provide permanent employment for the local people, “In the researches carried out, medicinal plants cultivation is twice to three times more economical than the cultivation of wheat and barley, however, first, the production chain and medicinal plants value chain must be determined, i.e. there needs to be a plan for the stages of cultivation, harvest and export. If the trading, marketing and export issues are not resolved, we can not improve in the medicinal plants industry.”
The executive manager of Medicinal Plants Development Plan of Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization referred to the shortage of water and said that medicinal plants cultivation needs to be drought-resistant, and since they are low-cost, these species can be very effective in the change of the cultivation pattern.
One big problem in this field is the raw export of medicinal plants, according to Dr. Gheibi, “We need to be looking for processing of these products through processing industries, setting the groundwork for the global competition of this product.”
The executive manager of Medicinal Plants Development Plan of Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization further noted, “Based on the annual figures, 450 million-dollar-worth of 25 thousand tonnes of medicinal plants, on average, are exported as raw products. We are hoping to have ten-fold increase of that figure, based on the plans made for the potentials we have in our country, to be able to import currencies and by transforming the materials into secondary materials, have an exceptional market for these products of our country.”