Medicinal plants are nature's hidden and to a large extent unexplored treasure. Although they have been used as a source of safe and effective medicine since time immemorial, this potential resource has hardly been commercially tapped. India is endowed with about 8000 species of medicinal plants. According to a recent estimate of the Planning Commission, Government of India, the potential for plant-based crude drugs is about Rs. 400 billion. Globally, the demand for medicinal plants and their derivatives is growing at a rate of 7–15%. Thus, considering the current market size and future growth prospects, there is a huge requirement for cultivation of medicinal plants in India. Medicinal plant biodiversity, conservation and commercial exploitation offers promising avenues of self-employment and business opportunities particularly in the rural areas preventing mass exodus of manpower to cities. Advances in Medicinal Plants is a result of a national seminar held to address challenging opportunities in the field of medicinal plants. The papers presented were on a wide range of topics, including strategies for conserving medicinal plant biodiversity, GIS mapping of medicinal plant diversity and cultivation of important medicinal crops.
K Janardhan Reddy and Bir Bahadur
3-6-747/1/A and 3-6-754/1,
Himayatnagar, Hyderabad 500 029
Phone: (040) 27662849, 27662850
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