--By Archana Prajapati
With people from across the world looking increasingly to enjoy the benefits of alternative health care systems, the Ayurvedic medicine business has attracted big new investors in recent times. The ancient knowledge of Aurveda has started benefitting from modern research resulting in new, quality products in the market.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a two day visit to Nepal in 2014, said that Nepal should become a leading exporter of herbal medicines and India was ready to support this.
The list of investors putting money in the sector includes Indian yoga guru Ramdev, the Chaudhary Group and Dabur Nepal, among others. Former NRN President Upendra Mahato has also announced that he will invest Rs 10 billion in industries including the ayurvedic industry.
“The main attraction these days is to use herbs as raw materials and export pre-cuts to India and China,” says Madan Basnet, director of Gorakhnath Herbaceuticals.
Dr Babu Raj Amatya of the Department of Drug Administration says that as the sector becomes attractive to businesses, more money is being invested in modern research techniques to improve methods and to find new products.
Similarly, KL Dugar group of enterprises has started a herbal refinery with cold storage facilities. This refinery, based in Nepalgunj Industrial estate, refines and packages herbs.
In fiscal year 2011/12, only 51 companies in Nepal were registered as pharmaceuticals producing medicinal, chemical and botanical products. But now, over 40 establishments alone are producing Ayurvedic medicine.
The Department of Drug Administration (DDA) is in the process of making it mandatory for companies manufacturing medicine to comply with the good manufacturing practice (GMP) of the WHO. This is expected to further help improve the quality of Ayurvedic medicine in the country.
"Just recently, 10 new establishments have received permission to produce Ayurvedic medicine," says Dr Amatya. According to him, such medicines produced in Nepal are being exported to the US, the United Kingdom, France and South Africa.