Indian herbs to be produced in Lanka
Forty-four herbs used in ayurvedic medicine which were earlier
imported from India, are now being cultivated under the "Osu Gammana"
and "Herbal Farm Garden" projects implemented by the Ministry of
Sri Lanka is now self-sufficient in some herbs such as "Katuvalbatu"
and "Ginger" said the Minister of Indigenous Medicine, Tissa
Karalliyadda. Fortunately Sri Lanka commenced cultivation of ayurvedic
herbs under the "Osu Gammana" and "Herbal garden" projects in 2005.
India, our main raw material supplier banned the export of herbs and
more recently India banned the export of sesame seed. If we did not
launch cultivation projects a few years ago, we would have faced a
serious situation today, he said.
"Research has proved that all herbs-long-term and short-term plants
can be cultivated in Sri Lanka. Rare and expensive herbs such as
Kunkumappu which costs Rs. 25,000 a kilogramme can be cultivated in
Pattipola and in high elevations - 5,000 metres above sea level.
Devedara, Rathadun, Sudu hadun, Aralu, Nelli and Bulu are also now
cultivated under the herbal cultivation projects, he said.
Herbal farm village projects are being implemented in 54 Provincial
Secretary divisions in 15 districts with over 4,000 farmers. Five herbal
garden cultivation projects have been launched in Nikeweratiya, Peella,
Medawachchiya, Karuwalagaswewa and Meegahajandura.
The short and long-term herbal plants will be supplied to the Sri
Lanka Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation (SLADC), he said.
According to the Minister quality ayurvedic medicine is also
manufactured by the SLADC and leading private sector ayurvedic medicine
manufacturing organisations to meet the local and foreign demand.
The Minister said that a survey conducted by the World Health
Organisation (WHO) has revealed that 70 per cent of the population in
developing countries depend on traditional systems of medicine to find
solutions for their health problems. The situation in Sri Lanka is no
different, he said.
Under the "Mahinda Chintana" concept Hela Weda Punarudha, the
resurgence of the system of traditional medicine was implemented to
serve the majority of the people in Sri Lanka.
The results and the progress of the project are visible. In the 2008
Budget Rs. 57,800 million was allocated to the Western medical sector
and only Rs. 1,329 million was allocated to the traditional medical
sector. Funds will be allocated to the traditional medical sector to
continue its projects, he said.