SL spends US$ 9 mn to import medicinal plants from India: Env. Minister
Posted on October 3rd, 2021

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Although there are enough medicinal plants in the country, Sri Lanka has spent around US$ 9 million a year to import them from India, the Environment Ministry said.

They said medicinal plants such as Aralu (Terminalia Chebula), Bulu (Terminalia Bellirica) and Nelli (Emblica Officinalis) used in Ayurvedic and Indigenous medicine have been imported from India.

These facts were revealed by the experts at the meeting of the Presidential Task Force on Green Economy with Solutions to Climate Change held at the Ministry last week.

Therefore, the Ministry suggested to the Presidential Task Force that a programme should be initiated to ensure that these plants could be grown locally.

The Chairman of the Task Force, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that under the National Tree Planting Programme implemented by the Ministry, it could also be expanded to cultivate these trees and plants in abundance in the forest areas as well as on either side of the roads.

He also pointed out that although there are medicinal plants such as Aralu and Bulu in almost all parts of the country at present, there is no proper mechanism in place to collect them systematically.

“We do not need to import such locally available medicines from India. There are enough resources in the country, but there is no formal programme adopted, and such mechanism should be initiated in consultation with the Indigenous Medicine Ministry, “he said.

Nilgala Herbal Garden has a large species of such medicinal plants and the Task Force will take steps to cultivate such plants in other forest areas as well.

He also pointed out that one of the reasons for the damage to food crops is that the wild animals find the trees that bear fruit to feed themselves have shrunken in the wild, the Minister added. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)

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