Ethno-pharmacological Interventions and Value Chain (VC) of Medicinal Plants (MPs): A Cohesive Approach for Sustained Livelihood

Neha Sharma


Introduction: It is imperative to ascertain and validate the importance of medicinal plants (MPs) as one of the
significant pointers of socio-economic development. Value chains (VCs) and effective supply chain management
system are essential tools for establishing a network of farm produce until it is end-use as a value-added processed
product. This necessarily requires throughput policy initiatives for bridging raw produce until grass-root innovative
practices are attained as value addition. This hierarchical platform in Indian context is being catered to by National
MPs Board under Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy. Key step lies in
connecting socio-ecological, ethnopharmacological, and socio-economic factors and deciphering all the probable
pathways leading to revenue generation by involving all stakeholders in a VC. Methods: Through extensive
literature search encompassing 90 articles and book chapters, 8 web links, 3 conference proceedings, and 5
reports released by the World Health Organization, USAID, and Food and Agriculture Organization respectively
on VC analysis of MPs in Indian context, we prepared metadata. Results: This metadata comprehensively led to
our understanding of identifiable gaps in ethnopharmacological studies and a need to re-route the VC involving
institutional settings and NGOs in particular. This also led to our understanding of further exploratory studies aimed
at the establishment of pharmacovigilance centers, DNA barcoding for unknown species, and best conservation
practices. Discussion: Essentially, VCs act as a conglomerate of agriculture/horticulture, technical interventions
leading to innovations, sustainable and viable business models with utmost profit to main stakeholder – The
farmer. Need of an hour is to stringently monitor and establish an equilibrium between demand versus supply. This
can be facilitated by a convergence of all stakeholders, including farmers, scientists, industrialists, innovators,
policymakers, and traditional healers. Conclusion: Different policy initiatives have been envisaged and executed
by Government support systems to establish a cohesive approach between producers and consumers with an
impetus to innovative technology development followed by its transfer to industrial counterparts. This integrative
concept would not only lead to value proposition in MPs sector but would also have a way for the establishment
of special-purpose vehicles leading to financial sustenance hence promoting a probabilistic gateway to circular

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