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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Global trading in herbal products estimated at N19. 9trn

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Winifred Oyo-Ita, has said that trading in herbal products worldwide is estimated at $100 billion, about N19. 9 trillion,  NaijaAgroNet reports.

She said herbal products have become a great source of job and wealth creation worldwide even as she urged African countries to exploit their natural resources.

“I understand that Nigeria, like most other African countries presently, is yet to play very significant roles in this business. With our vast bio-resources, biodiversity and investment opportunities coupled with our competitive national advantage in this area and activities such as this, we should rapidly start to reserve this trend.”

“Given the important contribution that trade makes to economic growth and poverty reduction, we must strive to sustain Africa’s bio-resources and biodiversity to exploit her abundant natural resources.”

Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita was speaking at the 2015 HERBFEST workshop with the theme “Food as medicine: utilisation and sustainable exploitation of African medicinal plants and natural products” which was jointly organised by the Bio-Resources Development and Conservation Programme (BDCP), Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) and Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA).

According to The Nation report, she recognized science and technology as a veritable tool to drive the economy towards growth and sustainable development, adding the ministry has the critical and strategic mandate to boost the sector.

“For the nation’s bio-business to thrive and be sustained, her medicinal, aromatic and pesticidal plants (MAPPs), animals/animal parts and other raw materials used for herbal medicine, species, cosmetics and other products development need to be properly identified, made readily available and backed with scientific evidence based information and technological infrastructure to enable their cultivation and conservation,” she advocated.

Cyriacus Nnaji/ED,OPs
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