Nutraceutical Trade executives feel that The Biodiversity Act 2002 is limiting the expansion of the nutraceutical sectors as well as the farmers as this act attracts both the entry and profit-sharing and further imposes numerous taxes. For those who are not aware of what are Nutraceuticals or what does the Nutraceutical Industry deals in then, Nutraceuticals are those products that are isolated from foods and generally are sold in medicinal forms. They can be defined as any food or any part thereof which has several health benefits. These benefits include the prevention and treatment of many diseases in addition to all the basic nutritional values which are found in foodstuff. Nutraceuticals are used as a way to reduce not only the expensive but also the high-tech disease treatment approaches currently being employed in developed countries. The nutraceutical industry represents a very dynamic and evolving entity offering numerous novel opportunities so as to merge two things in the industry of health-enhancing foods i.e., a scientific discovery with growing consumer interest. However, the products of this industry are capable enough to represent a direct response to the demands of their customers as this industry is known to always keep track of and monitor consumer trends. The nutraceutical industry is comprised of three major segments i.e., functional foods, dietary supplements, and herbal/natural products.

“The Act discourages the end consumers of these ingredients such as nutraceutical companies to opt for backward integration. There is no incentive to even enter the contract farming that can support and uplift the farmers. This effort by the industry requires a commitment to investing in building agriculture capability, but BDA taxes all such effort disincentivizing the industry in investing here,” mentioned Sanjaya Mariwala who is the govt. chairman and managing director of OmniActive Health Technologies. He is also the founder and president of the Association of Herbal and Nutraceuticals Manufacturers of India.

The nutraceutical trade is at its nascent stage at present. It has the capability to represent vital socio-economic advantages with promising double-digit progress alternatives. However, the nutraceutical trade was valued at $382 billion in the year 2019 worldwide and India was at $5 billion. There are chances that nutraceutical trade will be developed at a CAGR of 9% worldwide within the interval of 2017-2025. The main reasons behind such probability are the rising consciousness, acceptability of preventive care, and nature-based options. The trade is however being dominated by the areas of Asia-pacific which occupies almost 31% of the pie resulting in a rise at a CAGR of 11%.

“Though endowed with all the resources, and Ayurveda being the intellectual property of India, our country contributes only 1-2% of the global nutraceuticals trade and lag far behind China contributing 14%. The real challenge is the complexity and ambiguity of current practices and regulations,” mentioned Mr. Mariwala.

India is one of the main suppliers’ of the global markets for the products like medicinal crops and natural extracts. Some of such crops and extracts are Curcumin from turmeric, ginger, chilies, or piperine from black pepper or mucuna, Ashwagandha, or Coleus. India is counted amongst the top three producers of such medicinal crops and natural extracts on the planet.

“The nutraceutical industry procures over 10lakhs MT of herbal and medicinal plants annually through contract farming and from the open market. Farm bill amendments have opened a direct channel to tie up with the farmers offering an opportunity to increase their income by 10x and benefit the industry players too as they can be assured of the required quality of crops. However, for manufacturers to invest further and set up capacities, regulators will have to iron out regressive laws and policies. One such example is the Biodiversity Act 2002” mentioned Mr. Mariwala.

He also talked about the necessity of maintaining a steadiness between the ecology and the enterprises. Thus, having an accommodative strategy is equally important to lay out the rules. It is high time to re-look at all such restrictive and overlapping insurance policies. However, an autonomous recognition to the nutraceutical trade will make it very certain for the people in the trade to generate tangible outcomes.

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