Safed Musli All Set To Take On Viagra, Ginseng

New Delhi, Nov 14: | Updated: Nov 15 2003, 05:30am hrs
Domestic herbal product Safed Musli is all set to challenge the Korean Ginseng and Pfizers Viagra in the world markets.

Safed Musli, apart from being a health tonic, is a remedy for erectile and orgasmic dysfunction also. Having passed adequate clinical trials, Safed Musli will now be sold in the European and North American markets not as mere food supplements like many of the ayurvedic products, but as a registered medicine.

The US-based Integrity Neucauticals that will market Safed Musli from the Hyderabad-based Nandan Agro Farms in bulk has already moved the US food and drug administration for registering it as a medicine.

Similarly the Switzerland-based Spearhead Sarl has also taken up the responsibility of marketing the product in Europe and the Gulf countries and getting it registered as a medicine in Europe.

The current size of global market for herbal products is $150 billion and is now growing at the rate of 7 per cent per annum.

The global market for herbal products is likely to touch $5 trillion by 2050, says a study done by the WHO. In this context, the director of Nadan Agro, Mr V Bhaskar Rao said Safed Musli is emerging as an alternative to Viagra worldwide. The current demand for Safed Musli is estimated at 35,000 tonne whereas only 5,000 tonne are produced in the country.

Nandan Agros marketing director CS Jadhav comparing the potential markets for Indian and Chinese herbal products said In wake of the increasing shift towards natural products and natural remedies across the world, medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) hold an immense business opportunity. While India and China equally have 30 per cent of plant resources, China has been able to make effective use of MAPs as a catalyst to their economic growth by earning forex equal to Rs 22,000 crore annually, Indias exports have been staggering at Rs 500 crore.

Mr Jadhav further said that in US, 25 per cent of the medical prescriptions were for medicines made out of extracts of plant leaves.

He said that Nadan Agro has entered into a partnership with the Gurgaon based, SPN Impex which in turn will enter into contractual agreements with farmers in north India for cultivation of Safed Musli.

Managing director of SPN Impex, Upen Nagpal said the National Horticulture Board and the National Medicinal Plant Board are rendering a subsidy of 25 per cent with a maximum ceiling limit of Rs 2.5 million per plot. We will make best use of this subsidy. We will enter in contractual agreements with farmers for providing seeds and other inputs, technical advise and buyback of dry musli at a minimum guaranteed price of Rs 1,000 per kg.