Export of Medicinal Plants
Export of medicinal plants is one of the most popular fields for export. Due to the special climatic conditions that Iran enjoys, the use of medicinal plants on a wider scale is not far from expected. Medicinal plants are used to prevent and treat many diseases, but its use is not limited to this case; But medicinal plants are also used in many industrial medicines.
In the past, the use of such plants was limited to their own plants. But nowadays, due to their special importance, plants with medicinal properties are cultivated on a wider scale. The process of growing such plants has been promoted to the point where Iran has been promoted as a main hub for the export of medicinal plants at the global level.
Importance of Exported Medicinal Plants
As mentioned earlier, due to the diverse climatic conditions in Iran, the cultivation of medicinal plants with high diversity and on a wide scale is carried out in the country. According to the obtained statistics, the diversity of medicinal plants in Iran, at its lowest level, is more than 2 times that of the European continent.
Many of these plants have not only medicinal properties but also cosmetic, aromatic and spice properties. For this reason, many global pharmaceutical companies use Iranian medicines and medicinal plants to produce the medicines they need. Among these, we can mention saffron, thyme, savory and cumin.
According to the needs of foreign pharmaceutical companies for such plants, the production and export of medicinal plants is increasing day by day. Therefore, knowledge of these plants is mandatory for people who want to do business in this field.
Before mentioning the names of medicinal plants, it is good to know that they are exported in three forms: essential oil, extract and oil. The most common export plants include cumin, chamomile, yarrow, black pepper, marshmallow, anise, thyme, asparagus, hyssop, yarrow, turmeric, anghuzeh, licorice, turpentine, henna, cumin, lemon balm, sage, wild celery., Persiavshan, Gaz Khansar, Chicory flower, Cow’s tongue flower, Lavender, Bo leaf, etc. The main buyers of export plants are Turkey, Russia, UAE, Oman, Japan, Germany and China.
Import of Medicinal Plants
Despite the richness of Iran in terms of medicinal plants, some plants are imported into the country in the form of spices and herbs. This import mostly includes plants such as turmeric, pepper, asparagus, black pepper and cumin and it is imported from Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. The good news is that due to Iran’s use of medicinal plants, their import has been reduced to a minimum.
Conditions for the Export of Medicinal Plants
People who wish to export activities in the field of medicinal plants should be familiar with the conditions of such export and the rules governing it. To start, we must obtain the necessary permits from the relevant institutions. Due to the direct relationship that such plants have with humans and their health, the sensitivities for their export and import are more. These sensitivities are seen both by the countries of origin and by the relevant institutions in the destination countries.
In this regard, it is necessary for producers and exporters to refer to some regulatory institutions to obtain the necessary permits. Institutions such as the Ministry of Health and Medicine, Agriculture and Industry, Mining and Trade. The mentioned organization, by examining the products in terms of export plant standards, issues the necessary licenses and certificates.
In addition to obtaining permits, we must also be familiar with the written laws in this field. Normally, to produce an edible product, we do not need to comply with some special rules in this field. Now, if we want to make this food ready for export, the situation becomes more difficult and complicated.
What is necessary to pay attention to is that each country has its own laws and regulations in the field of export and import of medicinal plants. Therefore, for exporting in this area, we must consider not only the domestic laws but also the laws of the destination countries. Considering the rich profit of exporting these products, it is necessary for businessmen, especially Iranian businessmen, to learn the rules related to this branch of business.
1. Poor Branding and Marketing
Despite the fact that our country has a good potential for the cultivation and export of medicinal plants, one of the issues that is lacking is the lack of proper branding in this field. This issue makes foreign countries use our export plants to create their own brand and export it with a higher amount.
Marketing in this field should also be done in a proper way so that as a result, exports are done based on consumer needs. Marketing operations include activities such as warehousing, transportation, packaging, and conversion.
Contrary to the ability of Iran in the production of medicinal plants, unfortunately, it performs very poorly in the packaging of these plants. The export of these plants is done in bulk, and this is to our detriment in the target markets; Why is it packaged and sold at a higher price in the importing country, for example, the UAE? In addition, the lack of proper packaging causes the loss of the quality of our export plants with other export plants.
3. Raw Sales
Selling raw materials is one of the damages that can make our economy fail. Sending raw medicinal plants to other countries makes them processed and sold as herbal medicines in the target countries. While the production and supply of medicinal plants with proper regulations can generate currency for the country.
Up To Sum
Taking advantage of the climatic potential has led to the cultivation of medicinal plants on a large scale. However, due to the lack of compliance with appropriate policies in this field, we have not succeeded as we should and perhaps in the field of earning currency through the export of medicinal plants. Paying attention to global standards in this field, familiarity with relevant laws and regulations, creating competitive advantages, correct marketing and suitable packaging can make the way for exports in this field smoother.