PMNH hosts expo of medicinal and aromatic plants

medicinal plant 2_optIN COLLABORATION with the Pakistan Science Foundation, Pakistan Museum of Natural History and MEDA-Pakistan, NRSP organized a one-day seminar and exhibition on the PMNH premises on June 17, 2013. The event was a planned activity of NRSP under the USAID-Entrepreneurs value chain project on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Swat. The event was focused to highlight the commercial importance, trade development and conservation status of valuable Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) of Swat and to link producers and buyers for sustainable business development in future. Success of the programme is the outcome of sincere efforts of collaborating partners.

The significant guidance of Director General PMNH Dr. Ata Ul Mohsin, and contribution of Dr. Muhammad Ismail Bhatti, Dr. Aneel Gilani, Dr. Salim Ahmad, and Dr. Leghari remained a major factor behind the success of the event.

The seminar and exhibition was attended by stakeholders from herbal industry, research and academia, traders and lead entrepreneurs of NRSP communities. Main objective of the event was to enhance the linkages and business interaction of the producers with buyers, exporters and research institutions needing MAPs as starting material for their productive projects. The joint market promotion activities of MEDA and NRSP under the USAID-Entrepreneurs enabled the lead entrepreneurs for selling their products at national and export level at high prices as compared to its sale in local markets before project interventions.

Project impact is providing a platform for the collectors resulting in handsome profits. Introduction of new marketable species in the communities and its exposure in the exhibitions is a sign of wisdom for collectors, their families and coming generations.

While speaking on the occasion, PSF Chairman Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro said that Pakistan science foundation is the home of innovations in the field of Science and Technology. The foundation focuses minor and major functional areas which can add to the development of science and technology at all levels of education and research. Scientific exhibitions and interactive sessions are part of PSF domain. No doubt that such simple event often leads to major scientific discoveries.

In his address, Dr. Ata Ul Mohsin, Director General PMNH, said that under the umbrella of PSF, PASTIC and PMNH are the key institutions to work, support and arrange scientific events, seminars and symposia on science and technology. He said that the exhibition of MAPs has brought together the stakeholders who will coordinate and collaborate in future to work for sustainable use and conservation of medicinal and aromatic plants of the country.

Prof. Dr. Khalil Ahmed Ibupoto, Acting Chairman, PSF, said that this exhibition is really leading to a sense of awareness about this important natural resource. In the global context it is a dire need to explore areas of micro entrepreneurship development to search the ways and means for self employment and reduce poverty.

In his remarks, Dr. Akram Shaikh, DG PASTIC, said that the main idea of the event was to share and pool the strengths and capabilities. Our main dilemma is to work in isolation and not sharing information. As discussed during event PASTIC can help in the digitization of data related to herbs available in Pakistan.

Dr. Rahmatualh Qureshi, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, said that it is a matter of fact that participation in seminars/workshops and symposia provide platform for the professionals and stakeholders to join their hands for collective efforts on one point agenda that is generation and sharing of knowledge.

Hakeem Salman, President Alternative Medicine Association Pakistan, said that NRSP and MEDA efforts are appreciable. I salute the efforts of Mr. Abid Rahman Marwat who always remain in touch and work day and night for the promotion of herbs marketing and welfare of poor marginalized people. The work done by NRSP is really a great job.

Dr. M.K Leghari, Director BSD, PMNH, said that PMNH under Pakistan Science Foundation is the home of science and undertake all efforts for the conservation and sustainable utilization of flora, fauna and geological resources. The exhibition of MAPs by NRSP is highly encouraging and such activities leads to awareness and conservation as well as sustainable use.

Derald Smart Director Marketing MEDA-Pakistan, said that This is an occasion of pleasure for the USAID-Entrepreneurs, MEDA-Pakistan and NRSP to have a diverse gathering of scientists, buyers and producers. This activity will add much to future business development and linkages of producers with buyers from industry, market, research and retail outlets.

Other scholars who spoke on the occasion included Prof Dr. Zabta Khan Shinwari, Dr. Muhammad Ibrar Shinwari, Aurang Zeb, Agha Ali Jawad General Manager NRSP Islamabad, Shamim Akhtar Director Value Chain USAID-Entrepreneurs Project, Dr. Bushra Mirza Chairperson Department of Biochemistry QAU Islamabad, Dr. Pervez Akhtar Qureshi MD Kamal Labs, Abid Rahman Marwat Marketing Manager MEDA-Pakistan, and Dr. Rizwan, Managing Director, Innova Life Science.

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