Striking gold

In a programme organised to mark the fourth anniversary of Singhadurbar Baidhyakhana Development Committee, Minister for General Adiminstration, Pampha Bhusal, underscored the need to restructure the state-run manufacturer of Ayurvedic medicines. This is welcome news. Though Nepal is a treasure trove of medicinal herbs, the government, in spite of its efforts in the past, has not been able to properly exploit its herbal resources. Moreover, the need for experiments and research to discover the curative powers of many herbs and bring them to medicinal use has long been felt. Proper restructuring might help turn Baidhyakhana into a commercial manufacturer of herbal medicines.

Dozens of private manufacturers of Ayurvedic medicines have mushroomed over the years. With proper marketing techniques, they claim to have made good profits. Surprisingly, Baidhyakhana seems to straggle far behind commercially, though its products are vaunted to be of high quality. Baidhyakhana must adopt modern marketing techniques too in order to be able to compete with its private rivals. Moreover, it has to sell medicines at prices that are cost-effective. Ayurveda can be developed to meet our medicinal demand and reduce our reliance on imported allopathic medicines. If this can be done, it would not only save millions spent on imported medicines but also be a big source of revenue .