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Paraguayan domestic market for medicinal plants about USD300 million

  • Paraguayan domestic market for medicinal plants about USD 300 million

    by Market Insider

    Tuesday, 03 May. 2016

    Paraguayan annual exports of yerba maté (Ilex paraguariensis) under tariff code HS 0903 average about USD 3.1 million and exports of other medicinal plants classified under HS 1211, which includes stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) leaf, average about USD 6.3 million annually.

    The potential domestic market for medicinal plants, however, has been estimated at about USD 300 million. This was reported on 2 May 2016 at a training workshop held by the Municipality of Hernandarias, Alto Paraná Department, Paraguay, that was attended by about 80 smallholder farmers.

    The purpose of the training workshop was to empower smallholder farms to begin learning about the production, processing and marketing of higher value crops such as medicinal plants. Additionally the farmers were being encouraged to consider growing medicinal plants expressly for the domestic market rather than export-oriented crops.

    Smallholder farmers in Paraguay are usually growing lower-value export-oriented food ingredients like cassava (Manihot esculenta) root, chia (Salvia hispanica) seed, and sesame (Sesamum indicum) seed. The workshop organizers suggest that farmers can improve household income and livelihoods by changing their focus away from reliance on external markets and towards the domestic market for higher-value medicinal plants.

    Important medicinal plants of Paraguay include the aforementioned stevia leaf and yerba maté as well as burrito (Aloysia polystachya) flowering aerial parts, holly thorn (Maytenus ilicifolia) leaf and root, lemon verbena (Aloysia citriodora) leaf, and pata de vaca (Bauhinia forficata) leaf, among others.

    Many non-native medicinal plants are also cultivated in Paraguay including bitter orange (Citrus × aurantium) peel, German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) flower, horseradish tree (Moringa oleifera) leaf, mint (Mentha spp.) leaf, papaya (Carica papaya) leaf, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) leaf, sage (Salvia officinalis) leaf, sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) peel, and West Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) leaf, among others.

    Sources:

    1. Capacitan a pequeños productores de la zona en la producción de nuevos rubros de renta. Diario Itaipu Eletronico. 02 May 2016: http://die.itaipu.gov.py/index.php?secao=noticias_itaipu&q=pt/node/3
    2. UNDP. Project Document: Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Land Management into Production Practices in all Bioregions and Biomes in Paraguay. 2014.
    3. Penner R, Shanks T, Timcke A., et al. Stevia from Paraguay. Asuncion, Paraguay: USAID. September 2004: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADB003.pdf
    4. USAID. Paraguay Vende - Plantas medicinales y aromáticas: una alternativa de producción commercial. 2010: https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1862/plantas_medicinales.pdf

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