|Medicinal plants: An expanding role in development (WB, 1996, 32 p.)|
|4. Toward a strategy|
Any future strategy should be based on good knowledge of the economics and commercial operations surrounding medicinal plants. A preliminary review of available data on markets and prices indicates that at present no complete data for even a single medicinal species is available.
Despite the fact that herbal products are being exported in large quantities, few plant of medicinal importance are subject to international regulations, and little is known about the volume of such trade. There is not even a clearcut understanding about the factors affecting the trade. For instance, almost no data on actual production, employment, pricing, and financial flows between countries is available. The market prices for medicinal plants and materials derived from them provide only limited insight into the workings of the markets and their profits.
All of these uncertainties need to be taken into account in developing strategies and policies for future decision-making purposes.