The State Medicinal Plants Board, Kerala (SMPB) was constituted under the administrative jurisdiction of Health and Family Welfare Department, Govt.of Kerala in 2002, as per the direction of the Dept. of AYUSH, Govt. of India. The AYUSH dept. in Kerala was constituted during the year 2015. From 2015 onwards the State Medicinal Plants Board is coming under the administrative jurisdiction of AYUSH Department. The aim of the SMPB is to co-ordinate matters relating to the Cultivation,Conservation, Research & Development and Promotion of medicinal plants sector in the State. SMPB has been functioning in Kerala for the past 20 years. Hon’ble Minister for Health and Social Welfare is the Chairperson and Secretary,AYUSH Dept. is the Vice Chairperson of the Board. The Board consists of official and non-official representatives from various departments and institutions. The headquarters of the SMPB is located at Thrissur and the regional office is situated at Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram. SMPB is functioning with the financial assistance State Govt. and National Medicinal Plants Board, Govt. of India. By utilizing the funds from both Central and State Govt. SMPB is implementing various prestigious projects in the State namely School Herbal Gardens, Home Herbal Gardens, Institutional Herbal Gardens, Ex-situ & In-situ conservation of medicinal plants, Conservation of Sacred Grooves with medicinal plants, programs for creation of awareness among the students and public, Grahachaithanyam project (one Neem and one curry leaf in each households), Grameenam for health and wealth (cultivation of medicinal plants cum ex-situ conservation), Production of quality medicinal plants etc.
The Kerala State is a Centre of Ayurveda treatment and industry and it is growing at a fast rate particularly with the advent of Health Tourism. The annual trade in Ayurvedic medicines is around Rs.1000 crores in Kerala. Among the raw drugs used, only 15 percent is obtained from cultivated sources. Forests are the main source of raw drugs which are collected by the Tribes and Local Communities. The demand for medicinal plants raw materials are increasing day by day. The increased demand has lead to the over exploitation of medicinal plants resources resulting in depletion of many species in forest areas. Realizing the gravity of the issues, State Medicinal Plants Boards (SMPB) has taken varieties of planting programmes with medicinal plants and Research and Development activities for the promotion of medicinal plants sector in the State.
1. Promotion of Medicinal Plants cultivation 2. Production of Quality Planting Materials 3. Survey, inventorisation and quantification of medicinal plants 4. Ex-situ & In-situ conservation of medicinal plants 5. Support to semi processing, value addition and marketing of medicinal plants 6. Conservation& Resource augmentation of RET medicinal species in high demand 7. Research and Development, Quality Certification etc. 8. Training and capacity building of Stakeholders 9. Promotional Activities viz. home /school herbal garden.