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Four Provinces to Be Developed as Herbal Cities


August 30, 2016

The Ministry of Public Health is promoting the use and production of herbal medicine to help increase the country’s economic value. It also plans to develop four provinces as herbal cities. The four provinces include Chiang Rai in the North, Sakon Nakhon in the Northeast, Surat Thani in the South, and Prachin Buri in the central region.
 
Among the four provinces, Prachin Buri is being developed as a "medicopolis” to provide medical tourism for both Thais and foreigners. It is the location of the Chao Phraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital, which has developed medicinal plants for healing and treatment since 1983.
 
Public Health Minister Clinical Professor Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said that demand for herbs to use in healthcare is on the rise worldwide, especially the groups of dietary supplements and cosmetics. In 2016, the Ministry of Public Health has joined hands with relevant government agencies, as well as the private sector, in working out a Master Plan on Thai Herbal Development, 2017-2021.
 
The Public Health Minister stated that this master plan, the first of its kind in Thailand, aims to carry out herbal development on a full-cycle basis. It sets a target to develop herbal plants as product champions, in response to the market demand in the country and overseas. The development of the four provinces as herbal cities is also included in the master plan for the benefit of communities. Herbal plants will be preserved and applied on a sustainable basis, as well.
 
In order to promote the use and production of herbal medicine, the Ministry of Public Health and its 23 networks are joining hands in organizing the 13th National Herb Expo at Halls 6-8, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi province, from 31 August to 4 September 2016.
 
The slogan for this event is "Thai herbs for a brighter future of Thailand.” The expo will also encourage visitors to be confident in traditional Thai medicine in medical services and health promotion and rehabilitation. Buyers from ASEAN countries will also meet sellers in Thailand to discuss the marketing of herbal medicine, in the forms of health and beauty products and dietary supplements.
 
The Government has a policy to support the research and development of herbal plants to be processed into high-quality goods. The policy will add value to Thai herbal products and expand them to the world market, especially ASEAN. The Thai herbal market is growing by 15-20 percent a year, valued at 48 billion baht annually.
 
The National Herb Expo also includes other activities, such as a display of rare herbs, short-term training in traditional medicine, innovation and research work, and folk wisdom in healthcare from the four regions of the country.
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