$ 3.5 million earmarked for medicinal and aromatic herbs institute
Morocco, Economics, 6/27/2000
A budget of $ 3.5 million was earmarked for the project to set up a national institute of medicinal and aromatic herbs in Taounat (near Fez), said Moroccan minister of higher education, executive training and scientific training, Najib Zerouali.
On the basis of scientific, social and economic studies, the feasibility and profitability of the project became evident, said the minister, explaining that Muslims and Arabs since time immemorial have been granting a great importance to medicinal and aromatic herbs. He added that out of a variety of 42,000 herbs in Morocco, only 850 are being used while the number of herbs processed industrially worldwide amounts to 1,000 varieties.
He cited the example of France, which imports FF 1.8 billion of herbs and exports after processing FF 8 billion. Morocco exports $ 20 mln of medical and aromatic herbs and imports $ 10 mln, and 65% of Moroccans use this traditional medicine.
He added that the institute goal would be to promote scientific research in the field, create experimental units, promote small and medium-sized enterprises and ensure resource protection.
Exploitation of this wealth is expected to create 600 small and medium-sized enterprises and generate 25,000 jobs.
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