Ghana’s herbal industry has the potential to widen the nation’s foreign exchange earnings, Dr Kofi Bobi Barimah, the Acting Executive Director of the Centre for Plant Medicine Research, has said.   

He has therefore called for investment and support to the sector to add value to traditional and herbal medicines for export to enhance the nation’s foreign exchange and spur rapid socio-economic growth and development. 

Dr Barimah said herbal medicine was efficacious and had huge market value both locally and internationally, adding that more than 70 per cent of Ghanaians used herbal medicine.   

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani, the Acting Executive Director noted that Ghana’s ability to manage the herbal industry would create more jobs and increase revenue.

However, Dr Barimah expressed regret about uncontrolled abuse of herbal drugs among Ghanaians, which remained detrimental to the health of the people.   

Herbal plants such as ‘Kaya, Neem tree and Mahogany’, he explained, had high medicinal value, but added that their misuse remained a challenge.

Dr Barimah stressed the need to make the herbal industry attractive and called on the Food and Drug Authority to regulate the sector effectively and clamp down on unlicensed herbal dealers.   

Public demand and use of herbal medicine, he noted, kept increasing because of its proven efficacy, saying 40 health facilities in the country were providing herbal care services.