The Governor of Imo State, Sen. Hope Uzodimma has stressed the need for harnessing and development of herbs and plants with medicinal value for both domestic and commercial applications out of the rich ecosystem Africa is endowed with.
The Governor spoke when he declared open the HerbFest Conference organised by Bioresources Development Group in collaboration with the Government of Imo State and other federal government agencies at Sam Mbakwe Hall, Concord Hotel Owerri, Thursday.
Governor Uzodimma said that the “African Ecosystem is greatly endowed with rich plants and herbs that possess therapeutic properties that are good for modern medicine” and expressed government’s readiness to support research that would improve the life and health of Imo people.
The Governor stressed that “the originality and availability of herb products were expected to eliminate counterfeit or fake products as well as protect users from unwarranted side effects.” He assured that government would ensure proper regulations through its agencies.
He commended the organisers of the event led by Prof Maurice Iwu for their dedication to research on medicinal products with potentials for use in the treatment and management of diseases and promised a conducive environment for growers of medicinal plants in Imo State.
The Governor thanked the organisers for choosing Imo State for this year’s Conference, reiterating that some of the participants who have not been in Imo State for a long time will have the opportunity of discovering the hospitality that Imo State is known for.
He noted that the Conference was coming at the right time.
Governor Uzodimma further assured of the support of the State government in the area of monitoring and evaluation of the output of medicinal research.
He reassured that Imo State is ready for business and will welcome any proposal to deepen the research of those connected with Herbfest.
Speaking on the gains of the Conference, the President Bioresources Development Group, Prof. Maurice Iwu explained that Herbfest is an annual event and that this year’s edition happens to be the 14th in the series of the programme.
Iwu explained that the 2023 event is apt with the theme: “Medicinal Plants for Economic Development”, noting that scientists and herbalists access themselves.
The keynote speaker, Prof Kasim Musa Waziri of the University of Abuja said that herbal medicine has value chain that makes it a source of income, a source of raw materials for orthordox medicine, among others.
He noted that the prospects in herbal medicine requires taking steps to foster planning, recognising that it is a source of income and that it can be used as an effective cure for cancer and other ailments.
Waziri suggested that for herbal sources to be sustained there is need to continue to cultivate the various plants.
The Conference was attended by the secretary to the Imo State Government, Chief Cosmos Iwu, the Chief of Staff, Barr Nnamdi Anyaehie, some members of the Expanded Executive Council, among other dignitaries.
Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the Governor