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Frinday, July 1, 2005

Sami Labs to increase herbal cultivation acreage

Chennai: The Bangalore-based Rs259-crore turnover Sami Labs Limited, an ayurvedic pharmaceutical company has decided spread the cultivation of medicinal herbs to Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka and Chattisgarh. According to Dr. Muhammed Majeed, chairman and managing director, the expansion will be at an outlay of Rs 60 crore.

Sami Labs currently has 10,000 acres under herbal plant cultivation in Tamil Nadu. With the expansion plans the company and intends to increase the acreage to 30,000.

Sami Labs is primarily into cultivating coleus forskohlii, a wild plant with medicinal properties. Sami Labs and its associate in the US, Sabinsa Corporation discovered that coleus forskohlii, also called ban tulsi in Hindi, when consumed breaks down the body fat body without affecting other tissues. Thus it could be used a good weight management product. In the year 1998, Sami Labs was granted US patent for this discovery.

 
According to Muhammed Majeed, chairman and managing director, Sami Labs, the company plans to replicate in Maharashtra what it did in Tamil Nadu.
 
For the past seven years, the company has been into herbal cultivation involving farmers of Tamil Nadu covering 10,000 acres and involving 5,000 farmers directly with herbal cultivation, he added.
 
In the last financial year, Sami Labs invested close to Rs 10 crore in Salem and adjoining districts of Tamil Nadu for cultivation.
 
This financial year, Sami Labs is expanding the cultivation to 30,000 acres and covering regions in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.
 
The investment for cultivation will be to the tune of Rs 50-60 crore, said Majeed.
 
Sami Labs is primarily into cultivating Coleus forskohlii, a wild plant with medicinal properties and its associate in US, Sabinsa Corporation discovered that Coleus forskohlii (ban tulsi in Hindi) when consumed broke down fat without affecting other tissues.
 
“Thus can be used as a good weight management product. In 1998, Sami Labs was granted a US patent for the discovery,” said Majeed.
 
Sami Labs with sales of Rs 259 crore has a strong presence in United States, Japan, Australia, South Africa and China.