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Centre sets up Task Force to propel research, manufacture & market access for nutraceutical sector

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

In an effort to give the much-needed impetus to the nutraceutical sector and unlock its growth potential, government of India is now looking to address the challenges that the industry is facing with the approval of a competent authority which is a 14-member Task Force.

This Task Force with a term of two years is constituted under the chairmanship of Dr K Vijayaraghavan, principal scientific adviser (PSA) to the government of India. It is expected to propel the growth of the sector which gained considerable importance during the ongoing COVID-19 period where immunity came to the centre-stage which highlighted the indispensability of nutraceutical consumption for better health.

In fact the formation of the Task Force is a result of extensive discussions by the industry representatives with the PSA to the Union government.

While the Task Force is chaired by Dr K Vijayaraghavan, it is supported by 10 members: Dr. Anand Swaroop, president, CEPHAM, Sanjaya Mariwala , chairman and managing director, OMniActive, Amit Srivastava, chief catalyst, Nutrify Today, Dr Anil Jain, Gangwal Chemicals , Dr Raktim Chattopadhyay, Espere Nutrition, SK Rajan, director, Ministry of Commerce, Dr Sumit Garg, department of pharmaceuticals, Dr Manoj Nesari, advisor, Ministry of Ayush with Dr Deepak Londhe, research officer as alternative member, Dr DBA Narayana, chair, scientific panel on nutraceuticals for FSSAI along with Arun K Sharma, expert, nutraceuticals and Dr Komal Chauhan, associate professor, NIFTEM, MoFPI. The two member ex-officio are Dr Hemlatha director, NIN and Dr Sridevi Annapurna Singh, director, CSIR-CFTRI and Dr Meenakshi Singh, chief scientist, CSIR.

The agenda for the task force is to identify challenges to achieve the full potential of the nutra sector and suggest measures including policy initiatives. They will also chalk out the strategy to define HSN codes and look into international initiatives like the UNPA-India Initiative. Further, they will also look at the introducing the sector to the productivity linked incentive (PLI) scheme. Efforts are to identify the top 10 products to focus on internationalizing for global leadership are also on the cards. They will assess the need for a Centre of Excellence (CoE) at defined locations to undertake advanced R&D and innovation. Going forward, experts would also be invited for any of the meetings if deemed necessary.

According to Amit Srivastava, chief catalyst, Nutrify Today, although the market size is US$ 9 billion with a growth rate of 16-17 percent the industry needed the much needed attention from the government of India and the Task Force constitution is a step in the right direction. China accounts for a US$50 billion nutraceutical industry. Now with this Task force, we can see a quantum jump Indian nutraceutical growth even as the pandemic times led to an growing interest for the consumption of nutraceutical.

Nutrify Today is dealing with 12,000 nutraceutical companies of which 38 percent are start-ups dealing with health ingredients, contact manufacturing finished products. This apart pharma companies have made inroads into the nutraceutical space. We will see technology support to the nutraceutical sector to ascertain a person’s body need for nutrition to control life style disorders and deficiencies at bay, Dr Srivastava told Pharmabiz adding that the Task Force will fast-track research and innovation to speed up volume growth.


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