Endangered plant

TETU LAKDA (Nothatodytes Foetida) a tree found in the rain forests of south India and Sri Lanka is facing a threat from international traders because of its medicinal properties. The extract of this tree is used to make cancer-fighting drugs in Europe. According to a recent World Bank report, twigs of this tree are available for just Rs 9 per kg (roughly us $0.26) in India. However, after being processed the extract is sold by pharmaceutical companies for us $15,000 per kg in the world market. Until recently, this plant was found in abundance. However, the study warns that with the growing export "it will soon become another threatened Indian medicinal plant".India is of special interest to bio-prospectors worldwide as it is one of the few countries in the world capable of growing most of the important medi-cinal plants used in traditional and modern systems of medicine because of its varying climatic conditions. The study points out that Germany, uk , France, Switzerland, Japan and usa are the major importers of Indian medicinal plants, accounting for about 75 per cent of the total exports.

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