Herbs

Nepal is a unique land of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs). In some rural hilly areas, it contributes up to 50% of total annual family income. Medicinal-HerbsNTFPs sub-sector in Nepal contributes about 5% of national GDP, almost one third of whole forestry sector’s contribution. More than 100 types of plant species are harvested wild and traded in international markets, mostly India. Nepal exports about 90% of raw herbs to India. Amala, Atis, Chiraito, Tejpat, Guchhi, Chyau, Jatamasi, Jhyau, Kurki, Pipla, Ritha, Sugandhawal and Timur are the major NTFPs traded with India.

In Nepal, plants are still gathered from their wild state and commercial farming of herbals plants have not yet flourished much. These herbs are of great prospects to the economy of Nepal, provided government overcomes existing threat and limitations in the production and trade of these herbs like internal conflicts, trafficking and a good market management which would enable the herbs to reach international markets through right channels. People still harvest herbs with hands and except for handful of commercially established companies, the technology required for the efficient production and sales of herbs have not been widely practiced. cordyceps-from-nepalBut on the contrary, countries like India and Tibet have been working with new technologies and commercial farming which have increased both production and business and thus are on their way of becoming major exporters.

Despite all these advantages, the country has not harnessed the full potential of NTFPs for the welfare of its people. The major constraint for such a situation is considered to be low importance and lack of investment form the state and private sectors.

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