Call to promote herb farming

JANAKPURDHAM: Experts have stressed the need for conservation and promotion of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for the development of the country.

Speaking at a workshop organized by the district botany office in Dhanusha, they called for market management of herbs and herbal products as farmers are not getting a fair price for such products.

According to a survey, Nepal has 630 kind of medicinal herbs of which 49 per cent are found in the Tarai region. Besides, many herbs which are being traditionally used in rural areas are yet to be listed.

Farmers in Dhanusha are attracted more to cultivation of herbs which have maximum use for medical purposes like satawari (kurilo), seto musalo, sarpagandha, pipla, bojho, aswhagandha, lemon grass, harro, barro, neem, gurjo, khayar, palas, babool, janum, tulsi and srikhanda.

Fulmaya Bulan of Punyapur said she earned Rs 185,000 from satawari cultivated in seven katthas of land in a community forest. Satawari is being cultivated in over 12 bigahs of land in Dhanusha. The district forest office said 400 kg of satawari was exported during the last fiscal. Botany office chief Surendra Yadav said promotion of herb farming in private and community forests could address unemployment and poverty. He also stressed on the need for selection of right species of herbs for cultivation. Farmers Madhumaya Tamang and Shyam Lama sought timely supply of seedlings, subsidy and market promotion.