Farming of medicinal herbs starts

Bhairahawa, November 1:

Cultivation of medicinal herbs has been started in three community forests of Rupandehi. Medicinal Herbs Service Centre Nepal for Livelihood (MHSCNL) started the cultivation of herbs in Baunnakoti, Kanchan and Singhadarja community forests of the district under long-term income generation programme.

Altogether three hundred poor families are involved in the farming of herbs in the community forests, chairman of MHSCNL Dr Badri Gautam said. Farming of herbs like lemon grass, jatropha, myrobalan and asparagus have been started for immediate and long-term profit and income can be generated from these he-rbs immediately after three months, he said.

Poor families of Dalit and Janajatis have been attracted to herb farming in the belief that it could uplift their living standard. Dr Gautam informed that discussions to expand farming of medicinal herbs to 54 community forests of Rupandehi district is going on with Siddhartha Round Table (SRT). SRT contributed Rs 111,000 to start medicinal herb farming in the three community forests. Chairman of SRT Kamlesh Kumar Agrawal said medicinal herbs farming is appropriate for income generation for poor and marginal families and added that SRT will provide additional financial support for herb farming in other community forests of the district as well.

MHSCNL is responsible for purchase and refining of medicinal herbs cultivated in the community forests. Chairman of Kanchan Community Forest Chandra Bahadur Shrish said farming of medicinal herbs has proved to be a boon for poor communities.

Dr Gautam said there was a necessity of well-organised farming of medicinal herbs in Nepal. It has been also been started in many parts of Nepal.