Herbs conservation urged

Rastriya Samachar Samiti

Kathmandu, April 11:

Although much is talked about the importance and utilisation of herbs and rare plant species in Nepal, less has been put into real practice for the uplift of the living standards of the people. It is exemplified by the fact that Karnali and other remote areas, where there is an abundance of rare herb species and non-wood forest products are severely hit by poverty. The government has not, till date, been able to utilise these rich local resources to uplift the people in these poverty-stricken areas.

Participants of a programme, organised here today on the occasion of the Plants Day, emphasised on the need of proper conservation and cultivation of herbs and other useful plants. Nepal houses many a rare herb species in the world and majority of these are found in the western part of the country, which are completely neglected. Out of the total rare species of herbs, five per cent are said to be found in Nepal, it is informed. On the occasion, the participants shed light on various aspects of feasibility, importance and state of herbs and non-wood forest products in Nepal. The programme was organised by the department of the forestry.

Although there are more than 7,000 species of plants identified so far in Nepal, only about 140 species are said to have commercial importance, it was informed. Out of the total plant species, 700 species are of medicinal worth, 200 are used for flavour oil, 450 are food products and 71 are fibre plants, it was informed in the programme.

Inaugurating the programme, Chandi Prasad Shrestha, secretary at the ministry of forest and soil conservation, pointed out the need of excessive utilisation of herbs and plant species.

Director general of the department Dr Udaya Raj Sharma, deputy director general Dr Prem Ratna Sthapit, Bhisma Subedi and others also spoke on the occasion.