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Non-Timber Forest Products and Livelihood Promotion

(Vol. 14, No. 1, January-March, 2016) ISSN 0973 – 8444
Domestication/Cultivation Potential of High Altitude Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Central Nepal
Dhital Narayan Prasad*
*Forest Management Planning Analyst, Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada (narayan.dhital@gmail.com)
 
Abstract: High value medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) are collected in wild stage in most of Nepal’s high altitude areas. The importance of MAPs in those areas is obvious due to their indispensable roles as traditional medicine and income supplement. Yet despite their importance, MAPs are facing severe depletion as little is known about their reproduction biology, habitat requirement and sustainable harvesting technique. Still, the harvesting is ongoing. This study explores, for selected MAP species, the reproduction biology, habitat requirements and local people’s practices of harvesting as well as their interest in resource management. The natural habitat of the selected species were visited to observe the habitat type and to collect soil samples. Discussions were held with collectors and other stakeholders on reproduction biology, current harvesting practices, current condition and conservation initiatives for selected species. Local people demonstrate adequate knowledge about high value MAPs such as Nardostachys grandiflora, Valeriana jatamasi, Aconitum gammiei, Rheum australe, Picrorhiza scrofulariflora and Dactylorhiza hatagirea. Cultivation of these species has a high potential provided the product is marketable. Cultivation in community forests through community forests user groups seems to be an appropriate mechanism.
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