There are 100 of the country’s most important medicinal plant species in the state. About 2,500 tons of medicinal plants and parts of those plants are sent out of the country. Making money At the prices on the market right now, the legal trade in medicinal plants in the state is worth about Rs 10 crore per year. The export permits for medicinal plants bring in about Rs 40 lakh per year for the state government.
But there aren’t many rules about this trade. The state doesn’t have any rules for quality control or certification, so it loses a lot of money. More importantly, local people who have the right to collect these medicinal plants from forests end up getting a bad deal.
The state government is not completely safe from these kinds of problems.
The Himachal Pradesh Forestry Sector Medicinal Plants Policy (hpfsmpp) 2006, for example, aims to meet the basic needs of the state’s rural and tribal people for small amounts of forest products, which is in line with the National Forest Policy of 1988. Also, in 2003, the state government gave permission to gram panchayats to let people transport 37 types of medicinal plants that were grown in their areas.
History of putting together hpfsmpp is a lot like the forest settlements that started in the 1860s in the princely states that are now part of Himachal Pradesh. Most of these settlements gave local people the right to cut grass, let their cattle graze in certain forests, take medicinal roots, fruits, flowers, and firewood, Making money as well as splinters from deodhar and kail stumps. In some countries that used to be princely states, these rights are called “bartan,” and the people who have them are called “bartandars.”
According to a study done by the state forest department, altitude is the most important factor in deciding where medicinal plants grow in the state. Low-value, high-volume species tend to grow at lower altitudes, while high-value, small-volume species grow at higher altitudes. Most useful medicinal herbs are found at high altitudes, while other small forest products like marchella mushrooms and dhoop are found at lower levels.
Herbs are found in different places and are collected in different ways in panchayats or villages in high altitude parts of the state, like Kulu. At the lowest level of fields, agriculture and horticulture are allowed. In the middle level, there are forests or community lands where people have rights to timber, fodder, and fuelwood. At the highest level of villages or panchayats, you can usually find pastures with high-value medicinal and aromatic plant species.
Sustainable extraction In the medicinal plants industry, Making money sustainable extraction is the most important thing. Many experts think that a commodity-focused approach, which encourages systematic cultivation and processing, is not possible for most medicinal plants because the technology for processing is still in its early stages and there aren’t many farmlands where new crops can be grown. The Ayurveda and agriculture/horticulture departments of Himachal Pradesh are working on ways to process and extract plants. Here, it’s important that the state forest department only takes care of and protects the medicinal plants in the forest areas like lahaul spiti and doesn’t duplicate the work of other agencies.
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The government of the state is making sure that the benefits of these efforts reach the people on the ground. The gram panchayats’ income comes from the export fees they get because the government gave them permission to do so in 2003. Also, since only people who live in the area are allowed to collect medicinal herbs, it is easy for poor people in the area to get permits (such as rohtang permit ) to transport the herbs they have collected. Making money All of this can be a great reason for panchayats to take care of their medicinal plant resources in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment.
Under participatory forest management programs, hpfsmpp can put pressure on the Forest Department to switch from a tree-centered to a multiple-value/multiple-use centric biomass-oriented approach. This can be done by making changes to the way silviculture is done now. The state’s new policy on medicinal plants could also change the way community groups work together to help the state reach its ultimate goal of sustainable forest management.