Hands on Training on Herbal Gardening for Teachers of Bhutan


At the request of Renewable Natural Resources Research of Bhutan (CoRRB) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest in Bhutan, ICIMOD provided eight days hands-on training on herbal gardening to Bhutanese teachers at the ICIMOD Knowledge Park in Godavari from 19-26 December 2014. The training was supported by the DANIDA Fellowship Center (DFC).

ICIMOD, in collaboration with CoRRB, began promoting herbal gardens in Bhutan’s schools in 2012. Children plant medicinal herbs in their schoolyard, watch them grow, and learn more about them through various sources. These gardens have provided them an opportunity to learn about medicinal plants and their importance. To further enhance their knowledge about herbs, teachers engage them in creative activities such as eco-clubs, story writing, poster making, painting, etc. 

Among the 18 teachers who participated in the eight-day training, six were male and 12 female. They learned to identify medicinal herbs and to manage and harvest them, as well as about the methods for drying, processing and storing herbs. They visited Dabur Nepal in Kavre and learned about the value chain of some of the medicinal herbs such as Chiraito and Taxus species. They also visited the Herbal Processing and Production Company, Ltd in Koteshwor, where they observed how medicinal plants and herbs are used in products such as Iodex, Vicks and Sancho for commercial purposes. During the feedback session, the participants reported that the training would enable them to create a herbal garden in their school and raise school children’s awareness about the importance of medicinal plants and their uses.