The project is a blend of conservation of medicinal and aromatic plant (MAP) resources through sustainable utilisation, streamlining of supply chain with quality medicinal plants raw materials, and expansion of economic opportunities for the rural poor. It focuses on improving the livelihoods of highland communities in three needy countries of the eastern Himalayas: Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal by targeting nine high-value, native and commercial MAP species having a large export market demand. The target species include Sapindus mukorossi, Swertia chirayita, Valeriana jatamansii, and Zanthoxylum armatum in Nepal; Saussurea costus, Carum carvi, and Zanthoxylum armatum in Bhutan; and Asparagus racemosus, Phyllanthus emblica, Rauvolfia serpentina, and Withania somnifera in Bangladesh. The project will develop and promote appropriate production and post harvest technologies, develop marketing strategies, develop community-based enterprises and promote market information dissemination systems and appropriate policies to enhance livelihoods and conserve the natural resource base. The project will develop strategies and recommendations to harmonise regional standards and protocols to improve quality and control the use of fake products and substitutes in the market through interventions including enabling policies, legal reforms, stricter regulatory mechanisms, and technology transfer. This is expected to strengthen the marketing skills and bargaining power of locally-owned MAP-based micro-enterprises and producers associations in the target areas and provides viable and sustainable income generating options to local communities. The aim is to develop and promote models of good practice in niche-based transformation of poor producer communities to improve livelihoods and reduce poverty in the pilot areas in the three countries.
May 2007 - December 2012
Common Fund for Commodities (CFC)
Bangladesh: Bangladesh Neem Foundation (BNF), Development of Biotechnology and Environmental Conservation Centre (DEBTEC)
Bhutan: Ministry of Agriculture
Nepal: Herbs and NTFPs Coordination Committee (HNCC)