Herb picking overlooked as alternative income sourceThe collection of more than 100 valuable herbs such as timbur and haro baro are being overlooked as an alternative source of income. The herbs are left unpicked due to lack of awareness and knowledge regarding herbs, its collection and processing among locals.
The collection of more than 100 valuable herbs such as timbur and haro baro are being overlooked as an alternative source of income. The herbs are left unpicked due to lack of awareness and knowledge regarding herbs, its collection and processing among locals.
According to locals and civil society leaders of the district, providing training to the locals regarding the use of important herbs would be helpful in achieving optimum utilisation of such herbs. “Such training would also create employment opportunities for the unemployed locals of the region,” said Lekh Bahadur Basnet, a teacher at the local school in the district.
Basnet also expressed concern over the possibility of some of the herbs found in the Mahabhart and Chure range going extinct due to haphazard collection by the locals.
According to the locals, a number of impoverished people are involved in collection of such herbs to sell them at the district headquarter to earn money. Although some are making a livelihood out of it, the unmanaged collection can led to the extinction of the valuable herbs.
The district, despite lagging in terms of development indicator, is rich in natural herbs with medicinal value, said Buddhi Bahadur Palpali. “Ward number 4 and 5 of Golanjor Rural Municipality lie on the Mahabharat range and it has plethora of herbs and plants
with medicinal value but majority of them are yet to be identified,” he said.
Similarly, the optimum use of such herbs via scientific collection and processing can not only generate large number of employment opportunities but also can be a good source of revenue to the local bodies, according to Khil Raj Devkota, a local teacher at Kamalamai Municipality.
“Many youths are going abroad in search of jobs but the valuable natural resources are being wasted and no attention is being paid by the concerned authorities for proper utilisation,” Devkota said.
According to District Forest Office, more than 100 herbs including haro baro, chiraeto, timbur, siltimur, jungeli jae, ban lasun, thulo okhati, tej pat, jibanti and kurilo root are available in the district. The office has also said the forest has been handed over to the community for the conservation and sustainable use of the resources available from the forest. However, the government has not introduced any programme to conserve the available resources and make sustainable use of it.