Medicinal Plant Cultivation group is one of the actively running women’s group of Manahari Rural Municipality. It lies within Pashupati CF, Ward no. 7 of Manahari Rural Mucipality. This group has started cultivation since 6 years. At early days, twenty five poor and marginalized women are involved in the group as a part of income generation. Now, there are only 18 members in this group. The current Chairperson of this group is Champamaya Pariyar. Many highly valuable medicinal species like Sarpaganda (Rauwolfia sepentina), Kurilo (Asparagus) are cultivated by this group. The first plant cultivated by them was Sarpagandha. Along with medicinal plants, ginger, broom grass and some seasonal fruits fruits like mango, litchi are also cultivated. All of these cultivations are grown in the land under the high tension area provided by Divison Forest Office, Rapti.
As per the Chairperson of this group Champamaya Pariyar, “the first phase training was provided by WWF and FECOFUN . After that, Department of Plant resources (DPR) also provided many trainings to them regarding medicinal plants cultivation and practice.. In addition to this, DPR has also provided seedlings of sarpaganda for cultivations and they have also supported with agricultural equipments, water pipes, water drums etc”.
Division Forest Office, Rapti has also approved the forest land below high tension area as medicinal plant cultivation area. They have supported them by providing about 8 thousand seeds of medicinal plants.
FECOFUN has also provided support for the livelihood improvement program. It has supported farming through providing agricultural equipment, water tank, water pump etc.
Mainly Sarpaganda was cultivated in that area and it’s entire plant parts are of commercial value.The market value of the roots of Sarpagandha is 7500/kg whereas the seeds can be sold at 5000/kg.
Similarly, leaves and stems are also sold at a good price. They are supplied to oil manufacturing factory in Gorkha.
They also earn through selling ginger and broom grass. This women group have been managing and cultivating these plants in sustainable way. Due to high competitive market, they are not earning as much as they have expected. The monkeys in the forest have also been an didturbing external factor in ginger cultivation. Those cultivated plants are also being used at the local level in their daily life as medicinal plants They have also been motivating others for cultivating such medicinal plants on their private lands. But it’s very rare because while doing this they have to pay tax to the government which is the main cause hindering its cultivation in private lands
Due to a lack of machines and technical manpower for processing medicinal herbs, they are compelled to sell all the produces in the raw form. Thus, value addition is highly required. There is need of highly vigour seeds, trainings and even observation tours for them to enhance more better cultivation of medicinal plants in higher scale.
Chairperson of Medicinal plants cultivation women group : Champamaya Pariyar
Active involvement of women in cleaning, weeding process for ginger cultivation
Ginger ready to harvest and sell in to the market.
Ripened seed of sarpaganda, ready to harvest.
Plants of sarpaganda (Rauwolfia serpentina) in field.