Herbs, herbal products generating livelihood options
Herbs constitute a growing livelihood and trade sector in the context of the changing health sector scenario the world over.india Updated: Mar 24, 2004 00:51 IST
India is one of the world's naturally privileged countries to be endowed with a rich biological diversity. Being a biological hot spot with a large natural resource base and a large population skilled in use of natural resources for various requirements including food, medicine, textiles, handicrafts and the like, the scope of developing livelihood opportunities based on local resources and traditional skills is significant.
Herbs and herbal products constitute a growing livelihood and trade sector in the context of the changing health sector scenario the world over. The medicinal plant resource base sustains millions of resource poor such as landless labourers and tribal people. They operate as primary producers of raw material and grassroots level market intermediaries. Moreover, the many health practitioners in the traditional health care system are still the only source of health care to many in non-urban areas.
With increase in the demand for alternative health delivery systems, the demand for raw material, chiefly consisting of medicinal plants, is also on the rise. However, trade in medicinal plants is replete with many intermediaries who in some capacity make up the poor market infrastructure, the organisation of which is not very transparent due to the various degrees of integration of the trade with mainstream markets.