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Abstract Detail

Economic Botany Section

Sher, Hassan [1], Barkworth, Mary E. [2].

Economic Development as a Tool for Production and Conservation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Pakistan.

This study examined the feasibility of using cultivation of high value medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) to increase farm incomes in northwestern Pakistan. We hypothesized that establishment of ex-situ experimental production plots would lead to development of skills in agricultural production and marketing among people in the valley and help rebuild commercial connections between this region and the rest of Pakistan. The project has a substantial agricultural extension component, including interventions such as local awareness campaigns, capacity building, community mobilization for conservation of threatened species, formation of MAPs Producer Associations and their linkage with commercial purchasers. In the first year, farmers at four locations were helped in establishing plots of high value MAPs. Throughout the study, discussions were held with the farmers concerning the financial benefits of growing such plants, which plants to continue growing, and how the return might be improved. In the second year of the study, emphasis was placed on helping the farmers achieve a better price for their product by engaging them in discussions with commercial producers concerning criteria used in setting a purchase price. In addition, discussions of appropriate harvesting strategies were extended to include harvesting of wild-grown plant material and establishment of monitoring regimes. Thus this study on economic development, by introducing standardized production technology and appropriate post-harvest management, has become a prime ‘engine of growth’ for the local economy and is leading to better management and conservation practices for indigenous MAPs and the landscapes in which they grow.

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1 - University of Swat, Center for Plant Sciences and Biodiversity, Odigram, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan
2 - Utah State University, Department Of Biology, 5305 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT, 84322-5305, USA

Economic development
Medicinal plants
Aromatic plants

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 4
Location: Salon 2/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: 4001
Abstract ID:78
Candidate for Awards:None

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