Perception plays a very pivotal role in decision or statement of any person. In context of cultivation promotion of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) in mid-western or far-western districts of Nepal, it stands reality. The article is based on observation made on interaction with farmers who do farming of MAPs species either in community forests or on their personal land. For any professional working in MAPs value chain, it is very simple to understand level of dissatisfaction prevailing in farmers/collectors. Most of them is due to uncertain price fluctuation/market trends/limited information related to species.
The circumstances are becoming ugly everyday, in others words complicated than ever. In my observation, these might be consequences of few misunderstandings that were encrypted since beginning of communication for the same.
What to do
- In economic theory, whenever supply increases demand of commodities decreases. Mass cultivation of MAPs commodities like Kurilo (Asparagus racemosus), Chamomile Oil etc has lead to such outcomes. The theory is valid to justify the reason whereas fails to entertain the farmers. They farm with high hopes of return and when the return is not equivalent to their expectations, they are disappointed.
- The Government agencies/NGO/INGO whoever takes initiative to promote any MAPs crop to farmers. They should be aware of the market and end products themselves. In order to guide farmers, such organizations need to take responsibility for market study as well.
- The supporting organization like NGOs/INGOs/ Government agencies should be acknowledged of the right variety and species of respective MAPs for cultivation. This will make the farmers more confident about their produce and give bargaining power to them.
- Infrastructure is another surging problem. Without proper connecting roads and storage facilities, private sectors buyers are unable to reach farmers.