Developing a sustainable medicinal plant chain in India: linking, people, markets and values


  • P. Van de Kop
  • G. Alam
  • B. De Steenhuijsen Piters


In recent years the demand for medicinal and aromatic plants has grown rapidly because of accelerated local, national and international interest, the latter notably from Western pharmaceutical industry. At present, resource-poor people in India’s poorest state Uttaranchal collect plants from the wild in order to complement their meagre incomes. Due to continued collection and increasing market demand, numerous plant species are threatened with extinction. For rational and regulated collection, strong local communities or strict governmental control measures are necessary. High risks, transaction costs and lack of trust among chain actors prevent smallholder producers from taking up cultivation of medicinal plants. Public-private collaboration is suggested as a way of reducing these constraints and to secure market access to small producers. Such collaboration can provide a promising mechanism for establishing the conditions for the establishment of supply chains in the initial stages of development