Vishwambhar Prasad Sati
Government KRG Post Graduate Autonomous College, India
Vishwambhar Prasad Sati has completed his D.Litt. in 2011 from the Jiwaji University, Gwalior and Ph.D in 1992 from the HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar, Uttarakhand. He is the Professor of Geography and involved in teaching and research from the last two decades. He has published more than 60 papers in the reputed journals. He has also published 13 reference and text books and more than 50 articles. He is serving to many academic societies in various capacities.
"Uttarakhand state is blessed with thousands of species and about 320 species have been identified so far in terms of their medicinal value. Therefore, the state of Uttarakhand is declared as an “Herbal State” in 2003. The Forest Department claims to have knowledge of about 175 species, which are being commercially extracted and traded. However, the State could not harness the available species of medicinal plants optimally. According to estimation about Rs. 100 million can be generated per annum through this practice. Most of the species (about 95%) are found wild in the forests. The forest management has traditionally been timber oriented and tree centric. Due to ease in collection, the tree species of medicinal plants got an earlier attention, compared to their counterparts i.e. herbs and shrubs. Here, medicinal plants have been growing traditionally and utilizing through local health care system for centuries while, its production is almost negligible. Meanwhile, the agro-ecological conditions in the region are very conducive for growing large-scale medicinal plants. Recently, the Government of Uttarakhand started cultivating medicinal plants in the poly houses and the farmers of the highlands villages have largely followed this initiative. However, unavailability of market still remains a major hurdle for the producers. Farmers do not get the return of their products timely and adequately. It is therefore, the pace of cultivating medicinal plants is slow. This article examines the cultivation of medicinal plants and its contribution to livelihood enhancement. It is based upon the participatory observation method. Farmers and employees were widely interviewed."