Non-timber Forest Products (NTFPs) have been welfare, subsistence or livelihood commodity since long; these are traditional source of food, fiber, medicine, etc. In some rural hilly areas, it contributes up to 50 % of total annual family income. NTFPs sub-sector in Nepal contributes about 5 % of national GDP out of total estimation of about 15 % from the whole forestry sector (almost 1/3). More than 100 types of plant species are harvested from the wild and traded to international market mostly to India; 95 % of the NTFPs are collected from the wild and 90 % are exported to India in raw form. Amala, Atis, Chiraito, Tejpat, Guchhi chyau, Jatamansi, Jhyau, Kutki, Pipla, Ritha, Sugandhawal, Sugandha Kokila and Timur are the major NTFPs in such trade to India. The importance of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants (MAPs) has increased progressively over the last two decades. Herbal remedies are increasingly becoming mainstream consumer products manufactured by multinational companies amongst other, and sold in super market chains and in a variety of other outlets, globally. Food supplements, cosmetics, fragrances, traditional cuisine, dyeing and coloring agents are just a few of the application where medicinal, aromatic and dye plants are finding increasing use by the day. As a result there is growing demand of Nepalese MAPs and other NTFPs for these purposes. The diverse geography and climate of Nepal has rendered it a unique land of NTFPs along with other natural resources. However, the commercial exploitation without any conservation measures has threatened many species. The high mountains are highly praised for high value (potency) low volume NTFPs, hence they fetch higher prices. In spite of all advantages, the country is not able to harness the full potential of NTFPs for the welfare of Nepalese. The major constraints for such situation are considered to be low capital investments both by the government and private sectors for the overall promotion of NTFPs including enterprise development and the perpetual marketing of quality products; governments unclear investment policy, lack of proper documentation on species availability (including bio-prospecting) & uses and poor awareness among public on its values. The study was initially conceived to identify ten important NTFPs, but in the course of the study during the various interaction programs organized for feedbacks, participating stakeholders suggested the study team that rather than limiting the selection to only ten species, it might be preferable from investment point of view to relax the restriction and consider more species for practical reasons. So, the study now endeavors to prioritize and recommend four species of MAPs and other NTFPs for promotion via private sector investment in each of the three climatic zones of Nepal from the list of 30 species already selected by the national level Herbs and NTFPs Coordination Committee (HNCC) of GON and additional four species viz. Bel, Chammomile, Lemongrass and Mentha selected by the study team by considering high potential for their promotion based on professional experience, market demands and the suggestions received from various stakeholders. The study identifies the top priority species from among the priority species designated by HNCC and additional four species are also recommended for promotion by team based on their prospects.for low risk investment by private sector toward commercial promotion of NTFPs. Species prioritization for commercial promotions has been attempted by considering practically applicable criterion like market value, export data, ease of cultivation, parts used in trade, range of distribution of species, threat category, status of legal protection, local processing opportunity, ethnobatanical importance, etc. A total of 17 new criteria are developed by the study team by further illuminating and simplifying the criteria already set by HNCC, Nepal and also reviewing the criteria set earlier by National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB), India. Moreover, the prioritization criteria of other related development organizations like NSCFP, SNV, ANSAB, BDS MaPs, etc have also been thoroughly reviewed and developed criteria with proper justification to attain the set objectives.'
Poudel, Krishna Lal. "Trade Potentility and Ecological Analysis of NTFPs in Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal." (2007). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/nsc_research/5