Uttarakhand state has great diversity of high value medicinal plants and therefore designated as Herbal State or AYUSH Pradesh. A large variety of wild plants are marketed as raw materials for several drugs and pharmaceutical preparation from the state. This has necessitated conducting market research on selected species in order to their value addition and product development. It is therefore necessary to conduct market research on selected species or groups of species that are harvested in bulk from wild as well as cultivated source.
Through marketing research the plan is to systematically analyze, gather and record data about issues relating to marketing products and services with relation to different species. The goal of such work is to identify and assess how processing and value addition can impact the raw material value through marketing. It would address specifically about marketing process that can upgrade the value of the local products.
At present three species/ groups of species consisting of Reetha (Sapindus mukrossi), Tejpat (Cinnamomum tamala) and Jhula (Parmelia spp.) are collected in large quantities from different parts of the state to benefit local people. It is desired to process/value add these species within state for which there is a need of information on the value chain of these species.
The approach should be problem identification and problem solving:
• Discuss with local stakeholders and producers about their market problems
• Chase the value chain of the produce
• Analyze the product range and institutional / persons involved.
• Identify potential buyers and their demand estimation to determine the approximate level of demand for the product.
• Identify and assess distribution channels.
The right of collection and procurement is in the favor of either of the two institutions i.e. the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam and the Bhesaj Sangh. These institutions engage their collection agents who organize the collectors in each locality and get the individual- wise approval for the collectors from the Forest Department. The individual collector get their ID cards signed by the Forest Department. This is a formal procedure and the role of the department is minimal.
The agents procure the produce from the collectors paying a floor price fixed by the Govt. and send them to the two authorized mandis in this regard. The sale of the produce is rooted only through these mandis. No other channel has legal sanction and other transaction if detected invite severe punishment.
The profit generated by these authorized procurement agencies are retained by them/ transferred to the state revenue, thus denying the collector communities any major stakes in the management of the procedures. This will leave them always as wage earners (engage in medicinal plants collection) and is least helpful in promoting their role to good resource managers.
The medicinal plants are sold at every 2nd and 16th of the month through auctions held at three places in Uttarakhand i.e. Aamdanda, Tanakpur, Bibiwala.