Designing for development


P. van de Kop, G. Alam

The medicinal plant sector in Uttaranchal, a Himalayan state in northern India, can provide an important source of income to the rural population, especially as returns from traditional crops are declining (Alam 2003). Because of its diverse agroclimatic conditions and relative isolation, India’s Himalayan region is richly endowed with a large variety of plant species, many of which have medicinal properties. The medicinal plants found in the Himalayan areas include species of particularly high medicinal value (Planning Commission 2000). People in India have long known of the benefits of medicinal and aromatic plants, which provide raw materials for both the pharmaceutical industry and traditional forms of medicine. Besides providing basic health care, the plants generate income and employment and also have implications for the preservation of biodiversity and of traditional knowledge