Nepal is to hold its first herbs and herbal products trade fair on Nov. 12-14 to promote development of domestic herbs industry and trade of herbal products.
The three-day fair, to be held in Nepalgunj, a mid-western Nepal city, is a fresh attempt to raise awareness among people to preserve herbs, showcase latest development in herbal production and promote trade in the long run, organizers said.
The event will also draw importers from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and 50 stalls will display various herb and spice products at the exhibition, they said.
Although Nepal is considered one of the richest countries for the biodiversity, it lacks proper mechanism on research and development as well as conservation and has not been able to reap benefits out its huge resources, according to the organizers.
"Due to lack of proper research, adequate publicity and effective conservation measures, those endangered herb species are gradually coming to extinct," said Madhukar Thapa, general secretary of the Nepal Herbs and Herbal Products Association.
He also informed that the Nepali raw and semi-processed herbs, perfume herbal oil and spices are in high demand in the international market.
"We have not been able to meet the ever increasing demand," Thapa said, adding that joint efforts are needed to promote trade of herbs in the international market.
Though Nepal produces about 40 metric tons of herbs and peripheral products from 188 different species annually, share of herbs in total exports is very nominal, Thapa added.
According to Nepal Overseas Trade Statistics Report, global trade of herbs is estimated at 420 million US dollars, while Nepal 's share is less than one per cent.