Plant Diversity ›› 2007, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (02): 207-214.

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Sustainable Utilization and Economic Development of Some Plant Resources in Northern Pakistan

Hassan Sher1 , Muhammad Ajaz Hussian2 , Hazrat Sher2   

  1. 1 Department of Botany, Goverment Postgraduate Jahanzeb College , Suidu Sharif , Swat , Pakistan;
    2 Department of Pharmacy , University of Sargodha , Sargodha , Pakistan;
    3 Department of Botany , Kohat University of Science and Technology , Kohat , Pakistan
  • Received:2006-03-08 Online:2007-04-25 Published:2007-04-25
  • Contact: Hassan Sher

Abstract: Overshadowed by the vast impact that habitat loss has on targeted plant species survival , it is easy to overlook the fact that utilization and harvesting of species can often result in their genetic depletion and in an often rapid downward trend of their population status . In this regard an ethnobotanical study on the medicinal plants of Shawar valley , District Swat was conducted with the aims to document medicinal plants and to examine the current status of the medicinal plants trade as well as the market chain starting from collectors to consumers . The survey reported 50 species of plants belonging
to 33 families as ethnomedicinally important . These species were used as crud drugs by the local people and folk-lore for treating diseases in traditional system of medicine . The detailed local uses , recipe preparation along with their local names and diseases treated were recorded for each species .
Market survey revealed that the structure of medicinal plant trade is complex and heterogeneous, involving many players . The collectors are often not aware of the high market prices andmedicinal values, and most of the collected material is sold to local middlemen at a very low price . There was an increase of 3 to 5 folds in prices from collectors to the national market .
Recommendations were given in the spheres of training sustainable harvesting and post harvesting of wild medicinal plant resources, trade monitoring , equitable sharing of benefits of wild resources, improved control on harvesting and trade for the conservation of resources , enhancement of cultivation efforts, future research into trade in wild harvested plants,
community participation in natural resource management and value addition in the herbal products to maximize the benefits.

Key words: Shawar Valley