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Keywords:

  • environment;
  • herbal products;
  • Market Information System;
  • medicinal and aromatic plants;
  • sustainable development

Abstract

The extraction and exploitation of non-timber forest products (NTFP) has been one of the major causes of the degradation of forests in developing countries like India. The highly unorganized and secretive nature of intermediary operations leads to market imperfections that are usually to the disadvantage of the collectors and cultivators. This often leads to destructive and unsustainable harvesting techniques. We provide a possible solution based on a market information system (MIS) that can help to remove market imperfections by providing information related to demand and supply to collectors and cultivators. This can be helpful in promoting sustainable harvesting and also to policy-makers and implementation agencies. A conceptual framework related to an MIS for medicinal and aromatic plants, a subset of NTFPs, is presented. The development of such MISs can not only help to reduce unsustainable harvesting techniques but also to improve the economic condition of some of the poorest people. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.