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Linking Tribal Communities With The Medicinal Plant Sector For Better Rural Livelihood And Sustainable Use Of Resources: The Case Study Of GMCL (Gram Mooligai Limited Company)

Torri, MC

January 2008

The medicinal plant sector is promising, being on the increase in many countries, India included in terms of sales volume and turnover. Despite the fact the tribal communities are gatherers and cultivators of medicinal herbs, the supply chain as it is currently structured, is unable to improve the living standards of the underprivileged communities. Our major objectives therefore were to explore the potential in medicinal plants resources, to understand the challenges and opportunities with the medicinal plants sector especially in relation to poor and marginalized local communities.

The paper portrays the supply relations in the medicinal plant market and examines a medicinal plant enterprise called the Gram Mooligai Company Limited (GMCL), the first community based enterprise active in the herbal sector. GMCL, which both supplies raw herbs and produces herbal medicines allows an active involvement of local communities in the herbal sector and promotes a more equitable sharing of benefits in the sector, while allowing a more sustainable use of natural resources. Conclusions and lessons to promote type of community enterprises such as GMCL, to reform the supply chain and to promote new forms of partnership between ayurvedic firms and communities are suggested.

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