Harvesting Seabuckthorn at the top of the world

Building a sustainable programme for the cultivation and sale of seabuckthorn
2005 SEED Award Winner Biodiversity Kathmandu, Nepal

The international HimalAsia Foundation together with university research institutions, local community-based Tibetan cooperatives and a family of traditional medical practitioners have developed a sustainable programme for cultivating and marketing seabuckthorn and other medicinal plants for the local and international market, thereby improving livelihoods and safeguarding traditional knowledge of medicinal plants and the biodiversity of Nepal. Three seabuckthorn nurseries were established in 2003, in cooperation with two community-based cooperatives and a local Amchi clinic.

Seabuckthorn is a highly nutritious and versatile berry, containing vitamins C, E, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids. Its berries produce nutrient rich juice and oil, and the leaves can be used for tea and traditional herbal remedies. Seabuckthorn plants are also known for their vigorous root growth, helping to mitigate problems of land degradation, desertification and soil erosion.

This partnership is developing a market in Nepal for seabuckthorn products, and it is hoped that the cooperatives will create small- and medium-sized enterprises to meet the domestic demand. International companies have shown considerable interest in buying seabuckthorn products from the local cooperatives, and the initiative will help broker fair business relationships between such companies and the local producers.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

The initiative establishes various seabuckthorn nurseries which are generating income for the education of local children from poor families and providing support for three local women’s cooperatives which are harvesting wild seabuckthorn on a sustainable basis.
  • Training local women’s cooperatives to harvest and process wild seabuckthorn berries on site with specialised mobile pressing machines.
  • Providing support for developing three seabuckthorn nurseries.
  • Preventing erosion and landslides in areas which are particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change.
  • Providing Nepal’s only hospital for reconstructive surgery with oil for the treatment of patients with burns and scars.
  • Generating income for the education of local children from poor families.

Partners

This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

HimalAsia Foundation (NGO)

Ku Tsab TerNga Monastery Committee (CBO)

Lekshey Choeling Chunmay Lobta Nunnery School Committee (CBO)

Amchi Clinic Committee, Kathmandu

Women's Biodiversity Conservation Utilization Committee

RECAST, a research centre at the Tribhuvan University in Nepal

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