The Himalayan region is rich in herbs and medicinal plants. The tradition of using these herbs for many a common ailment has been a household practice for centuries. Unfortunately, modern medicine with its ready to use applications has undermined the use and cultivation of herbs.

Aarohi′s pilot initiative that started two decades ago has been successful in preserving and promoting indigenous species and introducing other European varieties suitable for cultivation in the temperate climate of the Central Himalayas.

Some of these also make good companion plants for vegetables cultivated locally by the farmers. Currently, 17 varieties are being cultivated organically by small farmers. The herbs are largely marketed as culinary herbs, as herb teas and potpourris for fragrance.

By setting a good base price for the herbs and providing technical inputs for cultivation, storage and harvesting, Aarohi has slowly been able to demonstrate the viability of herb cultivation in the hilly terrain of Kumaon.

Its philosophy is to encourage organic herb cultivation in small patches and to make it as profitable as some of the other cash crops are labour intensive and demand chemical inputs. With the growth of multi-culturalism, the Indian palate, especially in metros and bigger cities, has undergone a change and the demand for herbs is on the rise.To buy some of these products, click here

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