The use of herbal medicinal plants is a very old tradition in China. Farmers have already successful experience of planting herbal medicine plants.
Through the Liming project, they will be supported by the Research Institute of Kunming for seedling and management techniques, in order to achieve the production of very high quality plants. Villagers are considering to create a cooperative in order to manage collectively the plantation, transformation and sale of herbal medicine planting.
Located in a mountainous area with high elevations, Yunnan is rich in natural resources and has the largest diversity of plant life in China (17,000 species or more in Yunnan, 30,000 species in China).
Therer is a long, multi generational tradition of collecting wild medicinal plants in the area, and climatic conditions are ideal for these plants, but the resources have been depleted with the growing demand, and villagers are now conscious about the need to plant the medicinal plants if they want to get sustainable revenues.
Women, in particular, expressed this vision that medicinal plants productions has to be encouraged both because it generates higher revenues, as well as preserving the resources and reducing the pressure on the forest areas of the national park, since medicinal plants give higher yields per hectare, hence less need to extend agricultural land.
The medicinal plants and trees plantation projects are led by the Liguang and Meile villagers themselves, 91% are Lissu people, an ethnic minority. Their initiative participates to the rehabilitation of the environment, in particular the maintenance and enhancement of soils and water storage in soils. They also enable village communities to invest in their future and eventually diversify their income through collective and sustainable activities.
The Liming project is an example in terms of agroforestry practices and could serve as an example for trainings.
This project is supported by the Zigen Foundation, with technical assistance : they deliver the seedlings, assist the farmers with trainings, monitoring, maintenance, market access… The Zigen foundation was created in 1988 and provide people-to-people assistance for development in rural China. The Zigen foundation also support Qinglong project.
- Preserve the savoir-faire and knowledges of medecinal plant use.
- Protect biodiversity and forest of Liming areas.
- Diversify the incomes sources of farmers and planters.