We are excited to update you on all of the positive new developments unfolding at the Healing Herbs Nepal (HHN) program. Your contribution has played a major role in the continued success of our program and we are very grateful for your support.
In short summary, we have planted healing herbs on two separate pilot sites in Nepal, which will be ready to harvest beginning next spring, through winter of 2015. We also finalized a long-term land agreement that will become HHN’s primary agriculture site. We will use this as an “R&D” facility to test new growing methods and to assess new herbs before we commence large-scale production. It will also be used as a facility for training farmers from all over Nepal. We are now turning our attention to pre-marketing the planted herbs so they can be shipped and delivered as soon as they are harvested throughout 2015.
Check out the slideshow on our Facebook page.
The photos on the slideshow and on right of this page include images of our partner farmers and the herb production in Bhumahi.
Overall we are very pleased with the progress that has been made so far and remain highly optimistic about the future development of HHN.
As a reminder, in the last update in May we were working to:
- finalize negotiations on a long-term lease for our R&D and training site
- implement farmer training programs
- collect propagation materials
- construct nursery facilities to begin planting our first crop of healing herbs.
We are pleased to report that these action steps have been completed. We now have an agreement in place in the village of Bhumahi in the Nawalparasi District of Nepal, on a 20 hectare plot of land, and our first crop of healing herbs have been planted on this site. In accordance with our original timeline, this puts us on schedule to harvest the first crop from spring through winter of 2015.
These are major milestones for the Healing Herbs Nepal program for which your generosity played an essential role. We cannot thank you enough for participating in HHN!
The President of Healing Herbs Nepal, Dr. John Fagan, is presently in Nepal and recently met with our partner farmers, community leaders, and political leaders in the Bhumahi Area. Dr. Fagan reports that there is community-wide support and enthusiasm for the HHN Program in Bhumahi.
The Facebook photo album provides highlights of Dr. Fagan’s recent visit which includes pictures of the pilot site and the healing herbs that have been planted. We will also be adding farmer profiles where we will spotlight one of our field partners and their experience with the program. I encourage you to take the time to view this slideshow and learn about our partner farmers and how they are benefitting from the initiation of HHN.
Second, Healing Herb’s Nepal Management continues to make important in-roads with well-established local organizations in Nepal, including:
- Women for Humans Rights (WHR)
- Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB).
Collaboration with WHR:
WHR advocates for the improved economic well-being and human rights of women throughout Nepal. They are an association comprised of over 100,000 impoverished widows and single mothers. Our collaboration with WHR allows us to engage a highly disenfranchised demographic in Nepal who are in critical need of economic opportunity. It also allows the women to gain the economic benefits of the HHN program by partnering with an organization with which they are familiar and that is trusted in their community.
This collaboration has already begun with plantings of healing herbs on a small 1 hectare plot of land under WHR’s management. Dr. Fagan and Bhupendra Nirajan met with WHR leadership last week and they are eager to expand the project to engage thousands more WHR members. We are extremely pleased and optimistic to continue working closely with WHR.
ANSAB has a mission to conserve biodiversity and improve economic livelihoods across South Asia through organic agricultural programs. ANSAB’s strong presence throughout Nepal will help HHN to engage many thousands of impoverished farmers as quickly as our program can expand. In return, HHN will fulfill a marketing role for the farmers ANSAB supports by connecting these farmers with international markets. The full extent of our collaboration is still being explored, however, there is mutual recognition of great synergy between our organizations.
HHN’s ever-growing relationship with reputable local Nepalese organizations broadens our reach and strengthens our national presence. This should translate into much more rapid expansion of the HHN program and greater impact.
Now that healing herbs are in the ground and being carefully tended by our partner farmers, HHN management will turn its full attention to marketing strategies so that our herbs can quickly be sold once they are harvested. Some of these strategies include:
- Developing an e-commerce avenue to sell healing herbs directly to consumers online.
- Creating a communications and outreach strategy to educate the public about HHN’s social and environmental mission, as well as the powerful medicinal properties of healing herbs.
- Develop relationships with companies that produce herb-based ayurvedic medicines and supplements, manufacturers of other herb-based supplements and health products, and also medicinal herb wholesalers.
HHN sends you another heartfelt thank you for all that you do to support our programs.