Assisting Farmers to Produce High-quality Medicinal Herbs
Davis, J. M. (2012, August). HORTSCIENCE, Vol. 47, pp. 976–978.
Farmers are looking for new crops to grow to diversify their farms and increase profitability. Medicinal herbs are often of interest because they are generally perceived as being easy to grow, in high demand, return good prices, and serve as useful rotational crops. In reality, most farmers who have not previously grown medicinal herbs do not understand the global herb market. They do not know how to find a buyer or which herbs to grow. To help growers produce and market medicinal herbs, we initiated the Medicinal Herbs for Commerce Project. We also conducted studies on production problems for a variety of herbs. An issue that should be addressed is that there are hundreds of medicinal herbs in commerce and it is impossible for a small number of research programs to independently answer all the questions that are being asked by the industry. Developing a consortium of researchers around the world to coordinate efforts on how best to grow and process medicinal herbs and to create a database of information for farmers and agricultural advisors would be a great service for this industry.