• Non-ICIMOD publication


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Trade potentiality of oils extracted from Prunus davidiana (wild apricot), Sapindus mukorossi (soapnut) and Zanthoxylum armatum (Nepalese pepper) in Kailash Sacred Landscape, Nepal

  • Dipesh Pyakurel
  • Bijay Raj Subedee
  • Chandra Kanta Subedi
  • Janita Gurung
  • Ram Prasad Chaudhary
  • Summary

Currently, 80–90% of Nepalese medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) are exported in crude form to more than 50 countries worldwide. The prospects of exporting processed MAPs have been discussed but the progress is slow. This paper analyses the trade and prospects of secondary processing of two vegetables oils, Prunus davidiana and Sapindus mukorossi, and an essential oil of Zanthoxylum armatum from Baitadi, Bajhang, Darchula and Humla Districts of the Kailash Sacred Landscape (KSL) in Nepal. A wide range of literature was referred and telephone interviews were conducted with traders and exporters to collect information on the trade value, volume and prospects of these three species. Prunus davidiana is a non-native species found in Humla District. Prunus davidiana oil is exported along with Chuli (Prunus armeniaca) oil with market price of USD 26/kg and an estimated export volume ranging around two tons in 2020 from Nepal. Sapindus mukorossi is cultivated and abundantly found in Baitadi, Darchula and Bajhang Districts. Crude S. mukorossi is one of the highly exported MAPs of Nepal (1,300–2,550 tons per annum) and from KSL Nepal (estimated 500 tons per annum), but the domestic trade and export of its oil is not yet commenced in the country. Zanthoxylum armatum is a widely cultivated native medicinal plant of Nepal with estimated annual export volume (crude) of 1,400–1,700 tons, KSL area in Nepal contributing 4–16 tons per annum. Zanthoxylum oil extracted from its fruits is exported to India and European countries. The market price of Zanthoxylum oil ranges between USD 110–130/kg, and the export volume ranged between 3.5–7.7 tons. There are no records of processing of Zanthoxylum oil in KSL Nepal. The prospects of P. davidiana oil in cosmetics and S. mukorossi oil in biofuel exists but few issues need to be addressed such as inclusion of P. davidiana in the Government of Nepal's royalty list to legalize the trade of its oil. Further research on yield and trade potential, and developing efficient processing technology are also needed to build on the trade potential of these three oils.


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