Hundreds of plant species are harvested in the Himalaya and traded at local, regional, and international levels. Recent studies indicate that the annual trade in medicinal plants and related products from the Himalaya amounts to thousands of tons of roots, rhizomes, tubers, fruits, leaves, etc, with an annual value of millions of USD. It is difficult, however, to analyze and understand trade and markets on the basis of available studies, as these do not employ common terminology or methodology. The present paper aims to enhance understanding of the Himalayan plant trade by developing a typology of economic agents. The typology is based on fieldwork conducted in Nepal and India, including interviews with 639 harvesters, 149 traders and 143 wholesalers involved in trade with medicinal plants. These are the 3 main groups of economic agents distinguished. They are further divided into 6 sub-types and 13 specific types. Distinction among economic agents is made on the basis of key features. Basic data on agents are presented. The typology is developed to be applicable across the countries in the Himalayan range.
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