Consider commercial production of exotic flora and faunaOctober 16, 2013, 8:23 pm
It was the growing demand for coffee, tea, rubber etc. that led to their development on a plantation scale particularly in the tropics. With the growing demand spices such as pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg that were gatherers products are today large scale plantation or home garden crops. With the changing consumer demands particularly during the past few decades there has been a proliferation of Ayurvedic herbaria. In fact plants such as neem (kohomba) aloe vera and lemon grass are cultivated on a large scale. In Australia neem is propagated by tissue culture and grown extensively for the production of organic pesticides.
However, in recent times there has been a strong demand particularly in the underground market for two types of indigenous plants - Kothala himbutu and Wallapatta. Apparently these fetch exorbitant prices in the world market. As a result these plants are illegally exploited and smuggled out of the country.
Why can’t these be extensively cultivated, selectively harvested and legitimately exported. It is ventures of this nature that should be assisted by the State. I suggest that the Ministry of Plantation Industries give serious consideration to this in their crop diversification programmes.
Similarly, every day we read of people being arrested for the possession or transport of exotic meats such as venison, wild boar, porcupine, tortoise and iguana. An area with vast potential for the upliftment of the rural economy is the large and small scale production of these exotic meats.
It is a well known fact that these meats and many more including the meat of horses, mules, camels, dogs, cats, rats, snails, frogs and even insects are considered delicacies in many parts of the world.
More and more foreigners are visiting the country. The resident foreign population particularly the Chinese who are longing to sell these exotic meats in their restaurants is also increasing. Why not let our poor village folks earn a living by having tortoise and porcupine farms, not to mention deer and wild boar yards.
The argument against this will be that the killing of animals is alien to our culture. So is the killing of fowls and fish. What about alcohol, prostitution and Casinos? Hypocrites will continue to exist. But let not hypocrites rule us.
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