Traditional Knowledge on Chiuri (
) and its Potentialityfor Commercialization
Khilendra GurungResource Research and Development CenterKathmandu, NepalE-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org 1. Introduction
Chiuri tree (Botanical name:
(Roxburgh) H. J. Lam; Syn
(Roxburgh) Baehmi, Syn.
(Roxburgh) Engler; English name: Butter tree;Family: Sapotaceae) is a deciduous, medium size tree about 20m high native to Nepal. Leavesstalked, generally crowded near the ends of branches, oblong, entire, acuminate, hairy beneath,glabrous above. Flowers stalked, crowded at the ends of branches, yellowish. Fruit a berry, pear shaped, with one or two seeds. Flowers: November-January; Fruits: April-July. Propagated byseeds.It grows mainly in the sub-Himalayan tracts on steep slopes, ravines and cliffs at an altitude of 300-1500m from east to west Nepal. The main product of the tree is ghee or butter, extractedfrom the seeds and popularly known as "Chiuri ghee".
2. Availability of the raw material
There is no up to date data on Chiuri plant and its ghee production in Nepal. The annual production of ghee ranges from 60-500kg, with an average production of 175kg per farmer.Generally, farmers sell 50-60% of their total production. The study revealed that the production per tree ranges from minimum of 1-14kg averaging about 5.25kg per tree. Similarly, the yield of the fruit per hectare is estimated to be 100-800kg. The number of tree per hectare is estimated to be 37-90 averaging about 40.
3. Harvesting techniques
Chiuri tree is found on steep and difficult slopes. Climbing tree is difficult and it is risky toharvest the Chiuri fruit. In many instances people fall from the tree and succumb to seriousinjury and sometime loss of life has also occurred. The harvesters place
(traditional basket)on one shoulder and pick up the fruit with their other hand and place it into the
. Normally,male harvesters climb the tree and women gather the fruit that has fallen down from the tree.Children also help in the gathering of the fruits.
4. Importance of Chiuri tree among Chepang community
Chepangs are known for the immense knowledge on forestry products and their collection and preparation. They have special relationship with Chiuri trees as they have custom/tradition of