In 2000, forests covered an estimated 27.3% of Nepal's total land area. Timber cutting has been contracted out to private firms. About 95% of the 13.4 million cu m (473 million cu ft) of roundwood cut in 2000 was for fuel.
In 1961, the government established a department of medicinal plants to encourage Nepal's commercially important herb exports. There are regional herbal farms at Ka¯thmāndu and Nepalganj. There is also a royal research laboratory for drug analysis.