11st Sharing Meeting of NNN

July 6, 2001

The Eleventh NNN Sharing meeting was held Friday, July 6, 2001 at ANSAB Office, Minbhawan, Kathmandu.

Those present

  1. Amrit Joshi, NARMSAP
  2. Arjun Dhakal, NEFEJ
  3. Bhaweshwar Das, SION
  4. Bhim Prasad Shrestha, FECOFUN
  5. Bhishma P. Subedi, ANSAB
  6. Bidula Shrestha, MEDEP
  7. Dhurba.R. Bhattarai, HPPCL
  8. Dinesh Paudel, NSCFP
  9. Hari Dhungana, ANSAB
  10. Ken Nicholson, SNV
  11. M. L. Jayaswal, New ERA
  12. Maksha Ram Maharjan, CARE-Nepal
  13. N.K. Shrestha, WATCH
  14. Narendra Rasaily, NACRMP
  15. Pratap Man Shrestha, FAO-Nepal
  16. Rakesh Munankami, MEDEP
  17. Ram Hari Subedi, ANSAB
  18. Rana B. Rawal, BU/EFEA
  19. S. B. Khadka, ITDG Nepal
  20. Sagendra Tiwari, IUCN Nepal
  21. Sama Shrestha, ANSAB
  22. Shiva Shankar Neupane, NAF

The Meeting Agenda

  1. Updates on Central Level Market Information System (MIS program)
  2. Discussion on NNN management
  3. Issues on current NTFP regulations such as ban and royalty rates
  4. Sharing of current NTFP activities by members
  5. Any other issues suggested by members

Summary of the Discussions and Conclusions of the Meeting

Mr. B. P. Subedi welcomed all the participants and requested the group to nominate a Chairperson for this meeting. The group nominated Mr. Pratap Man Shrestha. Mr. Shrestha facilitated the meeting following the above agenda.

  1. Updates on Central Level Market Information System (MIS) for NTFPs
    Mr. Ram Hari Subedi briefed about the Central Level MIS program hosted at ANSAB office. This 1-year pilot project is implemented by ANSAB and SNV with financial support of Swiss Development Corporation (SDC). The program collects market prices of various NTFPs from different markets of Nepal and India. It also disseminates information on pricelist, demand, technology, market etc through various means such as printed bulletins, publications, telephone, website and radio programs.Mr. Subedi informed that MIS has been conducting several activities since it start (January 2001). Every month it publishes market prices of various NTFPs along with addresses of traders and other NTFP related information in local community newsletter (Ukali). It broadcasts the market prices through FECOFUN radio programs first Friday of every month at 8.30 pm. The pricelist are also circulated through e-mail to interested individuals and potential traders and organization. MIS website (www.nepalnet.org.np/ansab/mis.htm) was also developed for potential users. In order to orient about the program and establish good linkages, visit to various trading companies, trade association and related organization in Nepalgunj, Kanpur and Lucknow was made. Beside above, it has provided marketing support to some local NTFP enterprises.After the presentation the group commended the effort made by MIS project within the short time. The group suggested focusing the MIS activities also in the eastern part of Nepal. There could be very good market for Chiraita (Swertia chirata), Dalchini (Cinnamomum tamala bark) and Alaichi (Amomum subulatum) from eastern region of Nepal. The group also suggested exploring the market of Tibet for NTFPs.There were various suggestions regarding linking the Central level MIS program with Ban Udyam/New ERA’s Regional Market Price Information System, Agro Enterprise Center (AEC) and Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI).The group also suggested that the program should continue giving priority to disseminate information to the local collectors and make their bargaining power strong. To reach these beneficiaries, the radio program, visual communication tools, bulletin boards, local newspapers and photographs display would be very effective. The group realized that free flow of NTFP information could indeed make a difference to the grassroots collectors. Earlier, the collectors of Bajhang used to sell Chirita to traders at local level but after knowing its price of Kathmandu, they now prefer to bring it directly to Kathmandu for better price. Another example is after hearing the market prices of Gucchi Chayu prevalent in Nepalgunj, Delhi and Lucknow in the radio program, the collectors of Jumla and Dolpa are now in a better position to bargain its prices with traders and have greater confidence in borrowing money for investment.

    There were various concerns from members to make the MIS program self-operating in future. The group suggested that the MIS team should strive equally for sustaining the program and test whether some model works better and finally develop the appropriate system for Nepal.

  2. Discussion on NNN Management
    Mr. Bhishma Subedi informed all that the NNN-Management Committee (MC) of 9 members was formed as suggested by the last NNN meeting. The group suggested the MC to meet in order to define its terms of reference and also to review NNN-MC members list. For this purpose the MC has decided to meet on July 16, 2001. The group further suggested that the MC should meet more frequently to discuss about the over-all management of the Network. 
  3. Issues on current NTFP regulations such as ban and royalty rates
    Mr. Bhishma Subedi reminded all about the current issues on royalty rates and ban on NTFP species. The group showed concern about the unscientific and illogical royalty rates fixed for various plant species. Mr. Bhaweshwor Das gave an example of the current royalty rate on Yarsagumba (Cordyceps sinensis). Yarsagumba, which was banned in 2052 B.S. (1996 A.D) for reasons unspecified, was opened for trading with the royalty of 500/- per piece in 2057 B.S. (2001 A.D.) On an average a kg of Yarshagumba contains 3000 to 3500 caterpillar fungus. A kg will now cost the revenue of NRs. 1625000 (1US$ = NRs. 74. 65). Since this revenue is so high this may result into boosting smuggling. Also the reasons were not found defined as to why plants listed in the CITES were missing in the list of banned NTFPs, and even those not listed in the CITES are still being banned.The group decided to form a task force to work on preparing the list of species of which the rates should be corrected and also present the issue with examples. The task force after completion of their work will submit the recommendations to Government. The task force group consisting of following members has decided to meet on July 9, 2001 at ANSAB.· Bhishma P. Subedi, ANSAB
    · Dhruba Bhattarai, HPPCL
    · Arjun Dhakal, NEFEJ
    · Rana B. Rawal, New ERA
    · Sama Shrestha, ANSAB
    · Bhaweshwor Das, SION
    · Ram Hari Subedi, MIS/ANSAB
    · 2 NTFP Traders (yet to be worked out)
  4. Sharing of current NTFP activities by members
    Mr. Dhurba Bhattarai, HPPCL shared that a book “Jadibuti Manjari” which was published in Nepali and will be translated in English very soon. The book covers various important topics such as current situation of Nepal’s medicinal plants and a brief description of 50 medicinal plants found in Nepal including their identification, collection, cultivation, processing, storage, production of quality products, packaging, labeling, nursery. It also includes economic description of some of the important medicinal plants, associated rules and regulation and other interesting items.Mr. Maksha Ram Maharjan informed that CARE/Nepal has been currently working in Accham, Bajura and Bajhang districts. Beside this CARE/Nepal and Ban Udam/New Era has started Forestry Participatory Project in 8 districts of Nepal: Dolpa, Rolpa, Puthan, Salyan, Dang, Banke, Bardiya, and Kailali. He also informed that CARE is going to conduct a study on “Impact of Community Forestry on Community Development” and NTFP is one of the components of the study. Currently CARE/Nepal is searching a resource person for the NTFP component. He also proposed that ANSAB and CARE/Nepal should jointly initiate a regional workshop.Mr. Bhaweshwar Das, SION informed that the Sharing and Discussion meeting on National Register of Medicinal Plant initiated by the NNN task force could not be held on the proposed date (June 11, 2001 at IUCN) due to sudden national tragedy. He thanked Mr. Pratap Man Shrestha and Dr. Rishi Ram Koirala for their feed back on the report prepared for the improvement of the Register. The group decided to fix the date of next meeting when the taskforce members sit together for the final preparation.Mr. Bhaweshwor Das informed that Systematic Industrialization of Nepal (SION) is actively involved in research, training, information dissemination and trade of NTFPs. SION has launched its trade arm “SION Trade” to support its research cost. It circulates its regular monthly E-newsletter to various organizations, traders and researchers and is providing services to various organizations such as Department of Plant Resource (DPR), Bagamati Watershed Management Project, CARE/Nepal, CECI, ANSAB, CECI, and Helvetas.Mr. Narendra Rasaily, informed that Nepal Australian Community Resource Management Project (NACRMP) is currently working in two areas of Sindupalchok district: NTFP marketing option in Dandapaka and NTFP and livestock in Tasataug upper slope.

    Mr. Rana B. Rawal, Ban Udhyam and Mr. M. L. Jayaswal, New ERA, informed about the release of workshop proceedings on “First in-House Meeting of Essential Oil Producers in Nepal” held December 14, 2000, and “National Workshop on NTFPs” held Feb 22, 2001.

    Ms. Bidula Shrestha and Mr. Rakesh Munankami informed that Micro Enterprise Development Program (MEDEP) is working in supporting enterprises of various NTFP products such as Lapsi candy, Amala (Emblica officinalis), Sal ko Tapari, rope from babiyo, bee keeping, Ritha (Sapindus mukorossi),ketuki and lokta (Daphne) in 6 districts of Nepal: Dhanusa, Nuwakot, Parbat, Nawalparasi, Dandeldhura and Baitadi.

    Mr. S. B. Khadka, Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) informed that it has been focusing its activities in 3 sectors. NTFPs activities come under its Agro-processing sector. They have been working in the districts of Sankhuwasava, Chitawan and Kathmandu focusing on products including chiuri oil, allo, honey, and bee wax. ITDG is also working in Sankhuwashabha in herb conservation, green house and nursery development and training.

    Mr. Dinesh Paudel informed that Nepal Swiss Community Forestry Project (NSCFP) is developing inventory guidelines, providing training in NTFP Management and Enterprise Development and developing market linkages. Recently NSCFP has developed NTFP Training Manual for Facilitator and NTFP inventory guidelines of Lokta, Chiraita, Argeli, Machino, Pakhenbed and Lothsalla. These publications are currently in English and will be translated in Nepali very soon.

    Mr. Shiva Shankar Neupane informed that Nepal Agroforestry Foundation (NAF) is currently working in watershed management program in Dhading district with community forestry as one of the component. Earlier CF operational plans had no provisions on NTFP management in the district. NAF is contributing to incorporate this component in new CF operational plans.

  5. Any other issues suggested by members
    Mr. Pratap Man Shrestha, FAO informed all that the Planning Section of Department of Forest and Soil Conservation have started a database system for Medicinal Plants. He also emphasized the need to link the Network to the system.Mr. Ken Nicholson, SNV expressed that the technological part of NTFP is very difficult. There is very limited information available in processing technology of various NTFPs. The group hence decided to form a task force and work on gathering available information on NTFP based technologies. Following members showed interest in joining the task force.
  • Bhaweshwar Das from SION,
  • S. B. Khadka from ITDG,
  • Rakesh Munankami from MEDEP
  • Bhishma Subedi, ANSAB
  • Ken Nicholshon, SNV
  • Sama Shrestha, ANSAB

It was also proposed to request CRT, RECAST, SEACOW and ICIMOD to be in the task force. The task force has decided to meet on July 1, 2001.

The Next Meeting
The next NNN-SM meeting will be held on September 7, 2001 in New ERA at 1.00 pm.