14th Sharing Meeting of NNN

February 01, 2002

The fourteenth sharing meeting of Nepal NTFP Network (NNN) was held on February 1, 2002 at SNV office, Bhakhundole, Lalitpur. The meeting was held in an informal setting, and Kenneth Nicholson facilitated the meeting process.

Those who participants in the meeting were:

  1.  Arjun Dhakal, NEFEJ
  2.  Basundhara Bhattarai, For.Action
  3.  Bhairab Risal, NEFEJ
  4.  Bhaweshwar Das, SION
  5.  Bharat Rai, ANSAB
  6.  Bhishma P. Subedi, ANSAB
  7.  Bidula Shrestha, MEDEP
  8.  Dharma Paudel, CRT
  9.  Govinda Ghimire, AHI
  10.  Jan de Witte, SNV Nepal
  11.  Kamala Gurung, TMI
  12.  Karl Schuler, SDC
  13.  Kenneth Nicholson, SNV Nepal
  14.  Keshab M. Shakya, SNV Nepal
  15.  M. L. Jayaswal, BU- New Era
  16.  Narendra Rasaily, BU-New Era
  17.  Pradip Maharjan, HPPCL
  18.  Pratap Man Shrestha, FAO
  19.  Ram Hari Subedi, ANSAB
  20.  Rana B. Rawal, MAPPA/IDRC
  21.  Rashmila Shrestha, GEM/Nepal
  22.  Sristi Rawal, BIRD
  23.  Surendra Bista, BIRD
  24.  Urmila Simkhada, UNDP

AGENDA

  1.  Recap of 13th sharing meeting and follow-up on developments
  2.  Sharing on 8th NNNCC meeting
  3.  Update on NNN Task Forces
  4.  Other issues to be suggested by members
    - Suggestion to Nepal Development Forum
    - NTFP Board
    - Technology Task Force update
    - Field training manual on NTFP enterprises in Nepali

SUMMARY OF DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE MEETING

The meeting was chaired by Kenneth Nicholson. He welcomed all the participants and introduced Mr. Jan de Witte, Country Director of SNV- Nepal. After self-introduction by every member, Mr. Witte briefly mentioned on the programs and activities carried out in Nepal by SNV Nepal.

1. Policy Feedback to Nepal Development Forum 

Karl Schuler mentioned about the current meeting of Nepal Development Forum members representing high-level officials from donor agencies and Nepalese government. He informed that draft papers including Poverty Alleviation Strategy have been prepared by Nepal government. However, little is mentioned about NTFP and its role and potential of common property resources is not recognized. He also said that it is possible to provide input on behalf of NNN Forum. The Internet web site (www.ndf2002.gov.np) for feedback was also provided.

Pratap Man Shrestha requested all members that relevant points need to be brought up so that NNN Forum can suggest recommendations through web site. 

Expressing NEFEJ experience, Bhairab Risal told that decentralization, budget, environment and water resources did not get proper recognition despite their great efforts to accommodate in the policy paper. He further added that in one hand it is written that the government is not qualified to do all tasks and on the other hand, they have recommended that the government agency should implement the programs. So, there is a contradiction in policy paper. It is more like essay type. He said that NDF has not been able to give new directives on Nepal’s development. He suggested that NTFP Forum has to be more proactive in advocating NTFP issues. He further added that NTFP policy recommendations suggested by NNN task force submitted to the national planning commission were ignored or rather lost. Arjun Dhakal added that government is in confused state in determining the priority. 

2. Policy Suggestion for 10th five-year Plan 

It was reported that policy suggestions for tenth five-year plan prepared by the Task Force was not received by the member of National Planning Commission. This may happened due to unforeseen reasons.

Bhaweshwar Das suggested that it is more useful to organize meeting with right persons to cut secretariat lengthy process. Narendra Rasaily said that being one of the members of NNN Forum, representative from MFSC could initiate regular communication between Forum and Government offices. 

Pratap Man Shrestha said we should not only blame the government but should try finding a mechanism by using all the alternatives such as personal contact, e-mail and other medium to reach them. Rana Bahadur Rawal informed that it is not too late to approach government officials. They are willing to accept recommendations.

Pradip Maharjan stressed on sending policy suggestions to National Planning Commission again. Basundhara Bhattarai suggested including representatives of government offices in NNN would be useful in approaching high officials of the government. 

Ken Nicholson summed up four different strategies that need to be taken:

  •  Importance of representative of government officials at various levels.
  •  Use of technology such as email, internet
  •  Personal touch
  •  Persistence: Try again and again, try every channels 

Kamala Gurung of TMI said that high value and low value of main NTFPs has to be distinguished for prioritization. Bidula Shrestha asked relevant persons to work on finding best solutions.

Bhishma Subedi mentioned follow-up activities need to be increased and asked interested persons to be in task force to work on highlighting the importance of common property resources for poverty reduction, poverty reduction strategy, and role of private sectors. 

3. NTFP Board 

Rana Bahadur Rawal outlined the Government priorities on NTFPs and informed that it has always been taken as minor products in the periodic meetings. The recommendations were same in all meetings that held in the past. There is also utmost need to transfer skills of Vaidyas and Amchi to new generation. Similarly, there is a need to protect intellectual property rights. To address these issues and problems, Mr. Rawal proposed a Nepal NTFP and Medicinal Plants Board. He also briefly mentioned important points of the draft constitution. 

M.L. Jayaswal said that policy makers are often suggested by technicians. Therefore, Board should accommodate persons from various backgrounds including technicians. 

Bhaweshwar Das asked that why NTFP not covers medicinal plant. He doubted the idea of a Board and remarked it is created to accommodate dear and near people. He gave the example of Tea Development Board, which was created long time back but the irony is that Nepal is importing tea from abroad.

Keshab Man Shakya said that Board is necessary but the question is how it is formed. NNN cannot lobby, as it is comprised of professionals. Intellectual discussion goes on but viability is a question. 

Pratap Man Shrestha opposed the idea of forming Board. He asked how general people know the information about Board and benefit from it.

Narendra Rasaily suggested that it is necessary to study how other policy is formed. He added the role of Board is to pass and endorse policies. 

Urmila Simkhada stressed the need of a Board but it should limit the members and make it active. The Board should perform not only coordinating but authority role. 

Rana Bahadur Rawal clarified that the concept of Board came from grassroots level. He informed that one regional workshop has already been completed in Dhangadhi and others are in process. He also invited all members to National Workshop, which is taking place in March 2002. 

Keshab Man Shakya proposed to take oath by participating organizations to create and develop at least 50 enterprises in five years time. 

Ken Nicholsan asked how to link grassroots to national level. It was also decided to raise this issue at National workshop in March.

4. Sharing on 8th NNNCC meeting 

Bhishma Subedi briefly outlined decision and discussion of the NNN Coordinating Committee (NNNCC) meeting. He said document could be sent based on request from the members and he further requested to provide suggestions to give feedback to NNNCC. Mr. Subedi asked if NNNCC needs institutionalization through Board concept. He also asked how feedback could be given to policy makers.

5. Update of Task Force and Miscellaneous 

Ram Hari Subedi outlined and updated on Technology Task Force. It was decided the Task Force members would sit together to prepare proposal for Technology Resource Center.

Price List: Narendra Rasaily suggested MIS to coordinate with FNCCI for sustainability. It was informed that price list varies at different sources. Farmers and petty traders are not sure despite having information. Therefore, it is necessary to make agreement between the organizations. The price of not only raw materials (such as Jatamashi) but also processed item (Jatamashi oil) should be provided. The price list should include explanation as well. 

Ken Nicholson suggested making transparent of prices to villagers and collectors is important. It is necessary to promote bargaining power of community people. Ram Hari added the need to increase capacity of the local people and look for alternative markets. 

Poverty led export village: Urmila Simkhada informed that she has been undergoing study of UNDP project ‘Poverty led export village’. She also explained the purpose of the study and requested all members to provide information on NTFPs related items such as herbs and rittha. Bidula Shrestha further added that MEDEP had identified 6 products, which have been included in the study. 

Narendra Rasaily suggested going direct to villages and extract information is a difficult task. Keshab Man pointed out that it is critical to have local level processing for local development. Sending raw materials to Nepalgunj or Delhi will not help in reducing poverty. The transportation cost from Karnali zone to terai markets is expensive. 

Ram Hari Subedi mentioned that people have different feelings regarding marketing information. People at grassroots level have high expectation. Therefore, it is necessary to start with local intervention. Arjun Dhakal added that people at grassroots level need entrepreneurship skills and we should not forget that Dabur and Horlicks are the competitors. 

Bhaweshwar Das supported the project idea and stressed that it will support local people generating extra income. 

Urmila Simkhada clarified that project was a follow-up concept with the experience of MEDEP and PPDP projects. A similar project run by International Trade Center (ITC) has been successful in India. Bidula Shrestha informed that it is a pre-feasibility study and based on the outcomes, UNDP will decide whether to run the project. 

Field training manual on NTFP enterprises: It was informed that Community Based Tree and Forest Products Enterprises – Marketing Analysis and Development (MA & D) manual in English is on sale at ANSAB. The Field-training manual on NTFP enterprises in Nepali is on process. 

Nepal Development Bazaar: It was informed about the exhibition of Nepal Development Bazaar, which will be held at Birendra International Convention Hall, New Baneswar, Kathmandu from 4th to 7th February 2002. 

Next Meeting:

Date: Friday April 5, 2002 at 1300 Hrs. 

Venue: Center for Rural Technology, Tripureshwar, Kathmandu.

Agenda: Among other points to be identified later, the following agenda will be included:

  •  Recap of 14th NNNSM
  •  Updates on NNN Task Forces
  •  Other issues to be suggested by membe.