15th Sharing Meeting of NNN

April 05, 2002

The fifteenth sharing meeting of Nepal NTFP Network (NNN) was held on April 5, 2002 at the Center for Rural Technology (CRT) office, Tripureshwar, Kathmandu. The following members were present in the meeting.

PARTICIPANTS 

  1.  Bhairab Risal, NEFEJ
  2.  Bharat Rai, ANSAB
  3.  Bhaweshwar Das, SION
  4.  Bhim P. Shrestha, FECOFUN
  5.  Bhishma P. Subedi, ANSAB
  6.  Dharma Paudel, CRT
  7.  Dibya Gurung, SDC
  8.  Ganesh Ram Shrestha, CRT
  9.  Giridhar Amatya, IUCN
  10. Hari Dhungana, ANSAB
  11. M. L. Jayaswal, BU, New ERA
  12. Pradip Maharjan, HPPCL
  13. Pratap Man Shrestha, FAO
  14. Rajendra Khanal, CARE
  15. Rakesh Munankami, MEDEP
  16. Ram Hari Subedi, ANSAB
  17. Rana B. Rawal, MAPPA/IDRC
  18.  Shambhu Dangal, NACRMP

AGENDA

  1.  Review of 14th NNN sharing meeting and follow-up on developments
  2. Policy Task Force Updates
  3.  Draft Plant Resources Bill
  4.  MIS Update
  5.  NTFP Technology Resource Center
  6. Miscellaneous Sharing

SUMMARY OF DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE MEETING

The meeting was held in an informal setting, and Mr. Ganesh Ram Shrestha, Executive Director of CRT welcomed all the participants and briefly outlined the programs and activities carried out in Nepal by CRT. He also chaired and facilitated the meeting process. The meeting started with self-introduction of all the participants.

1. Review of 14th NNN Sharing meeting and follow-up on developments

Mr. Bhishma Subedi briefly informed about the ANSAB participation in Nepal Development Bazaar from 5th to 7th February 2002. The bazaar was organized during the meeting of Nepal Development Forum and various government offices and development organizations had participated. Mr. Subedi also mentioned that the visitors had shown interest in NTFP related activities.
2. Policy Task Force Update

Regarding policy Task Force Update, Mr. Bhishma Subedi told that the both MFSC and National Planning Commission have received the policy feedback from NNN for Tenth Five-Year Plan and have taken it positively. The task force has also been working to directly support the NPC to prepare NTFP portion of the Tenth Plan. Towards this Mr. Rana Bahadur Rawal and Mr. Pradip Maharjan are working for NPC and plan to present suggestions on 8th April 2002 at the National Planning Commission. Mr. Giridhar Amatya informed that the draft policy now has been prepared with incorporation of NTFPs. Referring to the Ninth five-year plan, Mr. Ganesh Ram said there was a plan but implementation side was invisible. So, suggestions are needed for clear implementation strategies. Mr. Lumin Shrestha added further that not only clear policy needed, but also action plan should be developed. He also informed that he was involved in Rural Technology Task Force constituted by NPC and had worked to provide suggestions on NTFP related technology. Mr. Pratap Man Shrestha pointed out that NNN should contribute in tuning the draft. Mr. Ganesh Ram Shrestha reiterated on maintaining regular contact with concerned authority since it is the responsibility of the NNN as a key stakeholder. It was agreed that members of NNN would continue maintain dialogues on NTFP issues with the government and NPC from different channels.

3. Plant Resources Bill

Mr. Bhim Prasad Shrestha informed about ongoing Plant Resources Bill, which might affect the entire community forestry rule and regulations. He said that FECOFUN has conducted training for advocacy. Briefing about the draft Bill, Mr. Bhaweshwar Das added that NNN should be aware of the bill, which can have long term effects in the NTFP sector. He also urged NNN to play the bridging role. Mr. Ganesh Ram Shrestha and Mr. Bhishma Subedi suggested raising issues in the media might help to correct or improve the proposed draft bill. Mr. Pratap Man Shrestha and Mr. Pradip Maharjan supported this idea and pointed out the need for suggestions.

Mr. Bhairab Risal informed that NEFEJ has been organizing environment and natural resource management education to interested Members of Parliament. In the past the interaction meetings were quite fruitful. He said that the issues could be raised through journalists. It was decided that Mr. Bhaweshwar Das would provide draft Bill to Mr. Bhairab Risal and Mr. Risal will bring the issues and recommendations to the media. Similarly, a Task Force was formed under the coordination of Mr. Bhim Prasad Shrestha to act on the draft Bill. Other members of the Task Force include Mr. Pratap Man Shrestha, Mr. Bhaweshwar Das and Mr. Bhairab Risal.

Mr. M. L. Jayaswal stressed that it is necessary to advocate NNN agenda for the Bill as it directly affects the NTFP sector. NNN should provide clear alternatives to the proposed draft Bill. 

4. Market Information System (MIS)

Mr. Ram Hari Subedi updated with major activities of MIS for the last two months. Giving the examples of Chiraito, he informed that information of Chiraito cultivation has been disseminated to Mugu district, where it was quite unknown until recently. He also informed that besides continuing support of SDC and SNV to MIS project, contribution has also been received this year from LFP, IUCN and Action Aid. Mr. Bhishma Subedi added that negative impact should not be happened when providing market information. He also mentioned that there is a wide demand to expand the MIS service beyond the price information. Although it is not feasible immediately to cover all these, ANSAB has initiated to take expanded functions such as product, market and production information.

Giving the example of mixing Chiraito with other substances, Mr. Giridhar Amatya informed that some traders have been doing wrong practices to earn greater profits, which could be the cause of low price of Chiraito this year.

Mr. Shambhu Dangal and Mr. Giridhar Amatya said that villagers need not only price information but cultivation information as well. However, there is no consistency between publications and information provided on cultivation by different organizations, such as that of Chiraito. So, it is necessary to compile, cross-check and produce document. Members were requested to send information to ANSAB. Mr. Ganesh Ram proposed that profile and information on different stakeholders need to be posted on website.

Mr. Shambhu Dangal said that information on price is helpful. However, why price decreased in a particular month has to be analyzed and reasons should be mentioned as well. He also raised the concern on the differences on the prices for the same products by different sources. Mr. Dangal also informed that he is compiling NTFP cultivation brochures and requested to send him relevant information.

Mr. Giridhar Amatya informed that some other product is exported in the name of Bhorla’s bark. Mr. Bhaweshwar Das added that there is an example of printed materials, where photos do not match with their names. Regarding information provided by others, Mr. Bhishma Subedi said that we could not stop others what they write. However, Network should crosscheck the information before they disseminate to the grassroots level.

Mr. Rana Rawal said work done by MIS so far is appreciable. Mr. Pratap Man Shrestha said that long term sustainability of MIS has to be worked out, as the funding may not be available all the time. Ms. Dibya Gurung suggested it is useful to increase partnership building with other organizations as well for MIS activities.

5. NTFP Technology Resource Center

Mr. Bhishma Subedi briefed on outcomes of NNN Task Force on Technological Information and mentioned that the Task Force recommended establishing a NTFP Technology Resource Center for pooling the existing technological information and disseminating to the needy people or organizations.

Mr. Pratap Man Shrestha asked to identify the organization, which can manage Technology Resource Center. Mr. Ganesh Ram Shrestha said that every organization has some capacity of managing the center. However, considering the similar work, he proposed ANSAB as the most appropriate organization for this responsibility.

Mr. Bhaweshwar Das said since NNN Secretariat is located at ANSAB; it has already much work to do. So, he suggested looking for another organization. Mr. Ganesh Ram Shrestha said CRT cannot take the responsibility as it is already packed with ICS network activities. He further added that willingness alone is not sufficient to take the responsibility, as the capacity including financial is equally important.

Mr. Bhaweshwar Das said that SION can manage Technology Resource Center with its internal resources. Alternately, fund is possible through writing proposal and submitting to donor agencies. He further added that the capacity of SION to manage Technology Resource Center is still to be awaited. It was agreed that SION will take responsibility to manage Technology Resource Center.

Mr. Rakesh Munankami informed that MEDEP is compiling a directory of appropriate technology including NTFP technology used by different organizations in Nepal. For this work, two AusAID volunteers have been assigned. He will bring the directory in the next NNN meeting. Mr. Bhaweshwar Das reminded that foreigners need to take advance approval for working in the knowledge and genetic area. So, everyone should be aware in what level they are working. Mr. Ganesh Ram Shrestha said the concept of Technology Resource Center is important and MEDEP’s work on directory may be useful to the Resource Center.

6. Miscellaneous

Mr. Shambhu Dangal informed about Chiraito cultivation in Danda Pakhar, Sindhupalchok. Other NTFPs such as argeli and cardamom are also cultivated successfully. An incense enterprise has also been running at the local level.

M.L Jayaswal informed about ‘NTFP Enterprise Day’, which is taking place in Banke and Bardia from 11th to 12th April 2002. He also requested to send participants.

Bhairab Risal informed about his article on ‘Chiraito’, which is to be published in Gorghapatra of 6th April 2002. He also informed interested person to participate in Radio Sagarmatha program ‘Aajaka Kura’, which is aired daily at 8.00 p.m.

Next Meeting:

Date: The sixteen NNN Sharing Meeting will be held on Friday June 7, 2002 at 1300 Hrs. 

Venue: The meeting will be held at New ERA Office, Kalopul, Kathmandu.

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

  •  Recap of 15th NNNSM
  •  Updates on
    - NTFP Technology Resource Center
    - MIS
  •  NNN Policy suggestion and Tenth Five-Year Plan
  •  Plant Resources Bill
  •  Technology Inventory
  •  Sharing of NTFP activities
  • Other issues to be suggested by member