20th Sharing Meeting of NNN

(July 01, 2003)

The twentieth sharing meeting of Nepal NTFP Network (NNN) was held on July 01, 03 at Hotel Sunset View, New Baneshwor, Kathmandu.

PARTICIPANTS

  1. Dr. Lokendra R. Sharma, DPR
  2. Dr. Nirmal K. Bhattarai, DPR
  3. Mr. Bhaweshwar Das, SION
  4. Mr. Bhishma P. Subedi, ANSAB
  5. Mr. Francisco A. Tolentino, SNV
  6. Mr. Parbat Gurung, HBTL
  7. Mr. Surya B. Binayee, ANSAB
  8. Mr. Indu B. Sapkota, ANSAB
  9. Mr. M.L. Jaisawal, New ERA
  10. Mr. Hari. P. Neupane, FECOFUN
  11. Mr. Bhim P. Shrestha, FECOFUN
  12. Mr. Bhola Bhattarai, FECOFUN
  13. Mr. Man P. Khatri, HJSS
  14. Mr. Ananda Pokharel, HJSS
  15. Mr. Ganseh S. Thaguna, HJSS
  16. Mr. Mohan Baniya, HJSS
  17. Mr. Bhairab Risal, NEFEJ
  18. Mr. Rana B. Rawal, BIRD
  19. Mr. Babu R. Pathak, ITDG
  20. Mr. Rajendra Khanal, CARE
  21. Mr. Amrit L. Joshi, NARMSAP
  22. Ms. Sony Baral, ANSAB

AGENDA

  1. Recap of 19th NNN sharing meeting and follow-up on developments
  2. Policy concerns on NTFPs management and commercial use
  3. NTFPs certification and product development

SUMMARY OF DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING

Mr. Bhishma P. Subedi, Executive Director of ANSAB, welcomed the participants of the twentieth sharing meeting of NNN (Nepal NTFP Network). Mr. Mohan Baniya chaired the meeting and clarified the issues related to NTFPs certification, policy and government’s role on NTFP programs.

Recap of 19th sharing meeting and follow-up on developments

Mr. Subedi went through the agenda of the meeting. He requested participants to put their views in the meeting regarding discussions of previous meeting. Ms. Sony Baral recapped some of the points discussed in the previous meeting. Then discussions and outcomes of the nineteen NNN sharing meeting held on February 07, 2003 at ANSAB office were briefly reviewed by other participants. About the member profile, Dr. Nirmal Bhattarai said we are trying to develop the format for preparing members profile.

Mr. Subedi said there were many policy issues that we had talked in the previous meeting and also we had discussed on the royalty issues of Yarshagumba. Moreover, we had discussed on the policy review of the NTFPs, which we should continue ahead. This policy issue was being raised in joint discussion with all the members so we were planning workshop on coming July 4-5, 03.

Mr. Baniya, Chairperson of Himali Jadibuti Sarokar Samuha (HJSS) briefed about HJSS, reason of concept arising, its establishment, objectives and functioning. HJSS undertook the following activities.

  • Registration of organization with support from ANSAB
  • Establishment of marketing steering committee
  • Organize one day workshop
  • Leaders selection from the 1st formal assembly
  • Preparation of yearly operational plan
  • Preparation for National workshop
  • Establishment of NTFPs coordination (Ad hoc) committee in 10 districts

He mentioned further that we were discussing and thinking of how to track their organization in proper mode.

Mr. Man P. Khatri questioned how we could go to different districts and collect the information on policy issues of each districts and what would be its final output.

Mr. Pokharel detailed on the real situation of the 10 districts at that time. He explained his experience of different field visit, while working with HJSS. During his visit, he found in Kalikot people making Deuda Geet of 266 spp found in the districts. Jadibuti is a nature gift, but improper management practice results in bad condition. In addition to that he said that in the case of NTFPs marketing, local people are not getting what they really have to get and they are just acting as labor. Furthermore he said that out of 18 Himalayan districts we could work in some of them according to our objectives to help towards the reduction of poverty. He added, ANSAB is working in Bajhang and Darcula, but in Kalikot no one is working. Sometime NARMSAP used to do the research types of activities. And in Bajura Care Nepal is working.

Nationally when studied it was found that only royalty of 3 kg.of Yarshgumba was levied. Out of 5 quintals of Yarshagumba went out in Darchula, it was hard to find the royalty even of 1 kg.

Policy concerns on NTFPs management and commercial use

Mr. B. P. Shrestha said that only review of policies is not sufficient, it should be implemented.

Supporting to Shrestha’s view Mr. Ananda Pokharel said that we can change or add as per the need for improvement.

Mr. Subedi said that Master plan and 10th plan are all about the timber oriented and also it focuses on minor forest products so we can replace NTFPs instead of minor forest products.

Responding to Mr. Subedi, Mr. Rana B. Rawal added that Master plan is enough but it has not been implemented so far. If it is implemented, it will be quite enough and it is more than needed.

Commenting on above discussion Mr. Neupane emphasized on the same subject revealing a problem that the master plan is in English version, which is quite difficult to use by local people because it is difficult to use even for us.

Mr. Subedi responded supporting Mr. Neupane and said we already have master plan, but it focused more on forestry issues rather than NTFPs. And so, another independent plan for NTFPs is necessary.

Adding to Mr. Subedi, Dr. Lokendra said that DPR officials are working on oil extraction, phytochemistry and oil exportation. DoF have also made one separate taskforce committee to work in the policy of NTFPs. This discussion will be good and will reach to upper level.

Mr. Neupane opined there are different taskforce already established for formulating of NTFP policies. And he questioned about their functioning. He adding said that it should be from grass root level.

Supporting to the Mr. Neupane, Mr. Subedi added that these things were being discussed from the last meeting. To avoid discontinue functioning we also have to follow up.

Mr. Pokherel clarified, we all are people from different discipline and are discussing for the development of nation, whether government will accept this forum or not. If government will accept our task we are ready to do job related to NTFPs cooperating grass root people

Mr. Risal explained that now these days NTFPs is like gold of Lasha. Who is the owner of NTFPs, it is difficult to identify. On the other hand royalty rate of NTFPs is too high so people can’t pay, they used to sale without paying any royalty. For this, Nagarkot workshop may give some solution.

Mr. Bhattarai explained about NTFPs policy, there aren’t perfect rules and regulations. In the case of community forest all the rights are given to DFO. He further said that in Darchula, people used to take permit to sale NTFPs in Kapilbastu but they used to sale in Mahendranagar. It seems that there is mismanaged market so district FECOFUN and HJSS can work together for collection and storage of NTFPs. In India VSS is doing good job in this field, and questioned why not we also work like that? And said royalty should not be fixed randomly it should be reasonable. Due to the unreasonable royalty people do not want to pay so they sold quintals of Yarshagumba without paying a single rupee. This year only royalty of 3kg 200gm Yarshagumba, worth Rs 62,000, was collected by DFO office.

Adding to Mr. Bhattarai, Mr. Subedi said an institution named VSS is doing good job in some of the part but not all over India. Its function had seen both positive and negative effect on the individual, working for that institution.

Mr. Das exemplified relating to Mr. Bhattarai, Vyakur, before 27 years was sold to stop the birthrate. But now no development has been made regarding export policy, hence single pieces are selling in the market in unprocessed form due to the lack of policy.

Supporting to Mr. Das view, Mr. Rawal said many things are not going on smoothly so we should pressure the policy level to formulate reliable rules and regulations. I am also involving in the program of IDRC funded organization as advisor as well as a student. This funded organization in India is working smoothly, why not in Nepal? We working in this field are also doing good job but sometimes we feel difficulty in marketing and processing. He further said the completion of end task will depend on government’s rules and regulations.

Mr. Joshi said Jadibuti is that sort of herb which is difficult to process. Due to less amount of resource in the neighboring country, it is difficult to push ahead the enterprise. All the things that are good go to private sector.

Mr. Khanal said that by the end of Nagarkot workshop it is better to make action plan for coming year through which we will know who is doing what or who is supporting in what field. This will encourage all the organizations to be committed in their tasks.

Mr. Tolentino supporting to others view said that we have got forestry master plan but the matter is that we need to follow up it and implement it. He also added, if there are lacking of polices regarding NTFPs in forestry master plan we can reformulate it.

NTFPs certification and product development

On certification product development Mr. Binayee said that on 9th and 10th of last month one workshop was held on certification and product development. From that workshop we learned lot about certification. In addition to that he said certification will help in sustainable forest management. After the workshop, immediately we conducted training and discussed the existing gap between FUG and ourselves. Though it was not a really big gap, we have to work more on forest management, monitoring and evaluation and for that action plan is to be made. Further he said that action plan was developed at that time also and added all the alliance members have to sit and work on it to go ahead. He added that FECOFUN like organization is good to go ahead in policy level work.

Supporting to Mr. Subedi, Mr. Gurung said that forest certification is good. But for the product certification we should go through chain of custody. Taking a right system in consideration we need to go ahead by making the people aware and knowing all the linkage of practiced supply, demand and collection, processing and entire pattern of it as well.

Referring to Gorkha Ayurveda people, Mr. Bhattarai said that it is difficult to trade the product without certification so it is necessary to certify the product in all aspects like environment, economy and legal. But it is difficult to find the measuring instrument for it. If there is measuring tools it is easier to standardize the product. Among total 12500 CFUGs if even 1/10 of them do their certification it will be good initiative.

Responding to the query of Mr. Das, Mr. Subedi added these two issues are very good. He said that without accreditation no certification is possible. So it should be recognized by FSC.

Mr. Binayee added that now a days users are getting little amount of money to help them. Thus, we need to increase their price for collector by reducing the cost of mediator.

Mr. Risal said that we usually take our goods (NTFPs) to India. But in the boarder due to the quarantine issues it is difficult to export. He expressed his conclusive thought that it is better to address the quarantine issues in Nagarkot.

Mr. Subedi supported Mr. Risal’s view by saying that we all are here, and so we can make clear opinion on quarantine.

Mr. Risal again said that there were sufficient amount of ginger in Palpa. But due to the low price of India, it is entering into the Nepal and asked how we can manage for this.

Mr. Pokharel added on the view of Mr. Risal that in Nepalgunj also there is the large area which is not in use, but the vegetables are usually importing from India.

Mr. Das said that instead of doing product certification in 4/5 product, it is better to certify only one product.

Adding same issue Mr. Khatri said that certification of chain of custody is good but also we can link with international and national market.

Mr. Binayee said before starting certification we had discussed different companies, among them FSC is world wide in the field of forestry so we choose that. Due to the cost factor we are starting certification in pilot program in two districts.

Mr. Bhattarai added on the Rawal’s view that as we all are alliance members, we should know the task of certification and we are also helping them.

Mr. Rawal again added that organic certification is not a hard task when doing resource sustainable certification. So it can be integrated with it. And he also said that it would also help in quarantine.

Mr. Gurung added on Rawal’s discussion that trade organic certification is needed. Forest certification also helps in making the forest management sustainable. By knowing all the detail I came to know that initially Mugu was also in the discussion but due to the accessibility and easiness for starting it is started in Dolakha and Bajhang.

Mr. Baniya said that for the certification it is necessary to know the place where that actual resource is and by knowing the importance of resource then we can make prioritization on the products.

Mr. Khatri said that country like our needs forest certification because resource is in reducing condition. By forest certification we can start legal and organic certification.

Mr. Pokharel said that he also realize we are in the track. He emphasized whatever things we have done up to now, we are learner not a change maker.

Mr. Das again focused that organic and the forest certification is related tasks so we can go simultaneously.

Marketing as a bottle Neck

Mr. Rawal opined that Department of Plant Resource can work on it.

Mr. Das said that for marketing of the product it is quite easy to sell the products that were certified forest products or produced organically by cultivation. So there are more challenges in this process. So we should give pressure to the government from this meeting.

Mr. Subedi said that the issues are arising in the right time. He further added that even we working in this level are facing many problems, its doubtless fact that Forest Users Groups are counteracting many problems in export and processing.

Mr. Subedi said that quarantine is the main issue for the marketing so we have to follow it. In the previous meeting we have discussed that by looking from only one perspective is not enough so we have to see it from multiple perspectives. In the coming workshop of Nagarkot also we can discuss further on these issues.

Regarding taxation, Mr. Gurung said that in the entire place we have to pay tax for exporting product. In Jumla through NNN we have prevented tax paying for Jatamansi.

Mr. Pokharel said that government is doing several tasks. We are giving hands so first of all it is better to talk in one issue and by ending it we can focus on next.