25th Sharing Meeting of NNN

Hotel Sunset View

February 9, 2005

Agenda of the meeting:

  • Marketing information system (MIS) updates for NTFPs in Nepal
  • Effective functioning of HNCC

List of participants:

1. Mr. Bhairab Risal , NEFEJ 14. Dr. Damodar P. Parajuli, MFSC
2. Mr. M.R. Shakya, AEC 15. Mr. Man Pd. Khatri, HJSS
3. Mr. Bhishma P. Subedi, ANSAB 16. Mr. Indu Bikal Sapkota, ANSAB
4. Mr. Navin Subedi, ANSAB 17. Mr. Roy Bdr. Shrestha, MARMSAP
5. Dr. Udaya Raj Sharma, HNCC 18. Mr. Ram C. Joshi, J.B.K.
6. Mr. Amrit Lal Joshi, NARMSAP 19. Mr. Ram Hari Subedi , ANSAB
7. Mr. Bhim Pd. Shrestha, FECOFUN 20. Ms. Pratibha Bangdel, ANSAB
8. Ms. Mira Adhikari, LFP 21. Mr. Bhaweswor Das, SION
9. Mr. Dyutiman Chaudhary, ICIMOD 22. Mr. Prem Tiwari , GAC
10. Mr. Pradeep Jung Pandey, FNCCI 23. Mr. Rajiv Pradhan, BDS-MaPS
11. Mr. Dina Mani Pokharel, Action Aid Nepal 24. Mr. Rana B. Rawal , BIRD
12. Mr. Parbat Gurung , HBTL 25. Ms. Shova Adhikari, ANSAB
13. Mr. Dinesh Paudel, NSCFP    

Summary of the meeting

The meeting focused its discussion on the activities, objectives and results of Marketing Information Services (MIS) program and effective functioning of the Herbs and NTFP Coordination Committee (HNCC). The participants were enthusiastic in realizing the effectiveness of the market information services. The extension of MIS geographical coverage, customization of information towards local level, network establishment, increase in the n umber of products (NTFP/HVC) for market information dissemination, increase in market and market price were the major achievement shared in the meeting. Mr. Bhishma P. Subedi exemplified, the price of yarshagumba per kg mounted to 80,000-100,000 from 30000-35000 after the market price of yarshagumba in different places provided to the communities of Darchula district. Though there are some difficulties in getting reliable information, proper use of information in the market places and the services accessible to the target group, the MIS service was realized very crucial by all the participants. The participants brought out ideas and given good suggestions to step up the marketing information services. Effective Functioning of HNCC was also discussed at length. Participants appreciated the efforts made by Dr. Uday Raj Sharma in the NTFP sub-sector and there was a mutual voice that HNCC should be institutionalized and strengthened well. As Dr. Sharma requested the participants to support HNCC on behalf of their organization to make it autonomous and effective, participants from ICIMOD, SDC and FNCCI gave words about their interest to support for the strengthening of the HNCC. Likewise NARMSAP also expressed interest that it will convey the message of support for strengthening HNCC to the management level. The meeting was presided over by Dr. Pradip Jung Pandey and facilitated by Mr. Indu Bikal Sapkota.

Meeting Objectives and MIS for NTFPs/HVC in Nepal

Mr. Bhishma P. Subedi, Executive Director of ANSAB, reflecting back the previous MIS activities, gave account of the achievements, lessons learnt and current activities in relation to MIS. Shedding light on the objective of the meeting, Mr. Subedi brought the attention of the participants, ‘how MIS service can effectively go ahead?’

Though it has been four years we are conducting MIS activities, we yet are worried about how to overcome challenges to step up towards the free and fair market, he said. The people across the world come upon the similar challenges.

Giving instances how information system has helped people get more economic benefit, he added, information dissemination in the local language, making accessible to targeted grassroots people is important. Taking into account the necessity, we established one to one and group to group mechanism as a best possible way to deliver information to the targeted group. The market information generation and dissemination service has been extended to 35 species from 22 species and customized geographically in the East and West. Ensuring market information accessibility through the Federation of Community Forest Users, Nepal (FECOFUN) and other commercial bodies like Ilam chamber of commerce have been piloted as different modalities and implemented as a test in terms of its effectiveness. Mr. Bhishma P. Subedi exemplified the non timber forest products have directly traded through the Nepaljung and Tanakpur and even through Kathmandu after the accessibility of market information about herbs and non timber forest products.

MIS activities in 2004 and suggestions for MIS improvement

Mr. Navin Subedi gave a presentation on MIS activities for NTFP/HVC in 2004. The presentation included MIS program objectives, implementation modality, how MIS works/functions, key achievements, challenges and the way forward.

Dr. Damodar Parajuli suggested pushing the MIS activities forward in cooperation with the decentralized bodies like DDC, Mr. Bhishma P. Subedi in response consented and said the need has been already realized and ANSAB is cooperating those bodies while implementing the programs. It was also realized in the meeting that the problem of synchronization between the market information and available market price does not remain only in the herbs and NTFP sector. The problem is equally extensive in the agriculture sector.

Making information completely accessible to the grassroots people is a challenge. Besides, until and unless the businessmen become socially responsible in fixation of price, problem in authenticity of information will stand still, the meet consented.

Mr. Ram C. Joshi raised concern that why don’t we work towards preparing semi-raw materials and, why don’t we emphasize other market related articles including policy updates in the community targeted magazines like Lahara, Ukali and others. Businessperson who gives false information should be punished and who are responsible towards society should be appreciated.

Dr. Udaya Raj Sharma said that the government has been trying to promote cooperatives for the development of agricultural, herbs and NTFP production. Hat Bazzar will be fruitful to regulate the market information and for local market development in relation to NTFPs.

In the discussion of developing products and market information, Mr. Bhairab Risal said, we have done a lot of works during the 5 years of period and yet a lot of works are to be built on the past progress. Let’s work for the wall newspaper for market information dissemination and school essays competition to make the information important among the society. Mr. Bhairab Risal said, friendship from letters through newspapers can also be appropriate medium in terms of promoting NTFPs to upgrade rural livelihoods.

The another concern raised in the meeting was the collectors should also be informed about the market information in terms of the quality of the products. In the meantime, Mr. Bhishma P. Subedi said, how can we step up the devices for solution in a sustainable way is important. Now we require a permanent solution of the problem, he added. The market information goes to those groups who don’t even feel its necessity.

The bargaining power of the local communities has been found to be increassing after they were provided the market price of the herbs and NTFP in different Nepalese and Indian markets. The community people who used to sell the Yarsagumba at 30-35 thousand per kg enabled themselves to sell in the hundred thousand rupees, Mr. Bhishma P. Subedi exemplified.

The impact of dissemination of the market information through Radio Nepal was realized to be important by all the participants. However they all consented to select the appropriate medium which one would be better either the regional broadcasting or the national broadcasting or the local broadcasting. Mr. Bhishma P.Subedi argued, the local broadcasting would be effective but it might be expensive also. Amongst, Dr. Damodar Parauli promised to allocate time for the NTFPs market information dissemination under the program being disseminated through the ministry of forest and soil conservation. Representative of the NARMSAP also responded well that the a little time can be allocated for the market information in the NARMSAP sponsored radio program, banbatika. The meeting also consented that whatever published or whichever program is developed for market information, it should be professional, and otherwise people would hardly listen to it.

Effective Functioning of HNCC (Herbs and NTFP Coordination Committee)

Dr. Udaya Raj Sharma expressed his concentration how NGOs, INGOs and donors can internalize the recently ratified herbs and NTFP development policy. How Herbs and NTFP Coordination Committee (HNCC) can be instituionally empowered. The HNCC was set up through the ministerial level committee. If the HNCC can not be made autonomous, the importance of this body is negligible. The HNCC can work effectively if it is made autonomous, said Dr. Sharma.

Mr. Parbat Gurung said, the HNCC has been seen as a neutral body and support to this body is necessary.

In an inquisition of effectiveness of the policy in comparison with the law, Dr. Sharma responded, so far as the law does not restrict any implementation, it does mean that it can be done. Policy opens the door and easies the implementation. The policies can be integrated into different laws. Supporting Dr. Sharma, Dr. Damodar Parajuli said we all the governmental bodies have realized the importance of legal provision. A nation analyzes in totality, which clauses or sub-clauses are to be put in which places?

Mr. Bhishma P. Subedi said how the autonomous institutional development of the HNCC is possible is a key concern we are thinking of. The support we can provide to the HNCC might not only be the financial there are other aspects through which we can contribute to the effective functioning of the HNCC. Mr. Subedi backing up the proposal of Dr. Udaya Raj Sharma requested participants to give words on the behalf of their organization.

Responding to the request, Mr. Dinesh Paudel said he has messages that SDC is interested in strengthening such body.

Representative of NARMSAP also conveyed words of possibilities that the need has been realized to support such bodies and said ‘I will pass on this proposal to the management committee.’

Dutiman Chaudhary of ICIMOD expressed words of possibility to support the HNCC. He further said, some progress will take place in a couple of months. Dr. Pradip Jung Pandey also gave his words to support HNCC in any call for necessities.

Concluding the 25 th sharing meeting of NNN, Mr. Pradip Jung Pandey thanked ANSAB and said we should take the market information service issues from the broader international perspectives. Comprehending the market need is necessary at first and the due information should be disseminated to the producers. Bringing 500/600 species into 35 commercial species is an important task, said Mr. Pandey. We should emphasize the mass scale production and quality also considering the conservation perspective. The producers should also be made aware about the legal provisions, added Mr. Pandey. Thanking all the participants, he concluded the meeting.

(Unedited)