3rd Sharing Meeting of NNN

March 19, 1999

The third meeting of the NNN Advisory Group was held on March 19, 1999 Friday at ANSAB office. Mr. Ghanendra Kaphle of NUKCFP chaired the meeting.

Those who participated in the meeting were:

  1. Ghanendra Kaphle, NUKCFP, Kathmandu
  2. Karl Schuler, NSCFP
  3. Robin aus der Beek, NSCFP
  4. Janie Bergeron, CECI/CBED
  5. Ken Nicholson, SNV
  6. Ram Hari Subedi, Gorkha EXIM Pvt. Ltd.
  7. Dil Raj Khanal, FECOFUN
  8. Apsara Chapagain, FECOFUN
  9. Bhishma P. Subedi, ANSAB

Surya B. Binayee, Ram P. Acharya, Rupa Shrestha and Netra Bhandari of ANSAB were also present and provided logistical and other support during the meeting.

The main agenda of the meeting were:

  1. Review of the proposed activities by members and
  2. Planning of activities for the next two months

The Summary of the Discussions and Conclusions of the Meeting:

  1. Mr. Bhishma P. Subedi welcomed the participants and gave a brief overview of the previous meeting. He appreciated the active participation of the members and the concerns shown by them towards the network so far. He handed over the session to the chairperson after highlighting on the meeting agendas and the idea proposed by the general members.
  2. Mr. Kaphle welcomed the participants. All the discussion points were listed down after reviewing the proposed activities by member organizations. The issues were discussed identifying the possibilities of taking action by NNNAG on implementing these. Later few issues were prioritized to proceed by different teams.

Discussion was focussed mainly on the following topics:

  1. Dissemination of NTFP related information through mass media, viz. bulletin, radio program, etc.
  2. NTFP workshop in Humla with forest users group
  3. FECOFUN’s plan on NTFP exploration in Salyan
  4. IFAD/FAO mission to Nepal: background and feedback
  5. Methodology/process for including NTFPs in Operational plans of FUGs
  6. Identify the discrepancies related to policy and implementation
  7. Follow-up possibilities in Nepal after the MA&D training in Laos
  8. Development of training materials in Nepali: needs assessment and interest
  9. Dissemination of NTFP related information through mass media

FECOFUN is getting lot of letters from the CFUGs asking for support in identification, market and expert services for the NTFPs. FECOFUN produces a quarterly (four monthly) publication called “Samasamayik Prakashan” in which two pages are allocated for NTFP news. It covers the general information on marketing, management, cultivation and harvesting of NTFPs. Till now they produce 7000 copies of Samasamayik Prakashan every year for free distribution. Beside publication, they also run a 15 minutes radio program on Community Forest in Radio Nepal. In some program, information on NTFP related activities are also included to some length.

NNNAG members discussed on the practical and effective ways to disseminate the NTFP related information to the grassroot level. Following points were raised:

  1. Produce a common NTFP publication in collaboration with NNNAG member organization;
  2. Standardize the information dissemination process, updated market information should be collected every week. For this, one organization would work in coordination with other others;
  3. Single or common issue may not be very effective to all districts of Nepal. For example, information for Dolkha may not be of interest to the people of Dolpa, so the publication with issues responding to different regions or publication for different regions should be produced.

After a lot of brainstorming, a final decision was made to form a Task Force of some NNNAG members and prepare a concept paper and look for the financial assistance to publish NTFP marketing Newsletter. The members of the Task Force will explore, plan, and look for the opportunities for establishing market information system that is accessible to all users group and grassroot level. Dr. Ken Nicholson will coordinate this task force.

Members of the task force are:

  1. Surya Binayee, ANSAB
  2. Apsara Chapagain, FECOFUN
  3. Janie Bergeron,CECI
  4. Ram Hari Subedi, Gorkha EXIM
  5. Enterprise Development Officer, SDC

Ms. Chapagain of FECOFON will organize the first meeting, identifying the suitable date and venue for the Task Force meeting. The members will meet and work in this and will present the follow up report in the next NNNAG meeting.

FECOFUN is planning to organize a NTFP workshop in Humla for forest users group and they are looking for the financial assistance. FECOFUN also wants to make an inventory of NTFP in Salyan. Members discussed that the FECOFUN needs technical assistance, as they have limited experience for such activity.

Mr. Ken Nicholson will update the NNNAG members providing the summary of Laos meeting. Representatives of ANSAB, NSCFP, CECI, and Mr. Ken will sit together and follow up on the possibilities in Nepal for conducting such training. Training will be planned to meet the needs of the target groups.

ANSAB conducted NTFP Management training for DFO staff and FECOFUN members in Parbat in March 16-22, 1999. ANSAB is also going to conduct a Training/Workshop on Entrepreneurs Development in the Natural Products sector for Dolakha, Nepal in March 23-25, 1999 in collaboration with NSCFP.

ANSAB has developed a project for improving business support services to small groups and plans to develop a training manual for this.

CECI is planning to develop Market analysis and Development (MA&D) methodology in April-May, 1999.

It was decided that development of training materials in Nepali necessary. Mr. Ken Nicholson of SNV will coordinate and work together with representatives of ANSAB, NSCFP, and CECI and get inputs from other organizations.

There was a lively discussion on the process of and methods for incorporating NTFPs in operational plans of the existing FUGs and potential CFs. The group recognized that inventory of forest products (including NTFPs) has to be done for this.

Discrepancies in policies can be amended only after putting up these issues in front of policy makers and will take a long time. Mr. Robin aus der Beek pointed out that there has been change in Forest act recently which implies that 25% of total fund has to be spend by FUGs on forest management.

Mr. Karl Schuler said that donors have been asked to find the indirect bottlenecks of CFs by the government agencies. He will include the issues identified by the Nepal NTFP Network in his feedback to the Government agencies.

Mr. Ken Nicholson gave a brief review of IFAD/FAO mission background and feedback. Vanda Atarellt of IFAD/FAO met a number of individuals and organizations during her visit to Nepal. Before her departure, she also met the representatives of donor organizations (including SNV, NUKCFP, NSCFP, DANIDA, and NACRMP).

IFAD is willing to give loans to Nepal Government for establishing a NTFP based enterprise in Nepal. Many issues were raised and discussed during this meeting:

  • Some people thought that if it is a loan to the government, the communities’ power may go down and this loan money may be counterproductive.
  • Another alternative could be a trust, but establishing a trust takes a long time.
  • Should the loan be only for NTFP sector or should it include timber/natural resources?
  • Due to the lack of clarity in forestry policies and implementation, there is a risk for forest product based enterprises.
  • A question was raised whether the FUGs really need financing for micro enterprises since some of them have sufficient money to run such enterprises. For their self-reliance FUGs should be discouraged to be dependent on outside support.
  • The fund should also be utilized for improving the management capacities of FUGs.
  • Since the donors have a long experience in this field in Nepal, joint venture of IFAD and donor would be useful.

NNNAG looks forward to getting Vanda Atarelli’s feedback/report and moving ahead in fulfilling the mission.

The next NNNAG Meeting will be held on May 22, Friday at 1 p.m. in NSCFP Building, Ekantakuna. NSCFP will serve the lunch to the participants. Mr. Karl Schuler of Nepal Swiss Community Forestry Project (NSCFP) will chair the meeting.

Tentative agendas for the next meeting are:

  1. Reporting by different task force teams.
  2. Review of the progress of NNNAG.
  3. Planned activities for the next two months and beyond.