4th Sharing Meeting of NNN

May 21, 1999

The fourth meeting of the NNN Advisory Group was held on Friday May 21, 1999 at the Nepal Swiss Community Forestry Project (NSCFP) office, Ekantakuna. Mr. Karl Schuler of NSCFP chaired the meeting.

Those who participated in the meeting were:

  1. Bhishma Subedi, ANSAB
  2. Bijaya Bajracharya, SSMP
  3. Bhaweshwar Das, NSCFP
  4. Govinda Neupane, CARE Nepal
  5. Janie Bergeron, CBED
  6. Karl Schuler, NSCFP
  7. Ken Nicholson, SNV
  8. Krishna Datta Bhatta, FECOFUN
  9. Raju Chhetri, NAF
  10. Ram Gopal Shrestha, Kanpou
  11. Ram Hari Subedi, Gorkha EXIM Pvt. Ltd.
  12. Ram P. Acharya, ANSAB
  13. Robin aus der Beek, NSCFP
  14. Rupa Shrestha, ANSAB
  15. Shankar P. Dahal, NUKCFP, Koshi Hills Area
  16. Surya B. Binayee, ANSAB
  17. Tilak Khatri, NUKCFP, Dhaulagiri Area
  18. Tirtha. B. Shrestha, IUCN

The agendas of the meeting were:

  1.  Follow up of the last meeting
    • Comments to minutes
    • Plan to develop training materials in Nepali and support for training
    • Summary on Laos training
    • IFAD Forest resources promotion program
    • Review of CF by MFSC+Donors
  2. Briefing from the Task Group on Market Information System of NTFPs
  3. Review of NNNAG members’ activities (done, planned)
  4. Plan 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 expressed his happiness on the growing size of the Network. He appreciated the very active participation of the members. He handed over the session to the chairperson after highlighting on the meeting agenda.
  2. For the benefit of new participants, a brief introduction of the participants was done.
  3. Mr. Karl Schuler welcomed the participants and listed the points to be discussed on.

Discussions were focussed mainly on the following topics:

A. Follow up of the last meeting

  • Comments on the previous meeting
  • Briefing from the Task Group on Market Information System of NTFPs
  • Plan to develop training materials in Nepali and support for training
  • Summary on Laos training
  • IFAD Forest resources promotion program
  • Review of CF by MFSC+Donors
  • Review of NNNAG members activities (done, planned)

B. Perspectives of NNNAG * Quality standards for exported NTFP

  • FECOFUN NTFP Network among FUGs
  • Within government NTFP Committee
  • TCN follow up
  • Documentation about NNNAG

3. Comments on the of 3rd NNNAG meeting minutes
Mr. Schuler gave his comments regarding a point raised during the IFAD meeting on giving loan to FUGs to run an enterprise based on forest products. He expressed that FUGs may not be appropriate party for running an enterprise. Since a single FUG encompasses a large number of people, it can not function as competitive and successful entrepreneurs. So a group of experienced entrepreneurs should be selected to run an enterprise. FUGs can function actively in supplying the raw materials for the company and collecting revenue.

4. Briefing from the Task Group on Market Information System of NTFPs
Mr. Ken Nicholson presented a concept paper prepared by the task force group. Mr. Krishna Datta Bhatta has submitted the concept paper to the NNNAG. The brief overview of the report is given below.

The main responsibility of the team was to develop a framework for establishing a market information system for NTFP that is accessible to all user groups at the grassroot level. The team had met thrice and discussed on the criteria for establishing a reliable and practical Market Information System (MIS). The discussion was focussed mainly on the following topics:

  • Selection of MIS Location
  • Selection of MIS Participants
  • Selection of Information
  • Collection and Dissemination of Information
  • Monitoring/Evaluation & Sustainability

The team decided that it would be better to implement MIS in small area in the beginning that will serve as a model for other areas and replicate such successful model in other parts of the country. Since the FUGs would be the main users of the information, selection of FUGs is also a crucial part for implementing MIS. To start from, an active, interested and non conflicting FUG with sufficient raw materials and market opportunity was felt to be an ideal for this program. Feeling that Karnali zone met all the above criteria, the team decided to implement MIS in some FUG of Karnali region. FECOFUN also strongly supported this plan as FECOFUN aims to implement a model in small FUG first and then replicate to all FUGs.

Mr. Ken Nicholson and Mr. Krishna Datta Bhatta have presented the MIS models for the collection and dissemination of information, that are being practiced in Chitwan by Chepang community and in Dadeldhura district.

The task force team has decided to set up certain indicators to monitor and evaluate whether the MIS is functioning as contemplated.

Comments on task force
Mr. Schuler said that a network should be established that would centralize the information system. After that the information should be decentralized and disseminated to all the concerned people. He also said that FECOFUN is still a young organization and has a lot of other commitments, so it may not be able to contribute fully in this field.

Mr. Nicholson said that regular information is required for few commercial products like Chiraito and Sugandhwal. This may be bit difficult to keep on track with the frequent information if it is centralized. It is a prerequisite to identify the user group with similar information needs before centralizing the information system.

Mr. Schuler opined that if the information system is decentralized, a link should be established between the central and the users’ level. The central level MIS is expected to assist a greater number of NTFP stakeholders with minimum efforts. He suggested that the task force group to continue working on this and try to link MIS to central system.

5. Training Material in Nepali/Support for training
Mr. Nicholson said that the first training manual of NNNAG should be targeted to rangers and facilitators’ level for developing viable sustainable enterprise based on NTFPs. This will gear the literate but non-English speaking people.

Mr. Schuler suggested to collect the Nepali and English training materials, then translate, compile, and develop them for common use.

Dr. Tirtha. B. Shrestha informed that IUCN is also developing training manual in Nepali for the collectors which is focussed on sustainable harvesting. As NNNAG is also planning to develop similar type of manual in future, Mr. Nicholson put forward that he will set the TOR and share it with the task force. Mr. Nicholson will coordinate the task force regarding this.

Support for training
Mr. Shankar P. Dahal said that within NNNAG member organizations, there are resource persons specialized in training. The list of trainers should be documented and distributed in the next NNNAG meeting. This will help to identify the resource person required by the other organizations.

Mr. Subedi said that ANSAB has conducted such trainings for organizations like NSCFP and NUKCFP. ANSAB does provide training to a community if it approaches in a group with similar interests.

Dr. Shrestha said that we need to be very careful in selecting the products and contents on which the training is going to be done. As we are all aware that collectors themselves are rich storehouse of indigenous knowledge. However, training regarding new products is essential.

Mr. Nicholson expressed that all the projects need experienced trainers. A joint TOT (Training of Trainers) among NNNAG member organizations is a good idea for the first stage. After this trained personnel can train others on his own with the help of experienced one.

After a lot of lively discussion on this, it was decided to hold first general meeting with task force and discuss on package of training materials as well. Task force will meet on June 1, 1999 at 10:00 a.m. at SNV office. The meeting will be coordinated by Mr. Nicholson.

The interested participants for this meeting are:

  1. Govinda Neupane, Care/Nepal 2. Bhishma Subedi, ANSAB
  2. Raju Chhetri, NAF 4. Dr. T. B. Shrestha, IUCN
  3. Ken Nicholson, SNV 5. Ram Hari Subedi, Gorkha EXIM
  4. Bhaweshwar Das, NSCFP 7. Bijaya Bajracharya, SSMP

Note: The participants are to bring training materials, publications on marketing, enterprise development and resource management.


 

Everybody agreed that there is a need to prepare and update a list of resource persons along with their specialties and the services they can provide. All the participants are requested to bring a list of resource persons in the next NNNAG meeting. ANSAB will then compile the list and distribute to all the member organizations.

6. Summary on Laos meeting
Summary of Laos meeting was given by Mr. Bhaweshwar Das and Mr. Nicholson. Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) training was held in April 22, 1999 to May 3, 1999 in Laos, Vietnam. MA&D is a participatory tool developed for market analysis and development covering social, institutional and scientific aspects. The training was mainly focussed on quality aspects on NTFP development and identification of products for marketing and mechanism for elimination and selection of products to develop a sustainable marketing. The participants were able to share experiences with Vietnam, Philippines, China and Nepal.

MA&D is an advanced training, so it needs to be reviewed and modified before implementing in Nepal. The report of the training will be published soon and will be shared with NNNAG members.

7. IFAD Forest Resource Promotion Program
Mr. Schuler said that he has received the report from Vanda Atarellt of IFAD. She’ll be coming to Nepal in late May or early June. To create a new project through a trust fund has been accepted. SDC will continue discussion with her in launching a project based on forest resources or biodiversity. IFAD is planning a workshop to be held by the end of this year. SDC plans to join this project. Other donor agencies are also welcome to join this project. Vanda will follow up on suggestions made by donors on accessibility and management capacity of FUGs.

Mr. Schuler also emphasized that MIS and IFAD project can be linked. This way the information can be centralized at first and decentralized later on throughout the country.

8. Review of CF by MFSC and donors
Mr. Schuler said that after the national workshop in October 1998, DANIDA came up with the idea to find the bottlenecks in CF and implementation measures to improve it. But the ministry does not seem to be receptive. For interested people, there is an interesting article from WINROCK Nepal on analysis of community forestry in Nepal”.

9. Review of NNNAG members activities (done/planned)

An overview of the completed and planned organizational activities were given by the participants:

Robin aus der Beek, NSCFP

  • Conducted Enterprise Development Training for entrepreneurs’ of Dolakha with ANSAB
  • Plans to conduct a research on mushroom

Dr. T. B. Shrestha, IUCN

  • Started project to establish a national register of NTFPs (with taxonomic order, ecology and basic collection methods) and conservation of species
  • Developing training manual for FUG on harvesting of NTFPs

S. P. Dahal, NUKCFP, Dhankuta

  • Income generation activities for FUGs
  • Plans a training for rangers in Sankhuwasabha

Bijaya Bajracharya, SSMP

  • Focussing on the products such as coffee suitable for agroforestry in 8 districts

Govinda Neupane, Care/Nepal

  • Training to project staff
  • Sub-sector analysis of Karnali region with ANSAB
  • Plans to finalize Sub-sector Analysis Report soon
  • Conducted market study on potentiality of NTFP in Bajura

Ram Gopal Shrestha, Kanpou Nepal

  • Promoting cultivation, processing and marketing of Mitchumata (Argeli)
  • Exporting semi-processed Mitchumata bark to Japan

Bhishma Subedi, ANSAB

  • Conducted and designed NTFP management and Enterprise Development training in Parbat and Dolakha with in collaboration with NUKCFP and NSCFP respectively
  • Completed a sub-sector analysis in Karnali region and submitted to CECI
  • Working with few community groups in Bajhang for the preparation of business plan for a paper making enterprise
  • Working with community groups in Bajhang, Dolakha, and Baglung for resource management and enterprise development
  • Plans to develop training materials for sustainable micro- enterprise development

Raju Chhettri, NAF

  • Held two workshops on MIS and market constraints
  • Plans to conduct a training in NTFP harvesting and management in two months (looking for financial assistance)
  • Plans a tour for FUGs

Bhaweshwar Das, MOFSC Lab

  • Doing research on Acorus calamus volatile oil
  • Took MA&D training in Laos
  • Visited Dolakha and Ramechhap
  • Plans to join for NSCFP as EDO

Ken Nicholson, SNV

  • Updated the draft of field tested NTFP training manual with FAO
  • Working on NTFP business paper
  • Marketing of NTFPs like amala, gurjo, harro, barro through cooperative of Praja in Chitwan
  • Working with UNDP in 10 districts of Nepal on micro enterprise development project
  • Plans to go to Bhutan to help in cash crop program with Bhutanese government

Ram Hari Subedi, Gorkha EXIM

  • Exports medicinal NTFPs
  • Involved in conducting sub-sector analysis of NTFPs of Karnali region with ANSAB team
  • Working as an active member of SEACOW

Krishna Datta Bhatta, FECOFUN

  • Held workshop on NTFP management and marketing
  • Plans a workshop for FUGs in Sankhuwasabha to help to develop vision for potential NTFPs
  • Planning to develop MIS addressing to the information needs of FUGs, collectors and traders in Karnali zone

Tilak Khatri, NUKCFP, Baglung

  • Collected sample of NTFPs

10. Discussion on other issues:
Mr. Nicholson remarked that Lycopodium has high value in Chinese market but the price of Lycopodium dropped due to adulterated products. He suggested that there should be some mechanism to evaluate and control it. Mr. Subedi commented that it would be very difficult to enforce the control mechanism for the NTFP products getting adulterated because there are more than hundred NTFPs being marketed. But he agreed that this part genuinely needs some attention. Dr. Shrestha said that the government research labs should take the initiative to control this mechanism but he also confessed that this is not an easy job.

Mr. Neupane suggested that there should be a well documentation on the objectives and activities done by the NNNAG so far for the new members and non members who are interested in this Network. Everyone approved of this idea. Mr. Subedi along with ANSAB staff will document the NNNAG activities and circulate it to the interested individuals.

The next NNNAG Meeting will be held on July 21, 1999 Wednesday at 1.00 p.m. at ANSAB Building, MinBhawan. Lunch will be served to the participants. Mr. Ken Nicholson of SNV will chair the meeting.

11. Tentative agenda for the next meeting are:

  1. Follow up of the last meeting
  2. Reporting from different task force teams.
  3. Review of the NNNAG members activities.
  4. Planned activities for the next two months and beyond.
  5. Any other agenda