5th Sharing Meeting of NNN

July 21, 1999

The fifth meeting of the NNN Advisory Group was held on Wednesday, July 21, 1999 at ANSAB office, Minbhawan, Kathmandu. Mr. Ken Nicholson of SNV chaired the meeting.

Those who participated in the meeting were:

  1. Bhishma Subedi, ANSAB
  2. Bhaweshwar Das, NSCFP
  3. Hemanta Ojha, ANSAB
  4. Ken Nicholson, SNV
  5. Keshav Kanel, MFSC
  6. Krishna Datta Bhatta, FECOFUN
  7. Pratap Man Shrestha, FAO
  8. Shiva Shankar Neupane, NAF
  9. Ram Hari Subedi, Gorkha EXIM Pvt. Ltd.
  10. Gopal Kaphle, NUKCFP, Dhankuta
  11. Tulsi Bhakta Prajapati, NACRMP

Surya B. Binayee, Ram P. Acharya, and Rupa Shrestha of ANSAB were also present during the meeting.

The agenda of the meeting were:

  1. Follow up of the last meeting
  2. Reporting from different task force teams
  3. Plan of activities for the next two months
  4. Review of recommended policy issues

The Summary of the Discussions and Conclusions of the Meeting:

1. Mr. Bhishma Subedi gave a brief introduction of the network and its activities to the new participants.

2. A form was passed to all participants to list the NTFP resource persons, especially for training, from different organizations. Mr. Ken Nicholson also requested the participants to send additional names with their expertise and contact detail to ANSAB before the next NNNAG meeting.

3. Reporting from the Task Force Group on Market Information System of NTFPs

The task force (Surya Binayee, Ken Nicholson, Bhaweshwar Das and Ram Acharya) submitted a report, which was circulated to all participants. Mr. Das highlighted the main points of the reports. The brief overview of the report is given below.

The task force had first submitted a report concentrating on community level MIS development for NTFPs. But in the NNNAG meeting of May 21, it was realized that the MIS should be linked up with the central level for coordination of collection, analysis, and dissemination of market information that is required for different stakeholders in NTFP sub-sector.

The task force group concluded that the community level MIS primarily benefits the local communities for marketing of their products profitably, while the central MIS will assist a greater number of NTFP stakeholders by providing international market information, evaluating different options available for marketing, and developing the market plans. The central level MIS complements the information provided through community level MIS by providing the market information that is needed for its target beneficiaries, who are not in a position to get such information themselves.

The ultimate beneficiaries of central level MIS are collectors, FUGs, processors, and traders. GOs, NGOs, INGOs, and Trade Associations, and researchers can also benefit from the information and help the direct participants in NTFP business.

The market information would be compiled from different sources: news and publication on NTFPs, websites and electronic mails of marketing organizations, and trade records. Beside this, other important sources for market information are: processing and trading companies, individual traders and brokers in different parts of the country and international market and organizations like UNCAD, trade promotion center, Department of Commerce, FNCCI, NCC, DPR, FECOFUN, ANSAB, SNV, SDC, Gorkha EXIM.

Regarding information collection, the task force proposed to consider limited number of products (about 10-20) that are most important to the collectors and traders for central level MIS. It would be useful to organize a workshop to identify the information needs of the intended beneficiaries. Establishing linkages with organizations working in NTFP business and visiting potential informants in Nepal/India was considered an important option for collecting genuine information.

The collected information will be disseminated via radio program, Newspaper, Networks of FECOFUN, FNCCI, NGOs, INGOs, DFOs, publications for local level users and website for external users and different development agencies. The task force has also done preliminary works on activities and budget for central level MIS.

Comments on the Central MIS report

Mr. Pratap Man Shrestha suggested to explore organizations dealing with programs like MIS and training manual. Organizations involved in this type of program might be interested to include this as a package program.

There was a question on who will be the host organization. Dr. Kanel said that private organization should take the lead at first and integrate it later with government sector. The next meeting will discuss more about the host organization.

It was pointed out that the budget estimated for the MIS (i.e. US $20,100) is too low to run it sustainably for 1 year.

Mr. Nicholson said that dynamic and hardworking persons willing to work within the proposed budget limit would be crucial for this project.

It was decided to share the report on Central level MIS with Mr. Karl Schuler of SDC and get inputs from him before the next meeting.

Mr. Pratap Shrestha suggested preparing a list of important commercial plants by consulting related organizations before writing a proposal.

Since the radio program is an effective way for information dissemination the participants discussed about the ways to use radio economically and effectively. Mr. Pratap Shrestha suggested to collaborate with the radio programs that might be interested in broadcasting NTFP market information.

Next step: Prepare a proposal and submit to donor agencies. Revise budget and present in the next meeting. ANSAB in collaboration with NSCFP will continue to explore the opportunities on this.

4. Reporting from the task force on training material development in Nepali

Mr. Nicholson gave the briefing on the work done by the task force regarding training manual. The first translation of RECOFT material in Nepali was not very practical. The words that were literally translated to Nepali from English were too technical to be understood by common people. This time, the task force has emphasized on translation that is based on needs of target group and within the framework of NTFP Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) approach.

The task force has decided to develop a training manual for field facilitators. The target groups are AFOs, rangers, local NGOs, project field staff and village traders with full Nepali but partial English literacy.

The identified needs of the trainees are to:

  • understand NTFP ecological and marketing issues;
  • raise awareness and train users and entrepreneurs; and
  • ensure disadvantaged groups are not marginalized

After the training, the trainee will be able to

  •  improve the actual knowledge base of the collectors
  •  improve their profits
  •  ensure sustainable resource management
  •  improve social equity
  •  improve value-adding
  •  improve entrepreneurship skills

It was suggested that a 3-day workshop for training design and development of materials with an expanded list of participants beyond the task force would be the best way to move ahead. The estimated budget for developing training materials and organizing workshop will be presented in the next meeting.

Comments: Mr. Pratap Shrestha suggested to refer to the manual prepared for Biogas by CMS (?). The manual is very practical as it was finalized after 3 phases (drafts), including field-testing. He suggested to take experience from the group.

Tentative list of resource persons for the workshop:

  1. Ken Nicholson ( Marketing, Enterpreneurship development and Micro-Finance)
  2. K. N. Kanel (marketing, Policy, Regulation, resource Management)
  3. Bhishma Subedi (Policy, Regulation, resource Management, Enterpreneurship development and Micro-Finance)
  4. Surya Binayee (Marketing, Enterpreneurship development and Micro-Finance)
  5. Netrta Bhandari?
  6. Mr. Karki of CMS (Skill development)?

7. Mr. Nicholson also gave a brief overview of IFAD meeting held on July 19, 1999. The main focus of the meeting was on initiating the concept of Multi-donor Program on Forest Resource Promotion. Several diagnostic surveys as well as a series of workshops are planned to be carried out before finalizing the program. The studies will review the status of CBOs, NGOs; analyze CF policies and legislation; assess social and common property resources issues by the end of this year. Different organizations (ICIMOD, SNV, CECI, and other NGOs) will be involved in the study.

Mr. Nicholson reported that his long-awaited report “SNV Nepal & NTFP-Marketing Approach to NTFP Development ” is finally published and will be made available to the members and interested orgainizations/individuals.

8. Review on the policy issues that need to be reformed (prepared by ANSAB, with the help of FECOFUN and other organizations) was done. The group discussed the issues, analysis and recommendations presented by Mr. Subedi and selected a total of 12 issues covering the NTFP collection, management, trade and royalty to be considered while making recommendations to MFSC. Mr. Subedi will submit the recommendations for the revision in the existing regulations to MFSC within a week.

9. The next NNNAG meeting will be held on October 8, 1999, Friday at 1:00 p.m. at SNV Building, Bakhundol, Sanepa. The Country Director of SNV, Mr. Tom Derksen will chair the meeting (Ken to request him). The lunch will be provided to the participants.

10. Tentative agenda for next meeting:

  1. Follow up on the main issues from the last meeting (Central MIS, training manual, etc.)
  2. Review of NNNAG members’ activities
  3. Policy issues and suggestions
  4. NTFP quality standard
  5. Planning NNNAG activities for the next 2 months
  6. Any other agenda