Mr. Khadka Narayan Niraula

Like Khadka Narayan Niraula, the people of Barbote and neighboring VDCs were tired of the same low prices for Ginger, Alainchi, and Amriso despite efforts to increase both quality and quantity. Businesspersons at Siliguri and Naxalbari fixed the price and the communities had to accept the fixed price as they had no alternatives to make ends meet and no opportunities to bargain. To address this problem, ANSAB, along with Ilam Chamber of Commerce, created market information services to help resolve panic of the people. The service provided market information of products sold at Siligudhi, Naxalbari, Dhulabari, Birtamod, and other major trade centers of the districts. Thereafter, communities started bargaining more with the traders for increased prices. Niraula says, “the price information has brought changes in my life.” The information service has resulted in more economic benefits to the people. But some traders were unhappy that the bargaining capacity of people decreased their monopoly on the prices.

Convincing the traders was a challenge. Day after day, traders were reminded of the responsibility, accountability, and sustainability that is necessary in NTFP production and marketing and that allows both the traders and collectors to benefit. Now, Mr. Balabhadra Acharya, a trader of Aduwa , Alainchi, and Amriso, says, “the price information has increased understanding between traders and collectors. I am now able to convince collectors of the cost of transportion and they are satisfied with the price they are getting. As more collectors begin to trust me, more sell their products to me. And so, I have more business than I had before the dissemination of market information.” Now, the communities are getting good prices for their products and businessmen are moving towards responsible business.