Stakeholders underscore NTFP development strategy

Nepal NTFP Network (NNN), a consortium of policy makers, NGOs/INGOs, federations, private companies and relevant stakeholders discussed the needs of the strategy for herbs and non-timber forest products (NTFPs) development in the changed socio-political context. The meeting also focused on strengthening forest users groups (FUGs) for non-timber forest products management.

The meeting formed a task force, coordinated by ANSAB that comprises of private companies, non-governmental organizations, federations and government bodies to recommend government for prioritization of NTFP in the upcoming national budget.

Highlighting the importance of implementation of policy, Dr. Udaya Raj Sharma said, ‘We have developed Herbs and NTFP policy 2061. Now the strategy should be to enforce government to make the policy enacted.’ NTFP development policy was developed through consultation from the grassroots to the level stakeholders including policy makers.

Dr. Bhishma P. Subedi, Executive Director of ANSAB briefed on the NTFP development context of Nepal. According to Dr. Subedi, enabling policy, program implementation and priority from the stakeholders should be made the basis for NTFP development strategy. Dr. Hari Krishna Sainju, Director General of Department of Plant Resources (DPR) underscored the importance of fair business. Detailing the hurdles in registration of community based enterprises, Mr. Surya B. Binayee, Program Manager of ANSAB said, “the need is the prioritization of program and budget for the development of NTFP sector.’

Dr. Keshav Kanel, Deputy Director General, Community Forestry Division said, “We have operational level problem in enterprises development and NTFP management, we need integrated attempt to reduce it.” Underscoring the need of ensuring people’s rights over natural resources, Mr. Rajendra Lamichhane of FECOFUN said, ‘we all need to be changed in the changed national scenario.’ The parcicipants suggested FECOFUN for its strategy to be focused, aligned taking into account the institutional sustainability and contribution in benefiting poor communities.

Mr. Parbat Gurung, Chairperson of Nepal Herbs and Herbal Products Association emphasized the need of enterprise-oriented resource management and promotion of community based enterprises to enable communities to generate income.

The meeting, organized by ANSAB brought together over 30 participants from governmental/non-governmental organizations, private companies, federations and relevant stakeholders.