Exchange of experience and knowledge between Myanmar and Nepal forest and farm producer organizations around market based approaches in enterprise development

Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB) conducted a visit of Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) – Myanmar team from June 9 to June 16, 2014. The purpose of the exchange visit between FFF partners in Nepal and Myanmar was to support FFF program move forward with the forest and farm producer organizations from both countries through field visits, experience sharing and short workshops. The key objective was to facilitate the exchange of experiences and knowledge between Myanmar and Nepal forest and farm producer organizations around market based approaches in enterprise development. Altogether there were 26 participants representing International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)-Vietnam; IUCN-Myanmar; and NGOs, producers, forestry department in the area of project implementation, Myanmar Environment Rehabilitation-Conservation Network (MERN), private sectors, community forests and other relevant stakeholders from Myanmar.

The four-day field visit was made followed by two-day experience exchange workshop in Kathmandu. ANSAB facilitated the exchange program throughout the four-day field visit both inside and outside the Kathmandu valley. Representatives from ANSAB, IUCN, Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries (FNCSI) and Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN) accompanied the participants during the field visit. The participants visited Community Forest Users Groups (CFUG) in Sindhupalchwok and Chitwan districts, Community based Bio-briquette manufacturing enterprise in Sindhupalchowk districts, and marketing companies based in Kathmandu namely Himalayan Bio Trade Pvt. Ltd. (HBTL) and Himalayan Naturals (HN). The participants also made a visit to Ashapuri Organic Farm in Kavrepalanchwok district, which is developed as ANSAB’s demonstration site for the Agroforestry model. The field visit was successful in sharing Nepal’s and the organization’s successful model in Community forestry, Community based forest enterprise, Ecosystem based commercial Agroforestry, Forest based product marketing companies.

FFF was launched in September 2012 by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Institute for Environment and Development (iied) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) through Growing Forest Partnerships with a mission “to promote sustainable forest and farm management by supporting local, national, regional and international organizations and platforms for effective engagement in policies and investments that meet the needs of local people”. FFF is being implemented in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Myanmar, Nepal, Gambia, Liberia, Bolivia, Kenya, Vietnam and Zambia.