ICIMOD staff receives award


ICIMOD’s Value Chain Analyst Anu Joshi Shrestha was awarded the Labour Economics Award for young South Asian Scholars  for her paper titled Strengthening Horizontal and Vertical Linkages: A Prospect of Pro Poor Honey Value Chain Development for Inclusive Growth in Hindu Kush Himalayan Region, presented during the symposium on ‘Labour Markets, Employments and Inclusive Growth In South Asia’ held on 14 December 2013 in New Delhi, India. 

The paper received a cash award of US$ 3,000 from South Asia Research Network (SARNET) as a token of appreciation and encouragement for young researchers in the region. SARNET is a research and network programme on employment and social protection, promoted by the Institute for Human Development, New Delhi, with support and collaboration from UN-ESCAP, South and South-west Asia Office, the International Labour Organization and IDRC-Canada

One of the objectives of the programme is to build capacity of young researchers from the South Asian region who are interested in studying labour markets. A competitive call for papers was made by SARNET and it received around 135 papers. Anu Joshi Shrestha’s paper was one of the 10 outstanding papers and has now been sent to a peer reviewed journal. 

Anu Joshi Shrestha’s paper is based on the pilot project carried out between 2010 to 2012 at three different project sites in Kishoregonj district of Bangladesh, Dadeldhura district of Nepal, and Chitral district of Pakistan. The research was supported by the Austrian Development Agency to provide innovative livelihood options to create or enhance the livelihood of the farmers through the pro poor value chain concept by analysing actors in the chain identifying leverage points in order to make inclusive growth by encouraging participation of the poor farmers in the commercial value chain. 

The research tries to prove that in rural communities where access to income is limited, small scale commercial beekeeping can contribute significantly to livelihood security if the collaboration among the beekeepers as well as the chain actors at various levels is strengthened. A strong focus was given to collaboration and coordination through horizontal and vertical integration of the small beekeepers as a strategy for value chain upgrading. 

In most project sites, beekeepers either sold honey from their doorsteps or took it to the local market or bartered it for household necessities. As a result of the groups, associations, and cooperatives that were established and strengthened as part of the project, today the value chain looks a little different, with a few more actors in the chain. This has helped beekeepers to focus on production. 

The formation of these institutions has also organized trade channels and created enterprises in the villages. These institutions have added a new dimension to honey sales since proper packaging and branding has made honey more marketable. Honey is now sold as a niche product at a premium price, for example, the Russian Olive Honey in Pakistan and Alital Chiuri Honey in Nepal.

Photo credit: Jitendra/ICIMOD