Regional Training Workshop on Developing Pro Poor Value Chains with Country Partners

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Under the Transboundary Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Programme (KSLCDI), ICIMOD has set concrete targets to increase the incomes of communities in the landscape by developing and promoting high value products and tourism value chains. In order to integrate the value chain methodology in livelihood promotion activities in KSLCDI, a training programme for the Kailash Sacred Landscape partners from India and Nepal was organized at ICIMOD’s headquarters in Kathmandu from 27–30 May 2014. The training programme was organized in close collaboration with Research Centre for Applied Science and Technology (RECAST) and the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Nepal.

The main objective of the workshop was to facilitate a common understanding of the value chain approach and to build the capacity of partners in developing and implementing pro poor value chains. Participants were facilitated to prepare action plans for the next three years (2014–2016) for implementation in pilot sites in the landscape. The training highlighted the need to integrate mountain specificities into the value chain approach while looking at the triple bottom lines of poverty, environment, and gender and social equity.

On day one of the training, participants were oriented on the main value chain concepts: situation analysis, value chain selection, and value chain mapping techniques (micro, meso, and macro, including poverty, environment, and gender). On day two, participants undertook value chain analysis including SWOT analysis, economic analysis, and identification of leverage points. On day three, they developed upgrading strategies and action plans for five high value products and tourism in India and Nepal. On the fourth day, participants were taken to various businesses engaged in product development, value addition, and the marketing of niche mountain high value products. 

At the end of the workshop, participants presented their action plans for 2014–2016 to strengthen the value chain of five high value products and tourism with the objective to increase the income from each value chain by 30% and from tourism by an additional 5%. These action plans will be implemented by ICIMOD’s partners together with the stakeholders and mountain communities at the pilot sites. 

The workshop highlighted the need to meet the challenges of both conservation and development. The value chain approach should be sensitive to the environment and surroundings for future generations while increasing the incomes of mountain people. Participants said that the timing and content of the training workshop was useful in enabling them to better plan and conceptualize value chain activities.