Biobriquette popular in Marpha and Kagbeni

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A group of staff from ICIMOD’s Knowledge Management and Communication Unit went for a follow-up field visit to Marpha and Kagbeni in Nepal. 

In 2012, ICIMOD and Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) had conducted training on biobriquette production in Marpha Village Development Committee (VDC) in the district of Mustang 

under the ADB TA funded HIMALI PAR project
. Many participants then had expressed genuine interest to take up the production of biobriquette after the training.

Upon close interaction with different communities in Marpha and Kagbeni VDCs, it was found that biobriquette had been very useful for the communities. It was easy to use and saved people’s time as they need not go far away into the jungle for wood collection. It was clean and produced less smoke, and burnt for longer time. 

Most participants of the 2012 training produced biobriquette for heating purposes in winter. A few generated extra cash income by selling biobriquette to local hotels. Some participants had also trained other members of the community to produce biobriquette for home use. For example, Dawa Yanki Lama of Marpha trained 45 members, one from each household, of her ward. 

The secretary of Community Hall in Marpha VDC, Tsering Devi Lalchan, learned to make biobriquette from one of the trainees and has been producing briquette for personal use as well as teaching others to make briquette. She uses briquettes for heating water. She said hotels are potential buyers but some of the hotels had started producing their own briquette.  

Most participants of the 2012 training people were either using or producing briquettes and appreciated the training. They said people have improved their capacity in producing briquettes. Most production is done at the time when people have less work in farms.

The 2012 participants had trained more than 75 members in Marpha and Kagbeni. And it seemed that one more training on briquette making using local people as resource persons with more number of molds would benefit the communities. The number of molds seemed a bottleneck for surplus production.

The field visit, from 11 to 17 May, has been captured on video and photo, and a short visual clip will be prepared as a good practice story. 

marpha briquette

From left: Mangal P Pariyar, Meepa Hirachan and Tsering Devi Lalchan from Marpha village. Photo: Shiva Hari Khatri/ICIMOD