Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI) participated in the Fifth International Herbal Trade Fair held in Bhopal, India, from 20-24 December 2016. The fair was organized by Madhya Pradesh State Minor Forest Produce (Trade and Development) Federation Ltd.
Anil Madhav Dave, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, was chief guest of the inaugural event. Minister of Forest, Gauri Shankar Shejwar, who was also present at the event, spoke about the abundance of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in Madhya Pradesh, and the importance of conserving and managing those products for the betterment of the 170,000 people in the state.
The herbal trade fair provides an opportunity for buyers and sellers to congregate. This buyers-sellers meet is facilitated by the Government of India, and 24 memorandums of understanding worth INR 9,600,000 has been signed between businesses and rural community members this year. Free health camps serving the millions of people attending are also an important feature of the fair. This year, the fair reported 34 outpatient departments and 5,000 free health check-up camps.
For KSLCDI, the fair was a platform on which to discuss the work it is doing to enable community members in rural areas become more self-sufficient through skill development and enterprise development trainings. Robin Amatya, CEO of SABAH Nepal, KSLCDI’s private sector partner in Nepal, outlined the work being done along the allo value chain in Nepal’s far-western region. Speaking of the private sector’s role in developing sustainable markets he said, “We train communities on marketing their products.”
Lipy Adhikari, a researcher at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) working with the Kailash initiative, talked about the aims and objectives of KSLCDI, and explained how the initiative has been striving to enhance the livelihoods of people in China, India and Nepal through the work in value chain development and sustainable resource management. She touched upon subjects like common branding and community empowerment. Adhikari described how private sectors in India and Nepal have been brought together to promote the Kailash – Truly Sacred brand in the region.
Three stalls representing KSLCDI exhibited products from SABAH Nepal and CHEA India, the initiative’s private sector partner in India. SABAH Nepal sold products worth INR 50,000. Their allo scarf was a best seller. Dignitaries from the state department also visited KSLCDI stalls and bought a variety of allo products. CHEA India did business worth INR 40,000; beans, honey and chyura soap were among the best selling products.
For ICIMOD and KSLCDI, the trade fair was a welcome reward for it was a big event as the work of KSLCDI was highlighted by the Madhya Pradesh State Minor Forest Produce (Trade and Development) Federation Ltd. and certificates were distributed to the KSLCDI team by Dr. Shejwar with a word of appreciation and best wishes.