The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Environment Conservation and Development Forum (ECDF) organized a training for local farmers in Taplejung, Nepal, from 28-30 December 2016. The training brought together farmers and ECDF field supervisors to reflect on what they learned from Himalica pilot activities regarding climate change and Cardamom farming.
The training was attended by 24 participants (four women and 20 men). Climate change effects were analyzed from the perspective of sustainable cardamom production and productivity. The implementation of climate-resilient practices along the cardamom value chain was explored, as were village level workplans in the three Himalica pilot villages in the region.
December’s training was organized to address reductions in cardamom yield in Taplejung. A host of factors such as diseases, sporadic winter rains, poor soil conditions and a lack of sustainable management practices contribute to the reduced yield. Himalica stakeholders, including community groups and the private sector, have been working together to reduce risks associated with cardamom value chain in Taplejung. This is being done by promoting climate resilient practices and technologies, and diversifying income generating options.
The overall performance of Himalica’s work in Taplejung has been encouraging both at the community and district levels. However, a recent field visit to the pilot sites in Taplejung by senior officials from the Ministry of Agriculture Development found that local community members have not adequately understood how the climate resilient technologies/practices they have adopted can help the cardamom value chain. The field visit team recommended that a reflection session be organized to address this issue. The three-day training was held as a result of this recommendation.
On the first day of the training, facilitators provided an overview of the training programme, and informed participants of the rationale behind the Himalica pilot project on the cardamom value chain in Taplejung. Sessions were also conducted on understanding climate change effects and their impacts on cardamom production and productivity, and local livelihoods and environment.
Various aspects of the implementation of climate-resilient practices and related interventions along the cardamom value chain were discussed on the second day. Village specific group exercises were carried out to better understand an existing package of practices on cardamom which has been promoted by Himalica.
The third day of the training focused on 'gap analysis' to see whether more needs to be done to make the cardamom value chain climate resilient, and if so, what. More clarity was sought for farmers and other stakeholders attending the training. Finally, village specific work plans were prepared with commitment for field implementation and monitoring.
Rabindra Bahadur Pradhan, Senior Agriculture Development Officer at the District Agriculture Development Office, Taplejung, and Someshwor Kumar Das, Assistant Forest Officer at the District Forest Office, Taplejung, briefed the trainees on climate change policies and interventions related to Nepal’s agriculture and forestry sectors respectively.