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First national workshop

Yak and Chauri promotion in Nepal

Venue

Pokhara, Nepal

Date & Time

27 May 2022 to 28 May 2022

Contact

Tashi Dorji

Organized by: National Livestock Resource and Promotion Office, Department of Livestock Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Government of Nepal; Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC); Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative, ICIMOD

 

 

About the consultation meeting

In collaboration with the National Livestock Resource Management and Promotion Office under the Department of Livestock Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and National Agricultural Research Council, we are organising a two-day consultation meeting on the formation of a national network of yak herders and strengthening yak value chains in Nepal. The meeting will bring together yak herders, development agencies, policy makers, and other relevant stakeholders to discuss approaches to the formation of the network and identify priority action areas for yak value chain development.

 

Objectives

The main objective of this meeting is to sensitise and mobilise yak herders for the formation of a National Yak Herders Network of Nepal, discuss the status of yak production in the country, and discuss priority areas for yak value chain development.

The specific objectives are:

  • Initiate a national dialogue among relevant stakeholders (yak herders, government departments, policy makers, private sectors, and other agencies) to facilitate the development of a national network of yak herders in Nepal
  • Update on the status of yak production and develop inputs for the national yak development strategy
  • Identify priority actions (short, mid, and long-term) for yak value chain development

 

Expected outcomes

  • Modality and approaches for establishing the National Yak Herders’ Network
  • Key recommendations for yak development strategy
  • An action plan (short, medium, and long term) for yak value chain development

 

Participants

The meeting will bring together around 40 participants, consisting of government officials from the Department of Livestock, private sector, yak herders from yak rearing districts, relevant agriculture universities and the National Agriculture Research Council.

 

Background

The yak is an iconic species of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region, supporting people’s livelihoods in the high mountains. Yak farming is spread across 28 districts in Nepal. For generations, people of the region have practiced yak farming for milk and milk products, meat, wool, and fibre. Yak farming is also closely linked to the traditions and rituals of the herding communities across the mountain areas.

In recent decades, there has been a drastic decline in Nepal’s yak population. Difficult conditions in the fragile mountain environment, impacts of climate change, and socio-economic drivers limit the competitiveness of yak production systems. Furthermore, yak herders across the HKH are often marginalised in terms of policy and investments for yak conservation and development.

To address this issue, the Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KLCDI) intervened using the yak value chain approach and achieved several milestones, which include organising yak festivals; sensitising local governments, yak herders, youth champions, and local institutions through cross country exposure visits; and building the technical capacities of stakeholders.

A formal group of herders already exists in Taplejung and Panchthar districts of the Kangchenjunga landscape. Creating a wider network for yak herders remains one of the main agendas for KLCDI to increase the voice of yak herders, retain them in the business, and attract migrant returnees to yak farming by providing sustainable income opportunities. To reach this larger goal, it is key to develop yak networks/federations at the subnational, provincial, and national levels.

The proposed Yak Herders Network of Nepal will provide a platform to:

  1. Promote mutual understanding and friendship between yak herding communities
  2. Exchange knowledge and experience on yak value chains and relevant technologies across different yak herding regions
  3. Highlight historic, cultural, social, and economic importance of yak, and contribute to preservation of transhumance and natural heritage of yak rearing as part of nature-based solutions
  4. Represent the voices of yak herding communities in local, national, and international forums
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