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Linking Pilot Interventions to Policy Formulation

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Large cardamom is a high value cash crop and a leading source of livelihood for a large number of people in the eastern hill districts of Nepal. More than 66,000 farmers and their families grow large cardamom in Taplejung, Sangkhuwasabha, Ilam and Panchthar. According to the Trade and Expert Promotion Center (TEPC), large cardamom is cultivated in 12,453 hectares nationwide producing a total of 5,103 metric tons of cardamom annually. Large cardamom is the top trade revenue contributor among the agriculture based exportable commodities and is up 52 per cent from 2014-15.

Realising the influence large cardamom has on the livelihoods of mountain people and ecosystem services, ICIMOD and Environment Conservation and Development Forum (ECDF), Taplejung began working together in 2015 to reduce risks and diversify income generation options through promoting climate resilient good practices on large cardamom farming by making adjustments in biophysical resources and technologies along with strengthening market linkages. To appraise concerned departments and development organisations on issues and challenges value chain actors (producers, processors and traders) face and interventions made under Himalica pilot project in Taplejung, an interaction programme was organised in Kathmandu on 22 May 2016. The programme was moderated by ECDF and in attendance were the minister of Agricultural Development, parliament members from eastern hill districts, central committee members of major political parties, the secretary of Ministry of Agricultural Development, the chief and other officials from National Spice Crops Development Programme, Ministry of Industry, National Agricultural Research Council, as well as representatives from Unnati Programme, and Himalica / ICIMOD, Cardamom Traders Federation, cardamom producers, and journalists.

Addressing the interaction program, the Minister of Agriculture,  Haribol Gajurel,  said he was convinced of the need to create a large cardamom development board and would put forward the agenda in the upcoming cabinet meeting. The participants of the programme highlighted a need to address both short and long-term problems related to production as well as trans-boundary trade issues, and have coordinated efforts to increase access of services rendered by various organisations including market information from national and international markets.

The interaction programme was successful in terms of developing common understanding among high-level policy makers on issues related to sustainable development of large cardamom in Nepal. The programme agreed the need for:

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