Back to news
8 Jun 2016 | Livelihoods

Nepal’s Allo Value Chain Goes Green

4 mins Read

70% Complete
Improved cooking stove for women saving time and energy

More and more products and services today pass through a global value chain to reach consumers. The goal of optimising productivity at each level of the chain impacts natural resource use at different stages. Through value chain, resources begin, are transformed or used as inputs, and then return to the same natural environment for final disposal. Thus value chain sensitivity towards the use of natural resources and value addition should be evaluated with regard to environmental impacts. The development of green and greening value means optimising the economic and social outcomes within a closed loop system in an environmentally sustainable manner. The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and its partners under the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI) are dedicated to generating awareness on how value chain, with its focus on market and competitiveness, also focuses on contributing to the environment at each node of the chain and creates a green economy.

The aim of a green value chain is:

  1. To increase sustainable use of natural resources
  2. To maximise material and energy efficiency at each stage of the process and
  3. To reduce negative environmental impacts as outputs at all points of the chain.

Green value chain development refers to the promotion of green market opportunities where economic benefits come from the use of renewable resources — using natural products are maximised while environmental harm is minimised. Green value chain interventions include training in green technologies,the use of natural products over chemicals, and optimising the use of natural resources, etc.

Allo value chain in pilot site (khar) of Kailash Nepal

Allo (Botanical name- Girardinia diversifolia (Link) Friis; English name-Nettle, Himalayan Nettle, Stinging Nettle) is a perennial shrub belonging to Urticaceae family. Allo is one of the products chosen for intervention in Darchula district in Khar VDC, Nepal. The stem bark of Allo contains fibers with unique strength, smoothness and silk-like luster. Allo is a natural resource used by many local communities for making ropes, fishing nets, bags, sacks, clothing materials, carpets, jackets, porter’s head bands, etc. The demand of Allo weaved clothes is high in international markets and a prime souvenir product of Nepal. It is found in abundance in the forest area in Darchula district in and around Khar VDC.

In terms of greening of the value chain, focus was given to maximising the use of alternative energy technologies by introducing rocket stoves/improved stoves. Introduction of industrial rocket stove technology to the group had two main objectives, to conserve forest and to increase efficiency. The introduction of rocket stoves saved used less fuel wood.

Improve technology Fuel consumption Time consumption
Old stove 240 Kg wood per boiling 6 hours per boiling
Modern industrial rocket stove 80 kg wood per boiling 3 hours per boiling

The smaller size rocket stoves were also distributed to group members. The stoves saved time for women to collect fuel wood and saved time while cooking giving more for Allo thread production. Earlier, the group were using large logs to boil Allo. Now they can use just a few twigs found in the garden or forest which saves making it no longer necessary to go deep into the forest to cut trees.

Communities were also trained in making bio-briquettes. Bio briquettes convert agro-forestry waste to bio-coal which can be used to process Allo and for household uses which in turn supports afforestation. Allo waste can also be used as bio-coal which demonstration farmers have sold. This supports greening of the chain and balancing conservation and development.

  • To increase sustainable use of natural resources 

Various interventions were made to conserve Allo to avoid exploitation in the area once commercialisation and promotion starts. A nursery was promoted to begin cultivating Allo rather than solely collecting from the forest. Sustainable harvesting training is planned for the communities. Plant education and awareness is in place to prevent the plant from being mistaken for a weed.

  • To reduce negative environmental impacts as outputs at all points of the chain

Environmental impact is an important consideration at each stage of value chain. Communities had been using caustic soda to boil Allo which speeds up the softening process and takes less time and fuel to boil. But the water in which it was boiled was thrown into the river polluting aqua life. Switching to ash from burning wood or bio-coal easily found in household kitchens helped the greening of the value chain increased efficiency by using waste and saved farmer’s money on caustic soda. The switch also increased the value of the product as a chemical-free product has a better market value.

Balancing conservation and development is of paramount importance to this project. Looking beyond economic factors focuses social and environment impacts in understanding the needs of  people and their relationship to the natural environment, in optimising the use of natural resources, and minimising environment harm. It is important to take into account economic, social, cultural and environmental bottlenecks in the value chain when addressing underlying root causes of inefficiencies.

Before Now towards green economy
  1. Sold as a raw material to middlemen or made Allo thread with traditional methods, which are labour and energy intensive and produce poor quality thread.
  2. Caustic soda was used to boil the thread and water thrown to the river
  3. Firewood which took at least six hours and 240 kg of wood.
  4. Thread produced is coarse and thick.
  5. The balls of thread fetched around NPR 800 per kg and were used to make carpets.
  1. Allo group formed and members trained.
  2. Group uses ash instead of caustic soda, which makes the thread look cleaner and whiter and is sold chemical-free.
  3. Proper harvesting in a sustainable way and washing and spinning techniques make the thread smooth and thin.
  4. Rocket stove technology was introduced, which uses almost three times less fuelwood and takes half the time to boil bark.
  5. The ball of thread fetches NPR 1,100 per kilo, an increase of NPR 300 per kilo (27%).

Stay current

Stay up to date on what’s happening around the HKH with our most recent publications and find out how you can help by subscribing to our mailing list.

Sign Up

Related Contents

Continue exploring this topic

31 Oct 2016 News
Exchanging Knowledge on Glaciers and Climate at the Indus Forum

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) participated in the Indus Forum Workshop, a week-long event held in Switzerland ...

24 Sep 2015 News
ICIMOD supports International conference on Mountain and Climate Change

  The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) through its Cryosphere Initiative was a co-organiser for the International Conference on ...

5 Jun 2023 Press releases

距人类首登世界之巅已70年,而气候紧急情况发生在此:在兴都库什-喜马拉雅区域内,三分之二的冰川预计将在本世纪末消失。 领先的山地机构国际山地综合发展中心(ICIMOD)、尼泊尔登山协会(NMA)和山区伙伴关系(Mountain Partnership) 呼吁全世界来拯救地球上的冰雪,以避免为时过晚。 #“拯救我们的雪”宣言在最初48小时内就收集到1000多个签名,其中包括新西兰前总理、各国外交官、传奇登山者和著名地球科学家。 尼泊尔加德满都讯(2023 年 5 月 29 日)——七十年前的今天,在埃德蒙·希拉里爵士和丹增·诺尔盖首次登上珠峰 ; 70 年后的今天,地球上最高的山峰正在经历由全球变暖引起的前所未有且基本不可逆的变化。 全球变暖正在危及珠峰与兴都库什-喜马拉雅地区的环境,该地区横跨八个国家,约长3500公里。根据目前的排放情况,科学家预计在未来70年内,该地区三分之二的冰川或将消融。 国际山地综合发展中心(ICIMOD)在包括 尼泊尔登山协会 和 山区伙伴关系(联合国自愿伙伴联盟)在内的全球山地机构的支持下,呼吁公众支持 #拯救我们的雪(#SaveOurSnow)运动。该运动要求公众: 在社交平台分享来自世界各地山区的故事和照片,使用#SaveOurSnow 标签 强调气候影响; 在网址 签署一份宣言,呼吁各国政府兑现将升温限制在 1.5 ...

25 May 2015 News
Grave situation in Sindhuli as recovery begins

On 19 and 20 May, a team from ICIMOD visited four northern VDCs of Sindhuli District - Baseshwor, Bhimeshwor, Jalkanya, ...

24 May 2017 Himalica
Himalica Action Research – The Journey: From Disaster to Preparedness

Women from migrant-sending households are increasingly responsible for managing disaster risks as well as household resources. Raising their awareness, improving ...

15 Dec 2015 News
Strengthening Capacity in Flood Forecasting in the Himalayan Region

  ICIMOD, in collaboration with the Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI) and the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM), Nepal, trained fifteen participants ...

29 Jul 2015 News
Springshed development in the Himalayas discussed

With the aim to raise the importance of springshed management and bring visibility and outreach on spring and ground water ...

30 Nov 2015 News
Training for Partners in Bhutan

A three-day training for Bhutanese partners on vulnerability assessment was conducted ...