Assessing Sudurpaschim Province’s potential for export and income generation
Nepal’s Sudurpaschim Province has immense trade potential, especially of non-timber forest products, as collection and trade of these products is an important source of household income in some districts. Along with our partner South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), we carried out an exploratory assessment of the export potential of the province.
The assessment focused on three clusters of products: medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), handicraft items made from non-timber forest products, and forest-based industrial inputs. Some 95 percent of Sudurpaschim’s exports consists of nature- and forest-based products, most of which are sold in raw form with minimal processing. MAPs are also an important part of overall exports from the region, contributing to a significant volume of the total MAPs traded from Nepal. Hence, enhancing the export of such products through value addition can generate income and create employment in Sudurpaschim.
In December 2020, we shared the findings of the assessment at a stakeholders’ meeting in Dhangadhi, co-organized by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest, and Environment (MoITFE), Sudurpaschim Province; SAWTEE; and partners of our Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative – Ministry of Forests and Environment, Government of Nepal (MoFE-GoN) and Research Centre for Applied Science and Technology (RECAST). Discussions focused on the need to shift from exporting raw goods to exporting processed products with the help of technology, capacity building, branding, and quality assurance.
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