Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal inaugurated the Sixth Nepal International Trade Fair in Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu, Nepal, on 16 March 2017. Among other stalls, the PM visited a booth set up by the Support to Rural Livelihoods and Climate change Adaptation in the Himalaya (Himalica) initiative.
SABAH Nepal President Sristi Joshi Malla briefed the PM about brand HIMALICA – Green Products from the Mountains, and presented him a gift pack of HIMALICA cardamom value added products. SABAH Nepal has begun marketing vegetables and large cardamom based products under the new HIMALICA brand with technical support from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the Environment Conservation and Development Forum (ECDF) and the Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development (CEAPRED).
Yubak Dhoj GC, Secretary, Ministry of Livestock Development, formally opened the Himalica booth to mark the soft launch of brand HIMALICA – Green Products from the Mountains. He lit a candle, watered the cardamom plants, and unwrapped packages containing cardamom-based products such as cardamom tea, cardamom biryani masala, cardamom powder, cardamom pods, and accessories made from cardamom fibres to mark the launch.
Dhrupad Choudhury, Regional Programme Manager of the Adaptation to Change Programme at ICIMOD and Surendra Raj Joshi, Himalica Programme Coordinator, briefed the Secretary about brand HIMALICA. They discussed its role in contributing to the resilience of poor and vulnerable mountain communities of the Hindu Kush Himalaya by linking their niche, value-added products and services to mainstream marketplaces under the Himalica programme.
Robin Amatya, SABAH Nepal CEO, said the objective of the soft launch was to educate consumers about climate-smart agricultural practices and technologies in the value chain development of products based on large cardamom and vegetables, as well as to pull in consumers by demonstrating their quality and health benefits. He said the fair, organized by the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI), was an opportunity to set up institutional ties with visitors and buyers from other countries – India, China, Bangladesh, Korea, Japan, Germany, Israel, the European Union, and the United States.
The Himalica booth, managed by SABAH Nepal, showcased value added products such as cardamom pods and tea bags, and beautifully designed bags and purses made from cardamom fibre from Taplejung. There were also fresh vegetables – cauliflower, cabbage, radish, carrot, coriander, beans, potato, capsicum, tomato, lemon etc. – from Udayapur. Other SABAH Nepal products such as turmeric, beans, gundhruk, rice, lentils, and herbal soaps were on display as well. The SABAH Nepal team also gave a live cardamom tea making demonstration and offered the drink to visitors to the booth.
The HIMALICA brand came out of the Himalica programme funded by the European Union and managed by ICIMOD. Currently, SABAH Nepal is only marketing fresh vegetables from Udayapur and large cardamom-based products from Taplejung. In the near future, it plans to market more value-added niche mountain products and services from Himalica pilot project sites in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan, and later expand to cover the entire Hindu Kush Himalaya.