Marketing of Bay Leaf in Nepal and Northern India: Lessons for Improving Terms of Participation of Small Farmers in Markets (2012)

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Non-timber forest product commercialisation requires information on what and who is involved in markets, but this is rarely documented. This paper presents the findings of a study to assess the structure and dynamics of markets for bay leaf ( Cinnamomum tamala Nees and Eberm) in Nepal and in Uttarakhand state in India. Data were collected from key informant interviews with stakeholders from the governments of the two countries, research agencies, user groups and traders associations, from focus group discussion involving 100 farmers and district and wholesale level traders, and from stakeholder meeting and interviews with traders using an open-ended questionnaire in the two countries. It was found that of the 2,500 tons of bay leaf traded in Nepal in 2009, 86 % was exported to India. The total size of the bay leaf market in Uttarakhand is estimated at 1,470 tons, with the spice industry as the main consumer. Nepalese bay leaf sustains the demand in Indian markets that were studied. Processing of leaves into essential oil and powder by wholesale traders takes place in Nepal and India respectively, but no regional trade in essential oil was observed. Three quality grades are sold in markets which are not known to the farmers. The bay leaf trade is increasing, creating an opportunity for farmers to engage in its cultivation. There is a need for transferring market information and improving policy implementation to promote transparent and equitable market linkages that enhance benefits to mountain farmers.
Year: 2012
Language: English
In: Small-Scale Forestry, Online version : 1-17 p.

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 Record created 2012-06-13, last modified 2013-01-17