Table of Contents
1.1 Background of the Study
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
1.3 Significance of the Research
1.4 Research Objectives
1.5 Research Hypothesis
1.6 Research Questions
1.7 Philosophical Worldviews
1.8 Theoretical Framework
1.9 Conceptual Framework
1.10 Operational Definition of Key Words
1.11 Limitation of the Research
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
2.1. Source of Information of the MPIS amongst Usufructs
2.1.1 Components of Management Information System
2.2. Current Practices of Market Price Information System, Benefits to Usufructs
2.2.1. The Current State of Marketing Information Practice in Nepal
2.3. Functions of MPIS
2.4. Benefits of MPIS
2.5. Market Price Information System on Equitable Sharing and Benefits to Usufructs and sustainability of Non Timber Forest Products
2.6. Key Challenges and Opportunities in Equitable Distribution Amongst Usufructs
2.7. Theory of Management Information System
2.8. Concept of Sustainable Development
3.1 Research Design
3.1.1 Sampling Design
3.1.2 Study Site
3.1.3 Sample unit
3.1.4 Sample size
3.1.5 Sample distribution
3.1.6 Sampling filter
3.3 Validity and Reliability of Research Instruments
3.4 Data Analysis plan
RESULT AND DISCUSSION
4.1 Demographic Profile of the Respondents
4.1.1 Community Forest Selected
4.1.2 Social Characteristics of Respondents
4.2.5 Types of Information Received from Market Price
4.2.6 Sufficiency of Information Provided in Market Price
4.2.7 Usefulness of Information Provided in Market Price
4.2.8 Updating of Information in Market Price Information System
4.2.9 Sufficiency of Information Provided by Market Price
4.2.10 Market Price Information System to Connect Groups
4.2.15 Accessibility on Market Price Information System
4.2.16 Process to Access on Market Price Information System
4.2.17 Hours Spent to Reach in Place of Market Price
4.2.18 Money spends on travel to reach in place of Market
4.3 Current Practice of Market Price Information System
4.3.1 Currently Fixed Price of Non Timber Forest Products
4.3.2 Way to Connect with Groups
4.3.3 Source of Price Information of Non-Timber Forest Products
4.3.4 Money Spent to Get Price Information of Non Timber
4.3.5 Place to Get Price Information about Non Timber Forest
4.3.6 Causes for Same source to Get Price Information about
4.3.7 Benefits after Launching Market Price Information System
4.3.8 Types of Benefit from Market Price Information System
4.2 Effectiveness of Market Price Information System in Benefit Sharing and Sustainable Management of Non-Timber Forest Products
4.4.1 Market Price Information System to Involve in Sustainable Activities of Non-Timber Forest Products
4.4.2 Made Easy to Get the Price Information of Non-Timber Forest Products by Market Price Information System
4.4.3 Easy Types of Information by Market Price Information
4.4.4 Transparency of Prices of Non-Timber Forest Products by Launching Market Price Information System
4.4.5 Increase in Knowledge of Non-Timber Forest Products by Launching Market Price Information System
4.4.6 Need of Sustainability of Market Plan Information System of Non-Timber Forest Products
4.3 Challenges and Opportunities in Equitable Distribution
4.5.1 Key Challenges Faced by Usufructs
4.5.2 Challenges to Proper management of Non-Timber Forest
4.5.3 Need of Improvement in Market Price Information System for Benefit Sharing of Non-Timber Forest Products
4.5.4 Types of Improvements for the Sustainable Management of Non-Timber Forest Products
4.4 Testing of Research Hypothesis
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIO
5.1 Summary of the Study
5.2 Conclusion of the Study
5.3 Recommendation of the Study
This chapter has described about background of the study in detail which could cover up statement of upcome problem, significance of the study, research objectives, hypothesis, questions, philosophy, theoretical and conceptual framework, operational definition of key words and limitation of the study. In the initiated introductory section here-with all talk is about the theory of reality of study. It has described study problem about the reality of market price information system and its role in sustainable management of non-timber forest products on another side. Here below all narrated views of referential authors as a source are mentioned in a form of citation details in an end of statements.
1.1 Background of the Study
Nepal, being a Himalayan Kingdom is rich in natural vegetation. The area of the country is 147145 square kilometers wide. It has all the climatic zones of the globe representing alpine to tropical types of climate in the different physiographic zones of the country landmass. According to useful and informative sources, in altitudes, it ranges from 50 m ASL to 8848 m, for example the summit of the Mt. Everest. Forest cover is about 39.6 percent of the total landmass and contributes 14 percent in GDP (Bhatta & Rawal, 2001).Nepal Himalaya has been considered as centre for origin, appearance and dominance of number of mycobiota and their distribution pattern between high and low altitude forms (Department of Plant Resources, 2016). Till now 721 genera 2467 species 5 gen. and 203 sp. have been reported (Adhikari, Mushrooms of Nepal, 2000 ; 2009 ; 2014b) from different regions of Nepalese Himalayan belt. The revised list shows that among 131 endemic species the nomenclature of 120 species remains as proposed, while 11 species have undergone nomenclature changes, the referred to source cites (Department of Plant Resources, 2016).
Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are plants or their parts that have perceived economic or consumption value sufficient to encourage their collection and removal from the forest. These include plants and plant materials used for food, fuel, storage and fodder, medicine, cottage and wrapping materials, biochemical, as well as animals, birds, reptiles and fishes, for food and feather, relevant source informs(Adepoju & Salau, 2007).NTFPs may be gathered in the wild or from trees outside forests or produced in forest plantations and agro forestry schemes (Carr, Hartl, Lubbock, Mwanundu, & Firmian, 2008). The importance of Non timber forest products (NTFPs) is being increasingly recognized due to their economic value as well as high cultural value in developing countries (Baker, 2001). NTFPs are important sources of income and employment for rural people and some are even traded at the international level (Akinnifesi,& Jordaanet.al, 2008). The past decade has witnessed a rapid growth of interest in non-timber forest products (NTFPs) among conservation and development organization (Arnold & Perez, 1998). Economic and environmental significance of NTFPs has increasingly attracted the attention of academicians, environmentalists and planners in many developing countries(Edwards, 1996; De Beer & Mc Dermott, 1996). This can be attributed to increasing recognition of contribution that NTFPs make to livelihoods of large number of people in developing countries according to a relevant source(Arnold & Perez, 1998).
The role and contribution of NTFPs are crucial, in more so amongst rural communities in developing countries, because of their richness of variety as a source of subsistence as well as the storehouse of their traditional health care systems. Some 80% of the populations of developing countries depend on NTFPs for their primary heath, nutritional needs & income generation (FAO, 1995). Demand for medicinal plants is increasing all over the world over 25% of all prescription drugs in OECD countries & up to 60% of those in Eastern Europe consist of modified higher plant products (The Lancet, 1994). The formal statistical information is lacking in respect of NTFPs resource base. However, whatever information is available indicates that the general flow of trade in NTFP species is diverted mostly from the resource-rich & technologypoor south to the biodiversity poor & technology-rich North (Khoshoo, 1995). The total world import of NTFPs is of the order of US $11 billion in terms of its value of which about 60% is imported by USA, Japan and European community (Iqbal, 1995). The contribution of NTFP in socio-economic life of rural people is significant in developing countries. It is reported that the opportunity to gather open access resources such as NTFPs and convert them into marketable products provides a source of income and safety net for rural households in Zambia, as indicated by the results, where NTFPs contribute 33% to total household income for participating households, the referred to source cites(Mulenga, &Richardson,et.al, 2012).
Forests provide significant social and economic benefits at all levels, especially in developing countries. Economics of people living in forest finger has traditionally been dominated by subsistence agriculture. However, nontimber forest products (NTFPs) play vital role among the tribal people and provide a source of income and subsistence living (Peters et al., 1989; Hegde et al. 1996). NTFPs like fuel-wood, medicinal plants, wild edible vegetables, house building materials etc. are integral part of day-to-day livelihood activities especially for tribal people (Sharmah et al. 2006b). Since the early 1990s the role of NTFPs for sustainable forest use and poverty alleviation has received increased attention (Peters CM, 1989). The socio-economic importance and the value of NTFPs in the economics of tropical countries are now well recognized(Gupta & Gularia, 1982; FAO, 1995). In almost all tropical countries, the collection of NTFPs is a major economic activity (Chopra, 1993; Sharma P. , 1995; Alexander SJ, 2001; Ambrose-Oji, 2003) and about 500 million people living in or near forests being depended upon them for meeting their livelihood needs, as per source (Alexander etal. 2002).
Non-Timber Forest Products constitute an important source of livelihood for the millions of people from forest fringe communities across the world. In Nepal, 5% of total GDP comes from the trade of NTFPs (Subedi, 1998). There is a great employment opportunity for millions of people in Asia Pacific from NTFPs processing and collection. In India about 7.5 million people are engaged part time as collectors of Tendu (Diospyrusmelanoxylon) leaves and another 3 Millions process the leaves to local cigarette called Bidi, as per source(Arnold, 1995).
In Nepal, there are more than 700 plant species that have medicinal value, of which 238 are in active use and 100 are traded. The Government of Nepal has kept 30 species in priority, of which 12 are for commercial cultivation and market promotion (Banjade & Paudel, 2008). NTFPs are increasingly growing popular in national and international markets as they are important ingredients of several herbal cosmetics, herbal tea, food, medicines, etc. A 1995 survey of producers, traders and processors of NTFPs operating from the eastern border of the country to the mid-western town of Nepalgunj shows that a total of 100 entrepreneurs handled 42 thousand tons of over 100 different NTFP items, equivalent to USD26 million, source says(Banjade & Paudel, 2008).NTFP management has been receiving increasing attention in the last few years. Donors, development agencies and user groups have involved with great enthusiasm in different aspects of NTFP promotion, taking this as a solution for poverty reduction, source says (Banjade & Paudel, 2008). Forest policies worldwide began to put emphasis on NTFPs since late 1990s, thereby, shifting away from the earlier narrow focus on timber.
Lifestyle also has effects on trade in and prospects of NTFPs in Nepal. For example, ‘with more and more emphasis on organic way of living and use of natural products in developed countries, NTFPs are likely to be demanded and diversified further in use and commerce, source says(Subedi B. , 2006). In the context of globalization, it is important that we harness our comparative advantage provided by the unique biophysical and climatic conditions. That is where we can focus on and benefit from the NTFP-based niche products (Gyamtsho, 2004). The mainstream literature shows improvement in forest protection and conservation in Nepal because of community-based initiatives, but the commercialization aspect is very weak, resulting in harnessing of minimal benefits from forests and more so from community forests as per the source(Bhattarai & Dhungana, 2008).
Nepal embraces very unique geographical regions that contain the tropical plains on the Indian border in the south, an extensive section of the mid-hills, and the Trans-Himalayan sections bordering Tibet in the north. The ecological, economical and social interdependencies of the seasonal migration of villagers and the activities along the traditional north-south trade routes are a major phenomenon of Nepal economy. With such diverse geographical regions, Nepal is one of the World's richest ecosystems in terms of bio- 4 diversity, and has supported and contributed to human welfare since time immemorial. The varied ecological conditions prevailing at the different altitudes have led to a wide variety of Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), upon which rural communities rely for food, medicine, fuel, building materials, dye, tannin, gum, resin, fiber and other products from centuries (Rawal, etal. 1999).The knowledge on the NTFPs of Nepal is deeply rooted in tradition and culture of country specially, the Jaributi (botanicals) have been traded since the historical periods and also have been inherently used for subsistence.
NTFPs are being increasingly recognized because of their critical role in the livelihoods, export values and bio-diversity conservation in the country Nepal. Many international & national bodies such as FAO, WWF, IDRC& ICIMOD have argued that these species have potential to be a substantial source of revenue, however, at present these are underutilized and undervalued. The values of these resources have expanded due to wide recognition of the NTFP &Jaributi in health environment and poverty alleviation. The demand is growing in local, regional and international markets. However, this resource continue to be under threat due to various social, political &policy related aspects of production, harvesting, value addition and marketing, according to the relevant source(Bhatta & Rawal, 2001).
Despite huge economic potentials only about 100 species of medicinal and aromatic plants NTFPs have got little recognition in international market, the relevant source cites(Bhatta & Rawal, 2001). Poverty-stricken collectors who are exploited by influential middlemen and traders characterize the value claim of NTFP in Nepal and other countries of South Asia. These debt ridden ‘ecosystem people' are exploited by business oriented syndicate, which creates a fear psychosis amongst collectors arising out of a complex web of regulatory environment in these countries. The overall effect of this situation results in un-equitable sharing of usufruct and consequently a still higher pressure on already dwindling resource.
The Community Forestry intervention has raised a sense of ownership over forest resources amongst the rural people. However, the potential of CF to create income is not fully realized. In particular, the wide range of NTFPs found in CF is yet to be promoted through community-based enterprises. Often local communities lack technical knowledge and institutional capacity to harness NTFPs and other forest products. Success of community based forest enterprises depends upon the degree to which policy environment facilitates the development of entrepreneurship, market access, appropriate technology, and business services.
The first and foremost issue in the trade and export of NTFPs is that the market is not available at all or not readily accessible for the products. There are several hassles than incentive throughout the market chain while trading and exporting NTFPs. There are various challenges and barriers for the trade in NTFPs.
However, small-scale trade was possible in the past from the remote districts because of low level of awareness and market information about the NTFPs and less developed market infrastructure as compared to now. As revealed by the traders of the mid-western region, the trade scenario has worsened now because NTFPs should be brought to the doorsteps of Indian traders. This makes the traders from Nepal bear all the burden of developing permits, certificates of maintaining standards such as certificate of origin, phytosanitory certificates (pest risk analysis), etc., source says(Banjade M. , 2004).
Many NTFPs that are traded have market outside of the country and many of them are still conspicuous in terms of their actual use and further manufacturing. There are cases when the market boon of certain species attracted farmers to cultivate in their lands but later the price became too low to cover the opportunity cost of the land used for cultivation (for example, Swertiachirata). The symptoms of Dutch Disease are observed in some cases, i.e., market boon of some species has affected the enterprise and trade in other species. For example, due to high price of Yarshagumba(Cordycepssinensis), people of Dolpa have abandoned previously very attractive enterprise of Seabockthorn juice making (ManishaRaj Bhandari, pers. com.). Yarsagumbais fetching such a large income that other NTFP-based enterprises have become less lucrative to local people. The market of Yarsagumbas in China alone and which people know little about its market demand and value, making their livelihood vulnerable so nobody has thought of the alternatives when there would not be any part for the species by some reasons. In other words, though this in a way is positive that those local people have better opportunities, but at the same time, they are increasing the risk and vulnerability associated with non-transparent market and little space for articulating production again little known ecology and production of the species, source says(Banjade & Paudel, 2008).
Complaints related to NTFP commercialization and trade are basically on the part of getting appropriate market price and, for that, an increasing capacity of the stakeholders involved for bargaining. There seems to be a low power for local collectors as well as individual or group traders and entrepreneurs in negotiating with the international players with trade articles. Local people, because Ndoye, et al. cite, feel comfortable when they find the market within their vicinity or at least in the closest city centers. Local markets play an important role in enabling forest-dependent households to realize a significant part of their cash income through sale of NTFPs (Ndoye, et al. 1998). Unfortunately, contrary to products such as timber and fuel wood, there is little space in local market for most of the NTFPs found in Nepal according to Gautam(Gautam, 2007).
The Nepalese government in the past period had initiated several attemptsin a cash income oriented program. One such attempt was the master plan for the forestry sector of Nepal (1988), where NTFP has been considered as one of the important sub-sector. The report of this pages states that the establishment of a socially and economically viable & scientifically based development program on medicinal & aromatic plants (MAP) is essential to improve health care system, the economy and quality of rural life in general.Similarly,five- year national development plan has given a high-priority to the maximum utilization of MAPs for rural poverty alleviation. The current interim three- year national development plan of the government of Nepal has also given a 7 high priority in the optimum use of NTFPs for the up-lift means of rural economy. Following the changing global focus, forest policies in Nepal for the last two decades have also highlighted NTFPs through various policy documents, public meetings, party manifestos and other documents. It is now time to examine their economic, social and environmental outcomes (Banjade & Paudel, 2008). There are a number of regulatory issues and practical challenges that deter key processes of NTFPs enterprise development, including enterprise registration and operation, marketing and trade, taxation, and private sector investment, according to a relevant source (Kunwar etal. 2009).
NTFPs have received high importance in Nepal's forest policies and in overall development planning. The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), Interim Plan (2007/08-2009/10), new government's policy and programmes, the annual budget of 2008/09, manifestos of political parties, donor documents, including country strategy papers and programme documents of bilateral projects and INGOs, and more recently the documents of Community Forestry Users Groups (CFUGs) highlight the importance of NTFPs in conservation, rural livelihoods and poverty reduction, as per a relevant source(Banjade & Paudel, 2008).
The present community forestry program in Nepal is tackling some of the management issues of NTFP. The main purpose of community forestry (CF) is to ensure the supply of basic forest products for local community users through sustainable forest management. Similarly, Joint Forest Management program in India is also known as “Community people centered program is initiating the management of NTFPs to ensure benefiting local community's tribal people etc.
In a similar attempt a project, Ban Udyam - Environment and Forest Enterprise Activity (EFEA) was a five-year project, initiated in 1997 to support development of community-based forest enterprises in Nepal's MidWest Development Region (MWDR). Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and implemented by the Biodiversity Support Program (BSP) and New ERA, Ban Udyam supported communities to develop enterprises dependent on maintaining or improving their forests. The project's twin goals were enhanced livelihoods and improved forest management.
Ban Udyam of Nepal spanned a variety of terrain, terai, mid-hills, and up to the remote mountain landscapes of Dolpa district. Each of these diverse ecoregions is a source of unique plant species with traditional or newly discovered uses as wood products, medicine spices, fibers and other non-timber forest products (NTFPs). With sound management and informed marketing, these plants have the potential to generate sustainable incomes for local communities.
Furthermore availability of quality information about product markets effect the nature of both horizontal and vertical relations & spread of information (Scaroborough & Kydd, 1992). In the case of collectors or producers, their access to information is limited; their contact is limited to private traders or co-operatives. Consequently, whatever prices the traders or cooperatives offers they have to accept,because they do not have bargaining option due to lack of information about market prices, demand and market conditions. At present, in Nepal the market information system is not well established at national level and an attempt have been done by Ban Udyam. Environment and Enterprise activity project under Ministry of Forestry & soil Conservation (MOFSC,HMG) in the Mid and Far-western Development Region of Nepal for some potential NTFPs. Intermediaries generally control the price information. The miss-trust and non-transparent nature of the pricing reporting process, controlled by few dominant buyers in pricing and marketing, creation of irregularity in the demand from the final buyers/processors is hindering to harness NTFP resource, as per a given source (Rawal etal. 2001).
Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) enterprises are known as one of the potential means to contribute to poverty reduction. NTFPs are rationalized as goods for linking conservation with livelihoods, and government bureaucracy keeps soft angle while dealing with NTFP trade from the CF than timber export. Government and other agencies are providing programe such as research, education (training and other awareness programe), enterprise development, poverty reduction, etc. with specific focus on NTFPs and not on timber. Since the government is reluctant to promote timber management, other development agencies are merely left with the option of supporting NTFP development rather than timber, as per its given source(Banjade & Paudel, 2008).
The Interim Plan of Government of Nepal also recognizes that Nepal doesn't have sufficient knowledge of NTFPs to use them as a significant means for reducing poverty. Therefore, action research plans are selected for the programmes for obtaining more knowledge of conservation, development of cultivation technology, promotion and marketing of high value NTFPs, as per its given source (Banjade & Paudel, 2008).
Eventually, in Nepal there is no clear estimate of trade at national and international levels of these NTFPs. So the national government fails to devise sound policy for the management of these resources.
Therefore, the present research aims at to fill this gap through suggesting the appropriate way of Market Information System (MPIS) for the sustainable Management of NTFPs in Dolpa, Salyan and Banke district of western Nepal. It is hoped that the practical MPIS model will facilitate in streamlining the trade (India & Nepal) and help in developing the forward and the backward linkages between different stakeholders there by contributing to the social up- liftment of collectors and producers trader, users end-users and also conservation of NTFP resources.
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
Contribution of NTFPs in household economy of mountain and terai people of Nepal has been well noted in many empirical studies. However, the producers at local level are not getting the premium price of its market value in regional, national and international market.In mountains of Mid-Western Region especially Dolpa, NTFPs play major role in local rural livelihoods as these are the main natural resources available (very less agriculture, livestock - sheep, yak) but there is no strong support and facilitation given so far. Similarly, in the Mid-hills such as SalyanandTarailikeBanke, NTFPs are considered as 10 supplemental for livelihoods. There are big gaps in terms of management of NTFP resources in the Mid-Western Region of Nepal.
Natural resource base of NTFPs has been decreasing over time due to its high demand. This increased demand and high commercial value of certain NTFP species like Pipla (Piper longum), Kurilo (Asparagus recemosus), Sikakai (Acacia concinna), Tendu (Diospyrusmelanoxylon), Sugandhawal (Valerianawallichii), Jatamansi (Nardostachysgrandiflora), Chiraito (Swertiachirata), Yarshagumba (Cordycepssinensis), and Lokta (Daphne bholua) has lured the poor people to exploit the resource base in an unsustainable manner. Some unsustainable methods like Over-harvesting and premature harvesting of these species has been increasing, as a result, they are vulnerable to and endangered by extinction, as per a source(Edwards, 1996a).
Hamro Ban (Our Forest), an official publication of the Department of Forest, the government organization responsible for issuing NTFP collection permits, collecting revenues of the NTFPs, providing transportation and export permits and monitoring NTFP-related activities has accepted the following situation of NTFP trade in Nepal: Nepal does not have the actual record of: a) which species are collected and consumed locally for what purpose; b) how much of the collected amount is traded in the local market (within Nepal) and how much is exported; and c) what is the total annual financial transaction of NTFPs. Because of limited documentation, there are challenges in sustainable market promotion (Devkota, 2006). Bureaucratic hassles to transportation of NTFP discourage its trade. One of the justification for highlighting low volume high value forest products (i.e., NTFPs) in high altitude areas is that transporting them is relatively easy than timber in the region. The areas are far from road heads or city centers, making transportation of bulky products impossible. NTFPs are transported manually or on the back of mules, yak or goats/sheep. However, there are more barriers other than physical access in the NTFP trade which discourage transportation of and trade in NTFPs such as, a) multiple layers of permits and checkpoints for verification have increased transaction costs and promoted corruption; and b) cartel by transporters or airlines in freight charge and uncertainty of product transport.
The collectors are deprived of getting actual prices of their products as the NTFPs market is trader dominated. There are several middlemen associated with NTFPs marketing; these are Terai (Plain area)wholesalers, district traders/Terai suppliers, road-head traders, and village traders who are handling the products. These intermediaries have strong network of marketing of NTFPs. The long and secretive marketing chain is inefficient and costly from the perspective of collectors. The present market chain does not provide equitable share of profits to the collectors and producers. There are various technical, economic, marketing, institutional and legal obstacles in the cultivation and marketing of NTFPs in the region. The collectors' knowledge base about the final price, final consumer and final destination of their products is very poor.
The key challenges for sustainable management of the NTFP species are fluctuation in market price of the NTFPs due to middleman/trader's absolute control over market and weak bargaining power of the farmers and poor access to MIS system. Such demand fluctuation has caused inconsistent harvestinglike over-harvesting and premature harvesting of these species. Therefore, there is lack of even share distribution of product price among usufruct and other channel of distribution. So there is an urgent need to explore the existing markets and marketing systems of NTFPs and establish effective MPIS so that these inconsistencies in demand and supply of NTFP and uneven distribution of price could be controlled.
Therefore, the present research aims at to fill this gap through developing a Market Price Information (MPIS) for the sustainable Management of NTFPs in Dolpa, Salyan and Banke district of western Nepal. It is hoped that the practical MPIS model will facilitate in streamlining the trade (India & Nepal) and help in developing the forward and the backward linkages between different stakeholders there by contributing to the social up-liftment of collectors/producers trader, users end-users and also conservation of NTFP resources.
1.3 Significanceofthe Research
There are number of studies on economic aspects of NTFPs have been carried out since late 80's world over. In Nepal, the case is different and there are few studies dealing with commercial utilization, collection methods, and utilization, marketing of NTFP and its importance to local communities. As far as studies pertaining to Market Price Information System (MPIS) of NTFP in the study site is concerned not a single study has been published so far. There are several study reports that claim certain plant species or groups of species are being degraded due to overuse (Edwards 1994;Hertog 1995; Malla et al. 1995; Rawal 1995; Edwards 1996a, Edwards 1996b; Karki 1996; Sharma 1996; Subedi 1997). The reason for this over use and degradation are complex but include a lack of knowledge on market information, rural poverty, increasing external market demand and social and cultural practices. Similarly, many national & international conferences have also pointed out the marketing information is one of the major hurdles for the sustainable management of NTFP sector in Nepal and even in India.
NTFPs have become the major source of livelihood of farmers in the mid-hills of Nepal and continue to be in future also which has been contributing in selfemployment opportunity. Though, utilization in terms of commercial production/transformation of NTFPs within the country is limited. Most of them are exported to India through official and unofficial routes. Export of NTFPs from Nepal to third country, other than India is very small. On the one hand, marketing channel of NTFPs is quite complex continuing the numerous transition points and on the other, there is lack of marketing & price information leading to the collection & production level (Rawal, Bhatta, & Paudyal, 1999).
Research has shown that collectors/farmers are getting extremely low share of benefits from NTFP trade(Bhattarai, Ojha, Banjade, & Luintel, 2003; Subedi B. , 2006). The incremental benefits could not be accrued by the poorest households, and women lose their space in collecting NTFPs when the species or product that was being used for household use finds a market value. The trickle-down effects of income through the sale of forest resources to the poor people are generally disproved by research. The research in four CFUGs also shows that an additional income from forest resources does not guarantee that 13 the poor will have access to it. So, increasing production in itself is an important aspect to NTFP management and enterprise development, there are structural barriers to poverty reduction, which need to be removed to increase the access of the poor to forest resources, including NTFPs. Some of the earlier studies show that inequity in benefits sharing prevails in CFUGs (Bhattaraiet al. 2003) because of the lack of proper use and implementation of MPIS.
Green consumerism and the current resurgence of interest in the use of natural yield in west and in the developed countries have created an expanding market for these NTFPs. And similarly there is a growing demand of these products due to free market economy bringing in more openness and expanding markets and demand for new resources, materials and products. However, all these expanded demand are met from the developing countries like, Nepal, India by indiscriminate harvesting of spontaneous flora including those in forests. As a result many NTFP species have becomes extinct and some are endangered (De Silva, 1997).
In the case of Humla, Nepal, it was learned that the increased access to market information and the establishment of the processing enterprise have resulted in increased market competition, which has benefited collectors by providing higher prices for the raw materials at the source (Subedi & Bhattarai, 1999).The market is heterogeneous. Medicinal plants products are sold in small local markets in the same areas where large traders a mass their supplied for industry, and occasionally for export. Existing data on quantities available in markets at any markets at any particular time do little to help clarify the complex commerce of medicinal plants. Up-to-date analysis is required even though the informal market is very difficult to evaluate. Nonetheless, this informal market has to recognize conservation imperatives, and attempts made in this direction will only result from estimate of the informal market. Analysis of market information could lead to clear attempts to stem adulteration, as well as priority setting for ensuring sustainable supplied of raw materials. The current unsustainable harvesting practices, mostly unregulated, are due not only the poor knowledge of the collectors of the plants and their ecology, but also to the inadequate dissemination of price 14 information(Williams & Ahmad, 1999). So, there is need of effective MPIS to sustain the NTFP in Nepal also. The finding of this study contributes in the planning, formation, implementation and monitoring of MPIS from the government authorities. The study also supports to update the data on knowledge of MPIS of NTFP, existing practice of price fixing of NTFP, effectiveness of MPIS of NTFP and challenges of implementation of MPIS of NTFP. The study is beneficial for the further research to know the gap of study in the field of NTFP as well as Nepal government can develop the policy and plan of MPIS of NTFP to motivate the usufructs for the sustainable management of NTFP.
1.4 Research Objectives
The general objective of this study is to identify the level of effect of Market Price Information System (MPIS)amongstusufructfor sustainable management of NTFPs in Community Forests ofDolpa, Salyan and Banke districts of MidWestern Region of Nepal.
Specifically, the present study has aimed:
1. To assess the knowledge and accessibility on source of information of MPIS amongst usufructs,
2. To assess the current practices of MPIS and its benefits tousufructs.
3. To assess the effectiveness of MPIS in equitable sharing among usufructs and sustainability of NTFP.
4. To identify key challenges and opportunities in equitable distribution and benefit sharing amongst usufructs.
1.5 Research Hypothesis
There are seven research hypotheses developed on the basis of above specific research objectives. The hypotheses are set in line of each objective. One objective has comprised of one and two research hypotheses as follows:
1. There is no significant association between the study districts on their knowledge of MPIS,
2. There is no significant association between male and female on their knowledge of MPIS,
3. There is no significant difference in annual income of NTFP among the three study districts,
4. There is no significant association between CFUG members and retailers regarding the benefit by launching MPIS,
5. There is no significant association between the study districts on their experience of effect of MPIS on transparency of price of NTFP,
6. There is no significant association between the respondents of study districts on the challenges of awareness on price of NTFPs,
7. There is no significant association between the respondents of study districts on the opportunity to aware the usufructs on price of NTFPs to address the challenges.
1.6 Research Questions
It is important to assess the accessibility (source of information, distance, location, cost and resource) of the MPIS amongst users of community forests.
1. To what extent is the level of awareness amongst CFUGs and retailers on MPIS?
2. What are current sources of information on MPIS?
3. Is the information and hoarding board placed at a common place where community people conjugate?
4. To what extent the information on the MPISinformation board was updated?
5. Was the information provided on the information board sufficient for the community forest users groups to contact respective buyers, otherwise traders?
6. What is the quality of support being provided by the MPISbodies?
The assessment of current practices of MPIS and its benefits for users of community forests is useful to pursue the research.
1. What are the current practices (where, when, how, who) of MPIS?
2. What are the overall effects of the MPIS after it was launched?
3. What difference did it make, intended or unintended?
4. Does this MPIS contribute in raising awareness about market and price levels amongst producers and buyers?
5. How and where are the improvements seen among the users of community forests?
Similarly, it is necessary to assess the role, relevance and effectiveness of MPIS in equitable sharing of usufruct and sustainable management of NTFPs.
1. How appropriate and realistic were the MPIS strategies in which it functions?
2. Is MPIS support in line with the Development, Forest and livelihood enhancement policy?
3. Is this MPIS supporting the conservation better of NTFPs and other resources?
4. To what extent and in what ways has MPIS given special emphasis on ensuring the sustainable management of NTFPs?
5. To what extent and in what ways has MPIS been able to ensure the equitable sharing of usufruct?
The pertinent relationship between market price, information and sustainable management of NTFP species need to be established in the Community Forests.
1. To what extent and in what ways has MPIS given special emphasis on ensuring the sustainable management of NTFPs?
2. To what extent and in what ways has MPIS been able to ensure the equitable sharing of usufruct?
3. How is MPIS helping in stable and regular production of NTFP species ensuring its sustainability?
4. Are the CFUGs functioning well? What is the level of CFUGs participation in the local alliances and value chain mechanism?
It is equally important to identify key challenges and barriers in equitable distribution of usufruct.
1. What are the key challenges at the policy level in ensuring the equitable distribution of usufruct?
2. What are the key challenges at the Usufruct at community level and CFUGs?
3. How are these risks being managed and mitigated?
4. What opportunities exist to improve the MPIS for equitable distribution of usufruct?
1.7 Philosophical Worldviews
Worldview is defined as a basic set or belief that guides action according to the relevant source(Guba, 1990). Worldviews are general orientation about the world and the nature of research that a researcher holds. These worldviews are shaped by the discipline area of the student, the beliefs and advisers and faculty in a student’s area, and past research experiences. The types of beliefs held by individual researchers will often lead to embracing a qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods approach in their research. Four different worldviews are discussed accordingly as post-positivism, constructivism, advocacy, participation, and pragmatism.
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Figure 1: Philosophical Worldviews
Sources: (CRESWELL, 2008)
The study was based on a procedure of The Pragmatic World Viewbecause researcher wanted to be problem centered and used the mixed data tools to gather the in-depth knowledge on subject matter. John W. Creswell has defined some characteristics of pragmatic worldviews which states that pragmatism as a worldview arises out of actions, situations, and consequences rather than antecedent conditions. It is not committed to any one system of philosophy and reality. This applies to mixed methods research in that inquirers draw liberally from both quantitative and qualitative assumptions when they engage in their research. Individual researchers are free to choose the methods, techniques, and procedures of research that best meet their needs and purposes. Pragmatists do not see the world as an absolute unity; it believes in multiple reality of society. Pragmatists agree that research always occurs in social, historical, political, and other contexts (2008) which is explored in this study also. The study has identified the role of MPIS in proper management of NTFPs and sharing of benefit among the usufructs. Current practicing and effectiveness of MPISs is affected by the social, historical, geographical and other cultural context. The study has applied the mixed method to collect the data to know the different factors related to MPIS and its effectiveness on NTFPs.
1.8 Theoretical Framework
An institution called Marketing Information System should provide an operational basis of ideologicalsupport for the marketer through an on-going marketplace intelligence process. The intelligence in the system, as per the main source of information, signifies the degree to which the manager is able to rapidly obtain new market information to solve problems inherent to marketing organizations(Miner, 1975). The flow of information to the marketing manager takes place through the Marketing Information System. Because a successful MKIS requires a continual flow of information, it is necessary that the process be dynamic in the method in which it provides data about the operating environment. This is a crucial requirement since it is the environment which is most likely to be a constraint to marketers the source depicts (Zeithaml & Zeithaml, 1984). Estimating a market price for the aspects of nature is, however, a challenging task, if not altogether impossible. At least so far, as the estimation of monetary value of environmental goods and bad is based on the assumptions of impacts on human well-being, this economic approach has certain limits. No comprehensive economic method has so far been developed, not even a willingness to pay for the item, as an example that would transform all the values people attach to natural objects to exchange commodities as priced in the market. The connection between their own wellbeing and the intrinsic or existence values people attach to nature is difficult to establish, and this makes the determination of a market price for these values a tricky job, source cites(Sagoff, 2004). There are various factors associated to determine the market price of goods. In the context of difficult geographical setting of under developed and developing countries like Nepal, it is difficult to fix the single price rate of any goods. The price value of certain product of NTFP in Dolpa may be varied in Banke and Salyan district.
1.9 Conceptual Framework
The dissertation has developed the following conceptual framework which shows the interrelationship between the study variables.
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Figure 2: Conceptual Framework of study
The above research framework has been developed on the basis of concept of market price information theory that talks the price is determined by the amount product quantity and quality, promotion and distribution of good which effect in MPIS. The main interest of this study was to identify the role of MPIS in determining the benefit of usufructs and its long term sustainable management of NTFP. There are various factors associated with the sustainability of NTFP in long run: knowledge and access of usufructs on MPIS, how currently usufructs are practicing the MPIS, how the current price is effective and what are the other challenges and opportunities associated with the management of MPIS and NTFPs affect on the sustainable management of NTFP in long run. It is true that sustainable management of NTFP can generate more income sources in local level so that user committee can do more rural development. The framework has clearly presented all these associated factors in above picture. Development and recommendation of one strategy model of sustainable management of NTFPs through the effective implementation of MPIS is main departure of this study.
1.10 Operational Definition of Key Words
MPIS: This study has operationally defined the MPIS as the source of information of NTFP which collect, store and disseminate the price and market information of NTFP availed with the market of Nepal and international sides.
Sustainable management: Sustainability is defined as the proper management of NTFPs in long run having with the effective implementation of MPIS in different layers of community so that usufructs can be equally beneficial in long run.
Non-timber forest product (NTFP): Any product of forest other than the timber which can be used for different purpose without destroying the original plant and structure of forest e.g. fruits and nuts, medicinal plants, resins and fibers.
1.11 Limitation of the Research
1. The study is limited in three districts: Dolpa, Salyan and Banke only so the current status of MPIS and its effectiveness in determining the practice and management of NTFPs may be different.
2. The study has not measured the density of forest and its capacity to produce the NTFP in selected study areas while asking the question related to the types of production and earning from NTFPs.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
The second portion of thesishas been related to the literature survey including the recent development already carried out by various authors, that is research workers in the related field purposively on which the research scholars wanted to be carried out for target project. The review of literature is a synthesis and identification of research gap.
There are a number of studies on economic aspects of NTFPs which have been carried out since late 80's world over. In Nepal, the case is different and there are some few studies dealing with commercial utility, collection methods, and holistic utilization, marketing of NTFP and its importance to local communities. As far as studies pertaining to market information system of NTFP in the target area is concerned not a single study has been published so far. However, following texts have been written on the basis of thematic study already carried out in purpose.
NTFPs have become the major source of livelihood of farmers in the mid-hills of Nepal and that again continue to be so in future as there lacks in off-farm employment opportunity. But the Natural resource base of NTFPs has been decreasing over time with increased population and high demand for the products. This increased demand due to high commercial value of certain species has lured the poor people to exploit the resource base in an unsustainable manner. Some unsustainable methods like Over-harvesting and premature harvesting has been increasing. As a result, many NTFPs like Jatamansi (Nardostachys grandiflora), Chiraito (Swertiachirata), Yarshagumba (Cordycepssinensis), and Lokta (Daphne bholua), which are in high demand, have become vulnerable to and endangered by extinction, according to Edwards(Edwards, 1996).
According to the facts developed by Kunwar, et. al, (2009), there are various National Policies and International Treaties and Conventions Relevant to NTFPs Enterprises such asMaster Plan for the Forestry Sector 1988, Forest Act 1993, Forest Regulation 1995, Community Forestry Directive, 1996, Collaborative Forest Management Guidelines, 2003 and NTFPs Policy 2004. Utilization in terms of commercial production and transformation of NTFPs within the country is limited. Most of them are exported to India through official and unofficial routes. Export of NTFPs from Nepal to third country, other than India is very small. On the one hand, marketing channel of NTFPs is quite complex continuing the numerous transition points and on the other, there is lack of marketing & price information leading to the collection & production level, the concerned source claims(Rawal, Bhatta, & Paudyal, 1999).
Research has shown that collectors and farmers are getting extremely low share of benefits from NTFP trade as per its relevant source(Bhattarai, Ojha, Banjade, & Luintel, 2003; Subedi B. 2006). The incremental benefits could not be accrued by the poorest households, and women lose their space in collecting NTFPs when the species or product that was being used for household use finds a market value. The trickle-down effects of income through the sale of forest resources to the poor people are generally disproved by research finding. The undertaken research in four CFUGs also shows that an additional income from forest resources does not guarantee that the poor will have access to it. So, increasing production in itself is an important aspect to NTFP management and enterprise development, there are structural barriers to poverty reduction, which need to be removed to increase the access of the poor to forest resources, including NTFPs. Some of the earlier studies show that inequity in benefits having prevails in CFUGs, as per the relevant source (Bhattarai, Ojha, Banjade, & Luintel, 2003).
Hamro Ban (Our Forest Program), an official publication of the Department of Forest, the government organization responsible for issuing NTFP collection permits, collecting revenues of the NTFPs, providing transportation and export permits and monitoring NTFP-related activities have accepted the following consecutive situations of NTFP trade systems in Nepal. Nepal does not have the actual record of: a) which species are collected and consumed locally for what purpose; b) how much of the collected amount is traded in the local market (within Nepal) and how much is exported; and c) what is the total annual financial transaction of NTFPs. Because of limited documentation, there are challenges in sustainable market promotion (Devkota, 2006). Bureaucratic hassles to transportation ofNTFP discourage its trade. One of the justification for highlighting low volume high value forest products (i.e., NTFPs) in high altitude areas is that transporting them is relatively easy than timber in the region. The areas are far from road heads or city centers, making transportation of bulky products impossible. NTFPs are transported manually or on the back of mules, yak or goats and sheep. However, there are more barriers other than physical access in the NTFP trade which discourage transportation of and trade in NTFPs such as, a) multiple layers of permits and checkpoints for verification have increased transaction costs and promoted corruption; and b) cartel by carriages and airlines in freight charge and uncertainty of transporting products.
Existing marketing data, which is in any case outdated, relates solely to prices in markets and amounts of rule materials required. New studies are therefore needed to the medicinal plant area. Markets are clearly imperfect in terms of price setting due to the restricted flow of information. Williams et al depict that each transformation point needs to be understood with reference to the stakeholders involved their functions and the horizontal and vertical market linkages (Williams & Ahmad, 1999).
In the case of Humla, it was learned that the increased access to market information and the establishment of the processing enterprise have resulted in an increased market competition, which trend has benefited collectors by providing higher prices for the raw materials at the source, according to Subedi et al(Subedi & Bhattarai, 1999).
The market is heterogeneous. Medicinal plants products are sold in small local markets in the same areas where large traders a mass their supplied for industry, and occasionally for export. Many cross-nation borders in an “informal” way. Existing data on quantities available in markets at any markets at any particular time do little to help clarify the complex commerce of medicinal plants. Up-to-date analysis is required even though the informal market is very difficult to evaluate. Nonetheless, this informal market has to recognize conservation imperatives, and attempts made in this direction will only result from estimate of the informal market. Analysis of market information could lead to clear attempts to stem adulteration, as well as priority setting for ensuring sustainable supplied of raw materials. The current unsustainable harvesting practices, mostly unregulated, are due not only the poor knowledge of the collectors of the plants and their ecology, but also to the inadequate dissemination of price information according to the stated source hereby(Williams & Ahmad, 1999).
2.1. Source of Information of the MPIS amongst Usufructs
Jobber and Rainbow defined MPIS as a system in which marketing information is formally gathered, stored, analyzed, and distributed to managers in accordance with their informational needs on regularly planned basis. According to this definition, the MPIS is built on the identifying information needs for marketing manager to present relevant information when, how and where that manager requires (Jobber & Rainbow, 1977). Management Information System (MIS) is basically concerned with the process of collecting, processing, storing and transmitting relevant information to support the management operations in any organizations. Management information system is kind of organizational information computer systems, that take internal information from operating processing system and summaries them to Meaningful and useful forms as management reports to use in performing management duties. Management information system is one of the major computer based information systems. Its purpose, Al-Mamary et al cite is to meet the general information need of all the managers in the firm or in some organizational subunit of the firm. Management information system is a collection of people, tools, procedures and software to perform various business tasks at various levels in the organization (Al-Mamary et al. 2014).
Marketing information system as a computerized system that is designed to provide an organized flow of information to enable and support the marketing activities of an organization. Marketing information system prepares data and makes them available when the need for such data arises for better decision, as per Sunday et al (Sunday et al. 2013).F. Kotler and K.L. Keller noted that the marketing information system of an organization should be established by taking into account the wishes of the marketing managers, their real needs, and economic feasibility. Useful step in solving this problem may be the creation of an internal committee on the marketing information system, which is mandated to carry out the necessary coordination activities with the departments and all stakeholders(Kotler & Keller, 2006).
Recent years have seen an increased interest in the provision of market information. In part, this reflects the movement away from state-sponsored marketing in many countries and especially those which have been undergoing structural adjustment. This has been accompanied by recognition that if marketing activities formerly carried out by the state are to be taken over by the private sector then some government support needs to be provided to promote the creation of a competitive market. Efficient market information provision can be shown to have positive benefits for farmers, traders and policymakers. Up-to-date, or current, market information enables farmers to negotiate with traders from a position of greater strength. It also facilitates spatial, of products from rural areas to towns and between markets. Al- Mamary et al describes a well-analyzed historical market information enables farmers to make planting decisions, including those related to new crops. The author claims it also permits traders to make better decisions regarding the viability of intra and, perhaps, inter seasonal storage (Shepherd, 1997 ).Patra (2014) analyzes the price policy and marketing channels of Kendu Leaf in Odisha and West Bengal in India. GoWB (2001, 2005) mentioned that, there is always a middle man, connected with the trade of NTFPs whether it is consumable items or medicinal plants, who generally keeps contact with Forest Protection Committee (FPCs) or forest villagers directly or purchase products from hats local market according to the source(Ahmed et al., 2016).
Market information systems are such all to be used in gathering, analyzing and disseminating information about prices and other information relevant to farmers, animal rearers, traders, processors and others involved in handling agricultural products. Mostly in developing countries market information initiatives are often part of broader interventions and part of the agricultural 28 marketing and agribusiness development strategy that many governments are actively engaged in. It is commonly understood that long transaction chains, lack of transparency, lack of standards, and insufficient access to markets for products has perpetuated low incomes in predominantly agrarian economies. Early attempts at market information provision in developing countries involved government bodies in collecting price information, and arranging for this to be disseminated via newspapers and radio stations. The information provided was often not very accurate and usually reached farmers too late to be of practical use. Governments often attempted to cover far too many locations and many services either collapsed after initial donor assistance came to an end or managed to struggle along with little impact. Furthermore, it was soon recognized that it was not enough just to supply market information to farmers they needed assistance in understanding how to use that information. Similarly, the different sources by which the farmers use the MPIS system may be possible by virtue of internal and external sources like:
The sources of information that you use in your business can be primary information or information that you obtain yourself inside your own company. This is also known as internal information. The different types of internal sources are: Computer systems being human resource, accounting, clients, inventory, purchasing, staff records, accounting records, annual reports, long range planning records and company reports.
An external source of information is concerned with what is happening beyond the boundaries of the organization. This covers any documentation relating to a subject area produced as a summary or detailed report by an agency external to an organization. Such information may be obtainable from government agencies or private information providers. The different types of external sources are: Industry or government reports, census figures, telephone directories, judgments on court cases, computer users’ yearbook, legislation, for example, gallup polls the Data Protection Act, national opinion polls, trade journals, Ordnance Survey maps, professional publications, financial services agencies such, industry standards as Dunn and Bradstreet and the Internet, as the sources cite(Al-Mamary, Alina, & Aziati, 2014).
Many developing countries and countries in transition, government-run market information services (MIS) may not be the main source of market information for farmers. Some countries still do not have such services and, where MIS are operated, they often provide inadequate information. Small farmers often rely more on word-of-mouth information from other farmers and from traders. As telecommunications improve rapidly, many farmers are beginning to seek information by telephone directly from the major markets.
Farmers can be an important source of market information, particularly about local markets. At the same time, it should not be assumed that information from farmers is always reliable because farmers will remember the total price they received, but may not have known the exact weight that they sold (particularly when using non-standard containers), and thus cannot provide reliable information on the price per kilogram. Similarly, farmers may tend to exaggerate the prices they receive. They may want other farmers to think that they are either (1) Very good at negotiating with traders (2) Producers of topquality produce which gets the best prices, source claims(Shepherd, 2011).
Other Informative Sources Some of these are briefly described here below.
Price Boards in Markets: Sometimes markets collect prices, either together- with or independently from the market information service, and display these on notice boards at the market areas. Clearly, this information is only of usage to those farmers who visit the market places and of little purpose to farmers who prefer to sell at the farm gate. Nevertheless, managers of markets should be encouraged to collect market prices wherever possible and make this information available to farmers.
Extension Workers: Potentially the best sources of information for most farmers are extension workers. As will be explained later in this guide, good extensions should be able to identify local buyers for various crops, and find out what prices they are paying and their terms and conditions. If the extension service has marketing specialists at headquarters, then the extension worker 30 can get in touch with them to get information about markets further away. In the long term, extension workers can keep records of prices reported by the MIS and plot them on graphs so that farmers can visit them to see the seasonal fluctuations. In the short term, extension workers can help farmers understand the MIS broadcasts, and it is the main purpose of this guide to help them do this well.
Non-Governmental Organizations: NGOs are often involved in marketing improvement activities. However, these organizations often only reach a small proportion of farmers. Also, NGOs, like government ministries, sometimes get carried away with the idea of encouraging production, without paying too much attention to the market for their produces.
Agro-Processors: For crops which are not sold in markets, the main outlet is usually agribusiness companies. These will normally provide information about their buying prices on request in person or by phone and often place notice boards outside their premises detailing of those prices, relevant source describes(Shepherd, 2011).
Storage costs, such as labour, maintenance, chemicals, depreciation of storage facilities and costs of invested capital, can be considerable. Shepherd cite, however, price changes over time depend not so much on storage costs as on how much of a product is stored for subsequent release onto the market and on seasonal production levels. The highest prices during a year do not necessarily correspond with the end of the lean season, as prices in other regions or countries also influence market conditions. Variable climatic conditions between regions and between neighboring countries can complicate the picture by opening up opportunities for spatial arbitrage, thus making storage a risky activity. It is here known that market information concerning spatial price differences, stock supply conditions and forecasts of the coming harvests can play an important role to increase the agribusiness. But even at the simplest level of market information, i.e. prices, knowledge of past price trends can enable traders to form an opinion about the likely viability of storage and its associated risks (Shepherd, 1997).
The 21stcentury, as is found in terms of multi-purpose development of many prior global sectors, this era belongs to information technology. Nepal has also moved forward in the development of information technology. The development of mobile, telephone, fax, internet etc. has made marketing research easy and simple. After adaptation of privatization policy in Nepal, seller's market has changed into buyer's market. Economic globalization is increasing. Internal competition is changing into global competition, marketing environment getting more complicated. In this context, as Shrestha depicts, marketing managers in Nepal also are gradually changing their traditional decision making style into modern and started using marketing information system in taking marketing decision. In past, managers had taken a decision at principle, experience and hunches. But now tradition has changed. A mechanism, MKIS has been started to be established in every organization, according to the referred to author(Shrestha, 2013).
The market information system has increased its relevance to the farmers as it has incorporated the information, such as weather, best area practices, input supplies, etc., that are relevant to the farmers. The strategic alliance among universities, other companies, and media houses to provide the content to the marketing system has made the same part even more robust and cost effective in terms of information collection and management. Though initial investment is high, after utilizing the information technologies appropriately, the system has been able to reduce the cost of market system operation per targeted farmer. And linking this system with e-commerce activities, the company has increased the credibility and usefulness of the system for the rural farmers. As the farmers and other actors are feeding data each time into the system, the capacity of system to generate even more useful analysis and information will certainly increase as the time progresses. Though most of marketing information systems monitor and disseminate market prices for target products, the roles of other information, such as post harvest and processing technologies, new markets and buyers, requirements of the buyers and quality control, best practices in production, and policy issues, are found immense in contributing to the enterprise development and improved marketing of agriculture products. To address the information needs, the marketing information systems have regular market monitoring mechanisms for price and demand as well as have systems to collect and disseminate more descriptive types of value chain improvement and marketing capacity building information, as per the relevant source(Binayee, 2005).
Market information is collected through various means and then utilized in deciding time, market place and volume of supply by the involved farmers. Farmers have utilized the marketing information provided by Radio Nepal, newspapers, telephone, neighbors and friends and market center observation (in advance). Farmers display prices of Kalimati wholesale market aired through Radio Nepal as selling prices of wholesalers at the market centres. The information broadcasted through Radio Nepal include only selling price of wholesalers, not their buying price. Farmers making marketing decisions according to this information were confused as the prices they receive are actually different from the broadcasting prices. Although the traders use telephone, mobile phone and email services to get market information through their own network, majority of the small farmers not associated with the project activities have no access to marketing information services. Since the cost of marketing information to an individual farmer becomes high, information services provided by public and nongovernmental sector will play a vital role for enhancing the capability of the small farmers. The process of marketing of vegetable products in Nepal begins at the farm when the farmer plans his production to meet specific demands and market prospects. The harvester’s product can't usually go directly to the consumer. The production site is likely to be away from the place of consumption. Thus the transportation is required to bring the product. Vegetable production is generally seasonal while consumption is regular and continuous throughout the year. Thus, storage is required to adjust supply to demand. Similarly, a product is rarely in a form acceptable to consumers. It must be sorted, cleaned and processed in various ways, and must be presented to the consumer in convenient quantities for sale, according to the source(Awasthi, 2007).