Assessment of Himalayan Nettle (Girardinia diversifolia) Value Chain Development Interventions: Evidences from Rural Households in the Far Western Nepal

  •  Ghulam-Muhammad Shah    
  •  Manbar Khadka    
  •  Farid Ahmad    
  •  Nandakaji Budhathoki    
  •  Anu Shrestha    


The Himalayan nettle (Note 1) is a fiber yielding non-timber forest product that has cultural, economic and medicinal values to many ethnic communities residing in the hill and mountain areas of Nepal and India. If the nettle value chain can be strengthened at each node of the chain, then it has high potentiality to uplifting the livelihoods of many poor households in those areas. With this objective, the Himalayan nettle value chain development interventions in the form of promotion of local institutions, enterprise development, product value addition and development, capacity building at the community level and promotion of linkages through private sector engagement were initiated in Darchula, one of the remote districts in far-western Nepal. This paper essentially analyzes the impact of Himalayan nettle value chain development interventions on households’ income from the sale of nettle products. Using propensity score matching (PSM) technique in a cross-sectional data, this study finds that participation in the Himalayan nettle value chain development intervention has positive and significant impact on the households’ annual income from the sale of nettle products. The participating households’ annual income from the Himalayan nettle increases by NPR (Note 2) 2265-2410 than that of non-participating households with similar socio-economic characteristics. The study therefore argues that capacity building and facilitation activities on product development and market linkages are important to help increase productivity and decrease per unit production cost of non-timber forest products like the Himalayan nettle. Value chain development and concentrated market linkages are hence essential to diversify livelihood options for natural resource dependent rural communities.

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