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Training for the conservation of Yarsagumba in Sishne, Maikot and Hukam of Rukum

Yarsagumba (Ophiocordycepssinensis) is highly valuable bio-resource of Trans-Himalayan region fetching high price in International market. It shows immense effects on the lifestyle and economic status of inhabitants of those high altitude villages where it is found naturally. It is up to estimated that 25 districts of Nepal have been distributed with Yarsagumba. In Rukum Sishne, Hukam, Maikot, Taksera are the main villages where people are mostly depended on Yarsagumba collection and trade. Yarsagumba is providing an economic benefit to the local people and aiding to promote livelihood of Himalayan region as well as to the Government of Nepal.

It is collected from May to August in the later monsoon period. It is estimated that Himali people’s economic status has risen since Yarsagumba trade started in Nepal. In spite of all these benefits and economic upliftments, there are some problems and challenges existing in those areas. There are challenges of improper harvesting techniques, over harvesting, inadequate storing techniques, long market chain, unmanaged trade system  unequal benefits sharing, social conflicts,  crimes, illegal activities,  environmental degradation, pollution rising in pasture land, degradation of pasture lands, less production of Yarsagumba, Climate change issues, health and sanitation of local people, unawareness, negative impacts on education of children during collection, over population in pasture land more than its carrying capacity etc. It is felt that unsustainable collection of the species has become a major cause of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation in the high mountains. Along with the unsustainable collection, inadequate knowledge on life cycle, trade pattern, and end use is increasing the risk and vulnerability of Yarsagumba.

Thus for the sustainable conservation of the Yarsagumba, proper harvesting and management techniques training were very important in those areas. It was essential to aware the local people about its importance, its situation in Nepal, sustainable management, management for their livelihood etc. Three days training were conducted in three VDCs of upper Rukum-Sishne, Hukam and Ranma-Maikot. Total 120 individuals participated the training programmes.

Objectives

The main goal of the training was to conserve the Yarsagumba through sustainable harvesting and proper management techniques. Following were the objectives of the training-

  • To enhance the capacity of local people on sustainable harvesting techniques of Yarsagumba and proper management of pasture lands.
  • To provide the knowledge on NTFP Policies and policies management for Yarsagumba by Nepal Government.
  • To provide knowledge about the scientific studies, uses, distribution, importance and situation of Yarsagumba in Nepal.
  • To share the problems on Yarsagumba collection and trade systems in the locality.
  • To aware the people about the effect of climate change in Yarsagumba production.
  • To provide the knowledge about the importance of co-operatives organizations and microfinance for the economic and livelihood management in the area.
  • To aware the locality for the sustainable conservation of Yarsagumba.

Methodology

The trainings were carried out with participatory approaches and process. Various presentations from the trainers, group discussion, group voice, question and answers, experiences learning and sharing, lecture methods and documentary shows were adopted to deliver the effective sessions. Flex prints, white board, board marker, marker, sign pen, copy, pen, pin, brochures, pamphlets, laptop, projector etc. were used as the training materials.

 Approaches of training and management 

The trainings were carried out in very systematic ways. All the participants were very active, interested and eager to learn. The trainings were managed by the trainers with the help of local participants. The places for the conduction of trainings were selected according to the accessibility and suitability for the locals. Like, in Sishne the ground of a school was selected, in Maikot VDC office was selected and in Hukam open area was selected for the programme conduction. All the local people helped in the conduction of the programmes successfully.

Course contents of training

The training course was designed for three days per VDC. Total nine days trainings were conducted in Sishne, Hukam and Maikot VDCs.In first day, participants were trained about the detail introduction on Yarsagumba, its scientific study, distribution, importance and uses, its harvesting techniques, pastureland management techniques, problems on Yarsagumba trade and management as well as its conservation. Similarly, importance of co-operative organization, microfinance in the locality for their livelihood management etc. were also trained on the same day. On second day of the training, the NTFP Policies and management of policies for Yarsagumba, review on proposal for the Policies and Management on Yarsagumba collection and trade by Government in 2071Bs, various problems on trade, situation of Yarsagumba and effect of climate change on Yarsagumba were presented. Then, on the third day, presentations on the various issues and news of yarsagumba, a Case study of Ranma-Maikot by the project team,  and training on harvesting techniques of yarsagumba weregiven. At last, on the end of the programme documentary show of Yarsagumba made by the project team was shown to the participants.