Report on 2016 HINDAS 4th Regular Seminar

Organizer: HINDAS

2016 HINDAS 4th Regular Seminar

The 107th Study Session of the “Development and Cultural Change” Forum


Day1: Saturday, 19th November(13:00 ~ 17:30), 2016

Day2: Sunday, 20th November(9:00 ~ 11:00), 2016

Venue: Large Conference Room, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC),

    Hiroshima University (Higashi Hiroshima Campus)



ThemeStudy on Food Products Marketing System of Northern Southasia in Indian Economic Zone

Toshihiro Tsukihara(Fukui University)  

“Change of Commodity Flow and its Influence to the Himalayan Land-use.”

Historically, commodity flow between the Himalayas and the Hindustan Plain, and also agricultural land-use by inhabitants of the Himalayas, had a shared character of vertical/latitudinal activities done along with migration which occurred on some economic belts extended to north-south direction with difference of altitude. Such "traditional" system, developed and maintained by pack animals and human porters as its means of transportation, was transformed by the arrival of motor-roads and airstrips after mid-20th Century. And the newer routes of the flow have replaced the older ones in most of the places. Moreover, experience of international conflicts and wars after the mid-20th Century, and especially of the so-called globalization after 1990's, forced agricultural production of the Himalayas to become strongly linked to huge consumers' markets or production centers of the outside.
Recent change of agriculture, noticeable after 2000's, are 1) Change of cultivated plants (increase of plants for sales, but decrease of major cereals as staple diet), 2) Increase of cultivable fallow, 3) Decline of mobile pastoralism, Decrease of pastoral livestock population, etc. And these changes are caused by the above-mentioned change of commodity flow and the newly created linkages to the outside. Examples were taken from Ladakh and Bhutan. The PDS and other service which supplied very cheap rice and wheat flour in Ladakh contributed to the increase of the fallow there. Highlands of Bhutan, Tibet, etc. became Cordyceps supply area, which changed economy of the highlanders greatly who were based on agro-pastoral economy in tradition.


Akinobu Kawai(The Open University of Japan)

“Marketing of Potato, Bhutan’s Cash Crop”

Though in Bhutan potato became a “cash crop” even from the 1960s, it is now one of the main stable food item and a cash crop as well. Potato cash crop became the main driving force to change from  subsistence to market-oriented agriculture. Regular rural income generated by potato cultivation impacts on positively increase in income and quality of life.
The extreme mountainous topography results in a wide range of environment conditions leading to a very rich diverse agriculture production systems and specific opportunities for agriculture niche production. At Phuntsholing, the main trade auction yard with India, Bangladesh and Nepal, potato price goes down to the lowest from February to April when plain India enjoys harvest and touches the highest in October and November when India demands seed potato and offseason fresh potato. Bhutan and India complement each other in table potato. Only Bhutan sells seed potato well in India. Moreover Bhutan potato needs less pesticide and herbicide as the environment conditions is cool and moisture less. Bhutan potato is expected to continue to grow, if they try to cultivate more organically with keeping Bhutan potato brand famous.
The following points are questioned and argued. As this is a preliminary report some questions are not explained satisfactorily, however. Through another field surveys the author would like to improve the report drastically considering these questions.

  1. Show the proportion of the Bhutanese potato carried by the traders to the total auctioned in Phuntsholing auction yard (see the attached figure).
  2. Show the share of the exported Bhutan potato among India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
  3. Who are the Indian traders who buy potato through auction? What are their marketing channels of the auction purchase to consumers in India?
  4. At the vegetable weekend market in the district headquarters of Bhutan which are rapidly coming up by the government efforts, how farm gate prices are determined? How do the imported Indian vegetables affect the retail prices in Bhutan during summer?
  5. Bhutan potato cash crop largely determines Bhutanese farm household income. It seems that the gap between farm households which harvest potato largely and ones which don’t cultivate tends to increase. Under this situation, can big potato producers purchase agricultural lands in Bhutan?  



Niraj P. Joshi, K. L. Maharjan, Luni Piya(Hiroshima University)and Dawa Tshiring Tamang, (Agriculture and Forestry University)

“An Overview of North-south Agricultural Trade Dependence in Nepal

The presentations gave an overview of how North-South agricultural trade dependence exists in Nepal. The discussion was based on the data compiled through various government publications, supplemented by information collected through market surveys. The presentation started with a brief explanation of the agro-ecological division in Nepal. This was followed by discussion on the agricultural input use situation in Northern (Mountain/Hill) and Southern regions. All indicators of input use, namely, arable land under temporary crops, irrigation coverage, use of improved seeds and annual sales/use of chemical fertilizer suggest that the North lags far behind the South. Mountain/Hill is persistently experiencing the food deficit situation. Thus, North have to rely on South for food. The paper showed, however, that in many instances (rice, apple, banana, vegetables and potato) produce in neither of the regions are sufficient to meet the demand. Hence have to rely on import specifically from India except apple. We were able to convince participants that some initiative in production and post-harvest handling, including storage and transportation would contribute in import substitutions. It is not possible in case onion and rice in short-run though. Similarly, the role of agricultural market would be crucial for enhancing commercialization in agriculture not only in the vicinity, but also in the whole of the command areas. The presentation was able to receive a keen interest from the participants. Active participation of participants in Q&A session reflected that some of them were fascinated to know the geographical diversity and prospects it provides for developing the region as a production niche for selected agricultural crop(s) in Nepal. Similarly, some of them found the increasing reliance of the country on export despite being an agrarian country somewhat paradoxical. The interaction gave us an opportunity to understand the importance of incorporating policy perspectives in the paper.



K. L. Maharjan(Hiroshima University),Manjeshwori Singh(Nepal Development Research Institute)and Ranjan Prakash Shrestha(Hiroshima University,PhD Student)

“Interim Report on Marketing of Vegetables in Kathmandu”

This paper dwelt on the marketing of vegetables in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal and its surrounding area. First, it highlighted how the vegetables are becoming more and more important part of the daily diet for the urban people all around the year and their commercial value have raised in the recent years, which in turn has expanded the vegetable marketing channels from farm selling and direct selling to group/collective selling, door to door selling and selling through middlemen. This has not only given rise to the construction of local and central markets, collection centers and wholesale markets at different places for smoothening the marketing of the vegetables, with growing number of traders being involved, but also made the marketing channel more complicated with various functionaries playing different roles at different stages of marketing. As such, the middlemen, an agent in the wholesale market who brokers the vegetables between the farmers/producers and wholesalers are becoming crucial and control the market, effectively deciding the amount of vegetables that enter the market and their price, thus becoming the price maker in the value chain and accruing the maximum benefit. This, along with other constrains of the market; transportation, infrastructure, amenity, hygiene, food quality, grading, transaction and governance, have been resented by both the producers and the consumers alike, as they have not been able to accrue the prospected benefit from the marketing system.
There were questions and suggestions from the seminar participants on the issue of direct selling, farmer’s market, “apani mandi”, and auction in price determination process, contract farming, input supply to the produces by the traders, advance payment and other newer entrepreneur investments. Supplementary explanation was given by the presenter in response to these questions and suggestions. As a whole there was keen interest on the issue among the participants and the presentation was well applauded.



Hisataro Horiuchi(The Open University of Japan)

"Awareness of Health Consciousness and Possibility of Japanese Food Boom in India"




Mirinila Singh and K. L. Maharja(Hiroshima University)

"State of Organic Farm Products in South Asia"

Organic sector is gaining worldwide attention which can be reflected in its consistent increase in market share over the years. While developed countries have well established sector, it is developing countries where most of it is run on informal basis and thus proper information is difficult to get by. Moreover, developing countries are no longer just the exporter of organic products but their local organic market is equally on rise. The purpose of this presentation was to give overview of the state of organic sector and products across South Asian countries. As the study is based mainly on secondary literature, a case study of local organic market in Nepal based on field survey was also presented to give a glimpse of its characteristics such as un/certified products, product range, premium and so on. The audience took keen interest by sharing their own knowledge and presenting some interesting questions. The participants asked to compare policies across countries that led some countries to have more developed organic sector than the other. They also raised the question of which country has more advantage of growing range of organic products given their unique geographical and ecological setting. After it was known that India has the most developed organic sector within South Asia and have strong presence globally, the question of why Japanese organic sector still lags behind despite being a developed country was also raised. Based on the case of Nepalese local organic market, audience were interested in knowing different products preferred by local and foreign consumers, why uncertified products still have higher premium range and in what ways the government can support the development of organic sector. Overall, the discussion that followed was very fruitful that will contribute significantly to the final paper.














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