Article | 01 Juil, 2022

Supporting indigenous community on product diversification

The Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) programme is supporting to increasing the income of the indigenous 'Chepang' women in Nepal by adding value to wild-crafted Chiuri (Diploknema butyracea or the 'Indian Butter Tree') fruit to produce butter.

Nepal has tremendous geographic diversity that ranges from alluvial plains in the south to the high Himalayan Mountains in the north. Although around 45% of the total land is covered by forests, these are not yet utilised to their full potential to drive economic prosperity for the country. The rural economy heavily relies on forest and farm resources in an integrated manner.

Nepal Raksirang village of Makawanpur district, Nepal Photo: Amit Poudyal/IUCN

In Nepal, the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) programme support strengthening the capacity of Forest and Farm Producer Organisations (FFPOs) by increasing links to complementary development programmes, fostering partnerships, and leveraging financial resources through direct financial support and technical assistance.

The Chiuri trees have multiple uses such as religious butter lamp oil, edible oil, shampoo, soap, lip balm, moisturizer, hair treatment cream, etc. The indigenous Chepang community has also traditional beliefs associated with the Chiuri. The tree is passed as a gift to the newly wed daughters during a wedding as a dowry with the belief that the bountiful benefits of the Chiuri tree can bring prosperity to her new family. Notwithstanding the advantages of the Chiuri tree, the local indigenous community needs a supplement to their traditional knowledge and skill to enhance the value-added of new products from Chiuri.

FFF is supporting the Chiuri producer group of the chepang communities to capacitate on necessary skills and knowledge to add value to their traditional practice and product. FFF in collaboration with partners like Mount Everest Forest Botanicals Alliance is also linking the products with potential market actors for increased return for the community from the production and selling of Chiuri butter processed through upgraded processing and value addition practices.

Nepal Indigenous women extracting butter from 'Chiuri' Photo: Amit Poudyal/IUCN

FFF has supported linking the producer group with the Annant Veda Neutaceuticals (strategic partner) to upgrade butter extraction. Currently, the producer group is providing graded chiuri seeds to the strategic partner. They will also get additional benefits from the profit from the final product. FFF is also linking the producer group with the National Innovation center to fabricate the integrated butter expelling machine.

The Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) is a partnership between FAO, IIED, IUCN and Agricord, funded by the EU through the FAO-EU FLEGT programme, Finland, Germany, Norway through the Flexible Multi-Partner Mechanism of FAO, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the United States of America.