Evaluating the performance of major agricultural commodites under trade integration strategy of Nepal
Bhattarai, BK and Adhikari, RP and Thapa, T, Evaluating the performance of major agricultural commodites under trade integration strategy of Nepal, Agriculture Development Journal, 12 pp. 69-90. ISSN 2091-0738 (2016) [Professional, Refereed Article]
SWOT analysis both at micro and macro level was conducted to evaluate the performance of the four major agricultural commodities, lentil, ginger, cardamom and tea, identified by Nepal Trade Integration Strategy 20 I 0. In case of lentil, strengths outweigh the weaknesses. Since the product have been exported for quite some time, the processing and other export infrastructures were found well developed. However, due to lack of sufficient research, extension and input backup, the lentil value chain was underdeveloped which might be risky in the context of highly competitive and volatile international market. Likewise, ginger is another agriculture commodity with ever growing domestic and international market, good production foundation, high level of quality and established backward and forward linkages among the actors of their value chains. However, low research base, lack of brand recognition, over dependence on commission agents from India are key weaknesses which need to be addressed to exploit their full potentials. Periodic NonTariff Barriers (NTB) from India and competition from cheap Chinese ginger are the threats. Cardamom is only the export item that is not imported in Nepal. It has good demand from India and almost all is exported to India in raw form. Chhirke-Phurke disease, lack of quality saplings that are free from diseases, no product diversification are the major weakness of this commodity. However, ever-increasing demand and price, grown on marginal lands are the strengths. Possibility of expansion to western and far western part of Nepal with similar geography and climate are the opportunities and tissue culture technology for saplings development are the opportunities, while small market destinations and diseases are the threats. Tea is another commodity with great potentials. The long history of production with well-established cooperative; large and small farmers, suitability for organic orthodox tea with great aroma; well established supply chain are the strengths. While, price fluctuations, labour wage r ate issue, lack of pricing mechanisms like auction for international trade, certification and accreditation, and lack of brand recognition are the weaknesses of tea industry. The unique quality and identity of Nepalese tea with brand development in international markets, marketing directly to the third country are the opportunities to grab. Likewise price fluctuations, heavily dependence on Indian market and frequent labor strikes are the threats for this industry. In essence, all the commodities analyzed in the study have traditional knowledge and sound production base. They have the unique features provided by the geo-physical characteristics of the country. International demand for the products is also increasing because of their income elastic nature. They all have high value adding potentials. However, value addition to the product process has been slow due to inadequate adoption of advance technologies available, poor market research and information sharing, lack of quality benchmarks and standards. Brand establishment of the commodities is essential to lift them in the very competitive international market. Identifying niche markets, understanding their demands and value attributes and tailoring the product according with the support from government and development partners can be a good strategy to develop the export potentials of the commodities.
Professional, Refereed Article
rhizobium inoculums, Chhirke-Phurke, Non-Tarriff Barriers, brand, international trade