Mountain value chains are influenced by the mountain specificities including inaccessibility, diversity, marginality and fragility, and therefore need to be looked at in the light of these pre-conditions in order to favour the poor and enable them to enter into dynamic global markets. Mainstreaming the poor and the disadvantaged in the mountain value chains is a bigger challenge since they face greater mountain specificities along with other pre-conditions, with the biggest challenge being societal barriers and their limited negotiating skills that prevent them from penetrating the market. This paper focuses on ways of mainstreaming the poor and marginalised people in the honey value chain by strengthening linkages for inclusive growth. This action research was conducted in collaboration with our partner organisations in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan, during the period between 2010 and 2012 with the objective of bringing greater benefits to the poor producers and honey collectors through the adoption of a pro-poor mountain-specific value chain approach. This research has tried to prove that in rural areas where access to income is limited, small scale commercial beekeeping can contribute significantly to livelihood security by strengthening the collaboration among the beekeepers and chain actors at various levels. Our efforts have concentrated on organising and strengthening beekeepers’ groups or self-help groups (SHGs)/associations or cooperatives and developing community institutions, while building their capacity to take livelihood decisions and providing them with a range of support services and linkages.
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The authors are thankful to beekeepers and other actors of value chain at all the three study sites. They are also grateful to ICIMOD for providing all the facilities for conducting this research. Last but not the least, they would like to acknowledge and express gratitude for financial support for the study from the Government of Austria through the Austrian Development Agency.
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Shrestha, A.J., Partap, U., Islam, N. et al. Strengthening horizontal and vertical linkages for honey value chain development in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. Ind. J. Labour Econ. 58, 281–297 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41027-016-0019-2