workshop on “Exploring Innovative Partnership- Ecosystems Around OFSDP (Phase-I) Forest Divisions” (Date: 29.09.2016; Venue: PMU Conference Hall, OFSDS) 

The workshop on “Exploring Innovative Partnership- Ecosystems Around OFSDP (Phase-I) Forest Divisions” was held on 29.09.2016 in the Conference Hall of Odisha Forestry Sector Development Society (OFSDS) and was attended by senior forest officials apart from former Project Directors of OFSDP, representatives from academia, NABARD, social entrepreneurs, consultants, civil society etc. The workshop was coordinated by Mr Susanta Nanda, IFS, Jt Project Director of OFSDS.

In his introductory remarks, Dr. Ajit Kumar Pattnaik, IFS PCCF-cum-Project Director spoke about the key accomplishments of JICA assisted OFSDP Phase-I and the scope of taking it forward through potential partnerships.

 Sri Susant Nanda, IFS, Jt. Project Director made a presentation on the status of the IGA activities and clusters under OFSDP Forest Divisions and explained the strengths and opportunities of the IGA interventions in OFSDP by delineating the five asset capitals (Natural, Social, Human, Physical and Financial) available in the project. Based on market research studies, he shared the potential products for microenterprise establishment in forest divisions of Odisha.

 Mr Pranab Ranjan Choudhury of NRMC made a synthesis of the activities under the JICA assisted OFSDP Phase-I with a focus on institution building and market engagement around forest and agro based products. There is ample scope to leverage upon the past investments and achievements and it was suggested to look at right size of cluster from business point of view, investment on conducting inventory of NTFP, addressing the legal complexities around NTFP, integrating sustainable harvesting and regeneration in value chain interventions and streamlining efforts towards organized and formalization of NTFP market. Presenting the idea of a Potential Partnership Ecosystem based on principles of Value Chain Governance, he underlined the need of innovative partnerships with social enterprises to take these forest and traditional agro-products towards logical next steps, through niche-market interventions.

 Expressing his views on the subject Prof. Dr. Amar Nayak of XIMB said this is a challenging business, and the strategy adopted and achievements made under OFSDP Phase-I are appreciable. There is a need to understand the nature of market and the relationships between communities, nature and market. Taking part in the discussion, Dr. L. K. Vaswani of KSRM opined that the FPOs should be developed according to geographical area. While dealing with multiple products, cluster need not market all products; could develop linkage with other organizations.

Sri N M. Sahu of NABARD narrated the role of NABARD in formation and strengthening of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs). He stated that there are problems in grounding the FPOs in the clusters of OFSDP area through three Producer Organization Promotion Institutions and the progress has been slow with eight so far registered out of 40 and another eight surrendered.  

 While giving his peer remarks Sri Vinod Kumar, IFS (Rtd), Ex Project Director shared the situations before and after the project and how a series of activities made a difference in the lives of tribal communities.

 In the next session, the participating organizations shared their activities or experiences  

  • ·         Neelam Chhabir of Industree on FPOs business from Banana Bark based products, which they sell to Ikea

  • ·         Sameer Kumar of Dhriiti on arecanut leaf plate business and business development services

  • ·         Bhabani Swamy of Aranyak Ecoharvest on traditional products of geographic origin and the need of working with consumers

  • ·         Vijay Pratap Singh Aditya of Ekgaon on agricultural commodities

  • ·         Mahesh Joshi of Dabur on medicinal plant products

  • ·         Jayesh Bhatia of NRMC on value addition of forest and horticulture products

 Prof Vaswani chaired the session on “Potential partnership opportunities and determinants of institutional sustainability”. Sri Arun K Bansal, IFS (Rtd) triggered the discussions on the sustainability in micro-enterprises around forest products in OFSDP phase II.   

  • The key insights of the session include the following;

  • ·         There is a need to explore all possible requirements of partnership

  • ·         We need to ensure sustainability of the institutions while complying with all the rules and regulations

  • ·         Govt. is a key potential facilitator and should play the right role in this direction including policy and regulatory, while there is a risk in it being involved in business directly

  • ·         We must develop a complete value chain with multiple channels. Entire value chain should have to own the produce and the FPO should own the brand

  • ·         Branding in NTFP is very challenging

  • ·         We need to provide equal importance to production and sustainability aspects

 The session on “Future partnership Ecosystems: Commodities, Geographies, Partners and Facilitators” was moderated by Pranab R Choudhury, who stated that cluster collectives now require more demand-side support, as supply side supports have largely been taken care of. Considering the nature of product and institutions, the entity lack edge to compete in conventional market, making it desirable to focus on niche market with support of social entrepreneur than relying on traders. The new partnership, rather than focused around service provision, should be forged around value-creation and stake-building with an added accountability to the community and commodity. There is a need to identify the type of support mechanism that we want to put in and for how long. Dr Ajit Pattnaik stated that OFSDP has some grass root level institutions and now we can think about for some refinements to those institutions.

 Finally, this session resulted in following partnership options as per the interests shown by the participating organizations;




Siali leaf, Banana and other potential commodities in the cluster geography

Aranyak Eco-harvest

Hill Broom and Tamarind; traditional agro-products with geographic origin


Hill Broom and Maize


Ginger, Turmeric, honey, Technology platform and MIS for supply chain management


Sal Leaf, Siali Leaf & Mahua


Mango & Cashew


Kali Musli, Vidari Kand, Rauwolfia, Tihudi


Items under MSP from VSS; Sharing of storage and processing space; infrastructure and machinery support for value addition of NTFP


Sri PC Mishra Jt. Project Director extended the closing vote of thanks