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Enhancing agricultural practices for nourishing future

We envision sustained food and nutrition secured Nepal by improving agricultural practices.

Photo of Manish Choudhari
3 2

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Social Development and Promotion Centre

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small NGO (under 50 employees)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

www.sdpc.org.np

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Just beginning now

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Kathmandu

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Nepal

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Karnali and Sudurpaschim, two provinces of Nepal covers an area of 27984 sq km and 19539 sq km respectively.

What country is your selected Place located in?

Nepal

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

Social Development and Promotion Centre has been worked in Karnali and Sudurpaschim provinces since last 12 years. As having experience of working in these two provinces withprovincial government authorities, district government offices as well as local government authorities, we are very much familiar with their administrative and geographic divisions. We have worked in 13 districts out of 19 districts in these provinces. These districts are sub-divided into municipalities depending on population density, road access, health services, education institutes, communication services and access to piped-drinking water. There are total 25 municipalities and 54 rural municipalities or rural municipalities in Karnali whereas there are 1 Sub-Metropolitan City, 33 municipalities and 54 rural municipalities in Sudurpaschim province.

Since these two provinces are lagging in all major development indexes (HDI, stunting, wasting and underweight) as compared with national and other provinces of Nepal. We have done many research related to agriculture practices and dietary practices linking them to nutritional and health status of the women and children in that area. We found food insufficiency linked with low productivity of the land due to landslide, water shortage for irrigation, out-migration and urbanization which lead to low land productivity in these places. It is important that these places require some vision, plan and actions that enhance their quality of life and ensure sustained food security.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Karnaliand Sudurpaschim, two provinces of Nepal are the least developed provinces and remain low in most of the socioeconomic development indicators as compared with other provinces of Nepal. They have diverse culture and linguistic population. About 15.56% of total population of Nepal resides in two provinces with Nepali as the most official spoken language followed by Doteli, and Tharu.

The northern parts of the provinces are occupied by higher mountains, mid parts with hills and southern parts with plain land. Tropical and sub-tropical zones are there in plain terai region, temperate zone and cold zones in hills and high hills, sub artic and artic zones in high mountains. 

Typical meal is cereal based flavoured by lentils, and vegetables with spices. Rice and wheat are generally grown in plain terai region, whereas maize, wheat, barley in lesser fertile hilly regions. In high hills and mountains regions, only potatos are grown. Various types of beans  soyabeans and blackbeans are also grown and consumed in these areas as major crops. Farmers mostly depend on subsistence nature of farming due to poor production technologies, limited access to agriculture inputs and services; and market linkages though reserves the high production potentiality of high value cash crops.

Milk and milk products are produced by small subsistence farmers where each of the households owns one or two cattle (cow and buffalo) for milk purpose. Meat products mostly include poultry and goat meat and pork to lesser extent. Goat and poultry are owned by most of households and their meats are consumed only in special occasions such as national and local festivals, marriage ceremony. Commercial production is very low however is in increasing trend now a days. Commercial production of eggs are far low in this region, therefore, consumption is also low. Given all above facts, there is low dietary diversity and poor dietary intake resulting into food insecurity and malnutrition.

Since most of the parts of these two provinces are covered by high hills and mountains which are less fertile and have arid and dry soils, locally produced foods and crops are insufficient thus depends on import cereals for consumption. Most of the populations are seasonal migrant labor, generally males migrant to India and middle-east countries for income in which their families depend for food, clothing and other necessary items. 

Some policies and assistance to small holders farmers by government and some external donor agencies have been tried since last few years but this still limits smallholders farmers rights, policy interventions as well as productive environment. Policy lobby on behavior of smallholder farmers at province and local government level, focus on improved production technologies, increased access to agriculture input and services, market linkages, good agriculture practices, access to diversified foods, nutrition knowledge and practices are the areas that need to be established and strengthened. 

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Agriculture is the prime occupation of people in Nepal. Country’s one-third Gross Domestic Product is contributed from agriculture and two-third of its population get direct livelihood from this sector. However, the targeted provinces are facing long term threat in agriculture development due to climate change, rapid migration of labor, loss and degradation of lands, unsafe use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, frequent drought/unpredicted rainfall patterns, lack of agriculture inputs and technologies and lack of strong policy to safeguard agricultural sustainability. Agricultural productivity and profitability from farming are low due to low use of modern technologies. The farmers are not being able to exploit comparative advantages properly. As a result, people are reliant on importing a large volume of foods particularly rice, fruits, and vegetables from overseas in recent decades as a result of insufficient production, inadequate availability of food grain, unfair distribution system and limited access and utilization of food at the inter and intra household level. 

Nepal fall under medium Human Development Index(HDI) category with HDI 0.579 in 2018 while Karnali and Sudurpaschim province have low HDI level compared to that of Nepal with HDI 0.469 and 0.478 respectively in 2018. Currently, people seem to have less interest in the agricultural sector because it is less attractive in terms of getting cash and it resulted in migration flow from rural to urban. Most of the household members of these two provinces have migrated abroad for foreign employment.It seems that national and provincial policies also cannot attract new generations towards agriculture and that is why the agriculture sector is being deteriorating day by day. The burden of agriculture is largely left in the hand of women as majority of out-migrated travelers are men. Outmigration in these two provinces in the last one decade has created chronic shortage of young and skilled human resources in agricultural production and agribusiness posing critical threat to ensuring food security. Labor scarcity has led to poor land management and land abandonment. 

Districts of Karnali and Sudurpaschim are highly vulnerable to climate change and their agricultural productivity, food security and people’s livelihood is at continuum threat due to the effects of seasonal flood, landslides, drought, cold-wind and hailstorm. These factors induce frequent shocks and stresses to Nepalese smallholder farmers. Water scarcity led by drying of water sources, exposed to long drought, limited rainfall and increased demand of water for drinking and irrigation are emerging challenges to sustained irrigation, drinking and improved livelihood of small holder farmers.In addition, excessive use and misuse of pesticides and other chemicals are in practicein commercial production system-mainly vegetables and cash crops in Terai and market accessible Hills. 

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Our vision will support small farmers and farmers involved in semi-commercial farming system to uptake knowledge, skills and techniques to improve good agricultural practices.To increase the production of cereals, legumes, vegetables, fruits and livestock, this vision will act on several factors that will assure long term increase in productivity. For this, traditional farming system needs to be shifted to sustainable improved farming system.Our vision will focus on increasing productivity, improving crop variety, development of suitable high yielding varieties of major food crops.Enhancement of production ofwinter and summer legumes with emphasis on tolerance to drought and other stressesand also for the purpose of enriching the soil quality. Raring livestock and mixed farming approaches will be adopted to reduce the climate change and related shocks and stresses of smallholder farmers. Furthermore, farmers will be supported for enhancing their capacity for enabling them to have proper usages ofcomparative advantages of high value and low volume products such as dried vegetables, coffee, vegetable and roots, ginger, and cardamom.A good healthy agriculture ecosystem will be enriched in the small mixed farms so that soil quality can be enriched, production can be enhanced, volume can be optimized, quality can be generated; shocks and stresses can be minimized.

Pockets of lands of smallholder farms will be aimed for organic farming. Vegetables and fruits will be produced organically and supplied for sales in market targeting both national and international consumers. 

Another area of focus will be on marketing and development of value chain. Agriculture in targeted provinces requires modernization, diversification, commercialization and promotion for creating crops to sustain the food productivity and to increase export. Mass production of crops will be promoted for marketing. Fresh fruits and vegetables produced by organic farming will be packaged and labelled and targeted for commercialization. Lobbying for branding, certification and quality control will be assured from provincial and federal level government. Their role in providing subsidy and negotiation with foreign government will be required to establish opportunity in secured and sustained market to import locally grown organic products. 

This vision also aims to engage women in agriculture. Due to immense outmigration of labor, agriculture in Karnali and Sudurpaschim provinces,there is a need of women friendly environment and technologies to increase agriculture productivity in the barren lands and support their economic growth. Youth groups that are likely to go abroad will be targeted for interventions that will deliver messages regarding different opportunities the agriculture sector can offer to them. 

Public private partnership approach in agriculture will be the next strategy adopted by this vision that will ensure developmentin agriculture

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Over 30 year’s period from 2020 to 2050, one possible scenario is for GDP/capita of Nepal to increase substantially and Nepal move towards middle income country status. Nepal will go through the process of agricultural transformation. Traditional and subsistence farming practiced from time immemorial has been the prerogative of old age and uneducated people. The agriculture system will transform from traditional and substance farming to commercial and industrial service system. A food system will be in place that will ensure engagement of farmers, experts (environmentalists, economists, and agriculturalist), public and private sectors, researchers, food industries, local and provincial government and consumers. Efficient and effective interplay between these stakeholders of this system will give continuity to the momentum of improved agriculture and sustained agro-business. Thus envisioned food system will change the economy of the people, improve their quality of life and eventually improve HDI of the targeted provinces from low to medium and Nepal’s HDI from medium to high.

The envisioned food system will ensure the future of agricultural practice transferred to next generation by protecting the environment without causing any harm to the Mother Nature. 

People of Karnali and Sudurpaschim will establish trade of agricultural products with other provinces of Nepal and foreign countries promoting agro-business and agro-entrepreneurship.Agriculture friendly policy and regulation will be inplace. Contribution to Nepal’s GDP will increase from agriculture and higher contribution from this sector than from remittance. Youths will be encouraged to stay in their own country and find and grow their career in agriculture. No land will remain barrened due to lack of labor. 

Dietary practice of people will change to diversified, nutrient-rich, balanced diet practice with locally produced food. 

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

In Nepal, more than 80% people live in rural areas and their main occupation is agriculture. Karnali and Sudurpaschim provinces, agriculture is the prime source of income and they depend on agriculture for livelihood. However, agriculture growth and productivity in these provinces is diminishing due to many reasons. According to Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2016, 22% household are moderately and10% household in Nepal are severely food-insecure. There is food deficit in both rural and urban parts of the country and more than half of the population is facing food insufficiency. The larger proportion of the food demand of people are fulfilled by imported products with questionable quality and induced with high price tags. Despite the need of increasing agriculture productivity in-country, youths who are the potential farmers of future are following the trend of going abroad for labor work. This is largely driven by the poverty and need to earn quick money unlike in agriculture where the return interms of money takes lot of time, hard work and patience. In absence of strong policy to prevent and control such migration, Nepal’s agriculture system is in threat due to loss of productive labor. Likewise, Nepal also suffer from the effects of climate change, degradation of lands, excessive use of chemical fertilizers, disaster risk and lack of strong policy to safeguard agricultural sustainability.

 

Nepal’s topography is mixed-type. Based on geography, Nepal is divided into Mountains, Hills and Terai regions. Due to varied topography, altitude and climatic zones, the cultivation in these three regions also vary drastically. Moreover, the people living in these regions have mixed culture and varied feeding practices. This vision aims to work in two provinces of Nepal namely Karnali and Sudurpaschim province which have combination of mountains, hills and terai areas. 

 Sustained food and nutrition secured Nepal by improving agricultural practices is the 2050 vision. Improving agriculture system is the prime goal by influencing factors like of socio-cultural, political, environment, technology, economy and public and private sector. The system will comprise of:

 Farmers/producers: Farmers are the most essential entity of agriculture system. Farmers groups are there at community level who will be targeted for involvement in this project. 

  • Land: Area of intervention targeted for improving agriculture and farming will be considered from all three regions. Land in Terai region is the most fertile and productive and has increased access to irrigation throughout the year. This region has the potential to produce a variety of crops including rice, wheat, maize, sugarcane, jute and vegetables and fruits.The hills are comprised of slopes and small valleys. Maize and wheat are the two most important crops that this region can offer. It has potentiality of promoting livestock farming.The mountain region has steep and rugges terrain. Only a small portion of land is cultivable but has opportunity to carryout livestock farming. Owing to weather conditions here, cultivation is limited to one crop per year or in optimal condition, three crops in two years. Nonetheless, there are opportunities in these regions to produce diversified agriculture products by utilizing the diverse agro-ecological zones. 
  • Inputs: There are seeds, fertilizers, breeds, ingredients and equipment required as an inputs for agriculture production. Industries and companies that manufacture these materials at local or national level will be brought into the system as a part to be played from public private partnership. For sustained financing, newly established provincial and local level government will be one of the crucial entity. Experts (Agriculturists, Economists and Environmentalists) for training and monitoring the farmers on required skills will also be the part of this system. Like-wise, there are ongoing and pipe-line irrigation projects of donors like USAID, DIFID in collaboration with the government, who could be the potential source of irrigation support at initial stage for this project.
  • Technology: Agriculture sector in Nepal is lacking modern technologies and tools. Innovative and transformative technologies for improved farming, mixed farming, organic farming and at different stages of valuechain from production to delivery of the product to consumer’s plate will be introduced. The purpose will be to increase the productivity, commercialize agricultural product by developing value chain and increase economy.Technologies that introduce appropriate adaptation mechanisms to increase resilience of farmers to climate change will be adopted by this vision. 
  • Policy: There is a void of effective policy that favors the agriculture system. National policies cannot attract new generations towards agriculture and that is why the agriculture sector is being deteriorating day by day. Constant lobbying with ministry of Agriculture and livestock development for policy reform in the areas of food price, subsidies, trade policies and pro-poor policies. 
  • Food Industry (Value chain development): A value chain system will be developed for agriculture products as appropriate where the task of addition of value as the commodities are transferred from the different stages of processing units and actors along the route of producer to consumers. Value adding process will comprise of activities like sorting, cleaning, processing, packaging, transporting, grading etc. thereby aiming to improve competitiveness of agriculture in national and international market and to generate greater value within the country. A value chain system will be developed across cereals, legumes, vegetables, fruits and livestock. Certifying organic agricultural product and seeking international market for trade will be aimed where the products from smallholder farms will be introduced in the value chain system. The actors involved in this chain will act on the grounds of Good Agriculture Practices and as guided by policies and procedures of Government of Nepal. 
  • Consumers: The targeted consumers in this vision are primarily the people in targeted province and also the people all over Nepal. Products grown organically that have comparative advantages interms of low yield and high value will be targeted to be supplied in International market mainly in adjoining and neighboringcountries like India and Bangladesh.  Demand based supply and market establishment will be promoted with consumer’s preferences. Influencing consumer’s preferences of locally grown crops by ensuring quality and price will be immensely promoted for successful marketing at national level. There will be supply of micronutrient rich, diversified food all-round the year to ensure nutrition security. It is important to provide knowledge among the consumers about the quality of food, diet diversification, balanced diet, minimum meal that will influence their choice and eating pattern. Diet transformation from unhealthy to healthy eating practice by improving diversification, balanced and nutrient rich diet. 

 The above mentioned components of improved agriculture systems will only be viable when the following aspects are ensured and fed into the system.

 Women empowerment and engagement into agriculture: Due to job-related out-migration of rural men, women have been forced into additional burden of up taking agricultural responsibility in their shoulder. In many cases, land remain barren as women are not capable enough or cannot manage to contribute her time in agriculture. So, women will be targeted to be engaged into agricultural activities such that it to add to their subsistence as well as increase economy through women-friendly agriculture production technologies and techniques.

  • Capacity building of farmers: Farmers of Nepal need introduction of modern technology for increasing production and in all the stages of value chain for successful business. Farmers will be supplemented with training, monitoring, onsite observation and coaching that will support them in improving their agriculture practice.  
  • Introduction of good agriculture practice for quality production.  
  • Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction techniques will be introduced to adapt, mitigate and recover from shocks and stresses.  Likewise, disease pest resistance varieties and drought resistance varieties will be introduced into the system.
  • Introduce improved production and farm mechanization technologies. 
  • Public private partnership: Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach is necessary in agriculture as the combined and collaborative effort from both public and private sectors can support farmers to transform from subsistence farming to commercial farming. Some of the potential areas of PPP are agriculture education, training, agriculture extensive services, research, seed production, fertilizer production, quality testing and certification, adoption of good agriculture practice and export.   
  • Retention of youths and explore opportunity in agriculture: Youth retention in Nepal and offering opportunity in agriculture is extremely essential for sustained agriculture in Nepal. For this youth centered policies and plans are to be in place. Youth land rights along with land lease and rental to facilitate youth access to land, provision of youth venture capital fund or challenge fund to support start-up capital, establishment of agri-business incubation center, youth enterprise loan, enterprise development support, distance learning for young farmers, involvement of youth in drafting of agriculture related policies and laws could be the ways to induce young people in agriculture. Moreover, communicating the youth that agriculture is an industry either on a small scale or large scale is ever productive, and that the agriculture sector offers huge potential for job creation can radically change their image of agriculture.

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Attachments (4)

VAT Registiration.PDF

Value Added Tax/Personal Account Number registration certificate in Inland Revenue Department of Nepal

Tax Clearance.pdf

Recent Tax Clearance certificate

Social Welfare Council.pdf

Social Welfare Council Registration Certificate

DAO Renewed.pdf

District Administration Office Kathmandu, registration certificate

3 comments

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Comment
Spam
Photo of Nicole Civita
Team

Your vision has similar ideas at its core to ours: Maati-Paani-Asha: Regeneration of Land, Health & Hope in the Face of Extreme Poverty & Climate Crisis  -- I very much like the graphic in your cover image!

Spam
Photo of Manish Choudhari
Team

Thank you Nicole for liking cover image, and your vision is also very interesting. All the best.

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