U.S. Government Continues Agriculture Development Assistance to Nepal
Improved agricultural practices and technologies in partnership with the private sector has helped rural farmers increase agricultural productivity and income generation in the country.
The five-year agricultural project, ‘Knowledge-based Integrated Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition’ (KISAN), by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that concluded this month, worked along those lines. The Program trained 118,183 farming households in 20 districts to increase yields of major crops including rice, maize, lentils and high-value vegetables using improved agricultural and technical inputs. This included helping farmers work with solar water pumps and rice mills, and creating a value chain that linked farmers to buyers of produce as well as seeds. Crop cultivation under KISAN was spread over a total area of 83,881 hectares.
Solar powered water pumps now being used in Nepal were a part of KISAN’s agenda too. Watch our video on solar water pumps in Nepal:
KISAN, also the Nepali word for ‘farmer,’ collaborated with the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) and various private sector actors, and with Winrock International to implement the project in 2013.
Smallholder farmers who were beneficiaries of KISAN were able to increase the yields of major crops like rice and maize, as well as lentils and vegetables by 25 to 158 percent in the past five years, with fiscal year 2013 as the baseline, according to USAID.
“The increased yield was possible through improved agro-inputs such as seeds, fertilisers, technologies, and credit facilities for the farmers. The engagement and investment from various private stakeholders played an important role,” said Phil Broughton, Chief of Party, KISAN.
KISAN II and Seed and Fertiliser Project Launched
USAID’s global Feed The Future (FTF) initiative has now launched two new agricultural projects in Nepal, KISAN II and Nepal Seed and Fertiliser Project for sustainable agriculture.
The new five-year KISAN II project will be implemented by Winrock International along with the Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development. The estimated cost of the programme is US$ 32.75 million.
The Nepal Seed and Fertiliser project comes with a budget of US$ 15 million. Through it, farmers will be encouraged to use improved seeds and integrated soil fertility management technologies approved by the Nepal government. The project will be implemented in 20 districts where KISAN was formerly active, as well as in five other earthquake-affected districts. The project, led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is collaborating with MoAD and the private sector.