Tag Archives: Sustainable development

Transforming Agriculture in Nepal

agriculture in nepal

Photo Credit: Sanot Adhikari

Written by: Dinesh Panday

In some years, the government declares the subsidy on quality seed to ensure food security through increased productivity but in the whole fiscal year there is neither mechanism developed nor execution.

Similarly, with regard to access to credit, the so called Agriculture Development Bank changed its policy to invest in non-agricultural portfolio and some other commercial bank like, Mega Bank which has alternative name for plough to power (to promote small scale business), but speaking truly it’s no more than slogan.

There are several instances of such nature. Weak policy formulation, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and revision system together with inconsistency in agriculture is an important issue which has created frustration among farm families and out migration of youth from rural areas.

Agriculture in Nepal is characterized by low productivity which is mainly due to predominance of traditional farming practices, heavy reliance on weather conditions and poor infrastructure development. Agriculture has been one of the pillars of the development since I was a child. On an average, in spite of two decades of investment, there is only decimal (about 3 percent) progress in Nepalese agriculture.

Government has been developing Agriculture Development Strategy (ADS) to replace Agricultural Perspective Plan (APP) from 2015 with the concept of agricultural transformation, but the transformation process is not getting momentum due to small uneconomic farm size, resource constraints, inadequate infrastructure development, lack of alternative employment opportunities, lack of technical knowledge and business skills among farmers and inadequate policy supports.

In this regard, here I am presenting some of the major ways to transform Nepalese agriculture to achieve much higher productivity, competitiveness, inclusiveness, and sustainability while making it more resilient to climate change impacts, which is also a road map of ADS.

Public Private Partnership

Coordination is one of the widely talked word and terminology in Nepal but it has failed almost all the time. The contribution of the private sector has been grossly overlooked. Hence, there is a need to create conducive environment which promote private sector involvement in agriculture. Moreover, it needs to enhance a favorable environment for a broad and pluralistic participation and resource coordination amongst all potential service providers and beneficiaries in partnership to adapt and modify technologies to best meet its farmer’s requirement. So we need more public and private research to work hand in hand for farmers.

 Value Chain Approach

High value-added agricultural products in order to have a high return help to open up new markets, and even build their own brand, and promote farm diversification. Nepal is already member of WTO and other organizations which increases the competition between domestic and foreign products and entrepreneurs to satisfy consumers from their products and services. The association of actors in agribusiness chains helps to realize economies of scale and gain market power of Nepalese agricultural products. This has been observed explicitly in poultry, dairy, tea, cardamom, ginger, and fresh vegetable sectors.

Commercialization and Competitive Advantage

Investment of resources, horizontal and vertical linkages between value chain actors, and policy supports help to commercialize certain sector of agriculture industry. The involvement of farmers and resources invested in these sectors and outputs generated from them provide competitive advantage for import substitution and export promotion. Commercialization of agriculture, being a national goal, has been receiving top priority in policies, plans, and programmes of the government. However, such efforts have been in project mode not in policy shift mode. Such projects which are currently in implementation include Project for Agricultural commercialization and Trade (PACT), High Value Agricultural Project (HVAP), etc.

Agricultural Mechanization

Our agriculture is heavily dependent on human and animal power which constitutes 78 percent of the total farm power, while mechanical sources contribute only 22 percent, also one of the factors responsible for high cost of production. Agricultural mechanization, which includes improvement of simple farm tools and implements like sickle and hoe to use of power tillers, harvesters, planters and seed drills etc., has become the need of the day where concept of collective farming or block farming could be appropriate to make huge plots. Recently, government officials have developed Contract Farming Guideline focusing on the import of modern farming machinery, including discounts on VAT and other taxes. All of these particularly automation and use of ICTs will also add glamour to farming and attract more youth in agriculture bychanging their perception into an exciting and innovative industry.

Capacity building and Farmer Outreach

The current prevailing simple mechanistic delivery system of training is not enough to support farming. Limited numbers of experts (JTA to officers) are trying hard to teach the huge number of farmers and generate appropriate technology. In the field, one front line extension worker has to look after more than 1300 farm families. More ever, major of our technology transfer materials are outdated and more recent publication are in doner agencies preference language than in Nepali.

There is also need to have better coordination among training providing institutions. Providing agribusiness or entrepreneurship training to remittance recipient households and returnee migrants can play vital role in commercializing agriculture at faster rate. Hence, the government should develop supportive policy for development of human resources to improve farmers’ livelihoods, support resource sustainability, ensure national food security and promote agribusiness and trade.

To conclude that it would not be wrong as Nepal’s agricultural policies are made without their serious engagement which was also stressed in recently held program called ‘Nepal Economic Summit 2014 – Destination Nepal for Investment.’ It is high time for the government of Nepal to look into these issues critically and get the policies implemented properly so that Nepal can once again entrench as an agriculturally self-sufficient country where farmers feel secure and embrace farming as means of business and not merely a way of living.

Call for Application: APYF 2013 on Mountain issues and Post 2015 Development Agenda, Kathmandu, Nepal

Picture Source: http://icimod.org

Through its Asia-Pacific Mountain Network (APMN), the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has been engaging youth and building their capacity to bring about positive changes in society through several different initiatives. Since it began in 2009, the global membership of the Youth Engagement in Sustainable Mountain Development (Y4SMD) initiative has grown to 5,000 members, a majority of which are from ICIMOD’s regional member countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. In 2010, ICIMOD started organizing youth forums in member countries to build the technical capacity and leadership skills of youth in the region as well as to enhance their knowledge on the most burning issues in mountain development. The Asia-Pacific Youth Forum on Climate Actions and Mountain Issues in 2011 and the Asia Pacific Graduates’ Youth Forum on Green Economy in 2012 were expanded to include the entire Asia-Pacific region, and the Global Youth Forum on Mountain Issues and Sustainable Actions in 2012 held in conjunction with the Rio+20 summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, included participants from around the globe. As the preparation and follow-up of the Rio+20 process, In 2012/13 ICIMOD organized a series of National Youth Forums on Green Solutions in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan, ran awareness campaigns in Nepal, Pakistan, and other countries by mobilizing local youth initiatives and ICIMOD Youth Ambassadors. ICIMOD has partnered with more than two dozen regional, national, and global institutes in promoting youth activities and have organized several e-conferences, Climate Cafés, knowledge sharing workshops, the Earth Debate, capacity building events, and promoted networking-advocacy on the sideline of important international events. Some of the youth ambassadors were sent to Rio+20 conference in Brazil, the UNFCCC COP 18 in Doha, and the 2nd Asia Pacific Adaptation Forum in Bangkok to advocate for mountain issues in the context of ongoing debates on  sustainable development and climate change adaptation.

Building on the success of these ventures, ICIMOD is now preparing for the Asia Pacific Youth Forum 2013 on Mountain issues and Post 2015 Development Agenda, which will take place in Kathmandu, Nepal from 30 September to 4 October 2013. The event will bring together young scientists, early career professionals, young politicians and youth initiative leaders from the region and develop their knowledge on mountain issues and the Post-2015 Development Agenda as an input towards global processes on the development of the Post-2015 Development Agenda .

Asia Pacific Youth Forum 2013 will bring together 40 participants from more than 15 countries who are engaged in sustainability issues. With technical support from several leading institutions, the five-day programme will include capacity building and knowledge exchange sessions, leadership exercises, and excursions to nearby environmental projects.

This forum has been made possible with support from the  the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC)the Consortium for the Sustainable Development of the Andean Eco-region (CONDESAN), and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

Who can apply?

Youth between the ages of 18 and 29 from the Asia-Pacific region with an academic or a professional degree in related fields are eligible to apply. Those with demonstrated leadership in sustainable development issues are strongly encouraged to apply.

Sponsorship?

Selected participants will be provided with International airfare, accommodation, food and local transport.

Selection

The names of selected participants will be posted on the event page andFacebook page. Selected participants will also be notified via email.

Selected participants will be required to present a copy of their valid passport/national identity card from their stated country of origin. Inability to do so will result in disqualification from the programme.

How to apply?

Please click here for the application form.

Deadline for Application: 10 September 2013

For further information, please write to,  Event Focal Point: Smita Ghimire

 

….and here is Shortlisted Candidates [13 September 2013]

Post Source: http://www.icimod.org/?q=11492

Call for Application: 2013 SEED Awards for Sustainable Development

logoThe SEED Initiative has launched a new call for applications for the 2013 SEED Awards to support entrepreneurs for sustainable development.

If you are a start-up entrepreneur, women-led enterprise or have an idea to integrate social and environmental benefits, solving pressing local issues or making significant contributions to mitigating climate change or if you need support to help establish and grow your enterprise, then you can apply for this funding.

The SEED Awards 2013 receives support from the European Union, the German Federal Ministry for theEnvironment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the government of Flanders, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the international law firm Hogan Lovells.

For the 2013 cycle, SEED will make available up to:

  • 15 SEED Awards to enterprises in EthiopiaMoroccoMozambiqueNamibiaTanzania and Uganda;
  • 5 SEED Awards for enterprises in South Africa;
  • 3 SEED Awards for South African enterprises in the provinces of Free State, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal;
  • 10 SEED Low Carbon Awards for enterprises in Colombia, India, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam;
  • 2 SEED Gender Equality Awards, for enterprises in other countries (except countries that are OECD or EU members).

You will be able to apply for a 2013 SEED Award if your enterprise:

  • demonstrates entrepreneurship and innovation
  • delivers economic, social and environmental benefits
  • has the intention and potential to become financially sustainable
  • is a partnership between different stakeholder groups
  • is locally driven or locally led
  • has potential for scale up or significant replication
  • is in the early stages of implementation
  • is in a country with a developing or emerging economy

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, June 12th, 2013, 23:59 Central European Time (CET).

 

For more information, visit this link.

Call for Participation: 32nd International Vegetable Training Course, Thailand

Enhance your technical, scientific and managerial vegetable production skills

32nd International Vegetable Training Course
16 September – 6 December 2013
AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center
East and Southeast Asia
Bangkok, Thailand

Download the course brochure
Download the application form
For more information, or to register: info-eastasia@worldveg.org

AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center’s 32nd International Vegetable Training Course aims to enhance technical, scientific and managerial skills of the participants to contribute to sustainable development of their countries through increased production and consumption of health-promoting vegetables. The training emphasizes advanced and sustainable vegetable production and postharvest technologies, farmer education, marketing, and human health and nutrition. In addition, the training will enhance awareness and understanding of emerging global development issues and technologies.

Post Source: http://avrdc.org/?page_id=1439

Call for Papers: The Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy and the Environment 2013, Japan

ACSEE_Banner_MainThe International Academic Forum in conjunction with its global partners is proud to announce the Third Annual Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy and the Environment, to be held from June 6-9 2013, at the Ramada Osaka, Osaka, Japan.

The conference theme is “Sustainability, Society and the Environment: Searching for Synergies, including the following streams: 

Environmental Sustainability & Human Consumption: Food and Water, Hunger and Thirst
Environmental Sustainability & Human Consumption: Waste
Environmental Sustainability & Environmental Management: Freshwater, Oceans and Seas
Environmental Sustainability & Environmental Management: Land Use & Misuse
Environmental Sustainability & Environmental Management: Atmosphere and AirCultural Sustainability: Protecting, Preserving and ConservingEconomic Sustainability: Environmental Challenges and Economic Growth
Economic Sustainability: Sustainable Businesses and CSR

Social Sustainability & Social Justice
Social Sustainability, War and Peace
Social Sustainability & Sustainable Living

Energy: Environmental Degradation
Energy: Renewable Energy and Environmental Solutions
Energy: Energy Economics and Ecological Economics

Abstract Submissions Deadline Extended April 15 2013To submit a paper through the online system, please click on the submission

Call for Papers: 2013 First International Conference on Global Food Security, The Netherlands

Global-Food-Security 2013The First International Conference on Global Food Security, 29 September – 2 October 2013, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands aims to deliver state-of-the-art analysis, inspiring visions and innovative research methods arising from interdisciplinary research. Join us in this exciting opportunity to ensure that the best science is garnered to support the emergence of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Achieving global food security whilst reconciling demands on the environment is the greatest challenge faced by mankind. By 2050 we will need to feed 9 billion people. The urgency of the issue has led to huge scientific strides forwards; making it difficult to keep up with the rapidly expanding volume of scientific research.

Abstracts for oral and poster presentations are invited on the below topics and should be submitted using the  Online Submission System by 10 May 2013.

Topics List

  • Global and local analyses of food security
  • Enabling trade and market policies for local and global food security
  • Sustainable intensification of food production systems
  • Novel ways of feeding 9 billion
  • Learning from the past to understand the future
  • Land sparing, land sharing and trade-offs
  • Agricultural production as feedstock for renewables
  • Lost harvest and wasted food
  • Nutritional security
  • Labelling, certifying and striving for quality and sustainability of food production

Submit your abstract here »

 

For more details: http://www.globalfoodsecurityconference.com/