Nepal – Kheti Dhading – Vegetables and Sheep
Location : Village Development Committees of Jharlang, Tipling, Sertung, District of Dhading, Nepal
Period: January 2014 – January 2017
Direct Beneficiaries: 2350 Persons
Indirect Beneficiaries: 10000 Persons
Financial partner(s): Fedevaco, Fondation Lord Michelham of Hellingly, Fondation Symphasis ; Foundation Pro-Victimis
Local Partner: FOCUS Nepal, Apeiron
More than 35% of the population in Dhading is poor and belongs to ethnic groups that are socially marginalized. Most inhabitants engage in subsistence farming and have very little income. Potato farming and raising sheep provide the nutritional and economic backbone for the households of north Dhading. However, production is insufficient to cover most of the population’s needs, and food insecurity is common. Moreover, the commercial potential of these products has not been realized. While Dhading is one of the major potato suppliers for Kathmandu’s market, the structures to connect producers with markets are weak or non-existent. As a result, many men leave the region to find employment elsewhere, leaving the burden of the agricultural work on the women of their households. Thus, Dhading provides the opportunity to intervene in order to promote food security, income generation, and increased gender equity by supporting sustainable improvements in the production and sale of potatoes and sheep-products.
The AVCD project will establish systems of sustainable production and commercialization of potatoes, sheep meat and wool, improve the conditions for sheep farming and thereby enhance the living conditions of this population by improving their nutrition, increasing their income and diminishing rural immigration. Participants include 450 families living in the mountainous and isolated regions of 3 municipalities: Jharlang, Tipling et Sertung. The selection of beneficiaries prioritized the most vulnerable – including women and female-headed households, families belonging to marginalized ethnic groups, and low-income farmers with small landholdings.
Specifically, this initiative will:
– Train farmers in improved agricultural techniques.
– Provide participating households with improved varieties of potatoes, tested and selected with the participation of beneficiaries to maximize productivity and compatibility with market demands, and with improved races of sheep.
– Improve inputs and processes in order to promote sustainability of production.
– Establish an optimized infrastructure to improve production, transformation and sale of agricultural products.
– Connect farmers, service providers and local traders.
– Reinforce institutional capacities, particularly regarding group management and farming cooperatives.
To date, the project team has laid a meaningful foundation for the work, including the launch of a baseline assessment that will enable a better understanding of the beneficiaries and the eventual impact of the project. Participants have been selected, groups are being formed, and the team is preparing for the training phase to begin.