Nepal – Kheti Rasuwa – Vegetables and Goats
Location: Village Development Committees of Dandagaun, Thulogaun and Ramche, District of Rasuwa, Nepal
Period: 2013 – 2017
Direct Beneficiaries: 2000 Persons
Local Partner: Group of Helping Hands (SAHAS)
More than 54% of households in Rasuwa live below the poverty line; making the access to basic services, resources, and infrastructure is very limited. Agriculture is the primary economic activity, yet most families have only very small land holdings and produce less food than necessary to ensure their own food security year-round. Additionally, almost 70% of the population belongs either to the Tamang, marginalized ethnic group or the Dalit, the lowest social caste. As in much of rural Nepal, a lack of infrastructure and processes to improve and assure agricultural productivity drives many men and youth out of the region in search of work – leaving a disproportionate burden on women.
The Kheti Rasuwa project supports 305 households in increasing the production and eventual sale of vegetables and goats, in a manner that is ecological and sustainable. Specifically, participants, in particular women from marginalized ethnic groups, will:
- Gain improved inputs, knowledge, and skills to increase their production of key agricultural products, particularly goats and vegetables with high community-demand and market potential;
- Acquire and apply skills in ecological farming and agri-business;
- Obtain and use infrastructures that promote sustainability and efficiency;
- Connect with local commercial stakeholders in order to market products;
- Gain skills in management of farm groups and cooperatives;
To date, we have successfully conducted orientations at the district- and Village Development Committee (VDC) levels, as well as 26 of the communities therein. To date, we have successfully conducted orientations at the district and village levels (with the Village Development Committee, VDC), specifically in 26 communities. These workshops introduced the projects to political figures, local leaders, and more than 100 farmers, and yielded insight into local needs and desires regarding crop and breed selection. To augment this input, the team is currently conducting a technical study to identify the potato variety that best meets community need and market opportunity. Nearly 343 farmers have received improved seeds and selected farmers’ groups have received improved goat breeds (distribution is on-going). Additionally, the team formed groups in a manner emphasizing regularity and group savings, helping to create strong, well-informed groups for intra-community support and lasting change.
In the coming months, we will expand seed distribution and train participants on crop intensification and intercropping, ecological home gardening, and commercial agro-enterprise development. A diversity block will be established to support local bean varieties. Treatment services for goats will be created and instructions given to improve management practices in their housing, feeding, health, and breeding. In the second part of the year, more infrastructures will be built, including greenhouses and polytunnels, vermicomposting sheds, goat dipping tanks for pest control, and small irrigation schemes.