The European Union (EU) funded 'Agriculture and Nutrition Extension (ANE) project launched on Friday aims at improving the food security and nutrition of 20,000 households identified as the poorest and vulnerable in Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Rukum and Surkhet districts of Nepal including 40,000 additional households in the Barisal district of Bangladesh.
International Development Enterprises Nepal (IDE-Nepal) has joined hands with seven other partners — CIMMYT, WorldFish, IRRI, Save The Children, CEAPRED, BES and CODEC to run the project. IDE successfully submitted the ANE project proposal as part of a global competitive call. The EU has provided an assistance of Euro3,644,677 (approx Rs 400.8 million) for the three-year project.
The decision to support the project comes in the wake of the successful completion of the European Union Food Facility Project (EUFF), which was implemented in eighteen districts of mid and far western Nepal through a total contribution of Euro23.5 million. Several partners of the newly launched initiative had been mobilised under the Food Facility to carry out similar activities in Humla, Mugu, Rukum, Rokpa and Banke districts from January 2010 to October 2011.
The project will work in two terai districts of Rupandehi and Nawalparsi selected because they are part of a technology development hub being implemented by the International Centres and NARC and two hill districts Rukum and Surkhet were selected for their suitability for a programme to develop exports and linkages for vegetable seeds between Nepal to Bangladesh.
One of the major goals of the project is to develop market linkages between rural and urban areas and promote exchange of expertise and technologies between agricultural and research institutions in Nepal and Bangladesh, both at the national and grassroots levels.
The project activities seek to disseminate training on new and emerging agricultural technologies to farmers helping them to step up productivity and increase their annual incomes. The project will expose them to new agriculture technologies based on market development approaches and the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA). The training component has also encompassed public and private institutions.
The project also aims at conducting nutrition education, monitoring and counselling for the poor, rural and urban households for increasing the consumption of nutritious foods.
Women and children in both countries, who have been facing nutritional problems, will be made the target beneficiaries of the project. The project seeks to help 60,000 households to increase their annual income by at least 75 Euros from production and sales of high- value agricultural commodities. Similarly, 1000 households are expected to increase their annual income by Euro100 from seed sales.
Overall, the project seeks to help 60,000 poor and excluded household – 40,000 in Bangladesh and 20,000 in Nepal – to increase their income and nutritional status.