Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Agriculture initiatives to reduce poverty, hunger across western Nepal

Ministry of Agricultural Development, Health and Population, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Bank jointly launched two new food security initiatives: the Knowledge-based Integrated Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition Project (KISAN) and the Agriculture and Food Security Project (AFSP).
The projects will work in the west, mid-west, and far-west regions of the country.
Knowledge-based Integrated Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition Project is USAID’s five-year, a $20.4-million Feed the Future initiative that will improve food security, increase income, and diversify diets for 160,000 disadvantaged rural households, for about one million rural Nepalis, across 20 districts through integrated agriculture and nutrition activities.
Likewise, Agriculture and Food Security Project, a five-year project, will be implemented by the government line ministries and aims at improving food security situation of 150,000 households of poor and marginal groups by increasing agricultural production, increasing livelihood options and household income, and improving utilisation of food.
The recently approved Multi Sector Nutrition Plan and recently prepared Agriculture Development Strategy will guide the future direction of agriculture, food and nutrition security, said chair of the programme and vice chair of National Planning Commission (NPC), Dr Rabindra Kumar Shakya on the launching seremony here today.
He emphasised the need for increased investment and improved coordination for the optimum development of the sectors.
Speaking on the occasion, US ambassador Peter Bodde said that both the projects reflect the US government’s commitment to food security through President Obama’s Feed the Future and Global Health Initiatives. “Instead of simply delivering food aid, these Initiatives place Nepal and other countries in the lead to promote inclusive agricultural growth and improve the nutrition of women and children,” he said, applauding the government for identifying their priorities and devising their own plans, which both projects will support.
Similarly country manager of the World Bank for Nepal Tahseen Sayed reiterated the need for cooperation between the two ministries for the success of the projects and AFSP’s alignment with the government priorities. The two projects are part of larger global initiatives and are unique in that both feature integrated agriculture and nutrition approaches to combat food insecurity and chronic malnutrition.

The Knowledge-based Integrated Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition (KISAN) Project is funded by the USAID and is part of the Presidential Feed the Future (FTF) Initiative in Nepal. It seeks to sustainably reduce poverty and hunger in Nepal by achieving inclusive growth in the agriculture sector, increasing income of farm families and improving nutritional status, especially of women and children in over 160,000 households. USAID will implement the project from 2013-2018 with Winrock International in collaboration with five organisations:  Antenna Foundation Nepal; Development Project Service Center (DEPROSC); Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy, Research, Extension and Development (CEAPRED); Nutrition Promotion and Consultancy Services (NPCS); and Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH). KISAN will impact 1 million Nepalis in Kapilbastu, Palpa, Agarkhachi, Gulmi, Banke, Bardiya, Surkhet, Dailekh, Jajarkot Dang, Salyan, Rukum, Rolpa, Pyuthan, Baitadi, Kailali, Kanchanpur, Doti, Accham, Dadheldhura.

Agriculture and Food Security Project (AFSP)
It is funded by the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) that is a global programme working in 18 countries with $1.3 billion in grant funds provided by nine G20 members and the Gates Foundation. The US is largest single donor to the fund. It aims at improving food security situation of poor and marginal groups of population by increasing agricultural production and productivity, increasing livelihood options and household income, and improving utilisation of food. The project has four main components: technology development and adaptation; technology dissemination and adoption; food and nutritional status enhancement and project management. The priority target groups of the project are small and marginal farmers, landless households, indigenous population, and Dalits. To be implemented in 19 hill and mountain districts of the mid- and far-western development regions of Nepal – Darchula, Baitadi, Bajhang, Bajura, Humla, Jumla, Dolpa, Mugu, Kalikot, Surkhet, Dailekh, Jajarkot, Salyan, Rukum, Rolpa, Pyuthan, Accham, Dadheldhura and Doti – it is will be implemented by Ministry of Agriculture Development with support from Ministry of Health and Population, with monitoring and supervision provided by the World Bank.

No comments: