Agriculture in Nepal has long been based on subsistence farming, particularly in the hilly regions where peasants derive their living from fragmented plots of land cultivated in difficult conditions. Once an exporter of rice, Nepal now has a food deficit. Agriculture contributes about 33.7% to Nepal’s $19 billion economy and employs around 66 per cent of the active labour. Two major requirements for development of agriculture sector are adequate investment and policy conducive to growth. Farmers face constraints such as lack of irrigation facility, low technological advancements and usage, loans, minimal extension services etc.
USAID funded Agricultural Innovation Partnership – Nepal (AIP-Nepal) program led by Cornell University and Sathguru Management Consultant will help in enhancing the capacity of Agriculture Universities in Nepal by creating centers for dissemination of technologies. AIP Nepal will support enterprise development through education, research and extension initiatives that will improve the nutritional quality, safety and availability of Nepal’s food supply chain. Specific activities that improve agriculture productivity among small farmers, enhance engagement of small enterprises, foster economic growth and improve self-reliance through agriculture and food value chain opportunities.
The main aim of the proposed AIP-Nepal is to sensitize various stakeholders and explore possibilities of building capacity and partnerships in agricultural research, education and extension, to replicate some of the successful models adopted by their counterparts in India and other countries. The project, focusing on the demand from the agriculture sector (industry, academia and research), will integrate efforts from all stakeholders through a collaborative partnership framework for inclusive development and effective knowledge exchange.
The project aims to develop industry-ready professionals and skilled human capacity at academic, research and enterprise level to cater to the needs of all critical focus points in the agriculture value chain.
Main objectives are:
· Facilitate in creating a strategy for AFU and provide exposure to policy planners in institutional building
· Train selected faculty to address the emerging needs in agricultural education and research and extension
· Facilitate the development of appropriate curricula (certificate and diploma programs) for sustainable agricultural production
· Need based intervention to develop a strategy to integrate their research with farmers’ needs and national extension system
- Sathguru’s role
Sathguru represents Cornell’s interest exclusively in South Asia and has helped Cornell implement many projects in this region. Sathguru is the coordinating partner for AIP Nepal project and serves as the crucial link that connects AFU with Cornell and other public and private sector institutions. Sathguru will provide strategic guidance that regionally relevant, technical assistance and support in project management to help AFU implement the initiatives of this project.