Despite an improvement in its economic situation, Nepal remains amongst the poorest countries in the world, and the second poorest in South Asia. With 81% of Nepalese living in rural areas, agriculture plays a key role in the country. The sector employs 72% of the population and represents 27% of its GDP. Despite these figures, Nepal remains a net food importer and most of the agriculture is still subsistence oriented.
Some of the major impediments to the development of agriculture include: low productivity, underexploited value chains and commercialization, and difficulty to access markets. In addition to these shortcomings, Nepal is one of the world's most vulnerable countries in the world in regard to climate change. Tackling those issues is vital to improving the life of the Nepalese people and to achieving sustainable and inclusive growth.
The Agriculture Development Strategy (ADS) was officially approved in 2015 with a 20-year vision to drive the transformation of the agriculture sector in Nepal over the next two decades, “from a society primarily based on agriculture to one that derives most of its income from the service and industry sectors” (ADS, 2010). The ADS aims to move towards a self-reliant, sustainable, competitive, and inclusive agricultural sector that drives economic growth and job creation, and contributes to improved livelihoods and food and nutrition security.
This project aims to contribute to the reduction of poverty, to improve food and nutrition security and climate resilience, and to strengthen the competitiveness of the agriculture sector, to generate higher and more equitable income in Nepal’s rural areas.
DT Global will support Nepal's provincial governments in the formulation of policies related to agriculture and agribusiness development. Similarly, further support will be provided to the Federal Ministry on developing the capacity of policy analyses through the application of statistical and econometric tools. With Nepal designated as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, our project is assisting in the formulation of an organic agriculture policy and contributing to a green economy.
DT Global aims to provide policy and governance support to the Federal and Provincial government, as well as select a small number of municipalities in each of the provinces, to demonstrate improved planning and M&E processes at the local level.
The project approach provides support and engagement in six key areas:
- Development and roll out of a communications strategy. Communication and visibility are crucial for the ADS to ensure provincial and local ownership and a full understanding of the programme and its expected results.
- Governance and policies. Given the multi-stakeholder nature of ADS, effective stakeholder coordination is critical for a successful achievement of results. The program will provide support to ADSCS and strengthen its capacity for overall coordination of the ADS implementation in relation to other ongoing programmes.
- Agricultural Planning. Agricultural planning is vital to prepare and formulate periodic and annual plans adapted to the ADS. The capacity of staff for planning and budgeting needs to be strengthened at federal, provincial and local levels.
- Monitoring and Evaluation. Developing capacities at all levels to design and implement an efficient and effective monitoring and evaluation system is of utmost importance to ensure the successful implementation of the ADS and the transformation of the agriculture sector over time.
- Human resources development. Ensuring efficient support in capacity development for Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and other Ministries involved in the ADS implementation as well as government institutions at provincial and municipality levels is essential for the successful roll-out of the ADS.
- Sector Budget Support. Sector budget support is needed to help ensure that the country meets its conditions to continue to be eligible for assistance. Support will be given to ensure that the Government of Nepal has the capacity to benefit from EU budget support in agriculture.
OUR GOALS AND RESULTS
To date, the project has provided capacity development to provincial and local level staff in agricultural planning and supported improved monitoring and evaluation practices. DT Global has also provided policy support for key issues identified by the ADS, including extension and research, rice production and importation, and seed production. DT Global also developed a communication strategy to increase the visibility of the ADS roll-out. began development of farmer registration software, and developed specific training to improve the reliability of the agricultural data informing future policy and planning.
DT Global aims to achieve the following goals:
- Overall improvement of the agricultural planning process.
- Overall improvement of the M&E system and development of a database for the agricultural sector.
- Stronger coordination and increased communication between the provincial and local level governments.
- Policy level support in key areas of work including agricultural extension, research, and agribusiness.
- The successful experiences from the pilot municipalities are modeled and channeled into federal and provincial discussions for replication and scaling-up.