Programme Coordinator <br>(Joint-Secretary)
Bhoj Raj Sapkota
In line with the Agricultural Development Strategy (ADS) 2015-2035, Agriculture Sector Development Programme (ASDP) is a follow on programme of High Value Agriculture Project for Hill and Mountain Areas (HVAP) building off its successful experiences and learning. Starting from 2018/19 fiscal year (July 2018), it is funded by the Government of Nepal and International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) as per the financing agreement signed on 4 June, 2018 and being implemented in 10 districts (Jumla, Kalikot, Humla, Mugu, Dolpa, Surkhet, Dailekh, Jajarkot, Salyan and West Rukum) of Karnali province. The Swiss Agency for International Development (SDC) provided technical assistance (TA) for the institutionalization of pluralistic extension services. The thematic areas of agriculture development intervention in this programme are guided by ADS and IFAD’s Country Strategic Opportunity Programme (COSOP). The overall goal of this programme is to contribute to achieve Nepal’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 1 and SDG 2) for no poverty and zero hunger, respectively. The main aim of ASDP is to contribute in reducing poverty and nutrition insecurity amongst women and men in hill and mountain areas of the province with an objective to contribute to sustainable improvement in income generation and food security of smallholders and disadvantaged rural groups involved in commercially-oriented production and marketing systems in selected high value agricultural value chains.
The Karnali province is characterized by the difficult geography, low level of human and infrastructure development indices, dominated by the high level of poverty, social exclusion, food and nutrition insecurity. The Programme Coordinator’s office, located at Birendranagar, Surkhet under the federal Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, is implementing this programme and the provincial and local level governments, number of authorities, institutions of current three tiers governance system are onboard to implement field level activities. Agriculture markets i.e., input supply, service and output are poorly developed to drive market led agriculture production system which is the key entry point to improve negative indicators of development in Karnali province. This province carries high potentiality and comparative advantage for production and marketing of diversified high value agriculture crops, such potentiality once exploited sustainably can bring significant positive changes in socio-economic condition of people within a short period of time.
Sustainable value chain development for high value crops’ demand in bringing number of stakeholders together for collaboration, cooperation and coordination and make them to function harmoniously, thus it is a pluralistic approach of agriculture development. The programme will further work on enabling more effective business relationships between agribusinesses and producer groups, co-operatives and building the capacity of these actors across the different value chains. Working in remote areas with poor people to reduce poverty and improve food and nutrition security is a challenging task however, holistic approach for value chain development, previous learnings, and support from different stakeholders can really bring significant positive change at the end of this programme. The ASDP team is fully dedicated to make this happen and expect cooperation and support from all the concerned stakeholders. Thank you!