A new programme launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is set to benefit thousands of rural farmers in Nepal.
The ‘Cooperative Market Development Programme’ uses an innovative approach to build the capacity of farmers as well as add greater value to their products. The programme is being implemented in partnership with the Government of Nepal.
The Government of Nepal and UNDP will together contribute $7million to the five year initiative.
The programme aims to establish and operationalise a cooperative market chain of fruits and vegetables to increase the livelihood and income of farmers in Nepal.
Renaud Meyer, the UNDP Country Director for Nepal commented:
The UNDP reports that the programme will focus on six districts near the capital of Kathmandu: Dhading, Nuwakot, Kavre, Lalitpur, Makawanpur and Chitwan.
“This will directly benefit thousands of Nepali farmers over the next five years, through crucial support in modernizing their production and market chain,”
“The active engagement and financing from the Ministry [of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation] shows strong commitment, leadership and ownership of the programme”
Despite having a large number of cooperative groups, the areas and communities around Kathmandu have poor infrastructure, lack of transport and storage facilities and inadequate access to market information. The areas are also subject to regulatory and institutional bottlenecks.
One of the key aims of the initiative is to improve infrastructure in the area.
In addition, the programme will enhance quality, quantity and consistency of the supply of fruit and vegetables as well as training farmers on new techniques and building their marketing and institutional capacity.
Gopi Nath Mainali, Secretary, Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation commented:
“There is a huge market potential in this sector in and around the Kathmandu valley. This market also offers significant growth potential for the benefit of local people and farmers, as around one third of the supplies in this sector still come from outside Nepal,”
The UNDP estimates that 14,000 farmers and their families will benefit from the initiative.
The programme will contribute to Nepal’s implementation of Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2 on ending poverty in all its forms, ending hunger and achieving food security.
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Photo credit: Anwar Hossain