Sahaj Phase 2 launched to strengthen support for agri-businesses in Province 1The project will run until November 2024, and will provide financial and technical support towards services and innovation for agri-businesses in Province 1.
The Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative of Province 1 and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation organised a coordination event in Biratnagar to launch Phase 2 of Nepal Agricultural Market Development Programme.
The programme, also known as Sahaj, is implemented by a consortium of Swisscontact as the lead agency and the Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development. The project will run until November 2024, and will provide financial and technical support towards services and innovation for agri-businesses in Province 1.
Ram Bahadur Magar, the state minister for land management, agriculture and cooperative of Province 1, said the project will play an important role in the commercialisation of agriculture in the province.
“There are plenty of agricultural commodities with export potential in our province and I believe that the project will have a crucial role in export promotion,” said Magar.
Coralie Blunier, programme manager for Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, said, with both continuity and progress in mind, this second phase will focus on strengthening forward market linkages and expanding segments of the vegetables, maize, cardamom and dairy value chains.
“This is expected to unlock the potential small and medium agri-businesses in Province 1 by making them innovative to grow and increase the production and trade of agricultural goods in both domestic and international markets.”
The four-year programme started in December 2020 after signing the bilateral agreement between the governments of Nepal and Switzerland.
“The programme is designed to foster overall agriculture commercialisation. Agricultural imports have grown rapidly in Nepal over the last 10 years; this project aims to fill more of this demand from Nepali producers. At the same time, the project will look for opportunities to export and create innovative products for the domestic market,” said Rick van der Kamp, Team Leader of Nepal Agricultural Market Development Programme.