Nepal and UNDP pact will benefit 14,000 farmersThe government of Nepal and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Friday signed an agreement to implement the ‘Cooperative Market Development Programme’ that will benefit 14,000 farmers in six districts.
The government of Nepal and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Friday signed an agreement to implement the ‘Cooperative Market Development Programme’ that will benefit 14,000 farmers in six districts.
Ministry of Co-operatives and Poverty Alleviation Joint Secretary Raghuram Bista and UNDP Country Director Renaud Meyer signed the agreement on Friday at an event held at Singha Durbar, Kathmandu.
The accord aims to establish and start co-operative market chain of fruits and vegetables to increase farmers’ income and other livelihood opportunities.
Under the agreement, the government of Nepal and UNDP will contribute $5 million and $2 million respectively to the five-year joint initiative to be implemented in six districts in and around the Kathmandu Valley: Dhading, Nuwakot, Kavre, Lalitpur, Makawanpur and Chitwan, says a UNDP statement.
The programme aims to increase quality, quantity and consistency of the supply of fruit and vegetable production in selected districts through infrastructure development, training and support on farming techniques, marketing and institutional capacity building.
Ministry of Co-operatives and Poverty Alleviation Secretary Gopi Nath Mainali said, “There is a huge market potential in this sector in and around 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.
“This project will tap the potential we have in the fruit and vegetable market and help boost local farmers’ income and the economy.”
Studies show while there are several co-operative-based farmers that have been engaged in fruit and vegetable farming and trade, their growth is hindered by a number of factors such as poor infrastructure, including transport and storage facility, inadequate access to market information and regulatory and institutional bottlenecks, the UNDP statement adds.
The programme aims to directly benefit over 14,000 farmers from the six districts through interventions including training on production enhancement, branding, marketing, farming, storage facility and processing and construction of 90 collection centers at the municipal and ward levels, UNDP said.