According to the National Living Standard Survey conducted in 2004 some 31% Nepalese still live below extreme poverty line. Economic growth, increased levels of production, such as modern industrial technology which aids more production provides access and relief to the poor helping the poor to combat poverty. Investments in modernising agriculture production and increasing its yields are one of the best efforts to reduce poverty.
However, food insecurity and poverty, predominantly in rural areas exacerbated by the soaring food and fuel prices, global economic downturn, volatile markets and effects of climate change increases the vulnerability of the poor and has resurfaced as the foremost development concern.
Nevertheless, along with other agriculture production progresses, the dairy sector in Nepal provides a beacon of hope to millions of rural poor livestock crop integrated farmers. Experts estimate that despite the sluggish economic growth in the last ten years, the dairy sector is poised to grow at more than 10% annually. Approximately 2-3 million farmers and their families are involved in the dairy sector directly and therefore, the contribution of dairy sector to national employment rate is considerable. To support the growing dairy sector further, Practical Action Nepal Office, with financial support of UKaid through Department for International Development (DFID) is implementing a project - MASF (Market Access for Smallholder Farmers) - Dairy Component in 30 VDC's and two municipalities of four districts in Nepal - Chitwan, Tanahu, Gorkha and Dhading for two years with a budget of £1,000,000. MASF Project is implemented by a consortium comprising Practical Action and International Development Enterprise (IDE) Nepal funded by UKaid through DFID. Practical Action is responsible for implementing the Dairy component of MASF whereas IDE Nepal is focussed on the agriculture component for a combined total budget of £2,000,000.
The overall objective of the project is to reduce poverty of smallholder farmers in Nepal and its specific objective is to increase sustainable income of 10,000 smallholder dairy farmers within two years.
The project prioritises to develop an appropriate access to services and inputs for women smallholder dairy farmers to decrease their drudgery which provides more time for other income generating activities, increases opportunities to engage effectively with market actors and provide increased incomes that can be used for household benefit. Further, a wide variety of opportunities for livelihoods have emerged from the dairy sector supporting small and micro enterprises in rural areas which will provide employment opportunities to the poor.
Expected outputs and activities
Smallholder farmer's capacity built for efficient production and effective market access (Building Capacity of Farmers)
Under output 1, some of the key activities will be to train and build capacities of field technicians, community mobilisers, smallholder dairy farmers, existing agro vets, para vets and Village Animal Health Workers (VAHWs). Along with the training a Farmer Field School (FSS) or model farms will be established to demonstrate and pilot innovative extension services for the target groups and Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC), District Livestock Services Office (DLSO), District Agriculture Development Office and District Forest Office (DFO) and other government line agencies.
Inclusive and pro-poor value chain developed for providing economic opportunities to smallholder farmers (Private Sector Development)
Under output 2, participatory workshops will be conducted to produce a joint action plan and provide other kinds of technical training as per need and arise basis. This will create better institutional management of key local milk collection, storage, processing and sales facilities (sole proprietorship, cooperative of community owned) enhancing the access to markets and services for farmers.
An improved policy and enabling environment facilitated for smallholders dairy markets in Nepal (Developing Business Enabling Environment)
Activities under output 3, will form Project Advisory Committee (PAC) and District Project Advisory Committee (DPAC). Various knowledge products such as print, audio and video will be developed for dissemination and knowledge sharing, policy influencing seminars and workshops will be conducted along with national/district level dairy innovations fair. Institutional strengthening of local Chamber of Commerce and social/public audits will be organised in each project VDC to share vital information with local stakeholders.
Mechanisms built through markets, communities and government for environmental sustainability, improved utilisation of natural resources and adaptation to climate change ('Greening' the Value Chain)
Under output 4, advanced training will be provided to the target groups while facilitating interactions between the communities, DAO, Red Cross and district police with the local/district level stakeholders to establish trust and regulate the Joint Action Planning for Disaster management and Resource Management. A joint initiative with the Community Forest User Groups, District Forest Offices and the local market actors will be established to develop eco friendly products and pilot and implement clean technologies to boost dairy production. In addition, MASF - Dairy Component will build the capacity of various line agencies to utilise and support development of agricultural market systems to address rural poverty. Major stakeholders include Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative, Ministry of Local Development, NARC, Department of Livestock Services and government line agencies.
Project implementing partners
MASF - Dairy Component is implemented by a consortium of local NGOs in partnership with private sector organisations and Business
- Membership Organisations (BMOs). The key implementing NGO partners are:
- Practical Action Nepal Office, with financial support from UKaid (DFID)
- Forum for Rural Welfare and Agricultural Reform for Development (FORWARD), Chitwan
- Centre for Community Development and Research (CCODER) Nepal, Gorkha
- Forum for Community Upliftment System Nepal (FOCUS) Nepal, Dhading
- NGO Network in Tanahu
- Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CCI) Chitwan
MASF - Dairy Component will also work closely with other private sectors such as banks, insurance companies, feed producers, milk processing companies, CCIs and farmer's cooperatives.
Contact person: Keshav Dutta Dawadi