Nepal Terrace Farmers and Sustainable Agriculture Kits (CIFSRF Phase 2)
This project will test terrace farming innovations and offer strategies for NGOs to help 100,000 Nepalese entrepreneurs by establishing a start-up company to support product sales. The results may contribute to economic growth in areas of South and Southeast Asia where terrace farmers are prevalent. Partnering to support sustainable growth This project is a unique private-public partnership model for sustainable development, led by Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development in Nepal and the University of Guelph in Canada. The project focuses on a key development problem in a region where male outmigration is generating the need for new gender-sensitive technologies and approaches for sustainable hillside agricultural intensification. Testing systems and technologies for better futures Specifically, the project team will: -test strategies to intensify terrace agriculture in a sustainable manner, including terrace wall farming (where walls comprise 20 to 50% of hillside surface area); -test products that reduce women's hard physical work on terraces; -produce a picture book to share best practices with illiterate women; -test products that encourage sustainability, employing a Canadian biotech invention called GlnLux to maximize organic nitrogen fertilizer production; -test and pilot products that help farmers develop more resilient farming systems, including biodiversity seed kits and smart phone extension technologies; and -test strategies that encourage farmers to experiment and reduce dependency on government systems (e.g., self-production of certified seeds). Improving opportunities for product sales The project team will test a distribution model to sell products in sustainable agriculture kits or to rent out "community sustainable agriculture kits" for expensive machinery. They will use a stall-based franchise model and local vendors. The team will procure products from Canadian and Nepalese companies to promote bilateral trade and to encourage scaling-up.