Stakeholders advise: CSA in Nepal should be guided by Agriculture Development Strategy

Posted on: 1/8/2016

By: Surendra Gautam, Keshab Thapa and Arun KC

Surendra Gautam and Keshab Thapa from LI-BIRD and Arun KC from CCAFS tell us about a national level project launching workshop held in Nepal to bring key stakeholders together to share project objectives and define the way forward. 

48 participants representing government agencies, private sectors, non-governmental organizations and research institutes participated in the National Inception Workshop of the ‘Scaling-Up Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) in Nepal’ project held on 30 July 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The participation of government institutions was exceptionally strong; it included representatives from Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD), Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD), Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), District Agriculture Development Offices (DADOs) and the District Development Committees (DDCs) from the CSA project districts, namely, Lamjung, Kaski, and Nawalparasi. 

During the workshop, the project team shared the objectives, outcomes and outputs, project deliverables, major activities, and budget of the project in the workshop. Further, CCAFS-South Asia shared the scope, opportunities, potential, and constraints about scaling up CSA in Nepal. 

The Chief Guest, Dr. Rajendra Adhikari, Joint Secretary of MoAD, inaugurated the workshop and set the tone by highlighting the importance of CSA and its direct relevance with the recently approved Agricultural Development Strategy (ADS) of Nepal. Dr. Adhikari further stressed that, “The recently endorsed Agriculture Development Strategy (ADS) 2015-2035 is the main policy document for climate smart agriculture for next 20 years.  The CSA project should use this document as a checklistfor the project”. Dr. Adhikari considered that the project’s role is very important to develop a robust working relationship between NGOs and GOs -- from the national to the local level. 

More importantly, the project’s outputs directly contribute to the implementation of Nepal’s ADS. The project’s contribution will be through the recommendation of portfolio of CSA technologies and practices for three agro-ecological zones of Nepal, preparation of CSA scaling up pathways and implementation plan, and building capacity of agricultural extension staff and local stakeholders including women and disadvantaged groups.  

Dr. Balaram Thapa, Executive Director of LI-BIRD, spoke on the CSA project milestones: "The project aims to bring in and integrate experience on climate smart interventions from within the country and abroad as a means of scaling-up activities in the future." Dr. Thapa highlighted the importance of linking the project to Nepal’s diverse agro-ecological conditions, climate change impacts on rural livelihoods. 


Figure 1: Methodological framework for developing CSA scaling-up and implementation plan for Nepal 


Mr. Ram Chandra Khanal, CDKN Country Engagement Lead for Nepal, said that, "Just speaking about climate change is not enough unless we adequately strengthen the linkage between climate change and agricultural development." He highlighted the urgency of climate smart agriculture referring to the finding of the CDKN commissioned study on Economic Impact Assessment of Climate Change in key sectors of Nepal. The finding has revealed  that 0.8% GDP in Agriculture has been impacted by climate change in Nepal. “Adaptation measures and the activities combining adaptation and mitigation needs integration for the sustainable agricultural system,” Mr. Khanal stressed. 

The role of the private sector: Mr. Pradeep Maharjan, Chief Executive Officer of Agro-Enterprise Center (AEC), Nepal spoke on the nexus between private sector and CSA research and scaling up and its potential to influence climate adaptation in the agriculture sector and towards generating knowledge relevant to the project outcomes. Mr. Maharjan urged the project team to share the project outputs and achievements with the private sector such as AEC, Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industries, and agro-input suppliers. 

Likewise, Mr. Laxmi Dutta Bhatta, from ICIMOD suggested to carry outsite specific vulnerability assessment to identify the appropriate interventions at appropriate level which helps to link CSA technologies and practices with the risk and vulnerability of the community for sustained increase in food production and productivity. 

Key recommendation from the participants:

·    Include key stakeholders at national and sub-national level in project implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and development of CSA implementation pathway and guidelines

  • Disseminate key outputs and learning of the project to the government and private sector at different levels by organizing periodic meetings and discussions
  • Align the CSA project outcomes with current government programs and Agricultural Development Strategy (ADS)
  • Focus on market and value chain through engaging with private sector
  • Emphasize technologies that are farmer friendly, readily acceptable, and based on community needs, local knowledge and resources
  • Conduct the site specific climatic vulnerability and design the CSA research
  • Focus on capacity building of government staff at different levels with more focus on sub-national level