Innovations for Terrace Farmers in Nepal and Testing of Private Sector Scaling Up Using Sustainable Agriculture Kits and Stall-Based Franchises: Final Report
Authors: Roshan Pudasaini, Tejendra Chapagaina, Manish N. Raizada
The SAKNepal project was intended to test a model to scale up a regional kit of seed packages, tools and agronomic innovations to reduce female
drudgery, help increase crop production/income, and/or enhance environmental sustainability for 25,000+ hillside terrace farm households in Nepal (100,000+ people). As of Jan 2018, we have reached 60,288 households (271,296 people directly or indirectly), especially women farmers.
Some technologies are based on farmer surveys from previous CIFSRF research. They are low cost and combined into a commercial menu of options known as a sustainable agriculture kit (SAKs) from which households can purchase/adopt individual items. Forty six products/practices have been pre-tested and improved by an NGO (LI-BIRD) using participatory approaches with test farmers prior to commercial scaling up. Consumer farmers are now purchasing individual technologies from the menu. A graphical flyer can accompany each SAK product to instruct consumer farmers in remote areas, especially illiterate (women) farmers, on how to use the products. The flyers, which when compiled with ~100 additional best practices, comprise the
SAK extension picture book and smaller booklets. The project has tested the efficacy of an NGO spin-off company (Anamolbiu) to sell the SAK products, and using pre-existing commercial distribution networks to reach remote villages (peri-urban snackfood and farm machinery dealers, agro dealers, co-ops). At the end of the pipeline, the project has used cell phones to conduct feedback surveys with consumer farmers, using contact information collected from
vendors, in order to measure market needs and product impacts, especially on female drudgery, and improve the products, thus increasing long-term adoption rates. Though the project has now terminated, a unique feature is that sales are continuing, and a component of the project (SAK
tools and seeds) is now self-sustaining. Different subsets of SAK products/methodologies are transferrable to the world’s 400 million subsistence farmer households, especially to improve the livelihoods of women and girls.