Evolution of Home Garden Programme
The evolution of Home Garden (HG) programme in Nepal over a period of 16 years in four distinct phases, including the key focus of each phase and implementation modalities, is depicted in Figure 1. The HG programme started with initial formative research (Phase I) that focused on the characterization of indigenous HG system, an assessment of the potential of HG in improving women and disadvantaged household’s food and nutrition security, etc. Phase I was followed by the refinement of HG technologies, practices and implementation modalities (Phase II), development of pathways for mainstreaming HG (Phase III), and mainstreaming HG in the national programme (Phase IV) respectively. The implementation modalities and partnership arrangements also evolved over time with LI-BIRD as the main implementing partner and Bioversity International as lead during Phase I followed by LI-BIRD as the main implementer in partnership with partner NGOs and Bioversity International as TA provider during Phase II and III. The final Phase IV was implemented by 20 District Agriculture Development Offices (DADOs), four partner NGOs (SAHAS Nepal, RIMS Nepal, Everest Club Dailekh and Rupantaran), and 2 networks (DWO and ICODEC), while LI-BIRD played the role of Project Support Unit (PSU). The financial support from SDC (from NPR 13 million in Phase I to NPR 278 million in Phase IV), district coverage (from 4 districts in Phase I to 20 districts in Phase IV) and a number of beneficiaries (from 1,600 in Phase I to 40,000 HHs in Phase IV) also increased over time.
Home Garden Dissemination Workshop
Two back to back HG dissemination workshops were organized in Kathmandu and Bardibas, Mahottari district (one of the 20 districts where HG Phase IV programme was implemented). The main objectives of the HG dissemination workshop were i) To make information and learning generated by HG programme available to relevant stakeholders and potential users for scaling up HG approach in Nepal; and ii) to share synthesis of evidence, change stories and learning on HG to stimulate discussion, and to support policy design and implementation, especially at the local and provincial level, for delivering HG action on the ground.
Kathmandu workshop was held on 20th February 2019 at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) premise. The workshop was targeted to national policymakers and stakeholders and was Co-Chaired by the Secretary, MoALD and the Swiss Ambassador to Nepal. The workshop was attended by 52 participants representing a range of institutions, including relevant Divisions and Departments under the MoALD, National Planning Commission, Ministry of Finance, Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training, local and international NGOs donor agencies and bilateral programmes. Key conclusions drawn from Kathmandu workshop are;
- HG programme is simple, effective and within the technical know-how of women and disadvantaged groups. The programme is most effective in generating tangible benefits too and reaching out to women and disadvantaged groups in rural areas. HG programme has contributed immensely in the social, economic, and political empowerment of women and disadvantaged groups (Her Excellency Ms Elisabeth Von Capeller, Swiss Ambassador to Nepal)
- HG programme has been effective in the conservation and promotion of agro-biodiversity on-farm, and is effective in improving dietary diversity (family health and nutrition) of disadvantaged groups (Dr Hari Bahadur KC, Chief, National Centre for Potato, Vegetable and Spice Crop Development);
- HG programme should continue through integration into Palika’s plan for which building the capacity of Palika to secure their strong buy-in is crucial for scaling up HG under the federal structure (Mr Rewati Raman Poudel, Deputy Director General, DoA); and
- The Government of Nepal is committed to scaling up HG programme in Nepal. Support (both internal and external) is needed to successfully integrate HG related programme into Palika’s policies, plans and programs during the political transition period in Nepal (Dr Yubak Doj GC, Secretary, MoALD).
HG Travelling Seminar: Boots on the Ground – Local and provincial political leaders observing HG activities and interacting with HG beneficiaries in farmers’ field in Sangrampur and Rajabas village, Mahottari district, Province 2. Photo: LI-BIRD Photo Bank.
Bardibas workshop was held on 22 February 2019. The workshop was targeted for local and provincial government representatives and political leaders, especially women political leaders, from province 1, 2 and 4. Altogether 60 participants representing Palika Chairs, Vice-Chairs, Deputy Mayors, Members of Provincial Assembly, media and local/international NGOs attended the workshop. The workshop was organized in the form of ‘Travelling Seminar’ where participants were divided into 2 groups – Group 1 visited the HG programme implementation sites to learn on the ground with regards to the types of benefits derived by the local communities from HG programme, while Group 2 visited the sites where HG related programme is replicated by local government in partnership with local NGO (Community Development and Advocacy Forum Nepal – CDAFN). Both groups reconvene after the field visit where a round table discussion was held with special reference to how to go about integrating HG related programme into Palika’s plan, and the role of local and provincial government for upscaling through the inter-Palika exchange. Few reflections from the participants about the HG programme are as follows;
‘I am a member of Thamgadimai women HG group. I maintain HG that supplies nutritious food to my family year round and has improved my family health and nutrition. HG is a simple and effective technology that can be adapted easily by poor household. I would urge the honorable members of provincial assembly and palika leaders who are here today to prioritize HG related programme in provincial and local government policies and plans to reach out and better server more women and disadvantaged groups in rural communities in future’.
Yam Maya Mainali, Secretary, Thamgadimai women HG Group, Aurhi Municipality 7, Mahottari district, Province 2
‘The community-led programme activities, including HG, that I saw today in the field was simple yet effective in bringing about positive change in the local communities. As a member of provincial assembly and policy maker, I will work collectively with my other colleagues who are here today to promote and upscale HG related programme through supportive policies and plans in Gandaki Pradesh’.
Honorable Om Kala Gautam, Member of Provincial Assembly
‘What I saw today during the travelling seminar has provided me a source of inspiration to do more for smallholder farming communities. I saw an excellent example of how a small and low cost programme such as HG can generate huge impact on the lives and livelihoods of women and disadvantaged groups- be it social, economic or political empowerment. HG is a programme that can be easily scaled up by local government. I am committed to advocate in my provincial assembly to develop and implement policies that are supportive of HG and will extend my support to upscale HG related programme through integration into palika’s plan’.
Honorable Manju Yadav, Member of Provincial Assembly
The HG animated audio-visual cartoon entitled ‘Raju ko katha’ targeted for school children and parents, with the key message ‘HG for family health and nutrition’ is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTpO-E75dX0
Home Garden storybook illustrating changes relating to how HG programme was able to bring about positive change in family nutrition, livelihoods and socio-political empowerment of women and disadvantaged groups is available at www.libird.org/app/publication/view.aspx?record_id=315
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