LI-BIRD and MoLMAC, Karnali Province renewed strategic partnership for next five years through MoU for ‘Collaborative Development of the Agriculture Sector’ in Karnali
Figure 1: Mr. Bharat Bhandari- ED, LI-BIRD and Secretary MoLMAC Dr. Narhari Prasad Ghimire sharing MoU after signing in presence of Honorable Minister Mr. Bhim Prakash Sharma (Right) (Photo: Shamis Basnet, LI-BIRD)

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) and Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoLMAC), Karnali Province was renewed on August 18, 2023. In the event organized in the MoLMAC’s office, Dr. Narhari Prasad Ghimire, Secretary of MoLMAC, chaired the event, graced by the presence of Honorable Minister, MoLMAC, Mr. Bhim Prakash Sharma, along with distinguished attendees were from the Agriculture Development & Planning Divisions, Agriculture Development Directorate, Agriculture and Livestock Business Promotion Training Center, Agriculture Research Station, Dasharathpur, Mid-West University (MWU), Government officials, LI-BIRD’s executive team and Karnali cluster staff. The event was facilitated by Mr. Dhan Bahadur Kathayat, extension officer, MoLMAC, Karnali Province.

The renewed MoU was signed by Dr. Narhari Prasad Ghimire, Secretary, MoLMAC and Mr. Bharat Bhandari, Executive Director of LI-BIRD for the period of five years. The MoU was renewed through a joint review and successful collaborative partnership of the previous MoU  between the two institutions that ended on July, 2023. On behalf of LI-BIRD, Mr. Buddha B.K. shared the progress of the joint actions agreed and thanked MoLMAC for coordination and support in achieving the set targets. This extended five-year alliance sets the platform for collaboration in the priority areas of MoLMAC specifically in Agroecological approaches and organic mission led by the Karnali Province along with agriculture research and development. The strategic areas of collaboration include Agro-biodiversity conservation and promotion; strengthening local seeds system and network; piloting and promoting innovative climate-resilient farming approaches, development of an Agroecological model village; action research on provincial priorities: conducting targeted research in alignment with provincial agendas; developing, documenting, and distributing information through effective ICT materials; technical support in policy and plan formulation and execution and enhancing the capabilities of the Government of Nepal (GoN) and MoLMAC staff in organic farming, agroecology, and sustainable value chains, symbolized by the Mulyawaan logo.

Mr. Bharat Bhandari, Executive Director of LI-BIRD, highlighted the organization’s overview, strategies and overarching achievements and priority areas of the coordination between the two institutions. He thanked MoLMAC for considering LI-BIRD as one of the strategic partners of the province and shared his commitment for supporting the province in its mission and vision by aligning its current and new projects and programs.

Dr. Narhari Prasad Ghimire, Secretary, MoLMAC appreciated LI-BIRD’s works in the agrobiodiversity conservation, climate resilient agriculture and support to the ministry and prioritizing Karnali Province. He applauded that this partnership will help the province to generate demonstrable practices and evidence and technically support the ministry in achieving the organic mission.

Photo 2: Honorable Minister Mr. Bhim Prakash Sharma (Right), Secretary MoLMAC Dr. Narhari Prasad Ghimire (Middle) and Mr. Bharat Bhandari- ED, LI-BIRD (Left) sharing token of love. (Photo: Bhim Pariyar, Agriculture Minister Secretariate)

The MoU sets a clear path for both LI-BIRD and MoLMAC over the next five years, emphasizing coordinated efforts and collaboration. With a shared focus on elevating the organic and agro-ecological sector, a prominent province priority, these organizations are poised to make substantial contributions. By harnessing the synergy of resources and tapping into the expertise of technical professionals, the collaborative initiative aims to drive sustainable progress in agro biodiversity conservation, the enhancement of rural livelihoods, and the holistic well-being of the people of Karnali.

Photo 3: Group photo of the participants.

Similarly, LI-BIRD and MoLMAC, Sudurpashim Province completed annual planning and progress sharing meeting on 14th August 2023, at Dhangadi against the MoU signed for a period of five years (June 2022 to June 2027) in the presence of Dr. Madan Singh Dhami, Secretary Ministry of Land Management Agriculture and Cooperative (MoLMAC), Sudurpaschim Province and Mr. Bharat Bhandari, Executive Director , LI-BIRD. Mr. Gokul Prasad Bohara, chief of ABPSTC, Mr. Tika Thapa, Senior Agriculture extension officer, MoLMAC, Mr. Siddha Raj Upadhya, Seed Lab, representatives from MoLMAC, chief and representatives from AKCs (Kanchanpur, Kailali, Doti, Dadeldhura and Bajura), and representative from OXFAM including staffs of LI-BIRD of Sudurpaschim Province participated the annual planning and progress sharing meeting. The overall accomplishment in the Sudurpaschim Cluster as per the MoU with MoLMAC was shared by Mr. Indeshwar Mandal, Cluster Coordinator, Sudurpaschim Province. Mr. Mandal highlighted the significant accomplishments and some potential areas for future collaboration. Mr. Bharat Bhandari, ED, LI-BIRD thanked MoLMAC for the joint collaboration with LI-BIRD and committed to support MoLMAC through sharing successful models of LI-BIRD on contract farming, Farmer Field School, Climate Smart Village etc. that has been planned for this fiscal year by MoLMAC. Dr. Madan Singh Dhami, Secretary, MoLMAC acknowledged LI-BIRD’s assistance in boosting the agriculture sector in Sudurpaschim Province and emphasized on joint implementation of the planned activities of MoLMAC and LI-BIRD. Lastly, he expressed his sincere gratitude to all participants for their active participation and contribution in making the annual planning and sharing event a grand success.