LI-BIRD and MoLMAC, Sudurpaschim Province Renewed Memorandum of Understanding for Collaborative Partnership in Provincial Agricultural Development

The Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative (MoLMAC), Sudurpaschim province and Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) had signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2020 for two year period with an aim to start strategic cooperation and partnership at province level to ensure collaborative approach for contributing in the overall agriculture development sector. Both parties reviewed the existing MoU conducted two years ago and concluded that the progress of the MoU has been satisfactory, where the development of climate investment plans and partnership in promoting smart agriculture technologies remains as a key achievement. Thus, both parties have signed new MoU on 15 June, 2022 which shall be implemented for 5 years. The MoU encompasses the joint partnership by widening the scope of partnership for scaling-up of proven tools and technologies, resource and knowledge sharing, exchange of expertise and technical capacity building of front-line staff of both parties. The MoU also focuses on engagement during the programme planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.  

The MoU was signed by Dr. Madan Singh Dhami, Secretary, MoLMAC and Dr. Balaram Thapa, Executive Director, LI-BIRD. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Honorable Minister Ms. Binita Devi Chaudhary as Chief Guest. Similarly, representatives from different units of MoLMAC, Sudurpaschim such as Chief, Agriculture Development Directorate, Chief, Agriculture Business Promotion Services and Training Center, Chiefs of different Agriculture Knowledge Centers and other key stakeholders (such as Director, Directorate of Agriculture Research, NARC, Bhagetada, representatives from developmental partners Oxfam Nepal and FELM Nepal). The objectives of the MoU is to promote collaborative work in the agricultural sector, particularly in terms of scaling up climate-smart technologies/ practices and improving local seed systems through Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) and agriculture. It will focus on the promotion of agrobiodiversity, ecological agriculture, technical capacity building and dissemination of knowledge materials, generating stronger programme synergies and resource sharing between the two organizations. The renewal of MoU has paved the pathways of partnership in future initiatives and programmes complimenting priorities of the province as well as of the nation. 

Photo: Dr. Madan Singh Dhami, Secretary, MoLMAC and Dr. Balaram Thapa, Executive Director, LI-BIRD signing the revised MoU in the presence of Honorable Minister Mrs. Binita Devi Chaudhary, MoLMAC, Sudurpaschim Province 

Dr. Santosh Shrestha from LI-BIRD shared quick updates and results of the previous MoU which was primarily focused on developing the climate investment plan of the province. He further highlighted how the previous MoU laid the foundation of further partnership and expanding areas of collaboration between two entities. Mr. Yagyaraj Joshi, Director, Directorate of Agriculture, Sudur Paschim Pradesh appreciated the LI-BIRD for its works on improving the local seed system via promotion of community seed bank and farmer field school approach.. He further suggested expanding its presence in other districts as well as they are enriched with local agro-biodiversity. 

Dr. Balaram Thapa concluded his remarks by highlighting LI-BIRD’s presence in Sudurpaschim and positive implications of MoU on delivering quality results in a collaborative manner. Furthermore, he also shared that LI-BIRD will continue to expand its presence in Sudurpaschim and highlighted current presence in 19 palikas of six districts in the province. Dr. Thapa expressed his expectation for effective implementation of renewed MoU and suggested both parties to overcome limitations in the next MoU. He emphasized that LI-BIRD will support MoLMAC to boost field production and productivity by scaling up climate-smart agricultural technology, agrobiodiversity conservation, and participatory action research. He concluded that the experience obtained in the implementation of previous MoU would be beneficial in strengthening and cementing cooperation and partnership formalized through today’s MoU signing.

Photo: Honorable Minister Mrs. Binita Devi Chaudhary, MoLMAC, Sudurpaschim sharing her remarks on joint initiatives of LI-BIRD and  MoLMAC, Sudurpaschim Province. 

At the ceremony, honorable Minister Mrs. Binita Devi Chaudhary shared that crop diversity is disappearing more rapidly than we realize and shared some examples from Tharu communities. She appreciated the modality of LI-BIRD to go with the ministry for complementing governmental priorities and sharing technical expertise which is being a major constraint to the governmental agencies. She extended her sincere thanks to the MoLMAC and LI-BIRD team for materializing the institutional partnership for five years and also suggested other development agencies to follow the same modality.

Event chair Dr. Dhami, Secretary, MoLMAC put forward that we as a team are working on increasing production and productivity at the farmers’ field level and further meeting regional and national goals of development. He appreciated LI-BIRD’s effort and investment in Sudurpaschim and extended his full commitment to support the effective implementation of the MoU. He also shared that MoU will broaden institutional connections and allow us to collaborate successfully in the areas specified in the MoU

Photo: Mr.Tikaram Thapa,  Chief of ABPSTC, Sudurpaschim and Dr. Balaram Thapa, Executive Director, LI-BIRD exchanging signinged LoA during the event.

On the same day, a Letter of Agreement (LoA) between LI-BIRD and Agri-Business Promotion Support and Training Center (ABPSTC) was signed as an integral part of the MoU. The LoA is mainly focused on capacity building of the government front line staff in the sector of climate smart agriculture technologies, participatory plant breeding and improving local seed systems. More specifically, LI-BIRD will be supporting ABPSTC to develop training curriculums and delivery of technical capacity development training to front line staff of Agriculture Knowledge Centers (AKCs) and extension officers of Palikas in Sudurpaschim province  

*Reviewed by Santosh Shrestha and Mira Dhakal, LI-BIRD