LI-BIRD introduced its new projects SAKSHAM and BRACE to the Stakeholders of Sudurpaschim Province

Currently, LI-BIRD has been implementing six projects in Sudurpaschim Province of Nepal. Among these six projects, Strengthening Capacity of Smallholder farmers for Resilient Livelihood (SAKSHAM) funded by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland through Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM) Nepal and Building Resilience of Agro-ecosystem and Community Empowerment (BRACE)”, a project under Green Resilient Agricultural Productive Ecosystem (GRAPE), funded by European Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), GmbH in collaboration with International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) are two newly implemented projects in this province. On 16th June 2022, an inception workshop was organized at Rubus Hotel Dhangadi for introducing these two new projects to province level stakeholders. Furthermore, the inception workshop was also utilized as an opportunity to highlight and showcase the good practices and approaches being promoted by LI-BIRD’s others ongoing projects to the various stakeholders.

The workshop was chaired by Mr. Yagya Raj Joshi, Director, Directorate of Agricultural Development (DoAD), whereas Honourable Minister Mrs. Binita Devi Chaudhary Ministry of Land Management Agriculture and Cooperative (MoLMAC) was the Chief Guest of the workshop. Similarly, Dr. Madan Singh Dhami, the secretary, MoLMAC; Prof. Dr. Lal Prasad Amagain, Dean (Faculty of Agriculture), Far Western University, and Dr. Balaram Thapa, Executive Director, LI-BIRD were the special guests of the event. Likewise, director from the Directorate of Agriculture Research Station (DoARS), chief of Agribusiness Promotion Support and Training Center (ABPSTC), representative from Prime Minister Agriculture Modernization Project (PMAMP), chief/representatives from Agriculture Knowledge Center (AKC), Mayor from Krishnapur Municipality and ward chair of the Chure Rural Municipality, representatives from ICIMOD, Felm Nepal, Oxfam were also participated in the workshop. In total, 56 participants attended the workshop.

During the workshop, Mr. Bharat Bhandari, Programme Development Director, LI-BIRD welcomed to the participants and also shared the overall objective of the workshop followed by the presentation delivered by Dr. Balaram Thapa on LI-BIRD organizational introduction and its initiatives in Sudurpaschim Province. The SAKSHAM and BRACE project Team Leaders, Mr. Indeshwar Mandal and Mr. Pragati Raj Sipkhan, respectively, delivered detail presentations of the respective projects with the focus on brief introduction, its implementation strategy and the possible collaboration with provincial and local government. Beside introducing these two projects, Dr. Santosh Shrestha delivered a consolidated presentation by highlighting major progress and good practices/approaches promoted by LI-BIRD other ongoing projects (LREP, SD=HS and UTTHAN) in Sudurpaschim Province. Additionally, Mr. Tikaram Kusmi, Agriculture Extension Officer, MoLMAC division presented on the Ministry’s general plans and programmes for the year 2079/70, along with MoLMAC’s expectations and possible collaboration that MoLMAC can make with LI-BIRD and other development organizations working in Sudurpaschim Province. This was followed by a gallery walk focusing on showcasing the LI-BIRD’s work with regards to good practices and approaches being promoted through its different projects and published articles. During the discussion session the workshop’s key participants expressed a variety of concerns, including the cost-effectiveness of rice cum duck farming and its promotion in relevant communities, the criteria for the selection of working districts and palikas, the rationale for not selecting Bajhang district for the implementation of six projects, possibility of collaborating with university in our work, promotion of local crops by diversifying local food dishes,  the mainstreaming of indigenous agricultural practices and products in cooperation with governmental organizations, etc.

Photo: Mr. Indeshwor Mandal, Team Leader of SAKSHAM project sharing the overview of project including the overall project implementation modality.

Prof. Dr. Lal Prasad Amagain spoke on collaboration and coordination with academic institutions for various research-oriented interventions with LI-BIRD during his remark’s. He also suggested to engage academic institutions for the formulation of appropriate practical package based on current research findings. Similarly, Mr. Tikaram Thapa, Chief of ABSPTC acknowledge the invaluable support received from LI-BIRD in past and graciously agreed to further collaborate with LI-BIRD to implement joint programs with the focus on promoting indigenous crops, developing participatory plant breeding techniques, strengthening farming systems, and using an extension approach to achieve common goals. Likewise, Mr. Mathura Yadav, Director, Directorate of Agriculture Research (DoAR), provided the comprehensive views on the promotion of local crop varieties through crop varietal research and development with the engagement of other academic and research institutions for the process of registration.

Photo: Mr. Tikaram Thapa, Chief of ABPSTC deliver his remark speech during inception workshop

Honorable Minister Mrs. Binita Devi Chaudhary hailed the new projects to be executed in Sudurpaschim Province during her key remarks and suggested that these projects should be implemented in close collaboration with local governments and AKC by prioritising site-specific requirements for the conservation of indigenous crops, and promotion of agricultural practices and techniques. She further added that ensuring the degree of satisfaction in the target communities and places is required which can be maintained by effective monitoring of interventions and investment. Also, Mrs. Chaudhary highlighted that the interventions in this province must be focused on strengthening the market system of selected value chain commodities, promotion of indigenous crops in coordination with local governments, and research institutions for overall economic growth of the province.

Photo: Honorable Minister Mrs. Binita Devi Chaudhary, observing the publications during gallery walk, facilitated by Mr. Niranjan Pudasaini

Concluding the programme, Dr. Balaram Thapa, delivered his remarks with vote of thanks to all participants for their active participation and contribution to the workshop. He expressed that there is enough space and opportunities for LI-BIRD to collaborate with provincial government on climate change adaptation, local seed system strengthening, natural resource management and livelihood sectors. He also requested all stakeholders for continuous collaboration including budget leveraging, visibility and research-based work in partnership with university and agricultural research institutions. He further added that the regular communication and coordination with provincial and local government is required to formulate joint action plans and follow up the action plan is essential to monitor the progress.

Photo: Dr. Balaram Thapa, Executive Director, LI-BIRD delivering his remarks at the closing ceremony with vote of thanks to the participants of the workshop

The workshop ended with a concluding remark from Mr. Yagya Raj Joshi, Director, Directorate of Agricultural Development (DOAD) and chair of the workshop. He appreciated the LI-BIRD’s contribution to strengthen the agricultural sector in Sudurpaschim Province. He shared that the aforementioned projects might lead to the achievement of the objectives for the agriculture sector at the local and provincial levels. He extended his thanks to the entire LI-BIRD’s team for actively working in Sudurpaschim and for organization’s commitment to implement the MoU which is targeted to strengthen the agricultural sector of Sudurpaschim Province.

Photo: Mr. Yagya Raj Joshi, Director, DoAD delivering his closing remarks during inception workshop.