LI-BIRD’s 23rd Annual General Meeting and Social Audit: Official Launching of New Five-year Research and Development Strategy

LI-BIRD organized its 23rd Annual General Meeting and Social Audit in Pokhara, Kaski on 9 September 2017. The Chief Guest of the event was Mr. Bharat Sharma, Under Secretary of Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW). Similarly, Mr. Krishna Raj Tiwari – Dean of Institute of Forestry (IoF), Mr. Lokendra Bahadur Bohara – District Agriculture Development Officer, Kaski, Mr. Ram Bahadur KC – Chief of Regional Agricultural Research Centre, Lumle, and Mr. Padam Pahari – President of NGO Federation Kaski, were the guests of the event. 

Mr. Bharat Sharma officially launched LI-BIRD’S five-year research and development strategy (2017-22), inaugurating the programme. Dr. Balaram Thapa, Executive Director of LI-BIRD, highlighted the key aspects of new strategy and shared that the new strategy plans to target 10,000 employment across Nepal. Dr. Thapa also updated that the dream project of LI-BIRD ‘Begnas-Rupa Multipurpose Academy and Research Centre’ has been conceptualized, which will be a ‘platform for exchanging knowledge and idea among students, researchers and academicians’. The academy is being developed in collaboration with Pokhara Lekhnath Metropolitan city. The Metropolitan city office has included the ‘academy establishment  plan’ on its annual programme. The academy concept note is at its preliminary stage and will be refined further on wider consultations. Dr. Thapa hopes that the Academy will be able to provide quality agriculture and agro-biodiversity education at an affordable cost. 

Mr. Bharat Sharma officially launching the new five-year research and development strategy (2017-22). 

Dr. Ram Bahadur Rana, Head of Programmes, highlighted the key achievements of LI-BIRD under its programmatic themes, ‘food and nutrition security’, ‘ecosystem health and biodiversity conservation’, ‘climate change adaptation and inclusive economic growth’. He also provided updates on the progress of varietal registration of Amaranth. Mr. Bharat Bhandari, Programme Operations Director, shared the progress on last year’s social audit observations. 

Similarly, Mr. Rammani Adhikari, Social Audit Facilitator, provided his review based on his field visits to Bhadaure Tamagi, Kaski and Ghanapokhara, Lamjung. Based on his observations, he appreciated the empowerment of communities in social roles and responsibilities, and also their efforts in moving towards commercial agriculture. During the session, various stakeholders and representatives provided feedback and suggestions. 

Guests paying tribue to Dr. Bhuwon Ratna Sthapit.

A special programme was organized to pay tribute to Late Dr. Bhuwon Ratna Sthapit (Executive Member and Founder Member, LI-BIRD). Dr. Sthapit was one of the key figures who contributed significantly to the establishment and institutional development of LI-BIRD. He is renowned for his expertise on participatory plant breeding, community-based biodiversity management, home gardens, tropical fruits and in situ and on-farm conservation. Dr. Sthapit passed away during treatment at James Graham Brown Cancer Hospital, Louisville, Kentucky, USA. LI-BIRD felicitated his family with Tamra patra on recognition of his continuous contribution to the organization since its establishment. 

Appreciating Dr. Sthapit’s significant contribution on agrobiodiversity research area, Bioversity International and LI-BIRD have conceptually agreed to establish a fellowship entitled  ‘Bhuwon Ratna Sthapit Fellowship for Agro-biodiversity in South and South-East Asia’. The fellowship is expected to motivate young scientists in this region. Bioversity International and LI-BIRD will collaborate as partners to generate resources for the fellowship where interested individuals and organizations can contribute. Paying his tribute to the late Dr. Bhuwon Ratna Sthapit, Mr. Krishna Prasad Baral, Executive Board Chair, said, “LI-BIRD will continue to work on agrobiodiversity research and development, which will be true tribute to Dr. Sthapit.” He also said that Dr. Sthapit’s eternal works will continue to guide researchers and academicians across the world. The guests also paid their tribute and respect in memory of Dr. Sthapit.

LI-BIRD awarded three staff, based on the annual performance evaluation, in different categories: Mr. Bishnu Dhakal, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, as ‘Achiever Officer of the year, 2017’; Ms. Phool Kumari Rai, Technical Assistant, as ‘Achiever Support Staff of the year, 2017’; and Mr. Ritesh Yadav, Project Officer, as ‘Achiever Newcomer, 2017’. 

Achiever New Comer                     Achiever Support Staff                         Achiever Officer
Mr. Ritesh Yadav                                Ms. Phool Kumari Rai                           Mr. Bishnu Dhakal

In his closing remarks, Mr. Bharat Sharma appreciated LI-BIRD’s work in keeping “people’s participation at the centre of its activities”. He also acknowledged LI-BIRD’s efforts to reduce poverty which is in align with the Government of Nepal’s vision as well. Similarly, Mr. Krishna Raj Tiwari suggested LI-BIRD to focus its programme on developing farming entrepreneurship in areas where out-migration of youths is prominent; which will, henceforth, help in reducing poverty. He also shared that LI-BIRD has been a collaborator with IoF from a long while and that the IoF will be interested to work in partnership for the Academy. He further opined that the IoF and academy could compliment on their strengths and leverage resources. 

Mr. Laxmi Prasad Tripathi congratulated LI-BIRD for completing 22 years of work on agriculture, research and biodiversity conservation. He shared that in recognition of LI-BIRD’s continuous engagement in Lekhanath area, especially on ‘environment sector’, LCCI felicitated LI-BIRD this year. He heartily welcomed the concept of dream academy and said, “LCCI and private sector should be an integral part of the academy development as it’s a matter of pride for Pokhara to have an Academy which could be centre of excellence for prospective national and international students.”

During the second session ‘Annual General Meeting’, a closed session was held among the General Members, Founder Members and Executive Board of LI-BIRD. The Annual General Assembly, on consensus, formed the new Executive Board for a tenure of three years. Mr. Krishna Prasad Baral and Dr. Deepak Kumar Rijal were re-elected as Chair and Vice Chair of the  newly formed Executive Board, respectively. The Annual General Assembly also elected Ms. Ramkali Khadka as Treasurer, Mr. Beni Bahadur Basnet, Dr. Binod Bhatta and Dr. Meeta Sainju Pradhan as Members, and Ms. Nirmala Gurung as Member (Representative from Farmer/Farmers Group).

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From the media portal: खाद्यबाली विकास र अनुसन्धानमा लीबर्डकाे अहाेरात्र २५ वर्ष