LI-BIRD Initiated a Formal Relationship with the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative (MoLMAC), Karnali Province Through a Memorandum of Understating (MoU)

Photo: Handing hover of MoU in the presence of Honorable Chief Minister Mr.Jiban Bahadur Shahi, and Minister of MoLMAC, Mr. Chandra Bahadur Shahi. Photos: Shamis Basnet, LI-BIRD

LI-BIRD has been implementing six projects (SAVC, Green Karnali, LREP II, REALiZE, UTHAN, and Pollinator Project) in 10 municipalities of 5 districts of Karnali Province. These projects are focused on conservation of biodiversity, climate resilient and ecological agriculture, strengthening the local seed system, pollination research, nutrition support, agricultural value chain and income generation. LI-BIRD has already been more than a decade in Karnali Province through its projects and will be here for many more years. During this course, it was thought that a formal relationship with the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture, and Cooperative (MoLMAC), Karnali Province would be necessary to formalize the partnership with provincial government for the collaboration and the effective mobilization of the resources.

With this background, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the MoLMAC, Karnali Province and LI-BIRD on July 29th, 2022 in Birendranagar, Surkhet. The event was chaired by Dr. Lekhraj Dahal, the secretary, MoLMAC whereas honorable Chief Minister of Karnali Province Mr. Jiban Bahadur Shahi was the chief guest. Likewise, honorable minister Mr. Chandra Bahadur Shahi, MoLMAC and Dr. Balaram Thapa, Executive Director, LI-BIRD, were the special guest of the event. Similarly, chiefs/representatives of the District Agriculture Offices, Directorate of Agriculture Development, Agri Business Promotion Support and Training Center, Karnali Province, staff from the DanChurchAid (DCA), Renewable World and LI-BIRD were other participants of the event.

The event started with a welcome speech from Mr. Dhan Bahadur Kathayat, agriculture extension officer, along with the rationale of the MoU to be signed between MoLMAC and LI-BIRD followed by a brief presentation by Mr. Bharat Bhandari, Programme Development Director, LI-BIRD on the overall working scenario, objectives, and program implementation status of the LI-BIRD and priority areas of the coordination between the two institutions (MoLMAC and LI-BIRD). Thereafter, the MoU was signed by the Executive Director of LI-BIRD and the Secretary, MoLMAC in witness of the honorable Chief Minister and honorable minister, MoLMAC.

Photo: Dr. Lekhraj Dahal, Secretory of MoLMAC, Karnali Province, and Dr. Balaram Thapa, Executive Director, LI-BIRD. signing the MoU.

The MoU is intended to work as a stepping stone for expanding climate resilient agriculture technologies and practices, promotion of ecological agriculture, promotion of agriculture innovation for nutrition and food security, transforming subsistence agriculture to the enterprise to generate income and employment opportunities, and sustainable livelihoods through the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The MoU is also thought to be a basis for designing and carrying out new initiatives within the priority areas of the both institutions’ as well as at state-level policies and action plans that are linked to agriculture development. Furthermore, the MoU is also expected to improve/enhance the technical capacity of staff and farming communities, assist in leveraging resources for the implementation of ongoing and future projects through activities like joint training and workshops, traveling seminars, cross learning sharing visits, etc.

Mr. Jiban Bahadur Shahi, Honorable Chief Minister, delivered a final statement to wrap up the ceremony. He applauded the work done by LI-BIRD in Humla and stated that “I am familiar with the work of LI-BIRD in Humla. He further appraised that though LI-BIRD was established/registered in Pokhara, Humla is its working place. Each of the signatory organizations should put equal effort for the everlasting partnership. LI-BIRD has played a significant role in the promotion of foxtail millet, finger millet and the establishment of a Community Seed Bank (CSB) in Karnali Province. He further stressed that these two organizations working in coordination and collaboration will be a significant step in the overall growth of the agriculture sector in the province. I want to express my gratitude to MoLMAC, Karnali Province and the entire LI-BIRD team for organizing this event.”