The MoLMAC, Sudurpaschim Province and LI-BIRD have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 14th February 2021 in Dhangadhi to strengthen collaboration in agriculture research and development in the province. The MoU is intended to further joint collaborative work in agriculture sector, especially in terms of scaling up climate smart technologies and practices, conservation and promotion of local agrobiodiversity, exchange of knowledge, and to generate greater programme synergies between the two institutions. The MoU is also expected to facilitate the design and preparation of new projects and programmes between the two institutions in future.
The MoU was signed by Dr Kishan Lal Bhatta, Secretary, MoLMAC and Dr Balaram Thapa, Executive Director, LI-BIRD. Honorable Minister Ms Binita Devi Chaudhary, senior staff of the Ministry and LI-BIRD witnessed the event. The event was facilitated by Dr Hem Raj Awasthi, Senior Livestock Development Officer MoLMAC. During the event, Dr Santosh Shrestha, Senior Programme Manager, and Dr Santosh Neupane, Senior Programme Officer from LI-BIRD presented LI-BIRD’s current programme portfolio in the region and climate smart agriculture/climate investment plan for Sudurpaschim Province respectively as well as highlighted potential areas for immediate and future collaboration in the region between the two institutions.
The MoU is expected to work as a stepping stone for scaling up proven Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), including climate smart agricultural technologies, conservation and promotion of local agrobiodiversity, strengthening local seed systems, and application of climate investment plan developed by LI-BIRD and partners through integration into ‘Chief Minister’s Integrated Livestock and Agriculture Development Programme’, which is currently in its second year of implementation across all 9 districts and 88 municipalities (inclusive 54 rural municipalities, 33 municipalities, and 1 sub-metropolitan) of Sudurpaschim Province. Additionally, the MoU is also expected to enhance technical capacity building of staff and communities, generate programme synergies, and leverage resources in the design and implementation of current and future projects and programmes through events such as joint training/workshops, cross-visits, establishment of demonstration/learning sites, fostering exchange of knowledge, development and dissemination knowledge products, and technical assistance support between the Ministry and LI-BIRD.
Snapshot of participants during the MoU signing ceremony at the MoLMAC, Dhangadi, Sudurpaschim Province
Dr Balaram Thapa in his concluding remarks highlighted that LI-BIRD has a strong presence in Sudurpaschim Province (covering 5 out of 9 districts in the Province) and further reiterated that Sudurpaschim Province will continue to receive LI-BIRD’s priority in agriculture sector programming in future. He also shared LI-BIRD’s experiences working with Gandaki Province Government where the MoLMAC and LI-BIRD is collaborating through signing similar MoU for over 3 years, and said that the experience gained in Gandaki Province will be invaluable to strengthen and cement cooperation and collaboration in Sudurpaschim Province.
Dr Kishan Lal Bhatt expressed that the experience and expertise of LI-BIRD in terms of scaling up climate-smart agricultural technologies, agrobiodiversity conservation, and participatory action research will complement the need of the Province to increase production and productivity at farmers’ field level. He also highlighted the importance of technological adoption/adaptation, human resource development and local capacity building for the growth and sustainability of agriculture sector in the Province. Honorable Minister, Ms Binita Devi Chaudhary in her closing remarks highlighted the need for cooperation and collaboration between government and non-government actors, as government’s effort alone is not adequate to bring lasting change in the community and society at large. She appreciated LI-BIRD’s work in conserving and promoting local crops, strengthening local seed systems through the establishment of community-managed ‘Community Seed Banks’ and the development and promotion of climate-smart agricultural technologies. The Minister looks forward to a stronger partnership between the MoLMAC and LI-BIRD to enhance and to ensure food, nutrition and income security of smallholder farmers. In her closing remarks, the Minister stressed and highlighted the importance of effective implementation of the MoU by both parties in order to achieve its purpose.