Participants of Inception workshop, Photos: Shamis Basnet, LI-BIRD
In the past, LI-BIRD has successfully completed a number of projects in Karnali Province. Some projects have recently been implemented in different districts of Karnali, while others will begin soon. Currently, LI-BIRD is implementing six projects (SAVC, Green Karnali, LREP, REALiZE, UTHAN, and Pollinator Project) in ten local governments across five different districts of Karnali Province. During the project implementation, LI-BIRD is working in close coordination with the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative (MoLMAC), offices under MoLMAC and other different stakeholders.
In order to share the information of both the new projects and other ongoing projects of Karnali Province, a project sharing and inception meeting was successfully organized on 26 June 2022. The program was chaired by Dr. Lekh Raj Dahal, Secretary, Ministry of Land, Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoLMAC). A total of 38 people from different public and private sectors; Prime Minister Agriculture Modernization Project (PMAMP), National Agriculture Research Council (NARC), Agriculture Development Directorate, Karnali Province, Agriculture and Livestock Business Promotion and Training Center, Integrated Agriculture Laboratory, Renewable World, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), SAHAS Nepal, Save the Children, Sundar Nepal, and SOSEC were present in the workshop.
Dr. Lekh Raj Dahal, Secretary, MoLMAC, Karnali Province sharing his closing remarks during the inception meeting.
Bharat Bhandari, Programme Development Director of LI-BIRD welcomed all and provided a brief overview of the organization’s main accomplishments while highlighting the success, particularly in the Karnali Province. The presentation highlighted the good practices of SAVC, REALiZe, UTHAN and Livelihood Resilience projects which were implemented in 4 different districts of Karnali Province. The participants were impressed by ‘One Stop Shop’ established at SAVC sites. Dr Dahal shared, “The concept is very interesting and an exposure visit programme to such sites for the Cooperatives should be carried out so that the learning can be replicated in other districts.” Similarly, Chitra Bahadur Rokaya, Chief of Agriculture Development Directorate expressed interest to collaborate with LI-BIRD for potato seed registration after witnessing LI-BIRD’s involvement in the registration process of different local crops.
Through presentations, two new LI-BIRD projects which are being carried out in Karnali Province were highlighted. Shree Prasad Neupane, Team Leader of the Pollination Management project, explained the concept of the new project, which deals with ecology and nutritional and yield components. Dr. Neupane further shared about partnership activities with provincial government, academic institutes, and other stakeholders which includes production of handbooks, capacity-building training workshop, establishment of digital pollination library and preparation of Karnali province pollinator action plan for enhancing pollinator services across the province. Likewise, Sagar G.C., Team Leader of Green Karnali project, highlighted the Green Karnali project objectives, outcomes, outputs, major activities, plan and activities. The possible activities were also shared to the MoLMAC where LI-BIRD could collaborate in the future. In correspondence to both the presentations, Dhan Bahadur Kathayat, Agriculture Extension Officer of Agriculture Development Division shared the priority programme of fiscal year 2079/80. As Karnali Province plans to transform Karnali as Organic Province by preparing organic agriculture foundation and conservation of indigenous crops, the priorities were also set for phase wise organic movement.
Few speakers shared their views during the discussion section of the inception meeting. Mr. Pradip Pokhrel, Senior Agriculture Officer, Mercy Corps shared about the possible collaboration with Green Karnali Project in Dailekh and Accham districts. Programme coordinator of PAILA project from SAHAS mentioned about them implementing programmes with the same implementing approach in different sites. Dhana Bhusal from Save the Children stated about the possible collaboration in supporting marginalized community and also mentioned they will send correspondence for possible collaboration. Mr. Seshmani Bhattarai, FAO representative responded that LI-BIRD’s strength was in designing projects in close coordination with the MoLMAC which can lead to success in a more coordinated way. He suggested that development partners working in Karnali province can hold short meetings at certain intervals and share their progress, achievement and learnings developing a multi stakeholder platform so that there is less duplication but more synergetic work.
Concluding the programme, Dr. Dahal shared that the ministry is looking forward to a meaningful full partnership for working towards achieving an organic province. In addition, Dr. Dahal added, “Green Karnali will work on the river basin, which has more intersecting elements, and the Pollinator Project will work on the top half of the province.” The science-based approach of Pollinator, which was previously lacking in our province, incorporates a focus on nutrition and ecology. Even though marginalized communities are our primary concern, there aren’t many plans that connect these groups to markets, income-generating activities, or savings. Farmer involvement in the value chain approach and an emphasis on saving is essential for the project’s viability.