In collaboration with Triangle, Denmark and Ask Nepal, Syangja, LI-BIRD organized a day workshop on ”Understanding Organic Agriculture in Kaski and Syangja Districts” on 24th January 2020 in Pokhara. The main objective of the workshop was to understand the current status, identify gaps, issues, and challenges of the organic agriculture in Kaski and Syangja districts so that the gaps, issues, and challenges can be addressed through leveraging resources and expertise from the government, civil society, and private sectors while developing a similar programme in future.
In an inaugural session, Dr. Balaram Thapa, the Executive Director of LI-BIRD highlighted the scope and importance of organic agriculture in Nepal whereas Mr. Christian Kruse, the Chairperson of the Triangle Denmark shared his experience and historical aspects of the organic farming in Denmark. He highlighted, ‘the growth and development of organic agriculture depend on the demands of organic products by the consumers’. In the technical session, current policies and programme on organic agriculture were shared by the workshop participants representing Gandaki Provincial Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative (MoLMAC); Agriculture Knowledge Centre (AKC) Kaski and Syangja and Pokhara Metropolitan City.
Similarly, LI-BIRD and Ask Nepal also shared their experiences in the promotion of ecological and organic agriculture in various parts of Nepal. In addition, technologies available for promoting organic vegetables were shared by the representative of the Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC), Malepatan and an introductory presentation on Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) was done by a representative of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD). A few farmers and entrepreneurs from Kaski and Syangja districts also shared their experiences and challenges of organic agriculture.
The lessons of the presentations from the government sector showed that there are good policies and plans on organic agriculture and several initiatives have already been taken but there is ample scope for improvement in implementation aspects including certification and value chain development of ecological and organic agriculture produce. Similarly, civil society organizations, entrepreneurs and community also indicated that several good practices have already been tested/developed but there is a need of a strong institutional framework for coordinating the works and for wider impact.
The workshop was concluded with group discussions and sharing by the separate group of farmers and representatives of cooperatives; private entrepreneurs; civil society and government officials. Each group have identified issues, challenges and suggested possible action for the stakeholders working on organic agriculture. A separate report with all the details has also been prepared.
In the end, the workshop participants emphasized on the coordination among all concerned stakeholders for effective planning and execution for a visible action and result on organic agriculture including collaboration for research and extension of organic farming practices and technologies.