WHH Nepal to contribute in strengthening agroecological initiatives of Green Karnali project in Karnali

Authors:

Shamis Basnet
Figure 1: Group members participating in introduction session after welcoming to guest at their group. Photo: Prakash Neupane, LI-BIRD.

Date:2080/10/11 

A high-level visit from Welthungerhilfe (WHH) was organized to showcase ongoing agroecological initiatives promoted by LI-BIRD through Green Karnali project on 21 February 2021 in Surkhet, Karnali. Ms Bettina Iseli, Chief Program Officer, Mr Christian Monning, Chief Finance Officer from WHH head office and Mr Shakib Nabi, Country Director for WHH Nepal were among the key officials, who observed and interacted with Uddamshil women farmer group at Karekhola Agroecological Village in Birendranagar -13, Surkhet.

Upon their arrival, WHH team received a warm welcome from the members of Uddhyamshil women farmer group. Mr. Buddha BK, Team Leader from LI-BIRD, briefed on ongoing interventions and visit’s objectives to share the key learning, experiences and challenges faced by farming community in adopting agroecological farming practices and technologies.

Farmers reflected changes in their farming practices and adoption of resilient technologies towards transitioning to develop an agroecological village. They shared how the cropping patterns and intensity has increased with the introduction of climate resilient practices such as soil cement pond, greywater collection, drip irrigations and green house such as plastic houses. They have been able to integrate different vegetables into their farms, which were primarily cereals dominated cropping systems due to judicious use and increased availability of water.  Additionally, these contributed to an increase in farm productivity and consumption of a diverse range of nutritious and safe vegetables throughout the year.

Figure 2: Farmers exhibiting their produces (Tomato) and quality being grown chemical less practices to Ms. Bettina. Photo: Shamis Basnet, LI-BIRD.

Several members including chairperson of the group happily shared about their income generated from selling vegetables (tomato, beans, green leafy vegetables) inside low-cost plastic tunnels. On other hand, they expressed market related challenges for the surplus production. Members also elaborated the significance and benefits of uniting as a group and shared their experiences on adopting agroecological interventions.

Following the group discussion, the visiting team explored the fields to observe agroecological practices being put into action. Farmers elaborated the contribution of agroecological practices such as low-cost plastic tunnel, vermicompost, soil cement pond, gray water collection pond, improved cattle shed, traps and lures, soil solarization, mulching towards building resilient farming system. The participants showed their interests to scale up vermicompost and tunnel farming in the days ahead.

Figure 3: Inquisitive Ms. Bettina getting farmers experience on use of Biopesticides. Photo: Prakash Neupane, LI-BIRD.

Ms. Bettina displayed great enthusiasm when meeting women group. Additionally, she expressed curiosity about women staff within our organization. Mr. Shakeb explained his colleagues about how their new project, Green Evolution, would contribute to promote Agroecological initiatives adopted by the LI-BIRD. At the end, Bettina conveyed immense gratitude to all the farmers and the LI-BIRD team for dedicating their time and efforts to facilitate this visit. 

Reviewed by: Dipesh Neupane, Buddha BK and Santosh Shrestha.