80% of the population lives off agriculture, and the organic products niche market is growing in Nepal. This opportunity needs to be taken advantage of today, to help producers get free of the impoverishment cycle that currently finds them obliged to use hybrid seeds and to be retailers of products that economically do not actually even cover investment costs.
The hydrogeological risk is another major problem in Nepal, due to both local topographical characteristics and the inreased intensity of rainfall that in recent years with ever more frequent heavy rainfalls for brief periods, enormously heightening problems.
The main objective of this project, developed together with Ceapred, Oikos and Fondazione punto.sud, is thus to promote a model of sustainable and ecocompatible production in Nepal able to meet changes in the climate through sustainable agriculture, favouring production of foodstuffs that are both safe and competitive on the market.
The project will engage 4500 growers (50% women) in the districts of Sindhuli, Kavrepalanchok and Sindhupalchok to launch a Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) in the supply chains of seed and vegetable production; at least 2250 farmers (50% women) will become partners in 140 production cooperatives set up during project activities; conservative agriculture technologies resistant to climate change will be promoted and adopted by 1500 farmers and by means of direct financial support by 50 producers (subgranting).
Finally, the project will create a brand name to identify products, compliant with Organic Certification Nepal guidelines, that will then be marketed by the beneficiary cooperatives.
The agricultural practices being promoted, required for certification of the products (vegetables and seeds) brought to market with the PGS brand, are conservative with regard to soil and water, and employ natural agricultural inputs including animal and vegetable biopesticides, compost, and technologies derived from permaculture.