Thousands of family farmers are expected to benefit from a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiative in Nepal that uses an innovative approach to build both the farmers’ capacities as well as add value to their products.
Being implemented in partnership with the Government of Nepal, the Cooperative Market Development Programme aims to establish and operationalize cooperative market chain of fruits and vegetables to increase farmers’ income and other livelihood opportunities.
“This [partnership] will directly benefit thousands of Nepalese farmers over the next five years, through crucial support in modernizing their production and market chain,” said Renaud Meyer, the UNDP Country Director for Nepal.
“The active engagement and financing from the Ministry [of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation] shows strong commitment, leadership and ownership of the programme,” he added.
According to UNDP-Nepal, the Programme focuses on six districts near the country’s capital, Kathmandu, which despite having a number of farmers’ cooperative groups, are plagued by poor infrastructure, lack of transport and storage facilities, inadequate access to market information as well as regulatory and institutional bottlenecks.
In addition to improving infrastructure, the initiative also aims to enhance quality, quantity and consistency of the supply of fruits and vegetables as well as train farmers on employing better techniques, as well as building their marketing and institutional capacity.
In all, about 14,000 farmers and their families are expected to benefit from the initiative, which is also expected to contribute to the South Asian country’s implementation of Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2 on ending poverty in all its forms, and ending hunger and achieving food security, respectively.