The USAID-funded Nepal Economic, Agriculture, and Trade Activity (NEAT) is partnering with the Nepal Ministry of Agriculture Development (MOAD) to design and disseminate agricultural training materials nationwide. The materials—263,000 pieces covering 13 crops and 3 types of livestock—include durable handouts and flipcharts aimed at increasing the quantity and quality of agricultural production. The materials are oriented to illiterate and semi-literate populations, using a combination of photos and written descriptions in Nepali to clearly depict and explain critical agriculture practices. The materials will be distributed to Department of Agriculture Training Centres, District Agriculture Development Officers (DADOs), and extension service centers throughout Nepal.
According to USAID press release, Developed in consultation with Nepal’s Department of Agriculture, the training materials were officially handed over to the MOAD at an event in Kathmandu yesterday. The Secretary of MOAD, Jaya Mukunda Khanal, and MOAD Joint Secretary, Ram Prasad Pulami, received the materials.
MOAD Joint Secretary Prabhakar Pathak noted that these training materials will be an “asset for the training needs of our agriculture sector.” Speaking at the event, John Stamm, Director of USAID’s Social, Environmental, and Economic Development Office, remarked, “USAID remains committed to sustainable impact. The materials being handed over today will build the capacity of Nepalese farmers and extension agents throughout the country to increase their food security and their incomes. Furthermore, long after the project has ended, farmers, DADOs, service centers, and other projects will continue to use the materials created through this joint effort with the Government.”
NEAT is a 32-month program designed to promote economic growth, reduce poverty, increase food security, and improve lives. The program is working with 67,510 food insecure and disadvantaged households in 20 districts of the west and mid-west regions, facilitating their access to markets and improved inputs like seeds, fertilizers, and integrated pest management supplies, and building their capacity to use good agricultural practices such as pest and disease control, and improved post-harvest handling. The farmers supported by the program have increased their household incomes by a total of more than $8.5 million, with 99 percent of them reporting increased access to markets for their crops. The project will close in August 2013.