The Government of Japan has decided to extend financial assistance of 260,452 US Dollars; equivalent to approximately 25,131,013 Nepalese Rupees to GLM Institute, in Japan’s Fiscal Year 2013 under the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects Scheme of the Government of Japan. GLM Institute, in close coordination with a local NGO called Srijansil Welfare Society, will implement the Project for Improving Livelihoods of Farmers through Environmentally Harmonizing Agriculture in the Hill Areas of Sindhuli District (Two years).
A Grant Contract relating to this project was signed and exchanged today between Kunio TAKAHASHI, Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, and Wakana NISHIYAMA, Project Manager, GLM Institute.
Agriculture is a major contributor to the Nepalese economy. According to the Department of Agriculture, the agricultural sector offers employment to 66 per cent of the economically active population, a 39 percent contribution to the GDP, and 13 percent of the total foreign trade of the country. For this reason, agriculture has been given priority in all national periodic plans. Nevertheless, farmers in Nepal, especially in rural areas, face many problems due to lack of infrastructure and poor technical skills and capacity, including marketing strategies. Moreover, deforestation and haphazard use of chemical fertilizer and pesticide have caused environmental degradation, which deteriorates the productivity of rural farmland.
Prior to the project which was signed today, GLM Institute implemented various agriculture related activities supported by the Government of Japan including skills development training on high value crop farming, such as Japanese mandarin oranges, Japanese persimmons and tomato house farming, in addition to animal husbandry. Participatory workshops regarding water resource management and soil conservation in the community have also been held. The project included the construction of micro-irrigation facilities which enables people to engage in high value crop farming through the whole season. The grant which was signed today will be utilized to expand the project area to all nine wards to improve the livelihoods of people in Kuseswor Dumja VDC of Sindhuli District by introducing environmentally harmonizing agricultural technology to local farmers.
Speaking at the function, Ambassador TAKAHASHI reiterated the importance of agricultural development in rural Nepal. At the same time, he expressed his belief that this project will benefit local farmers and contribute to improving the livelihoods of the people in the area, and, in addition, will play a significant role to strengthen the friendly relationship between Japan and Nepal.