The Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) jointly organized a National Inception Workshop on the project “Enhancing Rural Livelihoods in Underutilized/abandoned Agricultural Land through Agro-forestry” in Kathmandu on 12December 2016.
FAO in collaboration with the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation has developed a two-year Technical Cooperation Project (TCP). The key objective of the project is to analyse the current situation and challenges of abandoned agriculture land and propose options for best agro-forestry options to increase the productivity of such land in order to contribute in livelihoods of rural people and enhance food security.
“The project will be piloted in the hill districts of Kaski and Parbat in western Nepal with three field sites in each district. The project will reach out 400 households and covers 200 ha while piloting across the selected districts,” states a press release issued by FAO.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Krishna Chandra Poudel, Secretary of the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation said that the Government of Nepal has always envisioned the protection and promotion of forest. He also highlighted need of addressing issues related to the agro-forestry sector in a larger scale, to ensure that forestry contribute on prosperity of rural people.
Resham Bahadur Dangi, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation said that the project should be more focused on engagement of households in order to enhance family livelihoods.
Highlighting the role of agro-forest in providing regular source of food, shelter and income to the rural people, Dr. Somsak Pipoppinyo said that proper management of agriculture land and natural resources are prerequisites of sustainable economic growth and development.
Krishna Acharya, the Director-General of Department of Forestry preside over the workshop.
DrYurdiYasmi, Forest Policy Officer for Asia and the Pacific for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO),Dr Ganga Ram Dahal, FAO Consultant, Tara Lama, FAO Consultant and Rakshya Shah, ICUN Program Officer made presentation on the TCP concept, objectives of the project.
They highlighted issues the related to abandoned agricultural land and discussed way forward to address challenges presented by the increasing agricultural land underutilization/abandonment, which is further impacting the food security status of Nepal. 40 experts representing government and non-government agencies actively participated in the workshop.