Private sector investment and engagement in Nepal’s agriculture sector increased crop yields and provided higher incomes for farmers under a five-year United States Government-supported program. At a joint Ministry of Agricultural Development and USG program titled “Better Harvests: Higher Incomes, More Food and A Brighter Future for Nepal,” the Knowledge-based Integrated Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition (KISAN) project shared the positive results of its program that used modern farming technologies and private sector investment to boost crops and provide more food for Nepali communities.
Over the past five years, the United States Government-funded KISAN program fostered partnerships between Nepali farmers and over 700 private sector enterprises. The KISAN project also trained over 118,000 households across 20 districts in western Nepal. These farmers are now using modern farming technologies to meet market standards for rice, maize, lentils and high-value vegetables. As a result, the amount of food grown on more than 87,000 hectares of arable land increased by up to 100 percent, and farmers and businesses earned approximately $169.4 million. The increased food production also allowed farming families to set aside more than 15,000 metric tons of nutrient-rich vegetables for their own consumption.
“Improvements in the agriculture sector are a result of our joint collaboration with the Government of Nepal to promote the use of modern farming technologies and practices” said the U.S. Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires Michael Gonzales. “Now we need to keep the momentum going by building a solid foundation that allows for private sector trade and investments to thrive.”
Following KISAN, the United States introduced two robust agriculture-centered programs aligning with the Government of Nepal’s Agriculture Development Strategy under the Feed the Future initiative through the United States Agency for International Development. The first one is a five-year program $32.75 million KISAN II. The project is intended to increase the role of the private sector in agricultural growth in Nepal and will be implemented by Winrock International, the Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development, the Development Project Service Center, Siddharth Inc., Digital Green, and Overseas Strategic Consulting.
“The second program is a five-year, $15 million Nepal Seeds and Fertilizer project implemented by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre to promote the use of cutting-edge research, innovations in digital technology, and market-oriented seed business models in Nepal. This project will provide new government-approved seed varieties to smallholder farmers and unleash the agricultural potential for a sustainable and prosperous Nepal,” said a press release issued by The U.S. Embassy in Nepal.