The Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Dr QU Dongyu successfully completed a mission to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. During this visit, the Director General paid a courtesy call with Rt Honorable President Ram Chandra Paudel and Rt Honorable Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Kathmandu. He also had a bilateral meeting with Hon’ble Bedu Ram Bhusal, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development and, Hon’ble Birendra Prasad Mahato, Minister for Forests and Environment.
In the courtesy meeting, the President praised FAO’s support to the country and conveyed his appreciation to the FAO Director-General for the seven decades long partnership with Nepal and continuous support in various dimensions of agriculture and natural resource management ranging from policy support, technology introduction, institutional and human resource development.
During the meeting with the Prime Minister, the Director-General reiterated his commitment to support Nepal in its graduation from Least Developed Country status and smooth transition. He further highlighted the importance of adopting enabling policies, promoting science and innovation, and attracting investment, and how FAO could support Nepal in these areas.
The Prime Minister stated th
at the country was now focused on economic building and would shortly graduate from the Least Developed Country category. The Prime Minister expressed his expectation on FAO to play an even more positive role in supporting Nepal, mainly focusing on attracting youth on agriculture, youth entrepreneurship, proper utilization of the fallow land, making agriculture more attractive and profitable through mechanization, digitalization and sound investment for agri-food system transformation.
The Director-General replied to the Prime Minister’s request by reiterating FAO’s commitment to support the Government of Nepal in achieving overall agricultural development and the SDGs through science and innovation, enabling policies, and capacity development. He appraised the Prime Minister’s support for the active cooperation with FAO through the Organization’s flagship initiatives, including the Hand-in-Hand, One Country One Priority Product and 1000 Digital Villages, Green Cities resulting to achieve four betters- better production, better nutrition, a better environment, a better life, leave no one behind.
In the bilateral meeting with the Honourable ministers, both acknowledged the inputs provided by FAO to the country in introducing new technologies and validating best practices, addressing persisting and emerging challenges of food security, nutrition, and sustainable natural resource management.
The Director-General admired the Government of Nepal for its active participation and strong cooperation in FAO’s corporate initiatives- Hand-in-Hand Initiative, One Country One Priority Product Initiative, 1000 Digital Villages Initiatives, Green Cities initiatives and one health initiatives in achieving four betters.
The Director General, Rt Honourable Vice President Ram Sahaya Prasad Yadav and Hon’ble Minister Bedu Ram Bhusal jointly inaugurated International Policy Dialogue on Future Smart Crops and unveiled millets compendium entitled “Millets Traditions, Science and Technology in Nepal”.
Addressing the policy dialogue, the Director General emphasized the need for more and better crops, ensuring accessibility while minimizing environmental impacts. Further, he stated that over-reliance on a few staple crops leads to low dietary diversity whereas the underutilized crop species hold huge potential for a more inclusive, sustainable, climate-resilient future.
The Rt Hon’ble Vice President, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development and the Director General of FAO including other delegates observed the Future Smart Crops Exhibition which highlighted four key FAO initiatives – the 1000 Digital Villages Initiative, the One Country One Priority Product, the Hand-in-Hand Initiative, and the Green Cities Initiative, alongside other flagship projects.
In addition to this, FAO Director-General visited the Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC) and interacted with the scientists. He observed potato tissue culture Laboratory, Plant Pathology Research Centre, Animal Breeding and Genetic Research Centre and National Gene Bank.
The Director General visited the Central Veterinary Laboratory, observed the facilities and launched the animal health component the Global Health Security Program to strengthen the health systems of Nepal in tackling prioritized zoonotic diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) through an inclusive One Health approach.
The FAO Director-General attended the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining a five-year collaborative framework between FAO and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) to promote sustainable mountain development in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region.
The Director General and delegation also visited Kavre and interacted with farmers, witnessed the adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) technologies, and launched the "Tele Plant Doctor"—an AI and machine learning-based application to contribute to the Digital Village Initiative (DVI).
The Director General praised strong partnership with Government of Nepal since 1951 and commended active engagement in FAO’s flagships initiatives and regular program to achieve the better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind.