Resilience-Building Through Agroecology
HPC’s project is focussed in Karnali Province, which comprises 10 districts, 79 municipalities and 718 wards (a political area usually containing 1 village). Its area is 27,984 sq.km and population is 1,694,889 (2021 census) in approximately 300,000 households. Karnali Province has the lowest population density at 61pp/km2 (next lowest is Gandaki Province at 120pp/km2); literacy rate 58.5%. It has the lowest growth rate in the country with an annual economic growth rate of 5.7% and it also contributes the least to the GDP at 4.1%. The Province is among the poorest in Nepal with an estimated 28.9% of people living under absolute poverty (second highest in the country) and 51.7% of the people are multi-dimensionally poor (highest in the country).
Nepal, Karnali province
June 2023 – May 2028
To collaboratively design and create resilient, abundant communities having ecological, social and economic sustainability through agroecology.
Through dynamic and innovative programming, communities will be able to provide for their own water, food, health and energy needs, becoming not only sustainable but truly regenerative, joining the global effort to create ecological, social and economic abundance.
After 30 years of applied integrated rural development HPC members have identified 3 key activities to be most effective in achieving the goal of resilient and abundant communities. These are: 1. Demonstration of best practice farming systems’ methods and approaches; 2. Training and education in systems’ establishment and maintenance, and 3. Investment in access to resources of seed, seedlings and other hardware for farmers to be able to self-implement change. These activities need to be supported by effective governance with social and economic policies that ensure widespread application can be achieved.
Objective 1: Scale-up and Spread of best-practice methods and approaches of integrated, agro-ecological farming
Provide demonstration of and training in a range of technologies and approaches that increase domestic farm and household productivity
Objective 2: Creation of Regenerative Livelihoods
Facilitate establishment and operation of social enterprises and ethical business models based on agroecological abundance, that develop rural enterprises and income generating activities to improve local household and community economies
Planned activities (2023-2028)
- Establishment and operation of 20 new demonstration and training farms in Karnali Province (5 in year 1; 10 in year2; 5 in year 3)
- Associated farmers’ training programs in Agroecology, women’s health and practical schools’ classes (including design of school land)
- Develop farmers’ Agroecology Academy to train 75 “barefoot consultants” (farmer-trainers/designers)
- Develop cottage industries based on agroecologically-produced foods and edible oils, medicinal herbs, soaps, textiles, and biofertilizers
- Support cooperatives to attain Organic certification
- Provide business literacy training to facilitate market access
Funding source: Investment from local government have already been received. HPC is currently looking for additional funds
Effects and impacts of the initiative: Even though it is too early to assess impact on this specific project, similar projects in other areas in Nepal showed that the techniques learned by farmers are timesaving, productivity-increasing and cost-decreasing. It’s difficult to measure a complex system such as agroecology so monitoring and evaluation will be a priority to develop within our partnerships.
Farmers’ handbook: learning resource which will be used in Karnali project and has previously been used in other HPC’s projects: https://www.permaculturenews.org/2020/08/24/farmers-handbook/ It was first written in Nepalese and then translated into English.
Video presentation of the HPC (by Lush prize) https://springprize.org/the-prizes/established-projects/?fbclid=IwAR05wp01ocSofOIP43gQ_w02VsPO9M2Lazvd6dVwiQ_MJNabuUwx4saz71k