Speed for life


“SPEED for Life: SPices and sEEDs value chain improvement for rural development in Nepal, enhancing women and youth empowerment”

Agriculture is the economic cornerstone of Nepal. It makes up one third of the nation’s GDP and employs two thirds of the population. The demand for fresh vegetables by consumers and agro-food industries grows every year. Consequently, there is an increase of cultivated areas and demand for quality controlled commercial seeds that can guarantee constant production and reduced losses.

This project aims to support the livelihood of 3,500 small-scale farmers by improving agricultural production and the sale of seeds and spices of high commercial value. Project activities will be carried out to improve the production of local varieties of seeds that will satisfy the demand in local markets, thus leading to an increase in the average income of the producers. Other activities are aimed at improving the production, marketing and primary transformation of spices with potential for export, such as ginger, turmeric and chili.

The proposed activities were developed based on the needs of beneficiaries from the districts of Kavre and Sindhupalchock, areas where farmers face issues related to the production of quality seeds, and poor knowledge of the markets and of production techniques. A successful intervention to improve the quality of spice production and increase market competitiveness is linked to the correct use of both synthetic and natural plant protection products.

The migration of many men to foreign countries in search for jobs has left a gap in family and business management. Thus during this project, special attention will be given to women’s roles in entrepreneurial management, taking steps to ensure full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life. Since the 2017 elections, the political change has led to a weakening of local politics, not prepared for self-regulation. A governance process will be activated to support local governmental bodies in the development of agricultural strategies in the territory and to strengthen participation in local politics.

The involvement of the DAFNE will add value with the introduction of new techniques and technologies for the production and conservation of quality seeds and with the establishment of a seed bank to safeguard the genetic heritage of local varieties. These actions will be supported by training community cooperatives to strengthen their marketing capacity, as they will be dedicated to the primary transformation of spices and seeds for commercial use.

Individual beneficiaries will receive support from marketing experts of the PIN on preparing business plans for marketing agricultural products; this will guarantee self-sustainability over time. These experts will also conduct a study on the value chain of selected products to help create a system for sustainable marketing.

ASIA, in cooperation with the local implementing partner CEAPRED, will be responsible for coordinating and implementing project activities, engaging local authorities and ensuring local ownership of the development process.

In the long term, a change is expected regarding the living conditions of the populations of the target districts, who will be the key actors of socio-economic development in the agro-food sector. Through the increase of agricultural production, and consequently income, farmers will be able to support their families. They will also be able to take advantage of basic services, helping to develop the welfare system.

– Identification and participatory selection of potential seed species and areas for the production of local varieties of seeds

– Strengthening farmers’ skills for commercial seed species production

– Dissemination of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for the use of pesticides (synthetic and natural)

-Creation of a seed bank

-Establishment of 2 social enterprises for marketing

-Capacity building for community social enterprises

-Participatory planning and meetings with the rural municipalities and Agriculture Knowledge Centre

-Mobilization and strengthening the skills of the Community Resources Persons

-Promotion of farmers’ participation in weekly markets for seeds and vegetables

-Study of spice value chains and seed supply chains for at least 7 seed and 3 spice varieties

– Development of a business plan for the sale of processed and semi-processed seeds and spices

– Dissemination of agricultural bulletins via FM Radio and SMS

Direct beneficiaries of the project are 3,500 farmers including 2450 in the 20-39 age group and 1050 in the 40-54 age group. 60% of the beneficiaries are female (2100 beneficiaries).
171,564 people living in the 5 rural municipalities involved will benefit indirectly from agricultural and marketing activities.

Project financed by