The livelihoods of farmers in Nepal depend on agriculture, forestry and livestock. In total, 66% of people in Nepal are still engaged in agriculture. Agroforestry systems, with several kinds used on a large scale, help protect agricultural lands from floods, landslides, droughts and the effects of climate change.
Traditional agroforestry practices in the Rasuwa district play an important role in the livelihood of farmers because agricultural productivity is decreasing and traditional forest resources are unable to meet the growing demand for food, fodder and wood. Furthermore, environmental deterioration is becoming a new problem in Nepal and in the project areas. Therefore, agro-forestry is one of the best ways to deal with this situation and indigenous knowledge in agro-forestry, educational and developmental practices is essential to improve this practice.
This project promotes economic growth in the Rasuwa district – increasing productivity and profit of the cultivation of coffee, fruit and multi-purpose trees.
In terms of concrete actions, the project directly responds to the expectations of the community:
• Increase the forest area to reduce marginal desertification of lands in the buffer zones of the Langtang Park in the Rasuwa district.
• Improve production and income opportunities through the expansion of plantation areas.
• Registration of farmer groups in primary cooperatives and in the district cooperative and support to be members of the Rasuwa District Cooperative Union.
• Training on organic farming practices, proper animal nutrition and fair trade principles.
• Strengthen the institutional capacity of the Union of farmers’ cooperatives in managing the value chain of coffee, fruit, fodder and multipurpose products for national and international markets by increasing their negotiating capacity and quality assessment.
• Encourage productivity improvements through the operational management of different trees and species and avoid the incidence of diseases through daily care and organic pesticides.
In 2017, around 10,000 Arabica coffee trees and 2500 “shade” trees (macadamia and jackfruit) were planted in the Saramthali and Yarsa areas. 100 farmers were trained in preparing the land for planting and caring for the trees, they received training on the principles of fair trade and organic agriculture.
In 2019, another 100 farmer families planted 4000 saplings of Arabica coffee and 2000 “shade” trees (guava – Psidium guajava, kimbu – Morus alba, khanyu – Ficus semicordata and lapsi – Choeronspondias axillaris) which, in addition to protecting coffee saplings , can be used for fruit consumption, such as biomass, for medical use, for animal nutrition and soil fertilization.
100 farmers attended the training sessions on soil preparation, planting and tree care, organic agriculture, marketing, reforestation and animal nourishment.
In 2020, 2 nurseries were created in which 17,000 Arabica coffee seeds (collected from saplings planted in 2017), 5,000 lime seeds (Citrus aurantifolia) and 8,000 Ipil Ipil seeds (Leucaena leucocephala) were sown.
The coffee trees and the “shadow” trees will be distributed to another 100 farmer families in the Saramthali, Bhorle and Kalikhastan areas who will plant the saplings to start coffee production, the fruit trade and to use the Ipil Ipil species for various purposes: biomass, wood, vegetable fibers, animal nourishment.
Farmers will be the protagonists of training sessions on organic agriculture, soil preparation, plant care, marketing and management of agricultural cooperatives.
All the saplings planted are georeferenced and photographed.
The planting of coffee, fruit and multi-purpose trees is expected until 2022.
Direct beneficiaries of the project are 300 farmer families (about 1500 people) in the rural municipality of Naukunda, in the Rasuwa district.
11,824 people living in the rural municipality of Naukunda will benefit indirectly from the distribution, planting and agroforestry activities.