Regional agri research centre launched

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jul 6, 2014-

Agricultural research institutes from Nepal, India and Bangladesh have teamed together to work on improving the productivity, profitability and sustainability of 7,000 small scale farmers along the eastern Gangetic plains.

The Australian Embassy in Nepal on Friday launched a five-year regional agricultural research initiative in Dhulikhel, Kavre targeting the rice-based farming systems through resource conserving agro-technologies, efficient use of water to strengthen innovation, adaptive capacity of farmers and eventually connecting them to the markets.

The programme ‘Sustainable and Resilient Farming Systems Intensification in the Eastern Gangetic Plains (SRFSI)’, with an estimated budget of Rs 449 million funded by the Australian government, will cater to the farmers living in the eastern gangetic plains, which is home to 300 million people.

Launching the programme, Australian Ambassador to Nepal Glenn White said During the launch programme, Glenn White, Australia’s Ambassador to Nepal said the plains were dominated by small farms (less than one hectare), with many of the female farmers having little access to credit, quality seeds, fertilisers, irrigation or formal extension services.

“They also have to cope with climate-related risks and extreme incidents such as floods, drought and cold snaps,” he said.

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research will manage the programme together with scientists and development practitioners from Australia, Bangladesh, Nepal and India. The International Wheat and Maize Improvement Centre will lead the project in eight districts: two in north-west Bangladesh, two in eastern Terai of Nepal, and two each in the Indian states of Bihar and West Bengal.

Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) will implement the programme in Nepal, focusing on development of support services in order to enable farmers innovate during climate and economic change.

The project aims at tapping into the potential of the Ganges plains to become one of the food bowls of South Asia.

Published: 07-07-2014 08:45

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