Govt, IFAD fund $37m project for small farmers

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Feb 27, 2015-

The Nepal government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are financing a $37.7 million project to help 100,000 rural households and communities in up to six districts in the hills and remote areas of the Mid-Western Region to cope with climate change risks.

The project-Adaptation for Smallholders in Hill Areas (ASHA)-will include two IFAD grants, one for $10 million and another for $15 million from the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP), an IFAD-initiated global grant fund dedicated to building the resilience of poor smallholder farmers against the negative effects of climate change.

The grant agreement was signed at IFAD headquarters in Rome by Kanayo F Nwanze, president of IFAD, and Madhu Kumar Marasini, joint secretary, International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division, Ministry of Finance.

Agriculture employs 66 percent of the population in Nepal and accounts for one-third of the GDP, a reflection of the many challenges facing the country’s four million smallholder farmers.

Over six years, ASHA will address climate variability and its effects on food and nutrition security while building on previous IFAD work, which contributed to community development, agricultural productivity and environmental protection, said IFAD in a press statement.  

The project will be directly supervised by IFAD and will initially focus on six districts in the Mid-Western Region-Jajarkot, Kalikot, Dailekh, Salyan, Rolpa and Rukum.

“The objective is to strengthen the adaptive capacities of communities and institutions to better contend with climate change in a sustainable manner,” said IFAD’s Country Programme Manager Lakshmi Moola.

“Our goals include moving target beneficiaries down the vulnerability scale, improving household assets and reducing the prevalence of child malnutrition.”

Since 1978, IFAD has invested in projects in Nepal, including ASHA that have a total cost of nearly $473.5 million of which IFAD contributed $213 million, directly benefiting 700,000 households.

Published: 28-02-2015 10:23

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