Provincial and local government officials together with concerned stakeholders discussed the need for proper coordination in order to strengthen the effective extension system to help increase income of smallholder farmers.
Under the Value Chain Development of Fruit and Vegetables project, the workshops were organized in Chumlingtar on 23 December and Dhulikhel on 26 December 2018, which brought together representatives from 40 local governments, Agriculture Knowledge Centers, Horticultural farms/centres, Provincial Ministry and other agriculture project partners. The participating local representatives pledged to support the project’s interventions in targeting the end market and final products by focusing on farmers’ income, as they are unlikely to have bargaining power to demand for the right prices.
Inaugurating the workshop, National Project Director, Mr. Tej Bahadur Subedi said that the project aimed to support the farmers in various processes including production, postharvest management and marketing. “The project focuses on strengthening the government system in extension and technology development and adoption. This is also an opportunity of interacting with local governments who provide service to farmers and play a crucial role in their income generation” he added.
Similarly, National Project Manager, Mr. Chiranjibi Adhikari, discussed on project goals, expected outcomes, activities, and room for collaboration with provincial and local governments. The workshop was followed by technical presentations from stakeholder and experts discussing the importance of fruits and vegetables for income generation and household nutrition, roles and responsibilities of municipalities and rural municipalities for agriculture development and legal provision on the government roles to support the initiative.
The local representatives also stressed on how the project could help transform smallholder farmers to successful entrepreneurs for which collaboration among all three level governments (federal, provincial and local) was crucial. Some prominent issues of discussion included empowering farmers at the municipal level with technical assistance and lack of ward level human resources for record keeping of the farmers.