Rural Access Programme (RAP) III - Socio-Economic Development (SED)

Country: Nepal
Locations: Achham, Bajura, Doti and Humla Districts of Nepal
Date: October 2013 - January 2016
Project Manager: Sujan Piya

The main objective of this project is to improve income and resilience of poor people of the project districts. We are seeking to improve incomes and resilience of poor people through agriculture commercialisation. It focuses on four sub-sectors which are vegetable, goat, spice and Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP). The project intervenes at all spheres of the market system – the main market chain, enabling environment and service providers.

We have been conducting income generating and economic infrastructure development activities such as improved seeds, technologies and capacity building training. After the project intervention, about 70 per cent of the vegetable producers have adopted new methods and technologies for vegetable cultivation and goat farming. Farmers’ Field Schools (FFSs) are organised to provide basic knowledge about new farming techniques and technology. Likewise, farmers’ business schools are organised to provide technical and entrepreneurship skills to commercial farmers. To enhance access of smallholder farmers to practical knowledge, Practical Answers are involved to provide need and demand based locally applicable technical solutions using various dissemination channels.

To ensure the quality input and output services are available locally, Business Service Providers (BSPs) – agro-vets, mobile agro-vets, Local Resource Persons (LRPs), Village Animal Health Workers (VAHWs), collectors, and cooperatives were developed and strengthened. Off-farm enterprises have been introduced for disadvantaged groups mainly the dalits who own very little land and resources to engage in other income generating activities. These enterprises are mainly traditional skills based enterprises like blacksmithing, tailoring and bamboo products making. Vocational training is provided to disadvantaged groups members to enable them to get job at home and abroad.

The guiding approach of the project is Participatory Market System Development (PMSD), which is a participatory and sytemic approach to markets that reduces poverty sustainably and at scale. It is based on three basic principles: participation, systemic thinking/planning and facilitation and has been developed and improved over the last decade by Practical Action's markets practitioners in Latin America, Africa and South Asia.

Participatory Market Systems Development (PMSD)

Whether it is in agriculture, energy, health or sanitation, the markets are complex systems of human relationships and rules. Over the last decade, market practitioners at Practical Action have worked with the marginalised actors to gain access to more functional markets, to sell their product...

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This is a four year project funded by UKaid, managed by IMC and jointly implemeted by a consortium. We are in partnership with Participatory Effort at Children Education and Women Initiatives (PEACEWIN), Social Empowerment and Building Accessibility Centre (SEBAC) Nepal and Community Development Forum (CDF) with the funding support of UK aid through IMC Worldwide.

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