Assessment of agroecological farming in Mahakali river basin area

Members of food and agriculture team of Forestaction Nepal, recently accomplished a field visit to Far West Province. The main objective of the field visit was to conduct agro-ecological assessment in Mahakali River basin (Bheemdatt and Dodhara Chandani Municipalities of Kanchanpur district, and Parashuraam Municipality of Dadeldhura district). This assessment has been carried out in collaboration with NNSWA (Kanchanpur based organization), and was conducted between 29th May to 3rd of June, 2022.

Municipality level interactions, in presence of newly elected representatives, were conducted in all of above three municipalities. The possible roles of local government in promoting agriculture for food at local level, was discussed during municipality level interactions.

At ward level, separate focus group discussions were held with farmers group, women farmers group, and Dalit women farmers group. Also, separate interaction was held with few of the individual farmers. During the interaction, the current scenario of food and agriculture of respective ward level, the problems, challenges being faced by the farmers including the problems invited due to over flooding in Mahakali and Jogbuda rivers during rainy season, the scope of agriculture, agriculture related enterprises that the farmers have envisioned, were discussed.

During the field visit, agriculture and livestock offices, situated at municipality, were also visited, and interacted with the officials.

The report making process is in progress. All the information collected from the field is being analysed. At the same time, policy documents and other similar study related articles and reports, and respective municipality’s profile is being reviewed.

The field study report will be shared later once it is finalized.

Expansion of Alliance of Agriculture for Food in Chitwan valley

Alliance of Agriculture for Food (AAF) is expanded in Chitwan valley too. AAF is collaborating with other networks and alliances of organic food producers and sustainable agriculture promoters, located inside Chitwan valley, and jointly raising the issues of food and agriculture, conducting awareness campaign against the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and bringing such issues into public debate, and promoting agroecological farming.

Recently, AAF organized an interaction event at Kalika municipality, in presence of newly elected local representatives, and discussed over the contemporary issues of food and agriculture of respective municipality. Also discussed the potential roles and responsibilities of local government to promote agriculture for food at local level.

The new series of an apprenticeship course begins

Food and agriculture team at Forestaction Nepal has been running an apprenticeship course on “transformative activism for sustainable agriculture” since 2010. The motive behind running this course is to build the capacity of the farmers, activists, agriculture students, and others who are interested in farming, and make them able to involve in the campaign of “Agriculture for Food”, either through practices, or through their engagement in policy advocacy at local level. Further, changing ourselves by reflecting and learning by doing and teaching by learning is motto of this training.

So far now, the team has already successfully conducted seven of its series, with an average of 20 participants in each batch, and has now started the new series of it.

The new series of this course includes two groups of participants. The one group includes the participants solely from Terai Madhesh region, whereas, the other one includes the fresh agriculture graduates including some farmers/activists as participants.

The Terai Madesh group has 25 participants, who are currently engaged in with different groups, and are promoting agriculture, working in the social sector, education field, and some are students too. The first module of this series for this group was organized at Thimura, Chitwan, for five days starting from 29th of April 2022.

Similarly, the first module for the next group was organized at SWI, Nakhhu, lalitpur, for five days, staring from 20th of May, 2022. This group has altogether 22 participants.

The theme of the first module for both of the groups was “Back to Basics”.

In this module, under the theme of back to basics, classes were conducted on topics such as evolution, diversity and discrimination, development, education, public health and life skills. Thematic presentations, discussions, group interaction, games and active interactions of participants were the method applied during the training. The first module for both group ended with effective learning through various thematic sessions by facilitators and the active participation of participants.