The Government of Nepal, UNDP and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) signed this week an agreement to implement a project on “Valuechain development of fruit and vegetables in Nepal” aimed at raising the incomes of nearly 10,000 smallholder farmers through strengthening the value chain of fruit and vegetable production in the country. As part of the project, there will be special focus on production maximization, post-harvest technology development and rollout, and improved market linkage.
Under the agreement, KOICA will support US $5 Million and UNDP will contribute US$0.5 million respectively for a joint initiative to be implemented in about 40 municipalities in twelve districts in Province 3 and 4, namely Dhading, Kavre, Makawanpur, Chitwan, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Sindhuli, Nawalparasi, Tanahun, Gorkha, Kaski, and Syanja until the end of 2022.
The MoU was signed by Dr.Hyungkyoo Kim, Country Director KOICA Nepal Office and Renaud Meyer, Country Director UNDP. Before that, the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Finance: Mr. Shreekrishna Nepal, and the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management, and Cooperatives: Mr. Tej Subedi signed the project document with the UNDP at a function held at Singhadurbar, Kathmandu on 26 June 2018.
The valuechain development project focuses on increasing production, reducing post-harvest losses and improving the marketing system for selected fruit and vegetables. Through its efforts, cooperatives and farmers’ groups will have better access to production technology, as well as improved crop production practices. Post-harvest technologies will be developed and transferred to farmers in collaboration with the Nepal Agriculture Research Council. Support to physical facilities, organizational management and access to market price information will be provided to collection centers and satellite markets to improvemarket linkages.
Marketed volumes of fruit and vegetables are low in Nepal and farmers have limited access to agriculture technology. Post-harvest losses are high, with estimates suggesting losses between 10 and 14% for fruit and vegetables. Careless handling of crops during loading and unloading, and lack of storage facilities at collection centres are some contributing factors.In this context, this programmewill also help to establish 20 collection centres and satellite markets. The programme will help Nepal achieve the Sustainable Development Goals with a direct contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 1 (No Poverty) and Sustainable Development Goal 2 (Zero Hunger).