Rome, 6 June 2018 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Nepal have signed a financing agreement to significantly improve incomes and food and nutrition security for 35,000 rural farming households in 10 districts in State 6.
The agreement for the Agriculture Sector Development Programme was signed by correspondence by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, and, Shreekrishna Nepal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Nepal.
The total cost of the new programme is US$68.1 million, including a $38.2 million loan and a $1.8 million grant from IFAD. The project will be cofinanced by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation ($3 million), the Government of Nepal ($11.5 million) and others. It will be implemented over six years.
In Nepal, two thirds of the labour force is engaged in agricultural production, but the majority are unskilled and lack knowledge of updated cultivation practices. Food insecurity remains a key concern in the country, with rates of stunting and wasting being the highest in the programme area.
“The programme will target smallholder producers and landless rural people interested in engaging in targeted value chain activities,” said Lakshmi Moola, IFAD Country Programme Manager.
“We aim to improve incomes and food security by supporting producers in developing high-value agricultural products that correspond to market needs and can generate a profit. The programme will also invest in market infrastructure and producers’ access to markets,” she added.
Technical training and financial services will be provided and women and disadvantaged households will be specifically targeted.
The programme will be implemented in Dailekh, Dolpa, Humla, Jajarkot, Jumla, Kalikot, Mugu, Rukum (Western), Salyan, and Surrket districts in State 6, located in the mid-western area of Nepal.
Since 1978, IFAD has financed 17 rural development programmes and projects in Nepal, investing $301.8 million or $609.8 million when co-financing is included. These projects and programmes have benefitted almost 824,000 rural households.
IFAD has invested in rural people for 40 years, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided about US$20.2 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached some 46 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub