With about 80 percent of Nepal's population still dependent on agriculture and livestock for livelihood (Agro Enterprise Center), farmers have a key role in the economic orientation of the country. Besides being the highest contributor to the national GDP, they are especially an important source for rural income generation and employment opportunities. But changing conditions in climate and other human-induced factors, including, changes in use of land and water resources, urban migration and modern food cultures, coupled with the rapid decrease of genetic diversity in agriculture pose serious threats.
NTNC works closely with local communities to improve agriculture capacity and rural livelihood patterns by integrating modern scientific methods with traditional practices. This is limited to not just subsistence-level interventions, but also toward developing and diversifying commercial farming capacity. Efforts to develop farming cultures that are market driven enable farmers with additional income and incentivize them to reap the opportunities of agro-biodiversity. NTNC also operates its own agro-nurseries—that in effect help maintain a value chain network of local crops and technologies among private-owned nurseries—to support farmers with the desired access and affordability. Training and skill building exercises are regularly undertaken to develop locally appropriate solutions to local farming challenges. Material and equipment support help farmers to apply their knowhow and skills with the right technology, and provide opportunities for farmer to farmer exchanges through cross-learning.
Our interventions primarily aim to develop innovative livelihood options that promote pro-poor and gender-responsive opportunities in a way that is able to accommodate nutrition security as well as encourage cash driven production systems, along with developing capacity and competency to adopt and upscale to newer technologies. Promotion of improved horticulture, poultry and livestock practices help link farming innovation with biodiversity conservation, climate adaptation and sustainable livelihoods.