‘Sahaj Phase 2’ launched to strengthen agri-businesses in Province 1

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative (MoLMAC) of Province 1 and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC organized a coordination event in Biratnagar to launch Phase 2 of the Nepal Agricultural Market Development Programme (NAMDP).

The NAMDP Phase-2, also known as Sahaj, is an SDC project, implemented by a consortium of Swiss contact (as the lead agency) and the Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development (CEAPRED). The project will run until November 2024, andwill provide financial and technical support towards services and innovation for agri-businesses in Province 1.

During the event held in Biratnagar, the participants pointed out the need to focus on growth and investment in forward market linkages, strengthening the country’s commercialization, processing and export of value-added agriculture products.

According to Ram Bahadur Magar, the State Minister for MoLMAC Province 1, the project will play an important role in the commercialization of agriculture in the province. “There are plenty of agricultural commodities with export potential in our province and I believe that the project will have crucial role in export promotion,” said Magar. “The ministry is also committed to creating an enabling environment by coordinating with all stakeholders including the federal government.”
Addressing the event, SDC’s Programme Manager, Ms. Coralie Blunier said, “With both continuity and progress in mind, this second phase will focus on strengthening forward market linkages and expand segments of the vegetables, maize, cardamom and dairy value chains. This phase is expected to unlock the potential Small and Medium agri-businesses in Province 1 have to be innovative, to grow and increase the production and trade of quality value added products on the domestic and international markets. This will ultimately contribute to enhance job creation for Nepalese women and men, including the thousands of youth entering the labor market every year, and to increase demand for farmers’ products, towards higher on-farm incomes”.

The four-year programme started in December 2020after signature of the bilateral agreement between the Government of Nepal and the Government of Switzerland. The programme works on forward production and market linkages and focuses on generating lasting impact in Province1. “The programme is designed to foster overall agriculture commercialization.

Agricultural imports have grown rapidly in Nepal over the last 10 years; this project aims to fill more of this demand from Nepali producers. At the same time, the project will look for opportunities to export and create innovative products for the domestic market,” said Rick van der Kamp, Team Leader of NAMDP Phase-2.

Fiscal Nepal |
Tuesday January 26, 2021, 05:51:46 PM |

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