Agriculture is often the main source of income for Dang, Kapilvastu and Bardia farmers. However, farmers have been producing fewer agricultural products due to disease, irrigation, manure, and technological factors, causing a local food crisis. This can be attributed to modernization and the loss of traditional agricultural practices. A reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides to increase production has resulted in adverse health impacts. This agricultural crisis has also been exacerbated by increasing climatic stressors.  However, the nearby Tharu community has been implementing different traditional farming techniques, which have increased their agricultural production. Pro-public saw this as an opportunity to build the capacity of the next generation of farmers to ensure they are incorporating traditional methods of agriculture into their farming practices.

Pro-public initiated this crucial work through a community workshop titled “Capacity Development training for the farmers of Nepal.” This event was the second event of the LRNR project organized by Pro Public and supported by Friends of Earth, which followed the earlier research study on the implementation of the right to food sovereignty and the status of traditional agricultural knowledge in the Tharu Community.

Twenty participants had attended the capacity development training, consisting of both the older and younger generations. The participants represented the resident farmers of Shivaraj Municipality, Rapti Village Municipality and Rajapur Municipality of Kapilvastu, Dang and Bardiya districts, respectively.

 

The objective of the training was to:
  • Share and build the capacity of farmers on agricultural/food security-related laws and policies of Nepal,
  • To inform farmers of agricultural services provided by the Agriculture Knowledge Center,
  • To build a network between the farmers of different districts, and
  • To share Tharu traditional agricultural best practices.
The program consisted of the following six thematic sessions:
  1. The right to Food Sovereignty and Farmers’ Rights as framed in Nepal’s constitutional, legal and policy documents.
  2. Farmer’s Rights implementation mechanism of Government of Nepal,
  3. Problems faced by the farmers concerning fertilizers, quality seeds and hybrid seeds,
  4. Action plans and programs of the Government of Nepal relevant to the protection and development of traditional agricultural knowledge,
  5. Traditional knowledge of Tharu Community and the best agricultural practices,
  6. Intergenerational transfer of knowledge about agricultural practices.
The program concluded with a field visit to the Community Seed Bank and agricultural area of Bagarapur Village.
Pro Public hopes that the skills and knowledge shared between farming communities during the workshops will strengthen their collective capacity and sustain their livelihoods long into the future.