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Abstract

This report assesses the impact of the High Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas (HVAP) of Nepal co-financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Government of Nepal (GoN), and the SNV Netherlands Development Organization. The project was implemented between February 2011 and September 2018, and aimed at reducing rural poverty and improving food security in the remote hill and mountainous areas of the landlocked state. Nepal's geographical landscape presents numerous challenges to local economic growth and rural development. The livelihood of the people living in Nepal's rugged landscape is often characterized by low agricultural productivity, and limited access to markets and services. HVAP is a unique project both in terms of its geographical coverage and its type of interventions provided to the target groups. Its unique feature is the inclusive value chain development component which links different actors in the agricultural value chain including producers, retailers, wholesalers, input suppliers, technical service providers, credit and commerce groups, and government line ministries and agencies. In addition, the project helps strengthen the agricultural service delivery by facilitating the linkages among producers, crop and livestock extension speacialists, and technical service providers such as agrovets, para-vets, and plant protectionists through the service market strengthening component. The project covers seven hill and mountaneous districts in Karnali Province (formerly the Mid-Western Development Region)1 and identifies seven agricultural commodities as high value commodities in this area: apple, ginger, vegetable seeds, off-season vegetables turmeric, timur (Sichuan pepper), and goat. To ensure gender representativeness and promite social cohesiveness, all support services are delivered through producer organizations (PO) which are local producer groups or co-operatives that are representative of women and ethinc minorities in the area. The project supported smallholder farmers in 456 POs by strengthening their access to input markets, output markets, and service markets as well as their skills and capacity to produce market-oriented high value agricultural commodities. As part of the awareness and skill development training, the project provided a 30-day business literacy curriculum to both female and male farmers. The project also offered technical support to service markets through providing technical training activities and market information to service providers.

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