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Regenerative Project

Provide training to 30 marginalised female farmers to enable them to build sustainable livelihoods

This regenerative project supports the Trans-Himalayan Environment and Livelihood Program (T-HELP), whose objectives are to build capacities for women in sustainable eco-tourism practices, use of alternative and environmentally friendly technologies, organic agriculture practices and business skills and market linkages to tourism industry.

The aim of this specific project is to provide 30 female farmers, at a cost of $94 for each person, with training at a 2-day vermicomposting (the use of earthworms to convert organic waste into fertiliser) and bio-pesticide workshop, as well as provide each farmer with a vermicomposting and bio-pesticide set up kit.


Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

No Poverty:  Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.

Zero Hunger:  The food and agriculture sector offers key solutions for development, and is central for hunger and poverty eradication.

Responsible Production and Consumption:  Responsible Production and Consumption

Climate Action:  Climate change is a global challenge that affects everyone, everywhere.


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Impacts

  • Vermicomposting and bio-pesticide build the climate resilience of the local farmers in the long term
  • Vermicomposting and bio-pesticide reduces the use of chemicals which creates healthier soil, reduces water pollution and biodiversity loss and is better for the health of those ingesting the food grown in the soil
  • Vermicomposting supplements the fertiliser that is deficit to farmers
  • Farmers will benefit from utilising earthworms for poultry and fish feed
  • The control of pests and diseases by bio-pesticide will increase productivity
  • Sustainable farming creates sustainable livelihoods for marginalised female farmers

Outcomes

12 months after the training we expect the following outcomes:

- The use and cost of chemical based fertiliser to be reduced by at least 50% by substituting it with vermicompost

- The use and cost of pesticides to be reduced by at least 50% by substituting it with bio-pesticide

- Poultry and fish feed expenses reduced by 20%

- Increase in crops and vegetable yield


Background

Typically, Nepal imports over half of its 700,000-tonne of annual demand for fertiliser, but increasingly Nepali farmers face fertiliser shortages, which in turn decreases the profitability of their farms. The global shortage of fertiliser is further deepened by the Russia-Ukraine war.

Farmers are also highly vulnerable to climate change due to climate variability, increased pests and disease, and climate-induced hazards like floods, drought, hailstorms and erratic rainfall.

The Chitlang region of Nepal (south-west of Kathmandu) has seen a dramatic rise in agriculture disease and pests which is having detrimental consequences for crops and livestock. This impacts the livelihoods of vulnerable families in Chitlang, since most families in this region depend on agriculture as their primary income, followed by tourism.

There is a need for adequate fertiliser and pest management to improve productivity and enhance the livelihood of the farmers.

Vermicomposting, the use of earthworms to convert organic waste into fertiliser, can be a sustainable option to produce organic compost utilising locally available agriculture/livestock and food waste.

Bio-pesticide provides a sustainable alternative for pest management.

The female farmers that will take part in this regenerative project will be identified and selected based on consultation with local farmer groups and local municipality. Once a farmer is selected, they will be surveyed to create baseline data for monitoring and evaluation.

Farmers will attend a 2-day training course covering topics such as (but not limited to):

- Introduction and history of vermicomposting

- Benefits of vermicomposting as an environmentally friendly and climate adaptation/mitigation technology

- Utilising vermicomposting for economic uplift, creating market demand and marketing of vermicomposting

- Success stories of vermicompost sellers

- Introduction to Bio-pesticide

- Ingredients, preparation and applications of Bio-pesticide

- Trial of bio-pesticide on different vegetable, fruits and store grain pests

- Practical sessions vermicomposting and bio-pesticide

Following the training each farmer will receive a vermicomposting and bio-pesticide kit to get them started, which will include - 1 kg of earthworm, a container for vermicomposting, a pair of gloves, a water sprayer, bottles for preparation of bio-pesticide, sprayer for bio-pesticide, muslin cloth, and the raw materials for bio-pesticide (sichuan pepper, black pepper, Lantana, China berry, Titepati (Artemesia), marigold, cow urine, soap, aloe vera, sishnu).

T-HELP will monitor and support each farmer in their startup of vermicomposting and preparation of bio-pesticide.

What's next?

The next step once the funds are raised for this project will be training and support for the same 30 farmers in organic farming and mushroom farming. It will help to build up on the previous work done and further promote sustainable farming practices and useful livelihood skills to improve livelihood of these farmers.


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