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Nepal – Sustainable Agricultural Development and Research to Support Organic Agriculture in Tanahu District



Agricultural Institute of Canada
Canadian Society of Agronomy
Canadian Society for Horticultural Science
Sustainable Agriculture Development Program, Nepal (SADP-Nepal)


Canada Coordinators – Dr. Derek Lynch, Carolyn Halde, Dr. Rishi Burlakoti and Dr. Samir Debnath
Nepal Coordinators – Ramesh Nath Sharma, Samir Newa, Usha Pokharel and Sabitri Dahal (Manager)


  • SADP-Nepal is a strong leader in advancing organic agricultural practices through enhanced skills of SADP members and an established resource centre that provides demonstration sites and training.
  • Interest, knowledge and needs in organic agriculture are assessed and advanced amongst beneficiary communities and stakeholders.
  • Market opportunities for organic agriculture are determined and expanded.

Geographic Focus Area: Tanahu District

In Nepal, agricultural activity is the principal source of food, income and employment for many and particularly for the poorest. Agriculture is largely subsistence-based and consists of a mixture of crops, livestock and some agro-forestry systems. Rice, maize and millet are the major crops, supplemented with vegetables and some fruit species.

Within the project area, the majority of farming households own less than 0.5 hectare and a significant portion of the population is landless. Food insecurity and insufficiency is high as farm income is not enough to maintain families and there are few off-farm employment opportunities. To meet needs, natural resources are often exploited in an unsustainable manner, such as through the illegal cutting of the forests to sell timber and firewood. Inappropriate use of pesticides, soil erosion and degradation has further depleted the region’s agricultural capacity.

In collaboration with local organizations including the Organic Village, Godardhan Sharma Memorial Trust (GSMT), Leadership for Environment and Development-Nepal (LEAD-Nepal), the Nepal Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), and Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD), SADP-Nepal has endeavoured to develop and promote organic agriculture as a sustainable approach in the Tanahu District. SADP-Nepal is building awareness of the benefits of organic agriculture with farmers, community groups and students through demonstrations, research and development. Collaborating agencies contribute expertise in marketing, technical skills and research, and support infrastructure for project implementation.

Through this ITPP project, a training/resource centre was developed where practical training was presented and demonstration sites established; farmers gained awareness of biopesticides, agro-forestry, and irrigation; farmers’ needs and market assessments were conducted; and contacts were made with marketing outlets for organic produce. MSc students from IAAS undertook research on organic practices (varieties, nutrients, soil amendments) and lived on-site at the Tanahu centre while doing field research. Community groups became aware of different technologies and methods for production that support the environment, and farmer income increased through involvement with the demonstration farm and marketing of select products. SADP-Nepal is becoming more widely known and respected as a lead organization in organic farming and has furthered its connections with scientific societies in Nepal including those with the Society of Agriculture Scientists-Nepal, the Nepal Horticulture Society, and the National Agriculture Research Centre.

Further project results are presented in the Final Report for the AIC International Twinning Partnership Program.

AIC’s International Twinning Partnership Program (ITPP) provides opportunities for Canadian Member Organizations to work cooperatively and share expertise with developing country partner organizations through long-term partnerships. The ITPP promotes technological and scientific innovations in agricultural practices that are environmentally viable and sustainable, and develops increased awareness and understanding of international development among AIC Member Organizations. This Program is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).