|Jyoti Macwan, General Secretary, SEWA|
Valiben Macwana, Executive Committee member
Smita Bhatnagar, Senior Coordinator, SEWA
When was the last time you met a truly empowered woman? Well, earlier in the week, I was lucky enough to meet Valiben Macwana, one of the 1.7 million empowered self-employed women's association (SEWA) members.
SEWA, based in Ahmedabad, India, is an organization of self-employed women workers who earn their living thanks to their small business. These women do not get a monthly salary, nor enjoy benefits like those of their sisters in the "organized labour sector". And to make matters worse, it seems like these women are "uncounted, undercounted and invisible".
What is amazing about these women, is their extraordinary will power and their openness to new ideas and innovations.
With a beautiful smile and a lot of pride, Valiben Macwana shared her inspiring story of the day that she received a mobile phone. Macwana's story is yet another example of the power and potential of how mobile telephony is a catalyst to eradicate hunger and poverty.
Her first experience with what transformed her business into a successful one was one of utter fear.
"I was so scared when the phone started moving, that I almost threw it out of the window", said Macwana. "I then gave it to my children, who know more about these things, and they explained that when the phone vibrates, this means I have a message. And you know what was the message? It was the price for the commodity I wanted to sell".
Macwana may be illiterate, however, she knows how to make the most of the information she receives on her mobile phone. She looked at the information on her screen and diligently transcribed it on a piece of paper. Thanks to this information, she then decided it was a profitable proposition to make a journey to the local market.
"Thanks to my mobile phone, now I only go to the market when I know I can sell my products, this way I can save on the bus fare". Saving the bus fare may seem something trivial to some, however, for someone who lives on $1.25 a day, it means putting more food on the table for the family, or buying a pair of shoes for the children or sending the kids to school.
Macwana's mobile phone also acts as a mini Amazon.com, allowing her to take orders. Knowing the demand has allowed her to plant the right crop in the right quantities, thus avoid producing in excess and being faced with storage challenges.
There is no doubt that we moved from anecdotal examples of how mobile telephony and ICT4D in general are improving lives of millions of people. What we, as development workers need to do, is to make sure that rural development and agriculture related activities include and embed ICT4D solutions and consider embracing and adopting m-development!
Capitaliser les leçons apprises des projets passés ou en cours : Un exemple de bonnes pratiques pour améliorer la performance des programmes cofinancés par le FIDA en République Démocratique du Congo
Écrit par Franck L. Kapiamba
Je suis nouvellement recruté comme Chargé d’Appui au bureau Pays-FIDA à Kinshasa, RD Congo
A mon avis, la tenue de ces deux ateliers a constitué une démonstration évidente de la mise en œuvre de bonnes pratiques pouvant garantir la bonne performance de nouveaux projets dans le pays. Les programmes en cours mis en place par le Gouvernement et cofinancés par le FIDA en RD Congo dans le cadre du COSOP-1(PRAPE, PRAPO, PIRAM) se sont généralement caractérisés par une faible performance tout au long de leur période d’exécution. Parmi les facteurs grevant cette performance, il y a notamment la faible compréhension des documents de projet par ceux qui doivent les mettre en œuvre, le retard dans la mise en place d’un système de gestion fiduciaire et les faibles capacités pour la mise en place d’un système de planification, suivi et évaluation. En vue de capitaliser ces leçons et de garantir une bonne performance aux programmes appuyés dans le cadre du COSOP-2, le bureau pays-FIDA et le bureau de liaison des projets cofinancés par le FIDA en RD Congo ont organisé deux ateliers de formation qui ont regroupé les membres nouvellement recrutés pour la mise en œuvre du PAPAKIN, les responsables programmation, suivi et évaluation des projets en cours et en phase d’achèvement ainsi que les membres du comité de pilotage.
Le premier atelier de cinq jours (2-6 avril 2013) sur la mise en œuvre et la gestion fiduciaire du PAPAKIN visait à combler l’écart entre les documents de conception du programme PAPAKIN et la compréhension des gestionnaires et des équipes de mise en œuvre qui devront opérationnaliser ce programme. Alors que les ateliers de démarrage se limitent très souvent à des présentations sommaires du projet sans approfondir la compréhension du montage et des détails opérationnels de mise en œuvre, cet atelier de formation a couvert en détail plusieurs aspects du programme y compris la conception et les stratégies de mise en œuvre de différentes sous composantes, le budget du programme et le lien avec sa gestion financière, les textes juridiques du programme, la gestion financière du programme, l’élaboration du cadre de résultat du programme et la génération du PTBA à partir de ce cadre, les notions fondamentales sur la passation des marchés, etc. Les présentations sur ces sujets par les concepteurs du programme et les consultants ont été alternées par des réflexions et des exercices pratiques en petits groupes. Le deuxième atelier de formation (9-12 avril 2013) a porté sur le suivi-évaluation et le système de gestion des résultats et impacts (SYGRI) des projets cofinancés par le FIDA. Il a été une occasion non seulement d’introduire les participants au système et aux outils de suivi-évaluation mais aussi de partager des expériences pratiques sur la base de leçons apprises de la mise en place du système de suivi-évaluation des programmes appuyés dans le cadre du COSOP-1. Les sujets présentés ont couvert les principes directeurs du système de planification, le suivi et évaluation des projets cofinancés par le FIDA, le concept de la chaîne des résultats, le cadre logique et le PTBA comme instruments du suivi&évaluation, le SYGRI etc. Ces présentations ont été enrichies par des exercices pratiques et la revue des soumissions SYGRI par les projets en cours en RD Congo et en République du Congo.
Après la tenue de ces deux ateliers, j’ai continué à travailler cette semaine avec les membres des équipes des programmes qui y ont participé, en particulier PAPAKIN et PIRAM. Je suis très particulièrement impressionné par les effets positifs générés par l’utilisation des produits livrés à travers ces ateliers de formation: les membres de l’UGP nouvellement recrutés pour le PAPAKIN forment déjà une équipe cohérente et soudée qui a une vision commune et partagée de « comment les résultats doivent être atteints ». Bien que non encore déployés pour le démarrage effectif des activités du programme, ils se réunissent sous la conduite du bureau de liaison pour identifier les chaînes des résultats, analyser le cadre logique et proposer des révisions, élaborer le cadre de résultat du programme pour 2013-2015, générer et préparer la trame du PTBA par une approche partant des résultats à atteindre avant d’identifier les produits nécessaires à livrer par le projet et les activités à exécuter pour réaliser ces produits.
Il en est de même du PIRAM où les participants à l’atelier ont continué à travailler sous l’appui du Bureau Pays FIDA pour affiner leurs soumissions SYGRI et réexaminer le cadre logique du programme ainsi que la cohérence du PTBA -2013 avec celui-ci. S’il est évident que la capitalisation de leçons apprises des projets/programmes passés fait partie de bonnes pratiques en matière de conception, de démarrage et de mise en œuvre de nouveaux programmes, il n’en reste pas moins vrai que, dans la plupart des cas, les équipes constituées pour assurer la mise en œuvre de ces programmes sont très souvent déployées pour le démarrage des activités sans aucune compréhension des documents de conception et des approches de mise en œuvre, suivi-évaluation et sans avoir développé une vision commune de « comment les résultats du programme seront atteints ».
Par l’organisation des ateliers d’appropriation par les membres de l’UGP des documents du nouveau programme et du système de planification, suivi et évaluation des projets/programmes cofinancés par le FIDA, la RD Congo semble résolument engagée dans une nouvelle dynamique pour une amélioration de la performance du portefeuille FIDA dans le cadre du COSOP-2 en cours dans le pays.
From species extinction to family planning: Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in the West African Sahel
By John C. Weber and Carmen Sotelo Montes
|Participatory analysis of vulnerability and adaptation |
to climate change in the Sahel
As part of an IFAD-funded project titled ‘Parkland trees and livelihoods: adapting to climate change in the West African Sahel’, we carried out a participatory analysis of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change involving approximately 500 men, women and children from 36 villages in the West African Sahelian countries of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The analysis yielded some expected results, and some surprising insights.
The villagers said some dramatic changes had occurred on their landscapes over the past 30-50 years. They pointed out, in particular, the extensive disappearance of natural woodlands, which over time had been converted into parklands which include annual crops, trees and livestock production. The trees in these parklands continue to be overharvested for fuel, fodder, medicines and foods, which curtails their natural regeneration. Compounding the situation are the large herds of livestock—owned by the villagers or nomadic pastoralists—that roam free in parklands and woodlands: browsing by these cattle, goats and sheep further limits the chances of trees and seedlings regenerating naturally.
Another change was the local extinction of many native tree species, especially in the drier regions, as a result of over-exploitation by humans and livestock. In south-central Niger, for instance, villagers could name more than 50 tree species that have completely disappeared from the landscape.
They also noted the local extinction of most wild animals (especially mammals, birds, turtles and lizards) from overhunting and habitat conversion; extensive soil degradation and reduced soil fertility; lower and less predictable rainfall, and a deeper water table.
We found that most villagers recognized that their own (and their ancestors’) actions were responsible for many of the changes they were witnessing in their landscapes. This knowledge is crucial for any climate change adaptation plan, since it bolsters people’s confidence that they can alter or adopt certain practices to reverse the trend and/or better adapt themselves to a harsher climate.
Most villagers, surprisingly, saw no link between human activity and a deeper water table, blaming it entirely on natural climate change. Reduced tree cover leads to less local rainfall and a deeper water table, and we had expected this relationship to be clear. It was difficult to explain certain concepts, such as cause-effect-consequence, in local languages, and we often resorted to using local metaphors. Clearly, extension and education programmes that explain crucial ecological relationships to farmers are needed, and we believe farmer-to-farmer exchange of knowledge models would work best.
To respond to the environmental stresses of the future, the villagers said that the following actions in parklands would form part of their adaptation plan:
- Practicing farmer assisted natural regeneration
- Diversifying and increasing drought tolerance of the parklands by planting and protecting a range of selected species, using seedlings produced from seeds that were collected in drier locations;
- Practicing soil and water conservation; and
- Controlling free browsing by animals.
It is also important to understand vulnerability and adaptation plans of different gender groups, such as adult men, adult women, young men and young women. Gender roles by livelihood activity are sharply defined in most Sahelian communities. For example, adult men and young men typically engage in agriculture and animal herding respectively, while the sale of food products from trees and fuelwood collection falls on adult women and young women respectively. The gender groups classified these and many other of their livelihood activities as “very vulnerable” or “severely vulnerable” to drought and degraded soils. Adaptation plans of these gender groups must therefore pay special emphasis to these twin threats.
All groups except ‘young women’ listed “lack of financial capital” as an important vulnerability factor. Young women and young men said “insufficient woodland” was an important factor; this was expected, as woodlands are used for herding animals and collecting firewood.
Adult women in several villages flagged two more threats to their livelihood in a changing climate: large families and small farm sizes that force many young men to migrate. To the women, managing the size of their families so all children can be properly fed, clothed and educated is an essential component of their personal climate adaptation strategy, and inseparable from their communities’ natural resource management efforts.
About the research:
The IFAD-funded project ‘Parkland trees and livelihoods: adapting to climate change in the West African Sahel’ is a partnership of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), national agriculture research institutes, forestry extension institutes and IFAD investment projects in the three countries:
- Burkina Faso: Institut National de l’Environnement et des Recherches Agricoles, Direction des Eaux et Forêt, Programme de Développement Rural Durable, Programme d’Investissement Communautaire en Fertilité Agricole
- Mali: Institut d’Économie Rurale, Direction Nationale de la Conservation de la Nature, Fonds du Développement en Zone Sahélienne
- Niger: Institut National de Recherche Agronomique du Niger, Direction Nationale de l’Environnement, Programme de Promotion des Initiatives Paysannes pour le Développement d’Aguié
- Methodological guide used for participatory analysis: Analyse participative de la vulnérabilité et de l’adaptation aux changements climatiques: un guide méthodologique. (ICRAF Occasional Paper #19) Download PDF
- Stories from the field: Planting for a Harsher Climate in the Malian Sahel. IFAD publication. Download PDF
- Développement de l’agroforesterie dans le Sahel Ouest Africain
|Bimala Adhikari, shown with her children, heads a rural women's |
cooperative in Nepal. ©Rocky Prajapati/IFAD
SURKHET, Nepal – Amidst the hustle and bustle of passing vehicles, dust and honking horns on the Surkhet-Jumla road, about 350 km west of Kathmandu, the patches of green vegetables within a few minutes’ walk are a soothing treat to the eyes.
The proud owners of the vegetable plots are women, most of them affiliated with the Nari Ekata (“Women United”) Women’s Cooperative. With 124 members, all of them women, the cooperative is not only empowering its members but also creating a bandwagon effect. The result: More and more women are eager to join the cooperative. Thanks to their vegetable farming, they earn enough to send their children to school, pay for other miscellaneous expenses and save a little.
“The women have literally changed –personally, behaviourally and professionally,” says a member of the cooperative, Shanta Oli. “Women who were once not even able to utter few words in a meeting are now leading income-generators for their families.”
Linking producers and traders
Bimala Adhikari, President of the cooperative, manages her family expenditures by growing and selling cabbage, cauliflower, broad leaf mustard and other vegetables. She recently added a plastic greenhouse to grow tomatoes in her small plot of land.
|A doko trader carries produce to sell from house to house. |
“Seeing me earning more by growing hybrid tomatoes, other members have started building greenhouses, too,” Adhikari says. “The techniques were taught by the experts from HVAP,” she adds, referring to the High Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas. The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Agricultural Development and financed by IFAD. The SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and Agro Enterprise Centre are the implementing partners.
HVAP has provided production and post-harvest support – including quality seeds, technical know-how and advice – to members of the Nari Ekata Women’s Cooperative and other smallholder farmers. The project seeks to create sustainable market linkages between small producers and traders. Concentrating on seven high-value agricultural commodities (off-season vegetables, vegetable seeds, apples, goat meat, timur, ginger and turmeric), it aspires to provide benefits to each actor in the value chain through inclusive development.
Regional and national markets
As the sun sets, women traders start collecting freshly harvested vegetables from the plots owned by the cooperative members. They use the doko, a traditional Nepali basket woven out of bamboo culms, carried on the back with a strap over the forehead. Nanda Kala Nepali and Dhanshari Nepali are two doko traders who frequent the vegetable plots, collect the produce and sell it from house to house. In turn, they make a decent income. The doko traders share camaraderie with the growers – and being women makes it much easier.
|The market in Birendranagar Municipality is vibrant with |
merchants negotiating deals. ©Rocky Prajapati/IFAD
Vegetable wholesaler Prabal Shahi is busy calling and coordinating with suppliers. Truckloads of vegetables are waiting to be unloaded, while other trucks wait to be loaded with produce for regional and national markets. “When I started this business, I had never thought that it would go so far,” Shahi says. “There are many small vegetable and fruit wholesalers in Surkhet. I want to bring them together to make Surkhet ‘numero uno’ in vegetable trading.”
Shahi’s dream does not seem inaccessible given the volume of vegetables that can be grown in the Surkhet-Jumla, Surkhet-Dailekh and Chhinchu-Jajarkot road corridors, the working areas of HVAP.
The writer is Communication and Knowledge Management Advisor, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation/HVAP.
Ten years ago, on this day, we at IFAD, lost a dear friend and colleague. In the last 10 years, many things have changed. However, one thing that has not changed is our love for Samantha. Today we honored her life…..
Monday 15 April marks the tenth anniversary of the untimely passing of our colleague and friend Samantha Santoni. Samantha passed away on 15 April 2003 after a battling struggle against leukemia at the age of thirty and she continues to be a strong presence in many of our hearts.
Samantha was a beautiful ray of sunshine full of positivity; she loved her family, friends, animals and nature. Her favorite flower was in fact the sunflower, its yellow color symbolizing happiness and vitality. The sunflower is also symbolic of spiritual faith and worship as it moves itself towards the direction of the sun so it can get the maximum life-giving rays. Sami, as most of her intimate friends would remember her by, had a passion for the spirituality, her diary initiated with tribal verses from the American Indian tribes and she often gave dream-catchers as presents, she read books on Buddhism and collected angels (Angelica).
Long before IFAD introduced the concept of open space work environment, Sami worked at the telecommunications on the ground floor next to the garage in an open office connected to the cold Computer Processing Unit along with other IT colleagues. The group formed their own sorority with their rituals of “ciofeca time” (afternoon break with instant coffee brewed and junk nibbles) and shared many hours of bonding time in between the endless calls and on-site office visits for IT assistance. From the outside the office looked like a beauty parlour, white with canopied windows and a heavy fireproof door with an oblo. She was also part of the IFAD girls Volleyball team and participated in the UN Inter Agency games, the dream team with their long hair, short shorts and knee protectors. Many of us would also fondly remember her dancing on the tables at the Charro Café.
Following her demise, her friends and family planted a pomegranate tree as a symbol of the sweetness of the heavenly kingdom. When IFAD moved to its new headquarters, the tree was re-planted near the child care center where the children laughter would flourish its growth. Today, to honour her remarkable persona, we planted a peach tree. Her friends and colleagues collected Euro 500 as a donation to the Fabbrica Del Sorriso a project to assist children suffering from leukemia.
…….ho imparato, che non avevo mai capito, che la vita vera è in ogni istante che viviamo.Qualsiasi cosa cambi nella vostra vita, non lasciate mai spazio alla paura, quella davvero non esiste….Ciao Sami
by Pham Tung Lam
|Learning Route participants in interaction at community|
Getting to a point of completing her group presentation, Kumari Pabitra Nepali felt motivated and positive than ever. Being a manager of the Karmeshwor Agriculture Cooperative Ltd, in Kapilvastu, she is prepared to turn the newly- gained ideas into actions that will benefit herself and other cooperative members.
“We should not be afraid of failure. We have now new knowledge, skills, energies and commitment to do something different”, shared Kumari.
From the field visits, idea from the onion production run by the Pragatishil Agricultural Cooperative in Bijwa inspired Kumari to adapt a new commercial vegetable farming for her own Cooperative.
According to the idea of Kumari and her group members, they would like to start off a commercial vegetable farming on a leasehold land of 32 kattha (approximately 0,5 hectares) that will generate jobs and regular incomes for 100 local women and men.
|Kumari and her group members presenting their Innovation Plan|
|Local market in Bijwa|
|Sanjay Kumar wrap up learning points at Pragatishil Cooperative|
“In these nine days of journeying and learning together, we have seen very good cases in women empowerment, natural resource management and income generation activities. We take back very positive lesson learned and experiences”, summarized Kumari.
The innovative idea of Kumari and Meena was not just alone. Many other initiatives and new proposals were presented by 27 other participants. They provide innovative ways of addressing rural poverty by social inclusion, capacity building and scale up best practices.
Being a key local facilitator, Sanjay Kumar Jha, Porfolio Programme Manager of Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF) has been instrumental for the entire process of Learning Route preparation, systematization and implementation. He is content with the process, outcomes and increased awareness on tools available for rural development by all stakeholders involved such as participants, facilitators as well as the visited communities. “The Learning Route has promoted knowledge sharing and understanding of economic conditions and social inclusion as keys to improve livelihoods of rural people”, said Sanjay Kumar.
“We decide to have a Learning Route in Bijuwa VDC, Kapivastu because good practices of social inclusion are here. They include the fact that Dalit [Dalit are those groups considered as traditionally low cast and excluded from most social and economic development]and female representatives are provided with equal opportunities. Local women can now openly discuss and confidently describe their issues and take leadership positions”, continued Sanjay Kumar while stressing that the case study has helped influence the thinking of participants.
He also noted that it is not yet the end of the process and future efforts will be made to monitor of project implementation while sustaining and expanding good models which have been proven effective. He wrapped up by emphasizing that “Participants as well as facilitators are indeed very happy. Everyone has some great learning points to bring back home for implementation”.
by Matin Ezidyar, Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA) and Khalil Baheer, Director Development and Rural Finance of MISFA
Arefa in tears from a painful abdominal ailment
In many ways, Arefa’s house was a reflection of her life. Dark. Bereft. Oppressive. Everything a home and life shouldn’t be.
The traditional mud house in Dhooki, a rural village outside of Faizabad, has two small storage-sized rooms shared by a family of 10, of which the breadwinner is Arefa, 47 years old.
One room is the living/bedroom/everything space, furnished mainly by stacks of crusty, worn-out winter blankets, which are not enough to keep the entire family warm during winter, says Arefa. Badakhshan is 2,000 meters above sea level and is well known to have extremely cold temperatures over the winter months.
The only other room in the house¬¬—smaller and darker—appears to be the kitchen, with a soot-covered woodstove oven providing the only clue that the space is used for cooking.
It is hard to imagine that 10 individuals inhabit the tiny mud house, but it is even harder to imagine that Arefa is the breadwinner for five daughters, two sons, a dying husband, her aging father-in-law, and ailing, 110-year old mother.
Arefa’s husband, according to a doctor in Badakhshan, needs to be treated urgently in better-staffed and equipped hospitals in the capital, Kabul; or better yet, in neighbor countries, Pakistan or India. He was diagnosed to have malfunctioning lungs that if left untreated will collapse in a matter of months and take his life.
Arefa, who is illiterate, has been begging as a way of “breadwinning” for her big household, which is literally scraping by meal-to-meal. She narrated how one time, only two days after giving birth to one of her children, she had to go beg in the streets because there was no food and no money for the next meal.
As such, getting treatment for her husband is far beyond her grasp. But the thought of just watching her husband die, not being able to do something to save the father of her children, is simply unbearable.
On top of this burden, Arefa herself is beset by an undiagnosed abdominal illness that intermittently throws her off squirming in agonizing pain. In the course of this interview, Arefa begged for a quick break and doubled over, distress written across her creased face. As she tried to suppress sobs of pain, tears streamed down her cheeks.
“I have no friends or relatives to run to for help. If I had any, I would not be in this miserable condition,” cried Arefa. “My only friend is the Almighty, and sometimes, I pray and ask Him to take me and my children.”
One of her children did get taken away, although not by the Almighty as she sometimes prayed for in moments of despair. As if Arefa did not have enough to worry about, she came home one day to find one of her teenaged daughters, Naseema, who is not yet 18, sobbing next to an older male stranger.
It turned out, she was married off by Arefa’s husband to some stranger from Sheberghan, another province in northern Afghanistan, because he could pay dowry to the family. The sale left mother and daughter wailing until Naseema had to go to Sheberghan to live with her husband and his family.
But now, Arefa learned that her daughter wants to escape from her new residence and Arefa is extremely worried about the consequences. It is not uncommon in Afghanistan and Pakistan for women and girls in Naseema’s predicament to be the subjects of honor killings.
Arefa’s life is a clear definition of what being “ultra poor” means. And that is why she is among the 800 beneficiaries selected for the TUP programme from the Faizabad and Khash districts of Badakhshan. Following years of misery, there is a glimmer of hope for Arefa, who, at the very least, can now stop begging in the streets.
As a TUP beneficiary, she now receives a monthly stipend for basic household needs, including food. She is now also tending to the livestock she received for free, as she gets trained on livestock rearing, basic reading, writing and financial literacy, as part of the holistic support provided by the programme to the ultra-poor for a period of 24 months. Moreover, she now has access to free medication and check-ups at health facilities nearby.
At the end of this period, beneficiaries are expected to be in a position to apply some of their basic knowledge and skills set to engage in income-generating activities, starting with the livestock they have been caring for. They could also be in a position to take out a loan from a microfinance institution to start their own micro-enterprises in which they could employ members of their households.
It may take some time for Arefa to get to this point of self-sufficiency, but just waking up every morning these days has gotten a lot easier—she does not have to worry about how she is going to pay for the next meal.
And every night before going to bed, she is grateful to have learned something new that day. A new skill, new knowledge. All for the new life for her and her family out of abject poverty that she can now hope for; a light she can see glimmering not so far away.
KM and Communication Specialist, IFAD Vietnam
|Sapkota and his father|
It is early in the morning in Kavrepalanchok, Rayale in the hilly District of Kavre, Central Nepal, about 5 hours driving from Kathmandu. Lekhnath Sapkota is busy preparing his daily work which would be full of activities. Running a local dairy cooperative called Phulchoki which is named after a temple in his area, he is buying milk from local farmers which would be put in a chilling system for preservation. Milk will then be purchased by a commercial buyer going directly to his community to help transport milk truck bunk in to dairy factories for processing.
|Sapkota calculates his income to participants of Learning Route|
“I am very happy because as a farmer I can support other farmers with income generation activities that they can do on their own and based on their potential. On average, we buy 8 – 20 litres of milk from each household everyday”, said Sapkota with a smile.
In a small village like Kavrepalanchok, an extra of a few thousand rupees would go a long way. That would give local farmers some extra cash for buying school text books for children or re-investing cattle-raising.
|Bhandari - standing and other participants of the Learning Route|
“In the past, we sold milk individually to buyers and they decided the price. Now we can be in a much better position to negotiate the price and maximize the profit from selling in bulk quantity as a group”, continued Sapkota.
Bhim Bhadur Timilasina is a local farmer of 50 years old, who has been supplying milk to Phulckoki for almost 15 years. He noted that his household is very content with the reliable source of income from selling milk.
|Simple testing of fat in milk in the Dairy|
Not satisfying with his current capacity, he is now looking for sources of loan from Government or international organizations so that he would be able to expand his firm. Dreaming of building his own dairy factory, he hopes to go into large packaging and commercial production of dairy products for local market, offering many more jobs to local farmers.
Story of Sapkota is deciding to set up a functional business and work together with other local farmers based on local potential
|The Dairy collects milk from local farmers on a daily basis|
|Timilasina - right and other local farmers bringing milk to the local farmers|
|Truck coming to collect milk|
Kathmandu, 3 April 2013: A 10 day field-based training program called “Learning Routes” was opening for implementation in Kathmandu, Nepal today. Co-organised by PROCASUR and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Nepal, the program focuses on main theme of “Women empowerment, new businesses and sustainable resources management”. It is intended as a knowledge management and capacity building tool to scale up best practices and innovations.
Over thirty participants, with more than half of them are women from 4 different projects take part in the Learning. They include High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP), Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF), Leasehold Forestry and Livestock Programme (LFLP) and West Upland Poverty Alleviation Project (WUPAP). All participants are ready to play their part in an action-packed journey that will take them to Kavre, Chitwan and Kapilvastu districts between 3 and 11 April 2013.
Ms Sajada Khatun, from PAF said she is extremely excited about the learning opportunity and the week ahead. “This is the first time I am participating in this Learning Route program. I hope to learn about new approaches, good practices in planning and implementation of projects to better improve the lives of poor farmers and communities”, she said.
“Learning Routes can be an effective learning mechanism for us all”, acknowledged Mr Rajendra Drasad Bahri, Project Manager of HVAP who serves the opening panel of the event. “At community level, farmers will learn about the methodological approach to expose and document knowledge which could be helpful for them to improve their livelihoods. At policy-making level, it should help develop and institutionalize a system that enhances dissemination of best practices and innovation for their scale-up at regional or national level”, he said.
According to PROCASUR, the Learning Route is a way to promote rural development knowledge market that positively includes learning among project staff, grass root organizations and local champions. This will continue after the end of the journey itself, allowing development projects the methods and tools to adapt and expand innovations and best solutions for the rural poor communities.
The end goal is for the local participants to become more effective and strategic in their own context. The Learning Route encourages each participant to come up with a concrete innovation plan for actions. Mr Bashu Aryal, IFAD Country Programme Officer in Nepal stressed that “sharing and learning from successful experiences is the ultimate goal of all learning organizations. I do hope that through “Learning Routes”, participants will be able view things from very different eyes and perspectives so that they come back with proven solutions to address poverty in Nepal while improving efficiency and sustainability of all our projects”.
Follow us in the coming days and see what happen in this Route here
Lam Pham, KM & Communication Specialist, IFAD VietNam