The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) together with its partner is South Asia Regional Program of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) is working with Government of Nepal to develop its National Agroforestry Policy.
During 2016, Government of Nepal constituted an Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee (IMCC) to coordinate and provide overall support to policy development. IMCC and ICRAF with support from CTCN organized a series of three consultation workshops in Nepal this November. Participants of these workshops represented stakeholders from the Government ministries and departments, research institutes and universities, farmers, farmers’ associations and cooperatives, NGOs and INGOs, and service providers.
These workshops focussed on how the policy would tackle current barriers that agroforestry practices are facing to be widely deployed in the country, including the:
- Absence of an institutional mechanism for coordination and convergence among the schemes/ ministries to pursue agroforestry in a systematic manner
- Lack of integrated farming systems approach
- Restrictive regulatory regime
- Liberalization of existing restrictive regulations
- Research, extension and capacity building at institutional and individual level
- Problem of quality planting material
- Lack of finance and insurance
- Considering agroforestry income as agriculture income (to avoid taxes on farmers)?
- Market access for agroforestry produce
“Agroforestry is very important for Nepal to improve livelihoods of small holders, and enhance their resilience to climate change. Nepal is facing the challenge of both the internal and external migration of youth leaving behind elders, women and children in villages. Thus, absence of work force in rural communities leads to under-utilization of agricultural land leading to reduced family income. Agroforestry can offer sustainable solution to such problems”, said Dr. Bishwa Nath Oli, Secretary, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation.
Development of National Agroforestry Policy is in line with the Nationally Determined Contributions (2016) and the Climate Change Policy (2011) of Nepal that identify forests and trees as extremely important to promote both the adaptation and mitigation to climate change, including agro-forestry.
The National Agroforestry Policy will provide an effective way to comprehensively use agroforestry and to enable communities to adapt to and mitigate climate change, and to strengthen the capacity of policy makers, researchers, extension workers, first and end users to implement and sustain the policy. It is expected that the policy will produce the following outcomes:
- Promote resilience farming systems to minimize the risks during extreme climatic events: drought, flood, and large scale pest and disease incidences.
- Support, encourage and expand tree plantation to integrate and compliment crop and livestock production aiming at increasing the total productivity, employment, and income.
- Support the efforts to maintain and increase forest/ tree cover to ensure ecological stability, and Ensure availability of products like, fuel wood, fodder, timber and non-timber forest products to reduce pressure on natural forests.
- Facilitate investment and funding in agroforestry through Government, international agencies, and local and regional private sector
- Promote linkages between agroforestry farmers and markets, industries, banks and insurance providers.
Workshops were also covered by local media: