ASHA Nepal

To improve the health, livelihood, education and socioeconomic status of the children and the community as a whole through: sustainable management of resources; capacity building for groups and individuals; institutionalization and advocacy for sustainable agriculture, food security, and social development.
Oct 11, 2007

October Update

Seed Saving Scheme ASHA/Nepal, provides support to three women groups in Nuwakot, one of the remotest districts in Nepal. Since 2004 nearly 70 women, members of these 3 women groups and their family members have benefited from this project. The project focuses to strengthen the management capacity of these women, to empower them for their basic rights, and to uplift their living standards by establishing sustainable and regular income sources for their day-to-day basic needs.

The community members receive guidance and technical support on seed production, management and storage of major crops, i.e., vegetable crops and maize. The farmers produce and store the seeds in their own fields. In the course of production and storage of seeds, the group members are mobilizing the locally available resources. They use mud and straw structures for storage and botanical extracts are used to protect the seeds from pests and diseases. They have also developed a seed exchange within the community.

ASHA/Nepal is putting its focusing on conservation and the management of seeds of local crops. They ultimately want to minimize dependency on external seed varieties and encourage the women groups’ self-reliance on seeding material. This would mean women do not have to buy seeds every year, and by knowing the source of the seeds and how they perform, they can produce improved yields.

So AHSA are training community members and providing technical support on seed production, management and storage of crops. This encourages seed exchange within the community. In turn this will also ensure availability of quality planting materials for the next cropping season, minimize external dependency on seed sources, encourage seed exchange at the local level and make the community capable in conserving of crop cultivars.

The women group members managed the seeds of the following vegetable and cereal crops that suits the existing agro-ecological condition: • Cucumber • Pumpkin (two types) • Tomato • Okra • Bean • Bitter gourd • Cowpea • Swiss chard • Broad leaf mustard • Maize • Radish

Jun 20, 2007

June 2007 Update

“Sustainable agriculture training has increased our confidence”: Participants' perception on its importance

“Previously, we were absolutely ignorant with management of local resources in farming. Now, we can prepare manures and pesticides from our own local resources. It has made our agriculture more productive and saved the money. It has also saved our environment from degradation such as soil erosion, water and air pollution. Furthermore, it has increased our access to safe and healthy food as well as created a source for income generation.

All of the above-mentioned advantages were due to sustainable agriculture training and regular technical assistance of ASHA/Nepal team. Now, we have learned and adopted the sustainable agriculture practices and also suggest other farmers to adopt this. It has basically motivated us on mobilization of existing resources for agriculture purpose so that it can sustain in the community.” - Mrs. Sita Phuyal, Jaleshwori Women Group

Apr 18, 2007

Update April 2007

Since February ASHA/Nepal has organized a one-day Sustainable Agriculture Refresher Training for 70 women. Agricultural experts, Mr. Alok Shrestha and Ram Sharan Shrestha, facilitated the training.

The sustainable agriculture training focused on its significance and practices that women can apply to assist in the improvement of their local livelihoods. The training reviewed and familiarized the participants on different approaches and practices of sustainable agriculture, encouraging women for proper utilization of existing local resources. The training also created awareness on the negative impacts of using conventional fertilizers and pesticides. The training gave an opportunity to the women to exchange information, knowledge and skills among each other.

Other themes that were taught in the training: soil and water management, moisture management techniques, soil organic matter and plan nutrient management techniques, sloping agriculture land technology, seed management, insect pest management and disease management.

Training was also carried out with field exercises so that the women could directly practice in their fields. In addition, ASHA’s consultants visited the community at least monthly to provide onsite coaching and technical assistance to women in sustainable agriculture.