ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari 

The ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari, on the southern slopes of the Kathmandu Valley, was set up in March 1993, following the generous provision of 30 hectares of land by His Majesty’s Government of Nepal in November 1992. The site was originally named the ‘Godavari Trial and Demonstration Site’, and was intended for testing and demonstration of various methodologies related to integrated mountain development and sustainable farming practices on the sloping land of the mid-hills of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region.

The activities at the site are closely related to ICIMOD’s central mandate to “…..help promote the development of an economically and environmentally sound mountain ecosystem and to improve the living standards of mountain populations in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas (HKH)……” (all or part of the eight countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan).

The site provides a practical pendant to the often more theoretical activities of the Centre – a place where different technologies and farming and other practices useful for sustainable development can be tested, selected, and demonstrated; where farmers and those who work with them can be trained; and which can serve as a repository for plant germplasm resources and associated floral and faunal biodiversity. The activities help underpin ICIMOD’s focus on the two major issues challenging the region: the reduction of poverty and the conservation of the natural resource base.

At the time it was handed over, a large part of the site was heavily degraded and the initial activities focused on the rehabilitation of degraded land systems. Since then, a considerable part of the degraded forest and shrubland has been gradually restored to semi-natural forest. Selected slopes have been converted to crop-bearing terrace land using contour hedgerows of nitrogen-fixing plants; orchards of different types of fruit trees have been established; demonstration sites for various agricultural technologies, income generating activities, and water harvesting techniques have been set up. Demonstration models of various renewable energy technologies have been introduced in collaboration with local NGOs; a wetlands development site has been established; and a training centre has been built. The number of approaches being tested and demonstrated has increased over time, with the aim of covering all the different aspects involved in a genuinely integrated approach to mountain development and agriculture. The most recent development has been a renewed focus on community outreach, with off-site demonstration and training activities in the communities of the Phulchowki watershed in collaboration with a partner NGO.

All plants are grown under organic conditions, that is without inputs of inorganic fertiliser or pesticides. Thus the test results reflect the results that could be obtained by the mostly poor farmers in remote areas of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas who have little access to and cannot afford commercial agricultural inputs.

Characteristics

  • Latitude : 27035'19" - 27035'41"N
  • Longitude : 85023'16" - 85023'44"E
  • Altitude : 1540 - 1800 masl
  • Area : 30 ha
  • Slope gradient : 50 - 600 (North-facing)

Objectives

  • to test and modify technologies and methodologies for sustainable land use and management of natural resources appropriate for all or part of the HKH region;
  • to demonstrate viable options for the rehabilitation of degraded lands and sustainable mountain agriculture;
  • to demonstrate viable options for using mountain niches to increase farm income;
  • to collect germplasms of multipurpose plants and cash plants for the HKH region;
  • to provide training facilities to improve the skills and the technical knowledge of farmers, development workers, and members of collaborating institutions in new and proven technologies and approaches for sustainable land use and income generation in the HKH region; and
  • to disseminate appropriate technologies, knowledge, information, and replicable experiences in the HKH region and other mountain systems through training and visits.

Stories and Good Practices

Publications

Read More