HIMALI Climate-Adaptive Agribusiness Watershed Plans Endorsed by Local Cooperatives in Jumla and Mustang, Nepal

Through the High Mountain Agribusiness and Livelihood Improvement (HIMALI) project – which is funded by the Asian Development Bank and implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC) – ICIMOD and its partners in the field, the District Development Committee (DDC) of Jumla and Local Initiatives for Biodiversity Research and Development (LI-BIRD), undertook participatory action research with communities in selected arid watersheds in Nepal to identify and test adaptive agricultural and watershed management practices. Practices tested include off-season vegetable production with plastic houses, production of black plastic-covered farm yard manure, and drip irrigation for vegetable production. 

Climate-adaptive community-based agribusiness and watershed plans for Pangling, Mustang District, and Lorpa, Jumla District, developed based on experiences and data gathered over the past two years, were shared with local stakeholders, including respective communities and district-level government officials, and endorsed by the respective cooperatives in Lorpa and Pangling. The plans have been handed over to the cooperatives who will now take the next steps to finalize plans for submissions to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for funding.

The handover and endorsement of the agribusiness and watershed management plans – which offer a way to rehabilitate and sustain key ecosystems and their services in the pilot watershed and are therefore critical accompanying measures for sustainable agribusiness development – represents a major milestone in the HIMALI project.

In both districts, pilot communities acknowledged the activities undertaken and results achieved under the project. The Local Development Officer of Jumla District expressed his appreciation for the outcome of the research activities and the project’s collaboration with district-level line agencies. He emphasized the strong collaboration between the HIMALI project and the Nepal Agricultural Research Council for the introduction of new apple germplasms in Jumla, and suggested to other district offices that the successful HIMALI activities be upscaled. Although the source of funding for watershed management activities is yet to be determined, the concerned line agencies will provide support to ensure the activities are successful.