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Integrating climate-resilient agricultural technologies in higher education curricula in Nepal and the Hindu Kush Himalaya




Chitwan, Nepal

Date & Time

09 October 2023 to 11 October 2023


Oshin Sharma & Kamal Aryal

Organisers: ICIMOD, HUC, AFU


About the workshop

The Green Resilient Agricultural Productive Ecosystem (GRAPE) project (particularly Field of Action 2), in collaboration with the Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) and Agricultural and Forestry University (AFU), is organising a two–day consultative workshop for university faculty members and administrators on the importance of the integration and development of a curriculum on climate-resilient agriculture. The workshop aims to sensitise university stakeholders on the importance of climate-resilient agriculture, the role of the academic curriculum in improving overall climate resilience, and the process of incorporation of climate-resilient strategies into academic programmes.



  • Sensitise academic practitioners and university staff about the importance of climate change, its impact on agriculture, and the need for climate-resilient strategies in higher education in the context of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH)
  • Identify entry points and chart out practical pathways to incorporate climate-resilient agriculture into existing university programmes
  • Foster interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge sharing among academic institutions in Nepal and between Nepal and other HKH countries to strengthen research and development for climate-resilient agriculture and overall resilient development



Agriculture remains the largest sector in Nepal’s economy. The quality workforce in agriculture comprises graduates from tertiary education institutions in Nepal and neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Higher education institutions (HEIs) play a decisive role in generating a high-quality workforce, with future-ready knowledge and skills that will help ensure the transition to a climate-resilient economy. Fulfilling this role is a step forward in increasing the relevance and social accountability of higher education, aiming to enhance the employability of graduates, directly serving the local and national economy.

The adoption of innovative technologies gave the agriculture sector a boost during the shift from subsistence to commercial farming in Nepal. Following the demands for employable graduates, climate-resilient technologies were introduced into the curricula of HEIs at all levels. However, this integration process has lacked systematic planning and effective coordination. There is also uncertainty about the best ways to incorporate issues of climate change into the curriculum, whether as a stand–alone multidisciplinary course or as cross–cutting theme in the existing disciplines. Meanwhile, there are concerns on the account of the contested values involved, the overcrowding of the syllabus, and the lack of expertise and practical experience on the instructors’ part. These practical constraints add to the existing issues of the curricula: theory–based and lacking diverse alternatives.



Time (NPT) Session Presenter/ Facilitator
Welcome and registration
Session host: Chi Huyen Truong (Shachi), Programme Coordinator, HUCICIMOD
17:00–18:00 Registration Oshin Sharma, Research Associate, and Rasmi Dangol, Programme Associate, ICIMOD
18:00–18:30 Introduction of participants All
Welcome remarks Punya Prasad Regmi, Vince Chancellor, AFU, Nepal
Remarks Pema Gyamtsho, Director General, ICIMOD
Remarks Kalyan Gauli, Head of Climate Resilient Agriculture Development, GRAPE/GIZ, Nepal
Objectives of the workshop Kamal Aryal, Coordinator, GRAPE FA 2, ICIMOD
18:30 Welcome dinner All

Time (NPT) Session Presenter/ Facilitator
Session 1: Context setting – climate change, climate-resilient agriculture, and higher education
Session host: Chi Huyen Truong (Shachi), HUC–ICIMOD


Session objectives: i) To what extent climate-resilient agriculture knowledge and technologies are taught in their university; ii) Specific pathways/entry points to incorporate these contents into the curricula at their university

09:00–11:00 Brief overview of the workshop and why it is important for AFU Arjun Kumar Shrestha, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, AFU, Nepal
Promoting green resilient mountain agriculture in the Hindu Kush Himalya: Challenges and opportunities Kamal Aryal, ICIMOD
Keynote speech: India’s national education policy 2020: Reshaping degree programme in agriculture Tej Partap, Former Vice Chancellor, G. B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, India
Presentation from Bhutan (Climate-resilient agriculture knowledge and technologies in Higher Education Curricula) Zangmo AG,  Associate Lecturer, College of Natural Resources, Bhutan
Presentation from Bangladesh Mosharraf Hossain, Professor,

Institute of Forestry & Environmental Sciences, University of Chittagong

Presentation from Myanmar Theingi Myint, Professor, Agricultural Economics, Yezin Agricultural University
11:00–11:30 Group photo

Tea break

Session 2: What does climate-resilient agriculture look like seen from a private sector perspective?
Session host: Pratiksha Sharma, Faculty, Department of AgriEconomics and Agribusiness Management, AFU

Session objectives: Increasing the relevance and social accountability of higher education, aiming to enhance the employability of graduates, directly serving the local and national economy

11:30–12:30 Presentation from Karma Group of Companies Suchit Shrestha , Director of Research and Development, Karma Group of Companies, Nepal
Presentation from Federation of Women Entrepreneur Association of Nepal (FWEAN)

Presentation from Nepal Biotechnology Association (NBA)


Mahalaxmi Shrestha, Vice President, FWEAN, Nepal


Dhurva Prasad Gauchan, Vice President, NBA, Nepal

12:30–13:30 Lunch
Session 3: Government perspectives on agriculture curricula and curriculum development process
13:30–15:30 Inclusion of agricultural research aspects into undergraduate course curricula Bal Krishna Joshi, Chief, National Genetic Resource Centre (Gene Bank) NARC
Agriculture policy and extension programme in undergraduate course curricula Ram Krishna Shrestha, Joint Secretary, Department of Agriculture/Centre for Crop Development and Agrobiodiversity Conservation, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Nepal
Status of curriculum development in AFU Subir Singh, Curriculum Development Director, AFU
Identifying key entry points for integration of climate resilient agriculture in the curriculum All
15:30–16:00 Tea
16:00–17:30 Field visit

Time (NPT) Session Presenter/facilitator
09:30–13:00 Session 4: Preparing the concrete strategy for integration/development of the climate change curriculum

Session co-hosts: Arjun Kumar Shrestha, Dean, FOA-AFU and Chi Huyen Truong (Shachi), HUC–ICIMOD

09:30–9:40 Day 1 reflection Sundar Tiwari, Associate Professor, AFU
09:40–10:00 Formation of group All
10:00–13:00 Group work: Integration of identified content/topics in respective departments

Tea break

Preparation of faculty-based action plan for integration into new curriculum

Group representatives
13:00–14:00 Lunch
14:00–15:30 Group presentation and discussion
15:30–16:00 Tea break
16:00–16:30 Summary and the way forward Arjun Kumar Shrestha, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, AFU, Nepal
16:30–16:55 Closing remarks
16.55–17:00 Vote of thanks Oshin Sharma, ICIMOD