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23 Feb 2024 | Press releases

MoALD teams up with ICIMOD to boost agricultural planning and monitoring

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Photo: Jitendra Raj Bajracharya/ICIMOD.

Kathmandu, 12 February 2024 – The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Department (MoALD) in Nepal and The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) on 12 February 2024.

This collaboration aims to strengthen crop assessment and preparedness for climate-related risks in Nepal. It underscores the commitment of both parties to address agricultural challenges through advanced Earth Observation (EO) technologies.

Hunger and food insecurity remains stubbornly high in Nepal, where 14.6% of the population are food insecure and 5.4% are malnourished. The issue, compounded by climate change and poor harvesting practices, is particularly acute in Karnali Province with 24.1% percent of households moderately and severely food insecure.

While the Government of Nepal already monitors food security, this agreement will increase access to reliable and timely information to support planning and policy-making.

Under the LoI, ICIMOD and MoALD will work together to develop and disseminate innovative approaches for agricultural planning and monitoring, advisories for farmers, and food security assessments, all supported by ICT and EO technologies.

The LoI was signed by Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, Director General of ICIMOD, and Dr. Govinda Prasad Sharma, Secretary of MoALD. Dr. Rajendra Prasad Mishra, Joint Secretary of MoALD, and Birendra Bajracharya, The Chief of the Party for SERVIR-HKH initiative, also attended the signing ceremony.

In his key remarks, Dr. Govinda Prasad Sharma, Secretary of MoALD, said, “ICIMOD stands as a robust support in our pursuit of reliable and precise agricultural data. This mutual relationship fosters a two-way commitment, where the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MOALD) and ICIMOD collaborate to enhance the accuracy of our data through satellite technology. This Letter of Intent (LOI) ceremony signifies a milestone in developing more precise information, supporting our government’s capacity in geographical information systems, and addressing concerns about loss and damage. With ICIMOD’s support, we are enriching our data generation systems and laying a strong foundation for policy tools and planning for the upcoming agricultural monitoring”.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad Mishra, Joint Secretary of MoALD, expressed his zest for the partnership, stating, “Through a partnership with ICIMOD, our journey in agricultural advancement has been enriched, especially in crop area estimation using cutting-edge GIS and remote sensing technology. The collaboration has yielded successful results in rice area estimation and facilitated capacity building, technology transfer, and development in diverse areas. With a formalised Letter of Intent (LOI), we are set to deepen our engagement, exploring wider horizons in GIS and remote sensing technologies in crop monitoring and loss and damage assessment. Together, we strive to validate and enhance data, contributing to a more resilient and innovative future in agriculture.”

Pema Gyamtsho, Director General of ICIMOD, emphasised the collaborative goal of empowering government stakeholders with actionable insights derived from crop assessment data. He stated, “ICIMOD has forged a collaborative journey with the MoALD since 2016. Accuracy of data is important for planning and informed decisions. We diligently pursue data accuracy by employing GIS, remote sensing, and modelling techniques. Acknowledging the significance of informed decision-making and planning, our goal is to bridge gaps in interventions through precise data. This information assessment not only empowers us with planning tools but also underscores the importance of proper preparation for climate-related disasters. We are committed to extend our full support to the Ministry.”

This partnership builds upon the collaboration between ICIMOD and MoALD to leverage emerging EO technologies alongside field-based assessments to provide timely information crucial for assessing agriculture production estimates, drought warnings, climate services for agriculture, and food situation assessment. These efforts will play a pivotal role in strengthening food security-related planning and decision-making processes across Nepal.

For more information, please contact:

Annie Dare, Head of Communications, ICIMOD

Neraz Tuladhar, Media Officer, ICIMOD – +977 1 5275222 EXT:115

Notes to the editor

About MoALD

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD), bears overall national responsibility for the sustainable development of agriculture and livestock sector and maintain food security to its citizens. The Ministry aims for developing and implementing the policy of agriculture development as per the requirement and potential of the country. Ministry’s goal is geared towards commercial and competitive agriculture thereby achieving high economic growth leading to improved food and nutrition security and poverty reduction. The ministry aspires to improve livelihood through sustainable agricultural development vis-a-vis: increasing agricultural production and productivity; develop the basis of commercial and competitive agricultural systems and make competitive with regional and world markets, ensure environmental conservation.


The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a regional knowledge development and learning centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – and based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Globalisation and climate change have an increasing influence on the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems and the livelihoods of mountain people. ICIMOD aims to assist mountain people to understand these changes, adapt to them, and make the most of new opportunities, while addressing upstream-downstream issues. We support regional transboundary programmes through partnership with regional partner institutions, facilitate the exchange of experience, and serve as a regional knowledge hub. We strengthen networking among regional and global centres of excellence. Overall, we are working to develop an economically and environmentally sound mountain ecosystem to improve the living standards of mountain populations and to sustain vital ecosystem services for the billions of people living downstream – now, and for the future.

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