In the context of Nepal, mountain agriculture is different than plains agriculture and requires a point of view that incorporates multidisciplinary and holistic approaches towards improving the livelihoods of mountain women, men and children. The challenging circumstances of mountain agriculture are being compounded by climate change and other changes in mountains, which are having tremendous impacts on the Nuwakot region. Socioeconomic dynamics are also changing; for instance, as a result of male outmigration, women are playing an increasingly important role in agriculture.
Nevertheless, Smart Village Kakani contributes in practical ways to each of smart farming systems’ knowledge development, action research for interventions, capacity building, piloting, and providing inputs to policy processes for improving livelihoods and increasing income for farmers in the community. Following aspects help enhance smart farming:
Nutrient Smart: The main purpose of Nutrient Smart is to enable sustainable growth in agricultural production and mitigating the negative effects of chemical fertilizers on soil fertility through effective nutrient management.
Hundreds of farmers were introduced to the production and use of the bio-fertilizer and bio-pesticide which provides effective disease and pest control and supports improved plant health. One-hundred per cent of the participating households have adopted the technology, and local agro-veterinary shops have reported a decrease in the demand for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
We’ll develop four SVK pilots in villages of Nuwakot District. The pilots will be working with around 400 households in 15 peasants’ groups, and 70% of the participants are women. SVK will engage with local governments and policy makers to scale up the SVK model.
Water Smart: Addressing water scarcity and uncertainty using simple water collection and irrigation methods. Work with Village Development Committees (VDCs) for the conservation of existing water resources is underway. The demonstrated efficiency of plastic ponds for wastewater and rainwater collection convinced farmers to build ponds themselves. Furthermore, the promotion of mulching has led to the wide adoption of the practice in the community. An increase in vegetable production has been observed as a result of greater water availability.
Crop Smart: Maintaining soil fertility and moisture through crop rotation, mixed cropping and nitrogen fixation by intercropping. Different crop varieties are being tested in multiple locations to assess their suitability for variable rainfall patterns and climatic conditions, as well as home gardening and integrated pest management.
Future Smart: Mitigating loss and damage, and securing vulnerable assets through training on the benefits and costs of insurance. Information is provided to SVK communities on how to seek insurance from different companies, after which people will be able to purchase livestock insurance for number of animals. SVK communities have direct access to government advisory services at district level
We are also going to implement the following Renewable Energy Technologies in association with Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) in near future.