Menu ENN Search

Improving food security and addressing nutrition of vulnerable farming communities affected by conflict and natural disaster in mid-western Nepal

A farmer assisted by the project shows her vegetable gardenSummary of Field Exchange 49 article by Guido Agostinucci

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia with high levels of food insecurity and the highest burden of stunting in the region; half of Nepalese children under five years are stunted (low height-for-age). The farming population of the mid-Western region of Nepal is particularly vulnerable to food insecurity due to reduced food production as a result of a decade of internal conflict (1996-2006), ethnic tensions, floods, landslides and three consecutive years of drought.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) formulated a project to improve food security and nutritional status in this area, targeting the most vulnerable farming communities in five districts. Activities were carried out in collaboration with the relevant Government Departments, other UN agencies and NGOs from June 2008 to December 2009. Activities included: a) training and provision of cereal and vegetable seeds appropriate to local agro-conditions to increase crop production; b) provision of goats, training, veterinary equipment and shed construction materials to improve livestock production and c) nutrition education for programme participants and trainers.

A total of 15,768 households were supported by the project. Out of these, 14,173 households undertook crop production activities, 1,595 households were involved in livestock production, 8,670 families actively participated in nutrition trainings and 144 community health workers participated in training sessions on nutrition.

In terms of crop production, approximately 8,120 hectares of vegetables and cereal crops were planted. Compared to local varieties cultivated with traditional methods, average yield increases ranged between 10% and 25% while higher resistance to local pests and diseases were observed. Most farmers in the programme re-planted second generation crop seeds. In terms of livestock activities, on average, each participant was able to add between one and two goats to their flock after the first year of the project.

A typical view over the mid hill areas of the Mid-Western Region of NepalDietary diversification was supported by promoting the availability and consumption of vegetables and animal proteins; the number of vegetable species grown increased from an average of 3.7 prior to the project intervention, to 5.1 by the end of the project. The number of months for which participants consumed self-produced vegetables also increased, from 3.3 months to 4.3 months a year. There was an increase in the number of participating households reporting food self-sufficiency for more than six months of the year (from 19.2% to 33%). The increased number and availability of goats and goat products in the communities is assumed to have increased consumption of proteins from animal origin. The project also enhanced the nutritional knowledge of participants and increased awareness of nutritious and locally available food. Awareness was also raised of the links between nutrition and agriculture and emergency response with longer term programmes.

Project activities were replicated and expanded to ten additional districts in a subsequent FAO project funded by the European Union and training materials produced by the project were utilised by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Livestock Services to train personnel. 

More like this

FEX: Improving food security and addressing nutrition of vulnerable farming communities affected by conflict and natural disaster in mid-western Nepal

By Guido Agostinucci Guido Agostinucci is an agronomist who collaborated with the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Viterbo and worked as consultant with FAO since...

FEX: Farming in Bags: Micro Gardening in Northern Uganda

By Holly Welcome Radice, Action Against Hunger-USA Holly Welcome Radice has worked as a food security officer for AAHUSA in Liberia, Uganda, and as programme co-ordinator in...

FEX: A food-based strategy to improve nutrition in emergencies

Improvement of Household Food Security through Home Gardening and Nutrition Education in Southern Somalia By Alison MacColl Alison MacColl is working as Liaison Officer in...

FEX: Resilient farming in Satkhira, Bangladesh

By Emmanuelle Maisonnave and Julie Mayans View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Emmanuelle Maisonnave is the Institutional Knowledge Building...

NEX: Promoting good dietary practices in Community Early Learning Centres for children three to five years of age in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Original article submitted in French Tiphaine Bueke is a nutritionist and dietician working for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and manages the support to...

FEX: Improving food and nutrition security for households with underweight children in Taita Taveta County, Kenya

By Dancliff Mbura, Caroline Chiedo, Fridah Mutea and Amelia Reese-Masterson Amelia Reese-Masterson is Research Advisor at IMC, providing technical guidance and oversight for...

FEX: Participatory Approach to Food Security in Uganda

By Erin Culbertson and Moses Kalyebara Erin Culbertson has been the Technical Writer for Plan Uganda since July 2003. As part of her primary degree in Public and...

FEX: Helping homestead gardeners mitigate the impact of soil salinity

By Erica Roy Khetran Erica Roy Khetran is the Country Director for Helen Keller International (HKI) in Bangladesh. She has lived and worked in Asia since 2004 with a focus on...

FEX: An overview of REST’s implementation of the Productive Safety Net Programme

By The Relief Society of Tigray (REST) Mekelle Team The Relief Society of Tigray (REST) has been in existence in Ethiopia for over 30 years, starting out as a relatively small...

NEX: Women’s gardening in The Gambia

Olawale F. Olaniyan Olawale F. Olaniyan is a (volunteer) researcher with the International Trypanotolerance Centre and has over seven years of experience in agricultural...

FEX: Food, goats and cash for assets programmes during emergency drought response inKenya

By Geoff Brouwer Geoff Brouwer worked as a research and communications consultant for World Renew-formerly the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) - in Kenya...

FEX: The potential of nutrition-sensitive Conservation Agriculture: lessons from Zambia

By Anne Marie Mayer, Marjolein-Mwanamwenge and Carl Whal Anne Marie Mayer works as a freelance nutritionist specialising in the links between agriculture and nutrition. She...

FEX: Feasibility of a milk matters initiative to enhance milk intake in children over six months of age in Somalia

By Fatmata Fatima Sesay, Dr Binyam Woldetsadik Gebru, Minh Tram Le, Dr Sayed Ezatullah Majeed, Patrick Codjia and Marjorie Volege View this article as a pdf Fatmata Fatima...

FEX: Support for primary production (Special Supplement 3)

7.1 Introduction This section focuses on supporting agricultural production, in particular farming and livestock production, as livelihood strategies. Production support can...

FEX: The experience of multi-storey gardens in Ethiopian refugee camps

By Mulugeta WTsadik An example of gardening in a camp setting Mulugeta WTsadik is food security and nutrition officer with UNHCR Ethiopia since 2004. She has a degree in rural...

FEX: Emergency Food Security and Livelihoods Project in Amhara and Oromia regions

By Shekar Anand, Oxfam Shekar is Programme Director for Oxfam GB in Ethiopia. Past experience includes working with OXFAM, CARE, CIDA, and Government in Aceh, India, Zimbabawe...

FEX: Aquaponics in Gaza

By Christopher Somerville and Cyril Ferrand Christopher Somerville holds an MA in Development Studies and has lead on a number of UNFAO urban agriculture projects in...

FEX: Nutrition-sensitive outcomes of a permaculture project in Nepal

View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici By Anne-Marie Mayer Anne Marie Mayer is a freelance nutritionist specialising in the links between...

NEX: Feasting on vegetables in a non-vegetarian community: experiences from Tanzania

Isaack Kitururu, Victor Kamagenge and Dr. Christina Nyhus Dhillon Issack Kitururu is working for Helen Keller and has over 5 years experience in designing and implementing...

FEX: Realising rights and livelihoods opportunities among tribal populations in rural India

By Salome Yesudas View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Salome Yesudas works as a consultant with several organisations on local food systems...

Close

Reference this page

Editors (2016). Improving food security and addressing nutrition of vulnerable farming communities affected by conflict and natural disaster in mid-western Nepal. Nutrition Exchange 5, May 2015. p19. www.ennonline.net/nex/5/improvingfoodsecuritynepal

(ENN_5135)

Close

Download to a citation manager

The below files can be imported into your preferred reference management tool, most tools will allow you to manually import the RIS file. Endnote may required a specific filter file to be used.