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Agriculture and Food Security Project (AFSP) Nepal: An Initiative to Fight Against Hunger



Background

Household food deficiency due to low agricultural productivity, limited livelihood opportunities, inefficient food distribution system, weak market linkage, poor infrastructure and lack of awareness among general public about healthy food habit are some of the development challenges in Nepal. Within the country western Nepal suffer more from poverty and hunger with 37% of the people living below the poverty line compared to the national average of 25.16%. Similarly, productivity of major crops is significantly lower than the national average which is already among the lowest in South Asia. Per capita consumption of animal products (32 litres of milk, 7.5 kg of meat and 6.4 eggs per capita per annum) is among the lowest in the region hunger indices pointing to an extremely alarming situation.Household food balance (result of food inflow, household production, household consumption and outflow) is negative almost throughout the year in the region. 

Government of Nepal has developed a Country Investment Plan (CIP) in 2010 in consultation with donors, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to comprehensively address the gap of funding in the area of agriculture and food security issues including availability, access and utilization of food. The Agriculture and Food Security Project (AFSP) is well aligned with country need and government priorities. Building on a Country Investment Plan (CIP) to comprehensively address agriculture and food security issues, the Government of Nepal (GoN) submitted an investment proposal to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) and was competitively awarded a grant of US$46.5 million in June 2011. GoN has designed Agriculture and Food Security Project (AFSP) of US$58 million dollar including US$11.5 million GoN contribution to be implemented from FY 2013/14 for 5 years.  

Household food insecurity due to low agricultural productivity, limited livelihood opportunities, inefficient food distribution system, weak market linkage, poor infrastructure and lack of awareness about healthy food habit are some of the development challenges related to food and nutrition security of the country. All forms of nutritional problems ranging from imbalances in energy and specific macro and micronutrients has caused very high rates of child under-nutrition with 41 percent of children under five being stunted, 29 percent being underweight and 11 percent wasted.  These figures are even worse in mid and far western region. The AFSP has been designed to address these problems in the most effective way possible.
 

Project Development Objective

The Project Development Objective (PDO) is to enhance food and nutritional security of targeted communities in selected locations of Nepal. 

Food security will be realized through increased food availability, made possible by increasing productivity of agriculture, both crop and livestock. Nutrition security will be realized through improved dietary intake, made possible by promotion of diversified diets, and improved feeding and caring practices for pregnant and nursing women and children up to 2 years of age.

Specific Objectives

  • To enhance the food security of vulnerable groups and enlarging the livelihoods base for farm families,  
  • To reduce food and health risks among vulnerable groups and improve income earning and employment opportunities for the poor households in targeted communities, 
  • To contribute to enhancing nutrition security in project areas through promotion of diversified diets, increased nutrient intakes and improved feeding and caring practices for pregnant and nursing women, and children up to 2 years of age.

 Expected Outputs from the Project

  • 29 crop and livestock development technologies will have been released for project area farmers.
  • Seed replacement rate of selected crop will have been reached to 16% in project area. 
  •  Productivity of targeted crop and livestock in project area will have been increased by 30% and 75% respectively.

  • Number of pregnant and/or nursing mothers and children (6-24 months) with improve dietary intake will have been increased by 15% and 30% respectively.

  • 45,000 households with Pregnant and Nursing Mothers will have been received project-supported Behaviour Change Communication (BCC).

  • 54,000 children will have been received appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices.


Project Area and Beneficiaries

Project Area: The project will be implemented in 19 hill and mountain districts of the Mid- and Far-Western development region of Nepal. 
Agriculture and Food Security Project (AFSP) Nepal - Project Location

Target Groups: The beneficiaries of the project will be crop farmers (estimated direct beneficiaries 50,000), livestock farmers (32,500), women engaged in household/kitchen-garden production (35,000), and households with pregnant and nursing (with children 6-24 months) women (45,000).

Project Structure

Overall Design

In order to achieve its objective, the project will seek to address the inter-locking problems in the project area through coordinated interventions, including: (i) adaptation and release in specific agro-ecologies of relevant available technologies to boost productivity and climate resilience of agriculture; (ii) enhancing local availability of improved seed and livestock; (iii) supporting farmers to adopt improved management and husbandry practices, use of modern inputs and market access; and (iv) improving household availability of nutritious foods through community grain banks, homestead production, promotion of diversified diets, increased nutrient intakes and improved feeding and caring practices for pregnant and nursing women and children up to 2 years of age.

Component One - Technology Development and Adaptation

This component will support to achieve the project objective by developing for project area farmers’ use appropriate technologies and resources (seeds and breeds) that contribute to increased productivity of crops and livestock. There are two sub components: (i) improved production technologies for Crops, and (ii) improved production technologies for Livestock.
The crops’ sub-component comprises varietal selection, development, maintenance and production of source seeds upon field validation. Additionally the project will develop and validate crop and livestock development technologies for project area farmers.
The livestock sub-component comprises improving breeding stock for goat and poultry production, and development of improved technology packages.

Component Two - Technology Dissemination and Adoption

This component will support to achieve the project objective by enabling farmers in the project area to adopt improved agricultural production technologies and management practices. The component has three sub-components: (i) support for crop production (ii) support for livestock production and (iii) institutional strengthening for extension and outreach.

Support for crop production includes disseminating improved varieties and practices, on-farm water management support and farm level post harvest value addition. Similarly, support for livestock production comprises rural poultry promotion, meat and dairy goat development and dairy cattle/buffalo development depending upon feasibility and farmers preferences.

Component Three - Food and Nutrition Security Enhancement

The component comprises activities that leverage key entry points in the agriculture sector to improve nutrition, as well as through strengthening and supporting key nutrition interventions in project areas. There are three sub-components, namely: (i) Enhancing food availability for targeted households and alleviating seasonal food shortages (ii) Improving feeding and caring practices by; promoting Behavior Change Communications (BCC); providing nutrition education to farmers groups; (iii) Institutional strengthening and capacity building by; training of frontline extension workers for pro-nutrition actions.

Component Four - Project Management

This component will contribute to attainment of the project objective by ensuring that (i) interventions undertaken under the project are properly planned, coordinated and aligned with project design and development objectives; (ii) implementation and institutional arrangements and activities are in line with relevant fiduciary and safeguards policies, procedures and standards; and (iii) there is due monitoring, oversight and reporting of project implementation and the resulting outputs and outcomes.  

Project Implementation

 

The project administration and implementation arrangements build on relevant existing institutions and capacities, and reflect the technical characteristics as well geographic location of the project’s activities. The MoAD will be the executing ministry which will implement the project activities through its district level offices (DLSO and DADO) under DLS and DoA and will work closely with the MoHP to implement the project. Project Management Unit (PMU) at central level will engage technical service provider at the central level to technically assist the project implementation. The GoN has chosen the World Bank as supervising entity of the Project.