Policy Reform Initiative Project for Agricultural Development and Food Security in Nepal

What is the challenge?

In Nepal, 80% of the population lives in rural areas, and agriculture is the backbone of the workforce, with a majority of Nepalese households involved in it. Food security continues to be a major issue, both at the national and household level. Nepal has been running a food deficit since the 80s. And with a
per capita income of $260 and a low average household income, a Nepalese household can spend up to 75% of their income on food. Despite this, during lean seasons, families still go to bed empty stomach.

Keeping the importance of agriculture at the forefront, the Government of Nepal has decided to make agriculture a key industry for development. In order to reduce poverty and improve food and nutritional security, the government has initiated the Food Security Enhancement Project and developed an Agricultural Development Strategy (ADS). The ADS is the vision document to improve agriculture in Nepal. The realization of this vision will depend on how successfully effective policies and strategies are crafted. Formulating and implementing an effective agricultural development strategy is a complex task, which requires long-term commitment from stakeholders.

With the mission of research on sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has joined hands with USAID to support the Government of Nepal, to implement a project on policy reform initiative for agricultural development and ensuring food security. This will be achieved by providing evidence-based policy assessment and capacity building for policy analysis and monitoring and evaluation; promoting policy dialogue, dissemination of information; and sensitizing policy makers for the formulation and implementation of agricultural strategies and policies.

Key Aims

  • Give analytical support to improve the policy
  • Environment, policy planning and policy implementation
  • Capacity strengthening in policy analysis and its implementation
  • Capacity development for monitoring and evaluation 

Project Activities & Outputs

The project will work on strengthening the seed markets in Nepal and rationalize fertilizer subsidies. It will craft legislation such as a new agri-mechanization policy and the Agribusiness Promotion Act and help implement it. The latter act will help spread contract farming in Nepal. A new food safety policy, set of regulations and standards will also be drawn up over the course of the project. Efforts will be made to loosen and open up the investment and trade policy environments. Private businesses will be engaged with through a Nepal Business Forum for agri-policy reforms. Finally, capacity enhancement will be done with the partners as well.

Basic Info

  • Region: Nepal
  • Timespan: 2014-2019