Indigenous and smallholder farmers in Nepal depend heavily on landraces and local seed systems. Farmers have limited access to quality seed of varieties that are adapted to their local circumstances. Furthermore, small volumes of seed, unstable seed quality, a limited genetic base of local varieties and landraces and difficulty in selling seeds because of restrictive registration policies  are some of the challenges that need to be addressed to strengthen farmers’ seed systems. Although Nepal has policies, strategies, and laws that are supportive of these systems, the implementation of these plans is slow.

SD=HS is launched to address these issues and with the aim of upholding the rights and technical capacity of indigenous people and smallholder farmers and to influence related local to global policies and institutions on a key livelihood theme. The project is being  implemented in four districts of Sudurpaschim Province (i.e. Doti, Dadeldhura, Kailali, and Kanchanpur). The project targets 34,750 Households with at least 65% women and 25% youth. The project collaborates with LI-BIRD. LI-BIRD is recognized in Nepal and globally for its contribution on managing Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) and facilitating farmers’ experiential learning for strengthening local seed systems.

Photo credits: Saroj Panta