Indigenous peoples and smallholder farmers in Nepal depend heavily on land-races and local seed systems. Farmers lack access to quality seed of locally adopted varieties for seed and grain production. Challenges include small volumes of seed, uncertainty in seed quality, limited genetic base of local varieties and land-races, and difficulty in marketing of surplus seed due to quality issues.

Nepal is known for its supportive policies and laws towards farmers’ seed systems. However, the translation of these policy provisions into the development plans and programs is slow. The SD=HS program in Nepal focusses on these issues.

The project is being implemented in three districts, namely Dadeldhura, Kailali, and Kanchanpur. It targets 34,750 households with at least 65% women and 25% Youth. Main implementing partner is Li-Bird. Li-Bird is recognized in Nepal and globally for its contribution to managing Plant Genetic Resources and facilitating farmers’ experiential learning in order to strengthen local seed systems.

Photo credits: Saroj Panta