NEPAL | Dealing with new pests

The challenge:

80% of the population in rural Nepal depends on agriculture, and 60% of them are subsistence farmers relying on low-value, rain-fed crops. Climate change is contributing to more erratic rainfall and to the introduction of new pests such as Fall Army Worm and Tuta Absoluta, which are devastating corn and tomato crops. Most of these farmers are already vulnerable, without access to agronomic knowledge on how to get the most from their land, affordable agricultural inputs, credit to purchase those inputs, and markets in which to sell their produce. Pests like Fall Army Worm and Tuta Absoluta threaten to devastate their already precarious livelihoods.

What you’re making possible:

iDE has established a network of independent entrepreneurs who provide agronomic advice and affordable inputs directly on-farm for smallholder farmers in Nepal. iDE has also established points of aggregation for farmers to sell their produce. These aggregation centers also serve as a hub to provide farmers with recommendations on what crops to grow and when, and to provide loan and insurance products to farmers. While this has made a big difference for smallholder farmers in Nepal, threats like Fall Army Worm and Tuta Abosluta require new thinking. To address this challenge, we are providing enhanced training to our network of independent entrepreneurs so they can become “Plant Doctors” who can effectively diagnose plant diseases and providing pest management advice. Already, iDE-trained Plant Doctors have saved entire crops from devastation and will remain a key part of our fight to keep these new pests at bay.

* The Manitoba Council for International Cooperation provides funding for this project. Additional funding is provided by individual donors.