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A new initiative to assure food and nutritional security for South Asian farmers

Jun 21,2017

An ICARDA initiative aimed at assuring food and nutritional security and income for farmers in South Asia recently held its first review and planning meeting on June 7-9 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The Project - ‘Enhancing food and nutritional security and improved livelihoods through intensification of rice-fallow system with pulse crops in Bangladesh, India and Nepal’ – is supported by IFAD.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Bashu Aryal, IFAD Country Program representative in Nepal, highlighted the need for the project to cultivate an extra crop in fallow lands, linking it with other projects in the three countries.

The project partners presented activities and achievements during the first year (2016-2017) of the project on up-scaling and ICARDA’s contribution to applied and adaptive research through its research platform in Amlaha.

Several examples of successful pulse production in fallow lands (about 15 million ha in South Asia) were cited by colleagues from Bangladesh, Nepal and India. This has contributed to better availability of pulses in daily diets, pulse residues for animal feed, and soil health improvement.

Farmers are keen to expand pulse production in rice fallow lands, despite many constraints. Stray cattle is one of the problems, which can be prevented by fencing the cultivated areas.

For massive out-scaling, seeds and inputs should be made available in time at places convenient for farmers. Key activities include the supply of improved varieties, cluster demonstrations, the establishment of small-scale village seed hubs, and capacity development for farmers.

During the meeting, the work-plan for 2017-2018 was discussed and finalized.