Accompanied by the Swiss Ambassador to Nepal (H.E. Elisabeth Von Capeller), SDC’s Head of Communications (Ms. Deborah Rutz) and the Head of the South and East Asia Section (Ms. Barbara Boni), she first visited the recently established vegetable collection and trade centre of the Jalpadevi cooperative in Dhankuta, and interacted with local politicians, beneficiaries, and stakeholders. Sahaj - (NAMDP) Phase II is supporting the local government to draft operational guidelines for future trade facilitation centres and is supporting the cooperative to pilot the first centre. Representatives of the farmer groups expressed their satisfaction with the services from this new centre, mentioning the transparent pricing and better and assured access to market as key benefits. Frequent communication with traders also helped minimize losses, as said by the manager of the trade facilitation centre.
Afterwards, the Swiss Delegation visited the agriculture market in Dharan to meet with the Provincial Government and observe the newly launched Agriculture Price Information System. NAMDP and the SDC-funded Small Irrigation Programme (SIP) are working together with the provincial ministry of agriculture to establish a price information system to assist farmers in selling produce at the appropriate time and at the best price. Along with this, the Delegates, Provincial Secretary and Division Chief of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and a representative from the Dharan Agriculture Market Management Committee discussed all the previous support received.
SDC’s Director General emphasized how a transparent price information would be key to benefit smallholder farmers and that the facilitation by the cooperative is important to assure access to market demand. She expressed her belief that this initiative might provide valuable learning for replication in other municipalities.
Sahaj – Nepal Agricultural Market Development Programme (NAMDP) Phase II is an SDC-funded project implemented by a consortium of Swisscontact (as the lead agency) and the Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development (CEAPRED).