Sahaj - Nepal Agricultural Market Development Programme

The Nepal Agricultural Market Development Programme (NAMDP), also known as Sahaj (Nepali for ‘facilitate’ or ‘make easier’), is designed with three successive phases spanning across a 12-year horizon.  Sahaj’s objectives are based on a vision of a thriving and inclusive agriculture sector, aiming to grow employment and income for Nepal’s rural population.
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Nepal
28.253625
83.951902
Project duration
2020 - 2024
Financed by
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

The project

Sahaj operates under a bilateral agreement between the Government of Nepal and the Government of Switzerland. Sahaj is a Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) project, implemented by a consortium of Swisscontact (as the lead agency) and the Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development (CEAPRED). The programme focuses on Province Number 1 (the far-most eastern province).

Sahaj Phase 1 (March 2016 - November 2020) aimed to increase farmers’ income by integrating them into commercial agriculture markets and networks. Using an approach that makes private sector markets work better for the poor (also known as a Market Systems Development or MSD), the programme supported market-based solutions around inputs and farming. The impact targeted smallholder farmers, including women and people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The programme’s activities boosted on-farm productivity and increased the marketing potential of their agricultural products. Sahaj Phase 1 partnered with over 75 private sector and 10 public sector actors through around 50 interventions. It covered over 50 districts of Nepal, including 12 of the 14 districts in Province Number 1. The programme created 1,800 new jobs, and increased farm-income of 45,800 households.  

Sahaj Phase 2 builds on the work done in the previous phase, but shifts focus towards growth and investment in forward market linkages, strengthening the country’s commercialisation, processing and export of value-added agriculture products. The second phase will run from December 2020 until November 2024. The programme will provide financial and technical support towards increased provision of services and access to innovation for agri-businesses in Province Number 1. This will increase demand for smallholders’ produce, including them in value-added supply chains and building resilience in rural communities through higher employment and income.  

Sahaj’s slogan “partner in innovations for agriculture” will be paramount in phase 2 – a strong focus on supporting investment in small and medium-sized agri-businesses with innovative services in the province. This will be done through three pillars supporting i) agriculture services, ii) non-agriculture services, and iii) the overarching business environment. Under these pillars, the programme will identify and address constraints to growth, unlocking the services agri-businesses need to invest in innovation and of value-added sustainable agriculture products. This includes addressing policy bottlenecks and unlocking potential for closer collaboration between the government and the private sector. Sahaj will build a portfolio of interventions (support for Small and Medium Enterprise partners), starting in the maize, dairy, cardamom and vegetable sectors. Additionally, the programme will support the government’s efforts to strengthen the federal structure by working closely with Provincial and Local Government units.

 

Project partner

Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development (CEAPRED)

Results

Expected results

  • 1,000 new jobs created in local economy, with 40% for women and 20% for disadvantaged groups (DAGs); the new jobs will generate NPR 150 million of annual income.
  • 20,000 farmers benefit from higher farm-income (at least 6,000 women farmers and 5,000 DAGs); farm-income will grow by NPR 300 million annually.

Videos

Forging Partnerships: A Partnership Story From Sahaj’s Maize Sector
Sahaj is a joint initiative of the Government of Nepal and the Government of Switzerland. It is mandated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and is jointly implemented by Swisscontact as the lead agency, and CEAPRED.
Sahaj – Partner for Innovations in Agriculture
The overview video of Sahaj introduces the programme.
Sahaj – Partner for Innovations in Agriculture (in Nepali)
सहज परियोजनाको परिचयात्मक वृतचित्र

News

Nepal
Sustainable agriculture
05.08.2022
Launch of 'Wah! Alaichi' Campaign: Enhancing the usage of Nepali cardamom
The 'Wah Alaichi' campaign was officially launched in a press conference organized on 29 July. The campaign is initiated by the Federation of Large Cardamom Entrepreneurs of Nepal (FLCEN) in collaboration with the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Province 1 and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in coordination with Sahaj project and Enssure (Enhanced Skills for Sustainable and Rewarding Employment).
Bangladesh, Nepal
Entrepreneurial ecosystems, Sustainable agriculture
23.06.2022
Inclusive Market Systems Development (iMSD): Knowledge Excursion with Ministry of Agriculture and Government of Nepal (GoN) 
To learn and create further room for improvement, NAMDP arranged an official visit to Bangladesh with a team of six Government of Nepal (GoN) personnel. The objective of this visit was to understand how Inclusive Market Systems Development (iMSD) works.
Nepal
Sustainable agriculture
11.05.2022
Sahaj Chips in to Consolidate Local Agri-enterprises
Purnima Upadhyaya, Smita Timsina and Shanti Bhattarai of Bhadrapur, Jhapa were homemakers before they decided to start an enterprise, Shreeji Food Udhyog, producing pickles. They invested four to five hundred thousand rupees each to start the industry and had initially gathered 15 local women to make carrot pickles.