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
13.07.2020
Gurung - a cardamom and ginger farmer also wears the hat of a trainer
Thanks to Sahaj offering training for trainers in Nepal, farmer Tej Maya Gurung Jhooma is playing a vital role in changing the way people cultivate large cardamom and ginger the region by providing training to women farmers. 
Nepal
04.12.2019
16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence: Role Models of Economic Empowerment
The 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that runs from the 23rd of November to 10th of December. This campaign was initiated by activists at the Women Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and has continued being organized by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. The chosen theme for this year’s campaign is “Orange the world: Generation Equality Stands against Rape!” 
28.02.2019
Nepal: a functioning market system empowers smallholder farmers – the “Sahaj” project
In Nepal, agriculture dominates the economy and constitutes 34% of that country’s gross domestic product (GDP). 68% of the population earns its living from agriculture. The agricultural sector is nevertheless still at an early stage in terms of technology and modern approaches to planting and harvesting. The “Sahaj” project implemented by...