Government signs agreement with UNDP

Kathmandu, February 2

The government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today signed an agreement to implement the ‘Cooperative Market Development Programme’ to establish and operationalise cooperative market chain of fruits and vegetables to increase farmers’ income and other livelihood opportunities in Nepal.

Under the pact, government and UNDP will contribute $5 million and $2 million, respectively, to the five-year joint

initiative to be implemented in six districts — Dhading, Nuwakot, Kavre, Lalitpur, Makawanpur and Chitwan.

Joint Secretary at Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation (MoCPA), Raghuram Bista and UNDP Country

Director Renaud Meyer, signed the agreement amid a function at Singhadurbar.

Basically, programme aims to increase quality, quantity and consistency in supply of fruits and vegetables in the selected districts through infrastructure development, training and support on farming techniques, marketing and institutional capacity building.

“There is a huge market potential in this sector in and around Kathmandu Valley. This market also offers a significant growth potential for the benefit of local people and farmers, as around one-third of the supplies in this sector still come from outside Nepal,” said Gopi Nath Mainali, secretary at MoCPA, adding that this project will tap the potential the country has in the fruits and vegetables market and help boost local farmers’ income and the economy.

Similarly, UNDP Country Director Meyer said that the new programme will directly benefit thousands of Nepali farmers over the next five years through crucial support in modernising their production and market chain.

“The active engagement and financing from the government shows strong commitment, leadership and ownership of the programme,” said Meyer.

The programme is expected to directly benefit over 14,000 farmers from the six districts through interventions, including training programmes on production enhancement, branding, marketing, farming, storage facility and processing and construction of 90 collection centres at the municipal and ward levels.