10 November 2021, Beijing: The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) Cities Project team organized the mid-term pilot workshop between Khajura rural municipality of Nepal, UNDP Nepal, WFP Nepal, WFP China, and agricultural experts from the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center (FECC) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China.
The pilot is a joint initiative led by the UNOSSC and WFP China Centre of Excellence, with strong engagement of Khajura Municipality, and close coordination with UNDP Nepal and WFP Nepal. Building on the local technical needs analysis conducted by FECC, this pilot aims to build up local farmers’ capacity in vegetable cultivation and poultry farming, improve their livelihoods and promote sustainable agriculture and value chain development through potential scaling up of the knowledge sharing to more Nepali cities.
The workshop, moderated by Ms. Xiaodan Zhang, Project Management Officer of UNOSSC Cities Project in Beijing, aims to brief all stakeholders on the progress of the pilot project on sustainable agriculture and value chain development in Khajura, Nepal, discuss the next steps, and move forward the training and capacity building for local stakeholders. Experts from Foreign Economic Cooperation Center (FECC) briefed the key findings of needs analysis through a survey collected from local farmers and government staff in Khajura and provided detailed training approaches and modalities in two key prioritized areas on vegetable cultivation and poultry farming technology to solicit feedbacks from Khajura rural municipality and colleagues from UNDP and WFP offices in Nepal.
Mr. Kismat Kakshapati, Mayor of Khajura rural municipality, expressed appreciation of the partnership among UNOSSC and WFP China to support the sustainable agriculture development in Khajura and to move forward with the pilot towards the capacity improvement of local farmers and knowledge transfer. In addition, he stressed the importance of maximizing this learning opportunity to more farmers in the neighboring cities. The mayor also indicated the plan for upgrading Khajura Rural municipality into a bigger city scale and looks forward to continued collaboration with UNOSSC.
Ms. LIU Wei, an agriculture expert from FECC, introduced the preliminary course design on vegetable production, which covers the full cycle of vegetable production – pre-planting; planting; post-harvest. Ms. Liu also touched upon the technologies that FECC intends to introduce to local farmers in tomato and onion cultivation, such as seedling culture technology and high-cultivation yield technology.
Ms. CHU Qin, another expert of FECC presented the draft course design on poultry farming which consists of a 19-lecture course covering 6 areas in chicken farming from feeding methods, breeding technology/methods to disease diagnosis, prevention, control, and field management, as well as a virtual tour of a Beijing chicken farm for showcasing the local operations practice.
Mr. Rafeeque A. Siddiqui, Head of Field Office in UNDP Nepal, facilitated the workshop by interpreting for the Mayor of Khajura and providing his valuable inputs on the training preparation from his field experience.
Dr. Harish Chandra, President of the Chinese Cultural Education Association of Nepal and who partook in previous field exchanges organized by UNOSSC, also facilitated the meeting, and appreciated this learning opportunity dedicated to Nepalese farmers and praised such projects and exchanges are necessary and beneficial to local people in Nepal.
In the end, the Mayor of the Khajura Rural Municipality appreciated the continuous communication with the UNOSSC Cities team during the COVID-19 outbreak and hoped to strengthen the cooperation with UNOSSC on city-to-city field visits and exchanges in the future. As a result of this in-depth discussion and consultation among all participating agencies, further actions will be taken in the field to implement the training activities among local farmers and sectoral government officials to carry forward the collaboration and enhance new farming technology transfer towards sustainable agricultural development.