Despite Nepal’s agricultural potential, more than half of Nepali households suffer from food insecurity. The prevalence of stunting for Nepal stands at about 36 percent nationally, and 47 percent of children under 5 are stunted in Feed the Future target regions.
The underlying causes of hunger, poverty, and undernutrition in Nepal include low agricultural productivity, weak market connections and coordination, poor infrastructure, and inadequate government resources. Gender, ethnicity, and caste relationships also play an important role in food security as a majority of women and many marginalized group members work in agriculture, and often do not have access to their own land, cash or other productive assets.
Despite these difficulties, there are many opportunities for agriculture-led growth in Nepal. Feed the Future emphasizes a multi-sector approach to developing market systems in Nepal, with an emphasis on greater private sector engagement.
Feed the Future works with private sector partners and the Government of Nepal to help men, women, youth, and marginalized group members transform from subsistence farmers into more resilient and prosperous participants in Nepal’s food system, from farm to fork. Efforts include partnering with more than 100 private sector entities to leverage the private sector’s own investments and expertise. The goal is to extend the private sector’s reach to rural areas to provide services like agricultural training, increase access to better inputs and technologies like improved seed varieties and agricultural equipment, and directly connect farmers to markets.
Feed the Future is also promoting digital technologies and services to accelerate progress toward its goals and testing promising applications for financial services, agricultural production and marketing, and seed systems.
Feed the Future aims to improve the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women and children under 2 years old by improving access to and consumption of diverse, nutritious foods by encouraging kitchen gardening and backyard poultry farming. When coupled with training on nutrition and hygiene and sanitation, these activities can drastically improve the health of Nepali women, giving them the opportunity to become more economically and socially empowered.
Feed the Future supports the following programs, partnerships and organizations in Nepal.
- Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) Phase III
- Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition
- Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management
- Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems
- Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Reduction of Post-Harvest Loss
- USAID Food for Peace Promoting Agriculture, Health and Alternative Livelihood (PAHAL) Activity
- USAID Food for Peace Sustainable Action for Resilience and Food Security (SABAL) Activity
- USAID Food for Peace Technical and Operational Performance Support
- Heat-Stress Tolerant Maize for South Asia
- John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer Program
- Knowledge-Based Integrated Sustainable Agriculture in Nepal (KISAN) II Activity
- Nepal Seed and Fertilizer Activity
- Suaahara II Integrated Nutrition Activity