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More than 70 percent of Nepal’s population works in agriculture, yet this South Asian country struggles to produce an adequate and affordable supply of food. The Government of Nepal and donors have made food security a national priority and have increased support to developing the agriculture sector for better food security.

  • 120 THOUSAND
    Producers using new technology and practices with Feed the Future’s help in FY16
  • $45 MILLION
    New income earned by Feed the Future farmers in FY16 from agricultural sales
    Children under 5 reached with nutrition help in FY16
  • $1.8 MILLION
    New private investment leveraged by Feed the Future in FY16


  • 35 PERCENT
    Reduction in the prevalence of poverty in the areas where Feed the Future has worked since 2011
  • 24 PERCENT
    Increase in the prevalence of children (6-23 months) receiving a minimum acceptable diet in Nepal

Key Achievements

Feed the Future trained nearly 135,000 smallholder producers, expanded or formed over 4,700 farmers groups, and supported 222 additional private sector enterprises and organizations. On average, individual farmers applied 9 improved technologies or practices in 2016.

Feed the Future farmers substantially increased their yields over 2011 numbers (baseline) by an average of 22 percent for cereals, and up to 75 percent for vegetables. With better yields, average farmer sales increased by about $530 per household over the 2011 baseline. In 2016, Feed the Future farmers achieved gross margins of $574 for rice, $611 for maize, $476 for lentils and between $4,611-$9,692 for high-value vegetables.

Feed the Future increased access to formal credit and helped savings and credit cooperatives and micro-finance institutions expand their client base by linking them to farmers groups. As a result, 52,462 households accessed agricultural loans worth more than $7.7 million in total.


These results above reflect information from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Peace Corps and the U.S. Department of the Treasury (through the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program) reported into Feed the Future’s central monitoring system for fiscal year 2016 (FY16). Impact data for poverty and stunting statistics come from the 2015 Nepal Interim Assessment Report, originally collected through the Nepal AHS in 2013-2014 (poverty) and the Nepal MICS in 2014. For more information on the indicators above, please view the Feed the Future Indicator Handbook. All dollar amounts are in U.S. dollars.

Zones of Influence in Nepal

Map of Nepal
  • 20 hill and terai districts in the western, mid-western and far western regions
  • 4 earthquake-affected districts in the central and eastern regions

Background Stats

  • 6.9 MILLION
    Number of people living in Feed the Future target regions
  • 0.6 PERCENT
    Annual GDP growth; agriculture accounts for 33% of added value (World Bank, 2016)
  • 81 PERCENT
    Percentage of population living in rural Nepal (World Bank, 2016)
  • 20.9 PERCENT
    Percentage of population living below Nepal’s total poverty line in Feed the Future target regions (AHS, 2014)

Value Chains

  • Vegetables
  • Cereals (Rice & Maize)
  • Lentils


More than 70 percent of Nepal’s population works in agriculture, yet this South Asian country struggles to produce anadequate and affordable supply of food. Weak growth in agricultural production and low crop yields have weakened rural economies, increasing urban and international migration and straining the ability of families to avoid malnutrition. Two out of every three Nepalese suffer from food insecurity at some time during the year and the prevalence of stunting for Nepal stands at 37.4 percent nationally while 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, limited livelihood opportunities, weak market connections and coordination, inadequate production and consumption of highly nutritious foods, poor infrastructure, and inadequate government resources. Gender and caste relationships play an important role in food security as a majority of women and many disadvantaged persons, who often do not have access to their own land, cash or other productive assets, work in agriculture. Widespread migration of men gives women more say over production decisions but imposes labor and other time allocation constraints on them. Furthermore, women and children typically suffer greater levels of hunger and poverty than men.

Despite these difficulties, there are many opportunities for substantial improvement in Nepal. The Government of Nepal and donors have made food security a national priority and have increased support to developing the agriculture sector for better food security, stronger resilience to shocks and stresses, more commercial opportunities, and to address global and regional trade issues with India and China.

Nepal has the agroecological potential to be a food surplus country and has an excellent track record in piloting groundbreaking development programs. Through multi-sector efforts that incorporate best practices, such as conservation agriculture, crop rotation and small-scale irrigation, the potential is high for activities to stimulate agricultural production, increase incomes, improve nutrition and boost food security.


Feed the Future supports the following programs, partnerships and organizations in Nepal.

  • Feed the Future Business Literacy Project
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition
  • Feed the Future Policy Reform Initiative
  • Food for Peace Promoting Agriculture, Health and Alternative Livelihood (PAHAL)
  • Food for Peace Sustainable Action for Resilience and Food Security (SABAL)
  • Global Agriculture and Food Security Program
  • Knowledge-Based Integrated Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition Project (KISAN)
  • Nepal Seed and Fertilizer Project
  • Suaahara II Integrated Nutrition Program
  • Suaahara Integrated Nutrition Program
  • USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA)
  • USDA McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program

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