IFDC functions as a sub-grantee to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) under the Feed the Future Nepal Seed and Fertilizer project (2016-2022), with a role focused on fertilizer and ISFM market development, private sector engagement, public sector policy, and extension. The broader project has both a seed component and a fertilizer component.
The seed component builds the capacity of the public and private sectors on market-oriented variety development, technologies for quality seed production, and seed business development.
The fertilizer component updates ISFM and fertilizer recommendations, seeks to commercialize more precise fertilizer application equipment, builds agro-input retailer and farmer cooperative knowledge of ISFM and fertilizer management using the “4R” Nutrient Stewardship approach (right source, right rate, right time, and right place), and explores options for policy reform and an increased private sector role in fertilizer distribution.
The Feed the Future Nepal Seed and Fertilizer project seeks to increase national crop productivity as well as household-level food security and economic welfare. The project is funded by USAID via CIMMYT.
IFDC’s role in the Feed the Future Nepal Seed and Fertilizer project focuses on fertilizer and ISFM and includes strengthening the institutional capacity of the newly formed Nepal Fertilizer Entrepreneurs Association (NeFEA).
- Assisted NeFEA in preparing the association’s business development strategies.
- Produced training materials for best management practices for rice, wheat, maize, cauliflower, tomato, and onion.
- Carried out a market assessment to evaluate precision fertilizer application tools.
- Conducted economic analysis of polymer-coated urea and urea briquettes.
- Developed site-specific fertilizer recommendations for three major cereals – rice, wheat, and maize.
- Prepared a comprehensive fertilizer sector report, which provides policy guidelines to enhance the fertilizer sector – research, extension, and marketing to strengthen the fertilizer supply system and improve use efficiency at farm level.
- Partnered with the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) and the National Soil Science Research Center (NSSRC) to prepare and launch digital soil maps of Nepal, a first for South Asia.
- Prepared the Road Map on Balanced Fertilization in Nepal, which includes technical and financial analysis of the fertilizer blending activity.
- Designed training materials on integrated soil fertility management (ISFM), covering the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship (right source, right rate, right time, and right place), and organic matter in Nepalese soils.
- Strengthened the capacity of the Fertilizer Association of Nepal (FAN) to improve the fertilizer distribution system in Nepal.
- Conducted an initial assessment, in response to COVID-19, with partner cooperatives in April 2020 to determine the availability of fertilizer.
- Assisted the national agricultural research system (NARS) in preparing digital soil mapping, the scope of work for the fertilizer blending policy activity for MoALD, and training materials on organic matter buildup in Nepalese soils.
- Also assisted the Government of Nepal in importing 50,000 mt of urea fertilizers from Bangladesh during the pandemic.
- The project assisted NeFEA in preparing the association’s business development strategies and in creating a conducive environment for policy advocacy. With project support, NeFEA has strengthened its relationship and communication with the Government of Nepal
- Training materials were finalized. These include factsheets on best management practices, training manuals, and flip-files for rice, wheat, maize, cauliflower, tomato, and onion.
- A market assessment was carried out to evaluate precision fertilizer application tools, and an economic analysis of polymer-coated urea and urea briquettes was conducted.
- 146 Department of Agriculture extension workers (84 female) participated in farmer trainings, demonstration plots, and field days.