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Riverbed Farming Alliance launched

Lalitpur 10 February 2012 – Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and National Programme Director of Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP), UNDP Mr Anil Kumar Thakur launched the Riverbed Farming Alliance amid a function here today. The alliance has the objectives of promoting riverbed farming in Nepal; exchanging experiences and enhancing inter-organizational learning; and supporting the Government of Nepal in the development of a national riverbed farming strategy.

The members of the alliance comprise the Forum for Rural Welfare and Agricultural Reform for Development (FORWARD), the Deutsche GesellschaftfuerInternationaleZusammenarbeit/Inclusive Development of the Economy Programme (GIZ INCLUDE), HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Mercy Corps,  Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF), Ministry of Industry, and MEDEP, UNDP.

Formed in August 2011, the Alliance has implemented or initiated the following activities like joint field visit to Dang; Strategy Development Workshop on Riverbed Farming in Dhangadi; riverbed Farming Alliance web page; development of Riverbed Farming Guidelines (initiated; by Ministry of Local Development in collaboration with the Riverbed Farming Alliance); riverbed mapping in four pilot districts, Dang, Kailali, Sarlahi and Siraha ; National Riverbed Farming Workshop (planned),  Kathmandu, 2012 and participatory action research on micro and small irrigation technology.

Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and the National Programme Director of MEDEP Mr Anil Kumar Thakur launches the Riverbed Farming Alliance.


Riverbed farming, i.e. cultivation of crops on seasonal riverbeds, has become a promising measure to alleviate poverty of the landless and land-poor households of the Tarai region in Nepal.  Rivers spread out covering a large tracks of land entering the Tarai. As the speed of water flow reduces, silt is deposited in large quantities along riverbeds. During the dry season the water retreats from large areas and riverbeds remain dry between October and May.

These dry riverbeds can be used by landless and land-poor households to cultivate fresh vegetables. The potential for riverbed farming is still very significant in the entire Tarai region. Appropriate cultivation techniques will allow households to sell fresh produce in the market at a time when supply of vegetables from regional agriculture is low. It enables families to generate an income which will lift them well above poverty line. At present about 5,000 land-poor and landless families are in riverbed farming. They cultivate about 800 hectare of seasonal riverbeds in Kailali, Kanchanpur, Banke, Bardiya, Dang, Siraha and Morang districts., the website of the alliance was also launched the same day. 


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