Nepal is a mountainous country with plenty of natural beauties and an Agriculture-based economy with about 75% of the population being dependent upon agriculture. About 70% of the Nepali people are in the rural areas of the country where the main occupation is agriculture. A significant part of the population is dependent on this sector, which remains a backbone of the country’s economy, where as 36 percent GDP is covered by agriculture production. In this situation, it cannot be taken for granted that the overall development of the country is possible without the development of this sector. The development of the farmers is not possible without the development of this sector, and the purchasing power of the farmers cannot improve until their conditions improve as well. In the absence of improvement in the purchasing power of the farmers, direct and indirect impact on the demand for industrial outputs, so the industrial development is also hindered. The fact that other various sectors will be affected directly or indirectly cannot be denied. For the above reasons, there is an urgent need for improvement in the agriculture sector. However, the following factors are responsible for the backwardness of this sector in the country: Traditional farming practice, fragmentation of agricultural land, lack of irrigation, lack of adequate technology & skill manpower, dual ownership in land, lack of timely provision of quality seed and fertilizers, absence of well organized agriculture market, lack of utilization of public and private land, less participation of private sector in Agro & Agro Forest sectors etc. are the main obstructions of agriculture development in Nepal.
The population is increasing day by day, but on other hand, the fertile land has been converted into cities or industrial areas. If this continues, there will be no remaining fertile land for growing crops. Kathmandu Valley can be taken as an example. This problem threatens the well being of human beings in every country of this world.
The disorganized agricultural activities are also a serious problem in Nepal. The vast area of land is misused. However, the major issue in this sector is a lack of skilled and qualified manpower as well as the appropriate technology. The great effort of Nepalese farmers has become fruitless. Still, we can find the large area of land uncultivated and unutilized. In this regard, it is necessary to implement a planned policy immediately. In the absence of concrete vision and policy, the existing few agricultural entrepreneurs are also facing great problems. On the other hand, there are no such better situations created to exist as private entrepreneurs. The farmers have been doing hard labor, but they are compelled to live in a miserable condition. Every government in Nepal has been claiming that agricultural development is the top priority, but the results are not found satisfactory. The way we can pursue agricultural development in this country is through the use of organic agriculture. In the world context now organic agriculture is an emerging situation, so this is the right time to begin thinking about organic agriculture development in the country. For a country bestowed by nature with tremendous organic agricultural probability, this must be the right choice. Presently, it is in its infancy stage due to the lack of awareness amongst farmers, consumers, students, scholars, activists and policy makers. Even the government of Nepal has not given any priority for Organic Agriculture (OA) development. What we are facing today owes to the total lack of planning and foresight in the country’s organic agriculture sector. Farmers have been applying chemical inputs in the name of commercial farming, which is hazardous to both human life and the environment. Soil fertility is degrading day by day, and people are suffering from critical diseases. If we do not become timely conscious and create awareness, the situation will be beyond our control and become a great threat to the human existence in this country. Necessary steps must be taken immediately for preserving both the environment and its creatures by supporting (institutionalizing) organic farming. Our initiative actions in this regard can be recognition for the future generations.
To create public awareness about the importance of organic agriculture, to formulate concrete planning and policy for the betterment of farmers to reduce poverty through organic agriculture, and to establishing organic agriculture resource centers all over the country will be main steps of the Nepali Government as well as those institutions and organizations who have been involving in this sector in a joint effort. It is certain that organic farming will be more cost effective than modern farming in the long run. Employing organic farming methods will lead to higher profits for farmers, not only because of price premiums but also because of lower production costs (Rosegrant, et al., 2005; von Braun, et al, 2003). OA technologies can decrease the costs of production as chemical inputs are substituted by locally available and cheaper organic inputs and more intensive labor which the farmers often have in abundance. Adoption of OA systems also lowers the need for credit, which is often expensive and difficult to obtain for small farmers. There is substantial evidence linking OA with improvements in the profitability and income of poor farmers in developing countries. Case studies by UNESCAP (2002) show that certain organic farming groups were able to double their income due to the lower cost of organic inputs and lower credit costs. More importantly, studies show that OA has been particularly profitable for smallholders. In the context of Nepalese farmers, OA is the only technology to adopt for their livelihood as they have a small holding of land. So it is vital to think of organic agriculture development in the country by its government. The government is providing subsidy in chemical fertilizer, likewise, the government should have to provide necessary support to those who have been involving in the field of organic agriculture development. It should also formulate a policy in regards to organic agricultural development within the country so that Nepal can gradually become known as an organic country.
Pesticides have too many secrets that farmers normally don’t know. Pesticides not only kills harmful pests but also the useful organisms. Pesticides are not good for birds and aquatic animals. We have a natural way to prevent insect infestation. Why do we need to stop using pesticides?
1. Pesticides don’t solve pests problem for a long time
2. Pesticides are very hazardous to human health
3. Pesticides have a severe impact on children. Long intake of contaminated food can impair their physical and mental health.
4. Pesticides are hazardous to farmers and people who live near the farm
5. Pesticides are very harmful to honey bees which are natural pollinators for many useful plants
6. Pesticides contaminates water sources
Eco-reach has distributed educational kits to the children living in a slum area of Manohara river. The main objective of the program was to help kids with some stationery materials including pencils, sharpener, eraser, ruler, compass, tape etc. for their studies. Children were overjoyed after receiving such materials, it shows that they really want to study. As most people living in the slum are poor and illiterate; most of the parents want their kids to work rather than sending them to school. Most of the kids of this slum work to extract sand from the river. Eco-reach is committed to helping the people to send their kids to school.
This is another work recently done by the eco-reach foundation in Kuntabeshi, Kavre. As we all know, the consequence of the last year’s earthquake was very devastating and it has a severe impact on the life of people. Many people lost their lives, livelihood, house and almost everything. The eco-reach foundation helped people to get warm in the cold winter by distribution of fiber blankets to the people living in the hills of Kavre. This is a small effort and the people need more help and support.
Eco-reach distributed blankets in the slum area of the Manohara river bordering Kathmandu and Bhaktapur district. People living in this slum area don’t have basic facilities for their daily life. They lack proper bedding, mattress or blankets to sleep. This is very hard, especially for small children. The people cannot survive the chilling cold in the little clothes. Most of the children are wrapped inside old, dirty piece of cloth, which hardly covers their body. Regarding this, Eco-reach foundation has helped them with the woolen blankets. People were very happy to get blankets and they were appreciating the help. Eco-reach has the plan to help more to the people of that area.
This is also another work done by the eco-reach foundation. After the earthquake eco-reach has focused some of its activities in the slums in order to make their life little easy. Eco-reach has been conducting several activities like food and clothes distribution and environmental sanitation program. On this particular event, shawls were distributed to the women living in the slum area of Manohara river. As the women living in this slums have a difficult economic situation and they don’t have money to buy warm clothes eco-reach distributed shawls to women of living in this area.
As the consequences of the devastating earthquake in 2015 have created a humanitarian crisis in Nepal. Especially in the hilly and remote areas people are having a very difficult situation. Many people are left with nothing. Eco reach foundation tried to reach its hand to the people living in Koshi pari area of Dolakha district which is one of the remote places of Nepal. The effort was to provide the people with fiber blankets and some warm clothes in order to cope with cold winter. Since the cold is severe and the people do not have shelter children are severely affected. It is also a very small act of kindness done by the eco-reach, but much help is still needed and with the support of many people we can accomplish the humanitarian aid.
These are the joyful faces of the people who are living in the slums. The eco-reach has tried to reach to the heart of the people in this region. No matter what is given to the people, the people are happy just to receive some humane feelings for them. The main act was giving milk and bread to those people living in the slums. you would be so happy just to see the smile on the faces of the children there. The eco-reach foundation would like to acknowledge Ms. Anita and Mr. Robert Wienke for sponsoring this event. Lots of thanks and appreciation from the people to Anita and Robert.
This is another humanitarian aid of eco-reach for the people living in the slum area around Manohara river of Kathmandu valley. The main objective of this program was to help the people and children of slum area by providing them clothes. Most of the people of this slum cannot afford to buy clothes. Eco-reach has distributed clothes and slippers to people. They were really happy to get clothes.