Nepal and CIMMYT forge decade-long partnership to advance agricultural science


December 7, 2023


Nepal and CIMMYT forge decade-long partnership to advance agricultural science

Secretary Dr. Govinda Prasad Sharma (R) and Livestock Development and Director General Bram Govaerts from CIMMYT after signing the MoU.

KATHMANDU: The Government of Nepal and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a 10-year collaboration.

The MoU was signed by Secretary Dr. Govinda Prasad Sharma from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and Director General Bram Govaerts from CIMMYT during a ceremony at the ministry.

This partnership aims to bolster agricultural production and market systems in Nepal, the CIMMYT said in a statement.

This partnership solidifies the commitment of both entities to enhancing agricultural science and contributing to the sustainable development of Nepal’s agricultural sector, it added.

During the event, Dr. Sharma emphasized the importance of collaboration and the commitment of the government and CIMMYT to sustainable agricultural growth.

He expressed his commitment, on behalf of the Ministry, to support CIMMYT’s programs focusing on food value, market chains, and research. He also thanked CIMMYT for fostering maize and wheat hybrid seeds in Nepal.

Addressing the event, Minister Dr. Bedu Ram Bhusal expressed hope for this collaboration to significantly impact rural families and transform the lives of farmers.

He expressed gratitude for collaboration efforts in agriculture, highlighting the achievements in developing maize and wheat varieties and the creation of a digital soil map, the first of its kind in Asia.

Similarly, Director General Bram Govaerts emphasized that this MoU signifies collaboration between policy and science to impact the agri-food system.

He thanked the government of Nepal for collaborative work in developing a Digital Soil Map, 17 improved maize varieties and hybrids, and 11 enhanced wheat varieties in Nepal.

He also stated, “It embodies a collaborative effort between the institutions to bolster agricultural productivity and tackle agricultural challenges through innovative research and development.”

CIMMYT, a non-profit international public organization headquartered in Mexico, has long been entrusted with the critical mission of fostering agricultural advancements globally.

Established as one of the 15 agricultural research centers under the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), CIMMYT contributes to developing a world with healthier and more prosperous people, free from the threat of global food crises, and with more resilient agri-food systems.

Through collaborative research, partnerships, and training, CIMMYT helps build and strengthen a new generation of national agricultural research and extension services in maize- and wheat-growing nations.

CIMMYT’s engagement with Nepal dates back to the 1960s when informal collaborations began through visits and scientist training.

The official partnership was formalized in 1985, and since then, CIMMYT has been actively engaged in initiatives aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity and resilience in Nepal.

Importantly, this partnership solidifies the commitment to collaborative efforts in Nepal, particularly with the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) since its establishment in 1991.

The synergy between CIMMYT and NARC has been instrumental in crop variety research and development, as well as the subsequent release of improved varieties tailored to the specific needs of Nepali farmers.

This MoU further solidifies and expands upon this longstanding relationship, providing a framework for joint efforts and shared goals over the next decade.

Over the years, CIMMYT has played a pivotal role in Nepal’s agricultural development through various collaborative initiatives.

Key areas of focus include the introduction of improved maize and wheat germplasm, facilitation of agricultural mechanization, development of a digital soil map of Nepal and digitally enabled seed information system, human resource strengthening, climate change resilience, integrated soil fertility management, initiatives promoting gender equality and social inclusion, and agricultural policy support, among others.

The 10-year duration of the MoU reflects the commitment of both the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, and CIMMYT to achieving lasting impacts in the agricultural sector.

Through collaborative research, knowledge exchange, and the implementation of innovative technologies, the partnership aims to address the evolving challenges faced by Nepal’s farmers and contribute to Nepal’s Agriculture Development Strategy (2015-2035).

The Government of Nepal and CIMMYT look forward to a decade of fruitful collaboration, leveraging their combined expertise to make significant steps in advancing agricultural science and fostering positive change in the nation’s farming communities.