AGCO Agriculture Foundation (AAF), an AGCO Corporation foundation with the vision to prevent and relieve hunger through sustainable agricultural development, Thursday announced a USD 250,000 grant to Heifer Netherlands (Stichting Heifer Nederland) to improve the sustainability, productivity and resilience of smallholder dairying families through the development of a productive and climate-smart dairy farming model in Nepal.
The two-year partnership was chosen from hundreds of grant applications received in response to AAF’s climate campaign. The project is an integral part of the AAF’s strategic sustainability actions to support climate action within the context of agriculture.
Dairy farming is an important source of livelihood for rural people in Nepal, generating income, food and nutrition security and employment, particularly for vulnerable households. However, dairy livestock generates high amounts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contributes to climate changes, including erratic rainfall patterns and flooding that impact dairy farmers in the Himalayan country.
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Funded by the AAF, this project will help minimise existing GHG emissions from Nepalese smallholder dairy farming practices while improving productivity. It will also help smallholder dairy producers, particularly women, focus on climate-smart solutions. The project approach will combine several sustainable farming methods. Producers will learn to develop climate-smart feed management and animal husbandry systems that reduce enteric fermentation, improve the productivity of animals and sequester carbon emissions through fodder trees and proper manure management with clean energy production using biogas and organic fertilisers.
Highlighting the objectives of the initiatives, Roger Batkin, Board Chair, AGCO Agriculture Foundation said, “Nepal remains one of the world’s least-developed nations. The majority of people live in rural areas. We want to prioritise actions for the direct benefit of these farmers’ livelihoods while supporting sustainable agricultural practices that maintain soil fertility, raise healthy livestock, and improve the environment. Across food chains, from livestock to crop production, climate change continues to have a significant impact on food security and livelihoods of farmers and their communities.”
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“Over the next 24 months, the project will support beneficiary farmers (100 households/500 family members), dairy value chain actors, and dairy farmers across Nepal during the dissemination phase, rural communities, academia, research institutions and government and non-governmental institutions. In addition, the project will contribute directly to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 7 and 13 and indirectly to SDGs 8, 10, 12 and 17,” AAF said.
Briefing on the project, Goossen Hoenders, Executive Director of Stichting, Heifer Nederland, “We are very happy with the trust and financial support that the AGCO Agricultural Foundation is providing to Heifer Netherlands to implement the climate-smart dairy farming project in Nepal. This project will also contribute to the work of a large long-term programme called ‘Milky Way Nepal’ that aims to transform the smallholder dairy sector into a fair, profitable and climate-smart value chain by 2030. The granted award is one of the first steps into realising this ambitious programme.”
In frame: Nepalese dairy farmer taking part in the climate-smart project. (Photo Courtesy Heifer Netherlands)