Question 1. How do we SPECIFICALLY improve livelihoods of the millions of most vulnerable families who farm on HILLSIDES and TERRACES? •Innovative approaches: Among various interventions, we will test the efficacy of vertical farming on terrace walls (FTW) which comprise 20-50% of underutilized hillside surface area.
Question 2. How do we GENERALLY improve short term and long-term farmer livelihoods? •Innovative approaches: We will test farmer-defined SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE KITS (SAKs) consisting of free or low-cost, purchasable interventions that focus on: — INCOME GENERATION (e.g. crop intensification, post-harvest value addition ideas) –reducing FEMALE DRUDGERY (e.g. light-weight, low cost weeders, plants and corn shellers, grain threshers) –promote CLIMATE CHANGE resiliency (e.g. biodiversity seed kits, drought tolerant crops, drip irrigation, dry season weeds as animal forages) –reduce post-harvest WASTE (e.g. grain storage bags, fruit ripening bags) — improve protein and micronutrient NUTRITION especially for women and children (e.g. seed kits of legumes, leafy greens, fruits, vegetables) –promote water and soil SUSTAINABILITY (e.g. farmyard manure improvement, conservation farming, legumes and cover crops).
Question 3. How do ensure high rates of technology ADOPTION in remote areas, then SCALE UP interventions without additional donor funding, knowing that any farm is inherently unique? •Innovative approaches: Inherent to our selection of SAK tools and practices is that each technology should be based on farmer-defined needs, should be inexpensive to purchase or rent (“Community SAK” machinery)
Question 4. How do we reduce institutional reliance and EMPOWER more subsistence farmers and rural entrepreneurs especially illiterate women? •Innovative approaches: We test the SAK picture book to mitigate the lack of ag-extension services and use it to teach empowering strategies including how to clean and make hybrid corn seeds, graft high-value trees, and to stimulate farmer-led experimentation. •The picture book will also be used to diffuse ideas to rural entrepreneurs (e.g. novel tool designs for blacksmiths).
Question 5. How do we use donor aid to stimulate long-term BI-LATERAL TRADE to ensure long-term prosperity, financial sustainability and return donor dollars back to taxpayers? •Innovative approaches: We will test the effectiveness of procuring products from Canadian ag-companies and linking them to a Nepalese ag company (Anamolbiu), combined with organizing bi-lateral trade workshops, newsletters and a website.