Agriculture is the mainstay of Nepal’s economy. Around 65.6% of the total population entirely depends on agriculture (MoAC, 2007). Previously, farming system in Nepal was based predominantly on local input. But in recent years, especially since the 1960s, uses of agro-chemicals have been increased thereby increasing disturbance on natural resources like soil, water, forest, etc.
The ever increasing use of chemicals has been leading environment toward degradation, and the aftermaths are the low agricultural productivity, soil degradation, loss of agro-biodiversity, pest outbreak, human health hazard etc. This situation implies that the sustainability of agriculture in Nepal is seriously threatened. Agriculture, being a major livelihood, farmers now have realized the bad impact of agro-chemicals, and are trying hard to introduce alternative system that is sustainable, and suitable in local condition.
Realizing the same, since the very beginning of the establishment, NCDC has been assisting farmers and farmers’ groups for various agriculture related activities in the rural area within Ilam district with a view to attaining agriculture sustainability in the long run. It has been promoting location specific agriculture technology, local crop genetic resources and sustainable natural resource management for agriculture. Besides, it has been taking initiative for agro and livestock product diversification thereby generating extra income and local employment for the alternative livelihood in the rural areas. Sustainable Agriculture is one of the major four sectors of NCDC and has been getting sufficient attention through programs and projects.
Currently, NCDC is involved various aspect of sustainable agriculture which has been listed below.
- Develops and disseminate technologies which are appropriate in particular location.
- Promotes farm mechanization with the objective of bringing back ever increasing fallow land into cultivation again.
- It promotes organic farming to provide healthy food to the consumers as well as to maintain the health of soil and environment.
- It facilitates organic certification process to ensure fair trade and marketing linkage.
- Besides, it has also been promoting agro-enterprises like bee keeping and vegetable farming in semi-commercial scale for income generation.