Nepal’s National Grain Legumes Research Program (NGLRP), in collaboration with USAID’s Feed the Future Nepal Seed and Fertilizer Project, led by The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), began a two-day workshop to foster lentil productivity and profitability Tuesday. Engaging both public and private stakeholders involved in lentil research and development activities, the workshop will examine the intricate challenges and tap into potential opportunities for lentil interventions and innovations in Nepal. During the workshop, a newly formed lentil working committee will define a strategic roadmap which will be used to strengthen the lentil market system.
Speaking at the workshop, NGLRP national coordinator Rajendra Darai remarked, “there is high demand for the product globally, but we need to enhance competitiveness and reinforce the lentil value chain.” A lentil seed producer and farmer from Kapilvastu added that “improved variety of seeds, combined with best management practices and technology, will be the key to achieving higher yields.”
Lentils have emerged as an important agricultural export commodity for Nepal. The country is the second largest lentil producer in South Asia and the fifth in the world. However, there is a huge yield gap of almost a ton per hectare between the national average and the achievable yield.
The major constraint to boosting output at the farm level is the limited availability of improved varieties and low quality of seeds and fertilizers. Farmers and lentil seed producers are also impacted by weak market linkages, limited access to new technologies and lack of access to finance. Low-profit margin and price fluctuation of lentil seed hinders companies from selling improved seeds in the market. Meanwhile, export growth is constrained by the lack of proper linkages with international buyers, compatible policies and quality standards.
To enhance Nepal’s lentil productivity and profitability, NGLRP is collaborating with the CGIAR Centers to develop improved varieties and production technologies to better suit different ecological regions. USAID’s Feed the Future Nepal Seed and Fertilizer Project, implemented by CIMMYT, supports the NGLRP by building linkages with private seed companies to develop new varieties of seeds best suited for Nepal’s geography.
CIMMYT’s AbduRahman Beshir, the seed system lead for USAID’s Feed the Future Nepal Seed and Fertilizer Project, said, “we are working with partners to enhance the lentil value chain in Nepal and to ensure that farmers have access to improved farming inputs and technologies. This will result in increased lentil productivity and reel in more earnings for the farmers and the suppliers.”
USAID’s Nepal Seed and Fertilizer Project is made possible thanks to the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
For further inquiries, please contact: AbduRahman Beshir, Seed System Lead – CIMMYT firstname.lastname@example.org