Agriculture and Nutrition Extension Project

Place: nepal, Asia
Sustainable development of small rural communities Sustainable development of small rural communities
Total Budget: € 1.619.856,00 | Period: From December 2011 To


Lift Business: Fight Hunger and Improve Nutrition

The Agriculture and Nutrition Extension Project, funded by the European Union started in December 2011 and is having a catalytic, long term impact on the income, food security and nutritional status of 20,000 poor households living in the lowlands of Nepal. 

It should be considered as best practice based on its incredible impact: (1) poor farmers have increased average annual incomes from 25 to 175 euros - double the target (2) vulnerable farming families have increased the number of food secure months from just 4.6 to 10 months and (3) the prevalence of underweight children has decreased from 37.5% to 32% - a significant drop in a short time.

ANEP's business-based approach has sustainability in-built: local grass-roots institutions and enterprises will continue to support farmers after the project, underpinning the gains made in food security, nutrition and income. The EU, government, stakeholders are adopting the ANEP approach.


iDE UK - United Kingdom

Lead applicant

International Development Enterprises (iDE) is an international family of organisations with members in the UK, USA, Canada and across the developing world. Its mission to create income and livelihood opportunities for the rural poor. iDE has thirty-two years market-based expertise in Africa, Asia and Latin America and a proven track record of taking innovations to scale through the private sector, making a significant difference to global poverty. Since founding, iDE’s agriculture innovations have increased the incomes and improved the lives of over 20 million small-scale family farmers living in poverty. Over the last fifteen years iDE has used its market-based experience to develop water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) innovations that have helped prevent disease and illness for poor rural customers in Asia and increasingly in Africa, enabling them to lead healthier, more productive lives. In Cambodia in two years iDE facilitated the sale of over 100,000 affordable and unsubsidised latrines to poor rural customers using the private sector as the exclusive channel for delivery and facilitated the sale of 350,000 water purifying filters through the market.

International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management also known as The WorldFish Center - Malaysia

Initiative partner

WorldFish, a member of the CGIAR Consortium, is an international, nonprofit research organization. CGIAR is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. CGIAR research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring more sustainable management of natural resources. It is carried out by the 15 centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in close collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector. WorldFish is committed to meeting two key development challenges: 1) improving the livelihoods of those who are especially poor and vulnerable in places where fisheries and aquaculture can make a difference and 2) achieving large scale, environmentally sustainable, increases in supply and access to fish at affordable prices for poor consumers in developing countries. To meet these challenges WoldFish's research focuses on generating and synthesizing knowledge which we then share and help apply. From new syntheses and analysis to targeted, on the ground delivery and knowledge sharing, WF's technologies, products and services help to make development happen while learning how to do it better. With more than 353 scientists and staff based in 8 countries across Asia, Africa and the Pacific we work in more than 19 countries around the world. Currently our regional or country offices are in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Malawi, Malaysia (HQ), Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Zambia. WorldFish’s mission touches the lives of millions of people whose lives and livelihoods depend on fish. WF are proud of their role in reducing poverty and increasing food and nutrition security through fisheries and aquaculture.

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center - Mexico

Initiative partner

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is the world’s premier center for research, development, and training in maize and wheat and in farming systems for those two essential food crops. From its headquarters in Mexico and offices throughout the developing world, the center works with partners worldwide to reduce poverty and hunger by sustainably increasing the productivity of maize and wheat cropping systems. CIMMYT maintains one of the world’s largest and most diverse maize and wheat seed collections and is best known for work leading to the Green Revolution—the widespread adoption of improved crop varieties and farming practices that saved millions of lives across Asia and for which CIMMYT’s Dr. Norman Borlaug was awarded the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. CIMMYT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium and receives support from national governments, foundations, development banks, and other public and private agencies. CIMMYT exists to deliver the best seed, agronomy, and agricultural research to farmers in the developing world. As each farm is unique, CIMMYT has created a mix of products and services, or tools, for farmers.


ANEP's contribution is smallholder commercial pockets established around grass roots community managed rural collection centres for market access and the development of local service providers marketing inputs, equipment, and providing embedded training to their smallholder customers. The collection centres develop detailed crop calenders for members with a value-chain group including the private sector and government experts. The centres are playing a catalytic role in enabling thousands of smallholder farmers to access a range of environmentally friendly, productivity-enhancing technologies such as micro-irrigation equipment, safe bio products for plant protection, and high quality seeds and fertiliser, close to their small farm communities.

The collection centres are developed with community and government support. They allow smallholders to increase income and productivity, enabling food security, improved nutrition, more local opportunities, and better local governance.

Rural Collection Centres At collection centers synergy and collaboration between different groups creates profitable opportunities for them all.
Vegetable Transport from ANEP Collection Centre A key aspect of ANEP is developing sufficient volume of production to establish rural collection centres creating economies of scale in transportation and creating competition among traders to increase farmer returns. Volume is crucial for traders to bring their trucks to purchase smallholder production.
Collection Centres: How do they work? By listening to the voices of poor rural farmers and the people managing collection centres we learn how collection centres work and, ultimately, what their impact has been.

Growing food in the hills and terai (flat lands) of Nepal can be extremely difficult. Geographically remote, isolated from markets and subject to floods, drought, and other climate extremes – these areas provide a tough reality for local rural people.

In Rupandehi, Nawalparasi, Surkhet and Rukum (areas targeted in ANEP), around two out of three families are engaged in agriculture, growing crops on small plots of land using basic farming methods.

Yet, poor access to improved agricultural technologies and markets makes it difficult for them to earn a living, and many still don’t have enough nutritious food to eat.

Poverty, food insecurity, and a lack of a nutritious diet in these areas has a disproportionate impact on women and children. In addition, malnutrition denies children the food and nutrition they need to reach their cognitive and development potential. The failure of children to reach their potential has long-term, often irreversible, social consequences. 

ANEP Beneficiaries Two women farmers from ANEP.
ANEP Farmer Group ANEP Farmer groups are poor and marginal farmers. Over 60% come from disadvantaged ethnic/caste groups and over 60% of ANEP trained people are women. ANEP farmers on average have less than 1/2 HA of land and are primarily subsistence farmers and labor wager earners not able to meet the basic needs of their families.
Basic Tools Farmers use basic tools like this hoe to produce crops - this is slow, backbreaking work.

ANEP’s latest results from a mid-term survey are strong. We are smashing our target for income, food security and nutrition:


Our target was to increase the income of poor, vulnerable HHs by 75 euro per year. ANEP has smashed this with a average annual income of farmers by 444 euros already.

Food Security:

Our target was to increase food secure months by one month. ANEP has increased the number of food secure months from 4.6 months to 10 months, over five times the target!


Our target was to decrease the prevalence of underweight children under two years old by 8%. ANEP has decreased the prevalence of underweight children from 37.5% to 32%. This 5.5% drop means we are well on track to meet the target by the end of the project.


The estimate for benefit-cost of the Nepal ANEP programme is 9 to 1 (farmer income/project cost). This is conservative for only the project period and shows the power of the ANEP smallholder commercial pocket approach in PPP. 


ANEP Farmer Ram Katharia Tharu Ram Katharia Tharu is a typical ANEP farmer. He is from a disadvantaged ethnic group. He is also has a physical handicap. Ram is part of ANEP's integrated fishery and vegetable programme. Before ANEP he was unable to meet his families basic needs. After one year Ram increased his income by Euro 400 and has been able to meet his family needs, send his children to school, and save some money. Ram is utilizing an ANEP established collection centre for marketing and crop calendar and is purchasing inputs locally from ANEP established local service providers who also give him training.
Chitra Rekha Tharu ANEP Fingerling Producer Chitra Rekha Tharu participated in an exchange visit with ANEP in Bangladesh to learn about the fish fingerling business to become a local service provider for smallholder farmers. Chitra after returning from Bangladesh established two fish ponds for fingerling production and is providing fingerlings to over 300 ANEP smallholder producers. She also provides training and information to smallholders. She is earning a substantial and increasing income.
Improving Food Security & Nutrition using Veg! In ANEP we focused on helping farmers grow healthy and nutritious vegetables, both for sale in the market and for home consumption. By listening to the voices of the farmers in this video you can get a first-hand perspective into their lives, and how they have been changed through ANEP.

The primary group benefiting from ANEP are 20,000 of the poorest, most vulnerable, socially excluded households (HHs) in both rural and urban communities in Nepal. ANEP benefits households in areas with high rates of poverty and food insecurity, primarily from the disadvantaged Dalit, Muslim, Tharu and Madeshi communities. Women and children benefit most, recognising the crucial role of women in nutrition: food production activities included at least 50% women and nutrition education classes were aimed at women with children under two.

In addition to these households, comprised mainly of smallholder farming families, many other groups benefit from collection centres:

  • Management committees that run the centres
  • Private sector retailers and traders
  • Buyers/consumers of produce
  • Government
  • Community business facilitators (CBFs) – local entrepreneurs link to management committees and private sector earning commissions from the sales of farm inputs/equipment and providing training 
Meet Arjun Arjun is a farmer from Devgaun VDC, in Nawalparasi. He owns around 6.5 ha of cultivable land and has 11 family members. Find out how he has benefited from ANEP, by clicking on the photo!
Meet Chandra Chandra Neupane is a 28 year old Community Business Facilitator (CBF) from Amrauth-5 in Nawalparasi district. She lives with her mother-in-law, brother-in-law, her husband and two sons.
Meet Chitra Chitra Tharu is a fish farmer and an ‘aquaculture service provider’ living in Saphi village, Rupandehi district. There are eight members in her family.

The main person leading the effort on-the-ground is the Field Team Leader Khadga Gurung. He received his Masters in agriculture from the UK and has delivered cutting-edge agriculture programs in Nepal for 20 + years. He works with a committed field team (3 women, 8 men) to implement ANEP, including:

• Shailendra Shrestha - Marketing Program Coordinator - leads on marketing Collection Centres, and their Management Committees
• Gauri Shrestha - Regional Marketing & Value Chain Program Officer
• Guddu Mishra - District Coordinator
• Sudha Mishra - Ag Program Officer

In addition, there are 3 Ag Technicians (Mohan B Bhandari, Bauye L Yadav, Sulochana Pariyar) and 3 Marketing Supervisors (Bharat Mahato, Shyam Parajuli, Shankar P Gaire) supporting the local community around each collection centre.

Similarly, there are 11 Community Mobilisers (9 female) working at grass-root level, who are selected from local community and trained to work directly with farmers.


Bharat Mahato - Junior marketing officer Input and output market promotion and training to farmers group and private sector service providers
Boeye Lal Yadav - Agriculture Officer Boeye recommends vegetable production technology promotion and training in the farmer groups.
Gauri Devi Shrestha - Value chain and marketing Officer Gauri is implementing marketing activities in the project
Guddu Mishra - District Manager Leading and guiding district team for field implementation of the program
Khadga Jung Gurung - Field Team Leader Khadga leads the ANEP team.
Mohan Bahadur Bhandari - Junior Agriculture Officer Recommended vegetable production technology promotion and training in the farmers group
Ms. Sudha Mishra - Agriculture coordinator Guiding the agriculture technician to implement activities in the field.
Ms. Sulochana Pariyar - Junior Agriculture Officer Recommended vegetable production technology promotion and training in the farmer groups.
Shankar Prasad Gaire - Junior marketing officer Input and output market promotion and training to farmer groups and private-sector service providers
The A Team This organogram shows the key members of ANEP that were responsible for delivering fantastic results on the ground. It is important to recognise both their individual contributions, and their ability to focus their skills and experience as part of a small, dedicated team.

Key obstacles:

Farmers were growing small amounts of vegetables for subsistence: they were unaware of growing for commercial purposes; and they lacked access to technologies, farm inputs, and technical know-how.

We overcame this by organising farmers into groups linked to collection centres, and training them in innovative techniques needed to grow large yields of high-quality vegetables for sale.

Private-sector retailers did not sell technologies and farm inputs in remote, local communities: they did not see the business case, and there was little demand from subsistence farmers.

We created rural collection centres in public private partnership, built demand, and extended private sector input suppliers to rural areas.

Farmers did not have access to markets to sell their produce close to their homes; they had to struggle to transport produce to towns.

We created local markets for farmers through rural collection centres, which are focal points for sharing market information.

ANEP Collection Centre ANEP formed five collection centres managed by rural cooperatives providing market access and services to smallholder farmers. The collection centres working with the private sector and government develop detailed crop calendars for members that include recommendations for crops, plant protection, conservation agriculture, and safe bio products.
ANEP Local Service Providers ANEP has established 24 local service providers marketing inputs and providing training to their customer farmers. They receive a commission from their agro input supplier. Local service providers are based in the rural communities and are earning an additional income, they represent a key tool to provide sustainable long term technical assistance to smallholder farmers. The LSPs in the photo are linked with the Dynamic Agrovet is Nwalparasi district.
ANEP partner Dynamic Agrovet ANEP partner input supplier Dynamic Agrovet has established a supply chain for inputs/equipment for smallholders. Dynamic agrovet has established 10 local service providers marketing inputs/equipment and providing embedded training to over 2,000 ANEP HHs. The local service providers earn a commission on sales of about 10-15% and have greatly expanded the sales of Dynamic Agrovet.

Establishing rural collection centres provides a key mechanism to enable environmentally friendly technologies to reach remote, difficult-to-access rural areas.

Micro Irrigation Technologies (MITs): locally manufactured low cost drip systems, micro sprinklers, treadle pumps, and water storage technologies.

Multiple Use Water Systems (MUS): piped systems that provide water for domestic use and high-value agriculture.

Renewable Energy: Including individual and community biogas technologies, solar PV for water pumping and processing, the hydraulic ram pump, and efficient cook stoves.

For the private sector to become interested in providing products and services to rural, smallholder farming communities, there needs to be both sufficient volume of production to establish demand, and easy market access. The approach stimulates the private-sector to sell a range of climate-smart, environmentally friendly technologies by providing production, demand and market access.

ANEP Introduces Solar PV for Pumping ANEP has introduced the use of solar PV for irrigation. Solar PV has tremendous potential to replace the use of diesel for pumping irrigation water for vegetable crops, saving farmers money and mitigating climate change. ANEP is developing commercial supply chains in the ANEP and other Nepal districts for use solar PV for pump sets.
Conservation Agriculture ANEP partner CIMMYT working with the Nepal research system is introducing conservation agriculture to Nepal including the first use of mechanized seed drills that allow crop seeding without disturbing soil structure. Conservation agriculture reduces soil erosion, water requirements, is climate change resilient, and increases farmer profits
IPM for Vegetable Production ANEP farmers utilizing a pheromone trap to detect insect populations. ANEP trained farmers and developed the supply chain for safe bio pesticides for smallholders to use reducing the use of chemical pesticides. Smallholders in Nepal are poorly equipped to safely use pesticides, ANEP has promoted a full range of IPM solutions using safe bio products and practices.

ANEP has sustainabilty and scale at multiple levels. It has facilitated smallholder commercial pockets with profitable collection centres managed by rural cooperatives formed from farmer groups, established local service providers earning commisions, and smallholder producers greatly increasing income/production will continue and expand. ANEP has developed the capacity of managmenet committees of the collection centres to advocate and access government services and represent smallholder communities to the private sector and development programs. The ANEP programme has also become a model for the Nepal Government, European Union, and development stakeholders for the development of smallholder agriculture, aspects of ANEP are included in the new Agriculture Perspective Plan of the government. iDE and ANEP partners will continue to support and expand ANEP impacts. iDE is leading a USAID climate change project in the ANEP districts thru 2017 that will backstop and expand ANEP impacts.

ANEP Collection Centre Awarded Government Senior Agriculture Development Officer shows the award recognition received from the government and FAO for the ANEP development Collection Centre, Taja Tarkari bajar, Devgaun,-Piparahiya, Nawalparasi District. The collection Centre received the award for its service to smallholder farmers and the active involvement of women in the collection Cntre management.
ANEP Vegetable Farmers ANEP farmers have on average increased their incomes by over 400 Euro per year. This is a highly significant increase for Nepal and means that farmers will continue and expand their production to increase incomes. There is strong and unmet demand for high value and other crops in Nepal.
Collection Centre pays Farmer Representatives from the ANEP Taja Tarkari bajar Collection Centre, Devgaun, Piparahiya, Nawalparasi District pay a farmer for her produce. The collection Centres are profitably run by cooperatives on behalf of members. The profitability for collection centres, market actors, and smallholder producers ensures sustainability and expansion of ANEP impacts.

iDE and partners take innovative approaches to diseminate ANEP findings:

Nepal Agriculture Development Strategy (ADS). iDE and partners participated in consultations of the ADS to guide future government/donor plans. The ANEP commercial pocket approach and technologies are included in the ADS.

Visits. ANEP hosted high level visits from the EU for the design of future programs, the Nepal Government, the ADB, USAID, DFID, and other donors and stakeholders.

Partner Programs. iDE and partners are expanding the ANEP approachs in our projects. iDE will be reaching over 300,000 HHs (1.5 million people) in new projects using ANEP approaches.

International. ANEP also implemented in Bangladesh created strong exchange of approach/technologies. ANEP works closely with regional sister project SATNET, hosting a visit from 5 countries to diseminate ANEP approaches. iDE and partners are also working closely with the EU to document and diseminate ANEP findings in Nepal and international forums.



ANEP Nepal Agreement Signing iDE formally signed an agreement with the Government of Nepal for coordinated implementation of ANEP. ANEP worked closely with the Research and Extension System and with local government. Government provided considerable resources in public private partnership to construct collection centres and demonstrate technologies. The Government has internationalized and is extending the ANEP approach.
Senior EU Team Visits ANEP Jussi Kanner from the EU Nepal mission and Marie Kettering from EU Brussels visit an ANEP collection Centre to learn about ANEP approaches for the development of the future EU program in Nepal.
Fish and Vegetables: Sharing Knowledge This video shows how we integrating the production of vegetables and fish on small ponds using an innovative technique, known as 'Integrated Aquaculture & Agriculture'. This innovation, as well as many others used in ANEP have been shared between Nepal and Bangladesh, so that farmers can benefit from new transferable ideas that can improve their lives.