Deusa AFRC and Sustainable Tree Cropping – Solukhumbu

TGT has continued to enable climate change adaptation in Nepal by supporting the work of Deusa Agro Forestry Resource Centre (AFRC) and EcoHimal in Solukhumbu.

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Progress towards our long-term goal of eventually phasing out support for Deusa so that it can stand alone is encouraging.The community is getting ever closer to achieving environmental, economic and social sustainability.

This progress has been built on the development of the Deusa AFRC and its outreach activities. The AFRC is now well established in Deusa and a community hub. Adaptation to climate change and development has happened steadily here over the last five years; this careful, stepped approach has seen livelihoods gradually transform for thousands of families.

Achievements over the first 12 months of the current 2 year programme indicate that we are on track to achieve all of our objectives. Full details are available in the latest annual report (available online) and are highlighted here:

Sustainable tree cropping

A total of 573 farmers have been trained on sustainable tree cropping and associated technical disciplines including climate change adaptation, organic farming, pest infestations and control, organic coffee production and processing, intercropping, bio-intensive plantation and nursery management.

Plant seedlings and soil improvement

The programme distributed 27,085 plant seedlings (fruits, nuts, coffee, fodders, forage and multi-purpose crops) and 161 kilograms grass seeds in the project area to increase vegetative coverage and agro-forestry. As a result, soil erosion, surface runoff, soil nutrient loss, and evaporation of soil moisture have decreased across the project area. Income from sale of agricultural products has increased for local farmers.

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Forming a new cooperative

13 mutual support groups (7 in Deusa and 6 in Waku) have been reformed to improve cash crop production through collaboration. In addition, representatives from each of these groups have come together with others in neighbouring villages to form a new cooperative: “Sustainable Organic Coffee, Orange, and Fruits Cooperative Limited”. This umbrella organisation was constituted following training and support from EcoHimal; it will focus on coordinating supply of agricultural produce and strengthen market linkages at regional and national levels.

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Coffee training

89 farmers have received training on organic coffee production, delivered at specialist workshops and through ongoing coaching by Deusa AFRC professional staff. 20 farmers are in the process of gaining Organic certification for their coffee which will enhance the marketability of their produce significantly.

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Satellite nurseries

6 satellite nurseries have been established; 2 in Deusa, 3 in Waku and 1 in Tingla Village. Out of 7 satellite nursery farmers , 5 have already generated income from seedlings production and 2 have just initiated seedlings production.

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Upgrades at the AFRC building

The Deusa AFRC building has been upgraded and extended to improve its performance and capacity. A new office for AFRC staff has been constructed next the the main building. A solar water heating system has been installed to serve the toilet and shower block. A projector is now available for use in the lecture hall. These improvements increase the AFRC’s capacity and suitability as residential education centre for national and international guests.

  Solar water heater for shower block at the Deusa AFRC

Solar water heater for shower block at the Deusa AFRC