Late last year we were delighted to receive a grant of £55,658 from The Marr Munning Trust. Over the next three years, we’ll be working with Eco Himal Nepal to establish a brand new Agro Forestry Resource Centre in Mandan Deupur, Kavrepalanchok.
Our plans are detailed on our projects pages and work has begun. The first step was to recruit a JTA (Junior Technical Assitant). JTA’s are qualified agriculturalists and the lead project person on the ground. TGT Co-Director, Richard Allen, assisted Narayan Dhakal from EcoHimal in the recruitment process.
Sharmila Shrestha who holds a BSc in Agriculture from Tribhuvan University is now in post and has begun work in Kavre. Sharmila’s first experience of the job was to travel with Narayan to Solukhumbu to visit our now well-established Deusa AFRC in Solukhumbu. There she attended workshops and spent time with fellow JTA’s to gain an understanding of the model we hope to replicated in Mandan Deupur.
In mid-January, Narayan, Sharmila and Anisha Kharel (also from EcoHimal) spent a day in Mandan Deupur researching possible sites for the new AFRC. It is important to get this right, there are several criteria:
Location/geography of land;
Land facing direction;
Ownership of the land.
The team met with numerous local people, government officials and land owners and visited nine locations recommended to them. They reported back to us on all nine, unfortunately none of the locations were quite right, the main drawback was the altitude, none of the sites were high enough - meaning they wouldn’t be suitable for demonstrating the wide variety of crops that an AFRC should grow.
Although it was disappointing, it is very important for Sharmila and the team to find the right location; there are several more potential sites; the search continues.