CONNECT are excited to be facilitating the Harvard Kennedy School's Evidence for Policy Design (HKS EPoD) team's visit to Chinchu and Taranga in Surkhet. 4 researchers have travelled half way across the world from Boston, USA to meet with ginger farmers who are part of Organic Mountain Flavor Private Limited's (OMF) supply chain. OMF is a CONNECT MSME partner. The visiting delegation are talking with ginger farmers to understand how interventions delivered through CONNECT's partnership with OMF impact and influence small farmers' decision making. The team met with OMF's Managing Director Mr Samir Newa and staff at the processing facility in Chinchu before walking 6 -7 hours through Bardiya National Park to interview farmers in their homes. The researchers are expected to share their initial observations on the impact of CONNECT's model for farmers in OMF's supply chain with DFID and us soon.
To celebrate International Youth Day the National Academy of Science and Technology’s Future Entrepreneurs’ Club has collaborated with Prasodaya Higher Campus, Dhangadhi to organise a careers workshop. The Club invited local business leaders, Mr Tek Raj Bhatta NIC ASIA Bank, Mr Gopi Hamal, local entrepreneur and Mr Shivhari Sharma Mudbari, NAST Principal to share their career experiences with Prasodaya Higher Campus students and, with the support of RAP3 CONNECT delivered a workshop on 'Tips to Prepare a winning CV and interview skills.' An event to both inspire students to think big when considering career paths and up-skill them, taking them a step closer to gainful employment.
Our Future Entrepeneurs' Club members in Dailekh, based in Narayan Campus, participated in a speech competition on "Youth's Role in sustainable development" organised by the Family Planning Office and Youth Club in Dailekh.
Everest Insurance Company Ltd is granting livestock insurance to dairy farmers in Dailekh. To date, 47 insurance scheme applications have been submitted and 25 farmers successfully completed the application process. By reaching this Government of Nepal subsidised scheme to small farmers CONNECT expects to reduce their risks significantly and encourage dairy farmers in our partner Belpata Dairy Cooperative's supply chain to invest in increasing herd sizes.
To improve efficiency and accuracy of data collection CONNECT are piloting the use of KoBoToolbox, a suite of tools for field data collection. This open source software, developed by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative is free. Over the next month the CONNECT team in Doti will use Kobo to collect data pertaining to one of our MSME partners. If the results are positive, CONNECT will embed the use of Kobo across all programme partners and interventions.
CONNECT’s interns, Milipa and Niva, joined a training session on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Nepal at DFID Nepal’s offices this week. The training, arranged by the Risk Management Office (RMO), was delivered by Dr Mukta S. Lama, Tribhuvan University. Dr. Lama, an indigenous rights activist and Lecturer on Sociology & Anthropology at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Dr Lama completed his doctoral studies in anthropology from Cornell University. His Phd was on 'Himalayan Indigeneity: Histories, Memory and Identity among Tamang in Nepal'. Dr. Lama's training and the Checklist for Indigenous Audit of Development Projects shared by DFID-GIZ RMO have proved great learning for CONNECT as we seek to more intentionally respond to the Leave No One Behind Agenda.
Two of CONNECT’s partners have recruited new team members to support operations and financial management, taking another step towards sustainability. Hatemalo Seed Production Cooperative have appointed an Operations and Bookkeeping Officer and Belpata Dairy Cooperative an Operations and Accounts Manager. CONNECT facilitated the recruitment process, supporting partners to appoint suitable candidates that will become long term assets to the businesses.
On CONNECT's encouragement, Unilever Nepal is looking to the future and planning for the long term sustainability of their Hamri Didi network. Earlier today CONNECT facilitated a meeting between Mr Mukund Ghimire, Assistant Sales Manager, Unilever Nepal and Ms Sita Adhikari, Founder, Kalpavriksha Great Goods (KGG) (link is external) to discuss working together to expand product mix and support the Hamri Didis over the long term. KGG is a women led rural wholesale distribution network that sells solar lights and other clean technology, women's hygiene products and water filters. Unilever Nepal is committed to the HD network as a distribution channel for their products but acknowledges that the hundreds of women involved could reap greater benefits, and de-risk by trading multiple products.
The CONNECT team joined the National Academy of Science and Technology’s Future Entrepreneur Club’s meeting to introduce the idea of a club run social business that would both raise funds to deliver other club activities, give back to their community and provide an opportunity to ‘learn by doing’. During the meeting club members also came up with ideas for their annual programme of activities.
Long-term contracts between PACC and Micro Business Clusters have been amended to include a new clause for pricing based on quality and grading of fresh vegetables. PACC met with Yuva Vayus in their downstream supply chain to discuss the concept, explain the benefits and get their buy-in before amending the contracts. Grading vegetables means better prices for PACC and farmers in its supply chain.
Unilever Nepal Limited will, for the first time, offer monsoon credit of NPR 9,40,000 to 69 high performing Hamri Didis, their direct to door sales agents, operating in the Mid and Far West This credit will enable these women to stock-up and continue trading during the monsoon without being affected by access related disruptions in supply.
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