Tara Rawal, a Yuva Vayu in our partner HSPC’s downstream supply chain has found employment with a local NGO, Adaption for Smallholders in Hilly Areas (ASHA). Yuva Vayus are in-community volunteers that have chosen to take on leadership roles mobilising, energising and shepherding the commercial farmer clusters they belong to. We are delighted that Tara has now secured paid employment as a Social Mobiliser at ASHA - a climate change adaptation project that builds communities’ capacity to tackle the consequences of climate change. This is a fantastic opportunity for Tara and CONNECT wishes her well as she builds her own career while continuing to support her community.
CONNECT joined hands with IFAD funded High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP) to scale-up commercial production of off-season vegetables by Pawan Agriculture Collection Centre’s downstream suppliers. With CONNECT’s technical support and HVAP’s financial support, construction of 76 polyhouses with drip irrigation has been completed. This initiative will enable farmers to increase production of high value, off-season vegetables .
Prabhu Bank Limited (PBL) continue to go to the farm gate to open accounts and deliver value chain financing (VCF).
PBL’s Dhangadhi Branch have distributed VCF loans totaling NPR 1.6 million to 56 ginger farmers in Sahajpur, Doti in addition to the NPR 2.95 million issued to 117 farmers in June. PBL’s Surkhet Branch are processing applications from 84 ginger farmers and, to date, have opened accounts and issued cheque books to 30 farmers.
CONNECT’s newest recruits completed their induction today, delighted to welcome them to the team.
Manoranjan recently completed his Bachelors in Agriculture, focusing on climate change; Asmita recently completed a masters in Resource Management at the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand and Ashesh is an MBA graduate who moves from the Agro Enterprise Centre at FNCCI to join us. They are an energetic group with a questioning spirit and craving for knowledge.
We look forward to watching them learn as they grow with us!!
Our partner Hatemalo Seed Promotion Centre (HSPC) have signed a new contract with their existing supplier SEAN Seed Service Centre with CONNECT’s support, HSPC successfully negotiated a contract for 7,500 kg including 6,000 kg pea, 1,000 kg onion and 500 kg cress, convincing SEAN that their expanded supply chain could meet demand. Additionally, they have signed with two new buyers, Everest Agro Seed Centre and Kathmandu Agro Concern for 2,400 kg and 300 kg respectively. With these vegetable seed contracts in place, HSPC can continue to grow their downstream supply chain with confidence.
The Dadeldhura District Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) has committed to increasing the minimum number of reserved seats for women on their Executive Committee to 33%.
At the Annual General Meeting held on 11 September, the DCCI tabled and unanimously agreed to pass RAP3 CONNECT’s policy reform “Female Representation on DCCI Executive Committees’ recommending a minimum reservation of 33% for women members.
Earlier this year the DCCI’s in Dailekh and Doti passed the same reform and are increasing the number of women on their Executive Committees at the next round of DCCI elections.
Our Second FEC, a partnership with Narayan Campus, Dailekh convened its first Future Entrepreneurs’ Club (FEC) meeting on 13 September 2017, chaired by the Club President, Surendra Gurung. CONNECT District Manager, Kushal Hamal attended and facilitated a group discussion during which students discussed a range of business ideas and came up with a wish list of local business leaders whom they’d be inspired to meet. We are impressed by the enthusiasm shown by club members and delighted that they have already invited some business leaders to join their next meeting to share their experiences.
We are excited to announce RAP Graduate Engineer, Ayasta Pokharel's acceptance on Exeter University's ONEPlanetMBA, a top ranked UK business and management education programme focused on training students on future-fit business models. Ayasta has been a valuable member of the RAP team since she joined as an intern in April 2014. We congratulate Ayasta on working hard to realise this prestigious opportunity which is a leap forward in her career. CONNECT has a two-way partnership with Exeter's School of Business - ONEPlanetMBA students offer business consultancy services to our MSME partners and CONNECT sends members of the RAP team to Exeter to continue the knowledge exchange. We are delighted Ayasta will be the first from RAP to take a year-long sabbatical to participate in this program.
DFID Nepal hosted a stakeholder consultation earlier today, bringing together representatives from CONNECT’s small businesses portfolio including partner Organic Mountain Flavor (OMF), its investor One to Watch, Prabhu Bank, SAFAL Partners and TR Upadhaya & Co. The meeting was an opportunity to review progress made to date, present CONNECT’s intentions for year two of partnership with OMF for DFID to consider and seek commitments from OMF, their investors and the bank to realise agreed milestones. CONNECT is delighted that the meeting concluded with assurances from the bank and investors for the timely infusion of additional investments and credit limits.
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.
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