NAST FEC celebrated International Youth Day on 12th August, 2018 by organising a motivational panel discussion on “Innovation and Youth.” The facilitator for the event was local motivational speaker Mr. Chet Raj Pant. 70 students, including FEC members, participated in the event.
Students at the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) have for the second year, published a calendar to sell on campus to staff and students. The students are all members of the Future Entrepreneurs' Club (FEC) established by CONNECT in partnership with NAST and the calendar business was initiated last year by the first batch of FEC members.
Building on last year's success, the FEC have again approached local businesses to place adverts in the calendar. The income from adverts more than covers production costs and the FEC projects profits of NPR 53,500.
140 farmers in PACC's supply chain have invested in the construction of irrigation ponds and poly houses that will increase their production and enable them to focus on production of high value, off-season vegetables.
Ifad funded High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP) have supplied 7 irrigation ponds and 90 poly houses with CONNECT providing technical assistance and farmers contributing NPR 250,000, NPR 270,000 and NPR 396,000 to construct irrigation ponds, polyhouses and to install drip irrigation respectively.
Bottlers Nepal Limited (BNL) (authorised bottler of the Coca-Cola Company) is collaborating with RAP3 CONNECT and Unilever Nepal Limited (UNL) to sell their products through our network of 400 + Hamri Didis; Hamri Didis have have placed orders for BNL stock and last week they received their first deliveries of Coca-Cola products.
The Hamri Didis ('our sisters'), initially selected by CONNECT, and trained and appointed by UNL as rural sales agents now have access to multiple income sources and UNL and BNL can reach their products and services to last mile markets.
During the recent training event for all Hamri Didis Rajnish Sharma, the Country Commercial Manager of Bottlers Nepal said, ‘We continue with our aim of providing hope and support to the female retailers in Nepal, that their businesses can be profitable, no matter the size. I am extremely pleased about our collaboration with IMC Worldwide, through which we have been able to support in building capability of 400 women from the ‘Hamri Didi” network, who’s selling and merchandising skills have been enhanced to sell multiple products including ours. We are looking forward to being a part of the journey these independent women entrepreneurs are courageously commencing.’
In addition to adding the Hamri Didis to their distribution network, BNL has provided Hamri Didis with 5by20 training; 5by20 is The Coca-Cola Company's global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across the company's value chain by 2020.
CONNECT's partner Belpata Dairy Cooperative (BDC) has invested to upskill farmers in their supply chain; on 2 July 21 Yuva Vayus in Dailkeh completed 45-day Village Animal Health worker training. At the end of the last day of training the best performer was given an award in the presence of BDC Chairperson Mr. Dambar Bahadur Khatri and Chair of Rural Municipality Mr. Lok Bahadur Dangi.
YVs are expected to share their new knowledge and skills with other farmers in the MBCs, playing a critical role in increasing quality and quantity of milk production and hope to earn income from provision of veterinary services at the farm gate.
Under the remit of Building Inclusive and sustainable growth capacity of CSOs in the Agriculture and Forest Sectors (BICAS) programme, Practical Action are piloting Kisan Biz an application designed to link producers, traders and businesses. Three of CONNECT's MSME partners (DAFACOS, Dadeldhura, STOS, Dipayal and SKKGS, Achham) are participating in the pilot.
The application is intended as an easily accessible forum for farmers and traders to interact with each other and exchange timely and reliable market information that will both promote trade and reduce the cost of doing business.
The CONNECT Future Entrepreneurs' Club in Dhangadhi, established in partnership with Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, has appointed a new Executive Committee.
In addition to appointing a 33 member Executive Committee including President, Thirendra Gadshila, Vice President, Sweta Thapa, Treasurer, Rajesh Kapadi and Secretary, Dev Raj Kandel 30 new members joined the club. The Committee's first task will be to lead members to re-activate the club run business and produce a calendar ready to sell to Acamdeny staff and students at the start of the new financial year.
CONNECT business partners, Hatemalo Seed Promotion Cooperative (HSPC) and Pawan Agriculture Cooperative (PACC) have renewed their agreement for the supply of vegetable seed (onion, pea, cucumber, radish, bean, spinach, tomato, lady’s finger and bitter guard) for a further five years. The agreement makes reliable, high quality seeds readily available to small farmers in PACC's supply chain and the steady demand enables HSPC to plan for future expansion with confidence.
PACC will purchase 203.5 kg of seed from HSPC annually over the course of five years, at a total value of 103,500 NPR per year. Long term contracts like this one are benefiting hundreds of farmers in both PACC and HSPC’s downstream supply chains.
Hatemalo Seed Promotion Centre (HSPC) have, with support from RAP3 CONNECT and co-investment from Dullu Municipality and the local communities completed the construction of three irrigation ponds in Dullu, Dailekh. In total, HSPC are investing to build 4 irrigation ponds that will irrigate 8200 ha of land, benefiting 350 households.
Last year, HSPC invested in three new ponds and repaired two others in Malika, Dailekh to the benefit of 159 farmers in their supply chain.
This access to irrigation will improve productivity of farmers’ land and strengthen HSPC’s supply chain.
Suman Baidya, Rudriksha Parajuli and Smita Bajracharya from DFID Nepal were in Dailekh earlier this week visiting CONNECT interventions as part of their annual review of RAP3.
On 5 June 2018, the team visited two of CONNECT's three MSME partners in Dailekh. First, they visited Belpata Dairy Cooperative to meet the Executive Committe and Yuva Vayus who currently receiving Village Animal Health Worker training and secondly, Hatemalo Seed Promotion Cooperative where they meet Co-operative staff members, farmers in the supply chain and Yuva Vayus.
On 6 June, Rudriksha met with Future Entrepreneur Club members to learn about the copy book business they have initiated and their plans for the coming year; representatives of the District Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss their plans to implement a 33% reservation for women on their Executive Committee and their role in supporting Municipal level chambers; the proprietor of Regmi Mandi, who buys fresh vegetables from our third MSME Partner, Pawan Agricultre Collection Centre and Hamri Didis.
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