National Workshop on Enhancing the Contribution of Custodian Farmers to the National Plant Genetic Resources System in Nepal
31 July 2013 – 2 August 2013 (Pokhara, Nepal)

Farmers from around Nepal, representatives from the Department of Agriculture, the National Genebank and international specialists in plant genetic resource conservation gathered in Pokhara to discuss strategies to strengthen the role of custodian farmers in on-farm conservation in Nepal. Building on dialogue started at a Custodian Farmers workshop in New Delhi earlier this year, this meeting helped establish connections among custodian farmers from different parts of Nepal and bring their perspectives to policymakers and scientists. One of the key themes was the consolidation of the custodian farmers’ role by connecting them through community-level institutions. An important element in this discussion was gender: men and women often have different responsibilities in a household, which translates in different roles as custodian farmers. About half of the farmers participating in the meeting were women; all-female discussion groups were carried out alongside mixed-gender discussion groups to encourage equal participation of men and women. In group discussions, farmers developed a vision for their communities and country, including how they see the role of custodian farmers in the conservation of agricultural biodiversity. In parallel discussions, government representatives and scientists explored options to increase support for on-farm conservation and strengthen the role of custodian farmers within the existing policy framework. Organized by LI-BIRD, Bioversity International and the Network for Agrobiodiversity Conservation in Nepal with the support of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, and the European Commission, the workshop is part of the activities of ‘Reinforcing the resilience of poor rural communities in the face of food insecurity, poverty and climate change through on-farm conservation of local agrobiodiversity’, a 3-year Bioversity International project in India, Nepal and Bolivia. Read the Bioversity International release … Download the workshop presentations …