Resources Himalaya Foundation and Environmental Graduates in Himalaya successfully organized our monthly program Guff-Gaffon January 18, 2023.The guest speaker for this session was Mr. Murari Raj Joshi, Associate Professor at Kathmandu Forestry College. He gave a talk on the topic “Agroforestry Development in the Villages”.
The talk program started with Mr. Murari Raj Joshi providing a broad overview of his four years of work in the Terai Community Forestry Development Project, where he trained rangers and nursery officials. He stated that they began on farm agroforestry demonstration plot in districts such as Chitwan, Makawanpur, Dhanusa, and Sarlahi, where the Taungya system was being used.Furthermore, he revealed that choice of species is very much important in agroforestry system. For instance, species which are suitable for green manure and mulching, timbers species and fodder species should be selected. He further shared his experience working as an extension officer for the Nepal-Australia Community Forestry Project in Sidhupalchowk and Kavrepalanchowk in 1992. During that time pine plantation was observed butthe actual demand of the local people was fodder and forage. So fodder development was done by distributing and planting Napier.However, one of the challenges faced during that project was that the locals received the seedlings but did not plant them. Considering this situation, he highlighted that the seedlings should be distributed to locals who are committed to be plant them.He said that he spent 13 years working for Nepal-Australia Community Resource Management Project after receiving his master’s degree from Lincoln University. The project prioritized fodder and forage development and supported Nepal Agroforestry Foundation for nursery development. He further mentioned that although people were initially uninterested in the programs, the participation especially of women increased as a result of the forage distribution program that the group had initiated. Similarly, he discussed his experiences from his time working as a consultant for IUCN-Nepal in Kaski and Parbat. He worked to improve local residents’ quality of life through agroforestry initiatives.Locals cultivated cardamom in places where Uttis was spotted. Similarly, Badahar, Lemon, and Timur were also planted. Others grew cutting and slip of fodder, such as Setaria, Molato, and Panchpalam, in the arid areas, which even became their source of income.He continued by saying that the Multi-Stakeholder Forestry Project Support helped the Nepal Agroforestry Foundation domesticate the Chiraito and Satuwa in Rasuwa. They produced the seedling in nursery and transplanted those seedlings and also provide that to farmers,who planted Chiraito with other vegetables. Farmers made money by selling Chiraito along with other products.Similarly, he shared his experience from Jalthal,Jhapa where Banmara has deteriorated the forest. Although locals, particularly women, were interested in developing forage and fodder, it has been completely ignored. He ended the talk by saying that these issues should be addressed for the local people to benefit from agroforestry initiatives. The presentation was followed by an interaction session between the guest speaker and the participants and the program ended with closing remarks from the EGH coordinator.