The new five-year Australian dollar 7.3 million (40.5 crore rupees) regional research initiative in Nepal,
"This initiative will help to raise agricultural productivity in a region which has the potential to become one of Asia's great food bowls," said the Acting Australian High Commissioner to India, Bernard Philip.
The Eastern Gangetic Plains is dominated by small farms with many female farmers who have little access to credit, quality seeds, fertilisers, irrigation, or formal extension services. They also have to contend with climate-related risks and extreme events such as floods, drought and cold snaps.
"This program will allow farmers to test a range of innovations to help them boost food production, including conservation agriculture and efficient use of water resources, while strengthening their ability to adapt and link to markets and support services," Philip said.
"Our aim is to enable at least 130,000 farmers to adopt these technologies within the next ten years," Philip added.
The research program involves a large number of complementary research and development partners including national and state research institutions and extension services across the three countries and in Australia, and international non-government organisations and research centres (Indian, Australian and international partners are listed below).
The initiative is led by the International Wheat and Maize Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and implemented in collaboration with research and development partners. Scientists and development practitioners from Australia, Bangladesh, India and Nepal are meeting for the inception of the program, funded with Australian development assistance and managed by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).