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Annual Technical Review and Planning Workshop of GEF-Local Crops Project Organized

Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Local Initiatives for Biodiversity Research and Development (LI-BIRD), Department of Agriculture (DoA) and Bioversity International (BI) have jointly organized the Third Annual Technical Review and Planning Workshop of Local Crops Project during 20-22 February, 2017 (9-11 Falgun, 2073 BS) at Hotel View Bhrikuti, Godavari, Lalitpur. The workshop was organized with the purpose of reviewing detail progress made during 2016 in terms of delivery of expected results as well as planning of activities for 2017 to execute the Local Crops Project (LCP) which has been funded by GEF/UNEP and implemented by NARC, LI-BIRD, DoA and BI in four districts: Humla, Jumla, Lamjung and Dolakha focusing its' research and promotion works on eight mountain crops namely grain amaranth, grain type bean, buckwheat, naked barley, finger millet, foxtail millet, proso millet and cold tolerant rice. A total of 57 participants (50 males and 7 females) were participated during the workshop out of them, 34 were from NARC, 6 were from DoA, 14 were from LI-BIRD and 3 were from Bioversity International.

The opening session of the workshop was chaired by Dr. YR Pandey, Executive Director of NARC. Dr. MN Paudel, National Project Co-ordinator and Chief of Genebank, NARC welcomed all the delegates and participants. Dr. Devendra Gauchan, National Project Manager highlighted the key project findings achieved to date and shared the way forward in his presentation. Dr. KK Mishra, Chief of Monitoring Division, NARC appreciated the work done by this unique project in remote areas especially the exchange of large number of germplasm between the genebank and farmers' community. Mr. US Sah, Chief of Planning Division, NARC highlighted the importance of landraces of future hero crops with broad genetic base and wished the successful coming year planning of the project. Dr. Chandra Risal, SADO, DADO Humla shared  his experience of Mugu district in recent years that due to prolonged drought, production of main crops (rice, maize and wheat) was reduced by 90% but the production of finger millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, buckwheat and naked barley was reduced by 45% only which saved the rural lives. Dr. Pashupati Chaudhary, Program Development Director, LI-BIRD remarked the significance of NARC-LIBIRD partnership since 1998 in In-situ Conservation Project which is continuously built in this project to work on climate resilient, nutrient dense crops of high mountain regions of the country. Ms. Renu Adhikari, Deputy Director General, DoA praised the promotional works on eight minor crops by this project.

Dr. YR Pandey, ED, NARC delivered his directives at the end and concluded the session. He appreciated the continued collaboration between NARC, LI-BIRD, DoA and Bioversity International since the inception of in-situ conservation project. He congratulated the project team for the successful accomplishment of project activities of 2016 and expressed his best wishes to develop good implementation plan and achieve the project deliverables in time. He suggested to mainstream the findings and promote the developed technologies on these important crops in joint effort of NARC, DoA and LI-BIRD.