National Agricultural Engineering Research Centre

Introduction

Agricultural Engineering Unit was established under the Ministry of Agriculture at Singh Durbar Complex on 29th of Shrawan, 2010 BS (August 13, 1953 AD), with the purpose of developing infrastructures such as farm building, farm road, irrigation facilities, etc. in various newly established farms/stations and agricultural development offices throughout the country. The unit was later promoted to section and then to division. With an aim to develop simple and efficient farm tools and implements Agriculture Implement Research and Development Unit was established in 2016 BS at Ranighat, Birgunj. In 2024 BS, Minor Irrigation Section was also merged with this section and started its activities on irrigation related trials and studies. Later in 2029 BS, Irrigation Unit, one of the five units of Agricultural Engineering Section was promoted to Farm Irrigation and Water Utilization Division (FIWUD) to carry out development of minor irrigation systems throughout the country. Later on FIWUD was merged in Department of Irrigation.

After the establishment of Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) in 2048 BS (1991 AD) National Agricultural Engineering Research Centre (NAERC) was mandated to develop appropriate technology in Agricultural Engineering for various agro-ecological zone of the country. In 1994, Agricultural Engineering Division under NARC was designated as National Institute (NI) and Focal Point of Regional Network for Agricultural Machinery (RNAM), later Asian and the Pacific Centre for Agricultural Engineering and Machinery (APCAEM) and now Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM).Machinery (APCAEM).

Goal

The main goal of this centre is to enhance the livelihood/socioeconomic status and ensure equity among the farming community and support agriculture related entrepreneurs in Nepal with the increase in production and productivity in agriculture through the adoption of environment friendly, cost effective, efficient, and appropriate agricultural engineering technologies.

Objectives

  • Undertake and coordinate research and development activities to generate environment friendly, cost effective, appropriate and drudgery reducing efficient agricultural engineering technologies/management practices in farm power and machinery, irrigation and drainage engineering, soil and water conservation engineering, post-harvest engineering, agricultural structures, and energy in agriculture.
  • Coordinate with the Commodity Programs, Regional/Agricultural Research Station (RARS/ARS), Disciplinary Divisions, Government Organizations, NGOs, INGOs and other agencies to conduct multi-disciplinary action research programs in the field of agricultural engineering.
  • Act as repository center for information on agricultural engineering technologies in Nepal.
  • Establishing and strengthening the network of related national and international organizations to strengthen agricultural engineering research activities.
  • Organize/assist to conduct training programs on agricultural engineering technologies for different levels viz., farmers, change agents, extension officers, policy makers etc.

Strategies

The major strategy adopted by NAERC will be as follows

  • ED will focus on adaptive type of research based on the need of the major agriculture community of Nepal and according to national policy, plans and strategy and government directives
  • NAERC will conduct research in close collaboration with its stakeholders viz. farmers, agriculture entrepreneurs, importers, fabricators, educational institutes, department of agriculture, department of livestock services, department of irrigation, CBOs and NGOs, etc.
  • NAERC emphasize on multidisciplinary research to develop package of technology to needed farming community through collaboration of disciplinary divisions, Commodity Research Program,  Directorate of Agriculture Research and Agriculture Research Station.

Current thrust areas for research

  • Agricultural mechanization in Terai
    To address the issue of labour shortage and increasing cost of cultivation in Terai, NAERC has given its major thrust on agricultural mechanization research for Terai condition. The major aim is to identify appropriate agricultural mechanization technologies for cultivation of rice, wheat, maize, sugarcane, potato etc. for farmers of different classes viz. small, medium, and large farmers.
  • Agricultural mechanization in mid hills
    Acute shortage of labor as well as draft power is also observed in the mid hills of Nepal. The young people are not found to be interested in agriculture due to drudgery and low income. There is need of commercial cultivation of high value agricultural commodities along with agricultural mechanization. To attract the young farmer entrepreneurs in agriculture, NAERC has also given priority on research to identify appropriate agricultural mechanization technologies for the mid hill farmers.
  • Conservation agriculture
    For the sustainable development of agriculture, through the conservation of soil nutrients, improvement of soil properties and minimum energy involvement conservation agriculture can play crucial role in Nepalese agriculture. In this context NAERC has also given due priority to develop/identify appropriate conservation tillage technologies for Terai as well as for hill condition.
  • Micro irrigation and fertigation
    To promote the high value agricultural commodities even with limited water availability, NAERC has also prioritized research on micro-irrigation technologies along with fertigation for the quality production of high value commodities in terai and hills. At present some of the high value commodities in which micro irrigation and fertigation system under test are off season vegetables, mandarin orange, banana, potato, and sugarcane.
  • Water management to enhance water productivity
    NAERC has also initiated research on on-farm water management to enhance water productivity of major irrigated crops.
  • Appropriate Post harvest Technologies
    NAERC has given thrust on research to develop appropriate post-harvest technologies of high value crops viz. coffee, ginger, apple etc and under-utilized crops viz. finger millet, proso millet etc.

Areas of work

  • Farm power and machinery
  • On farm water management
  • Irrigation and drainage engineering
  • Post harvest engineering
  • Agricultural structures
  • Energy in agriculture
  • Soil and water conservation engineering

Achievements/ Technologies recommended

  • Reversible mould-board plough
  • Zero/minimum tillage technology for wheat, rice and lentil
  • Chinese reaper
  • Rice weeder
  • Pedal paddy thresher for wheat threshing
  • Manual corn sheller
  • Pedal corn sheller
  • Water management technology for early rice, wheat and maize
  • Improved rotary quern
  • Low-cost solar dryer
  • Improved cardamom dryer
  • Rice seed dryer
  • Plastic house for off-season vegetable cultivation
  • Rice husk stove

Ongoing research

  • Modification of agricultural implements and machinery like animal drawn zero till seed drill, modular power tiller, jab seeder, millet pearler/thresher, modified seed drill and ridger
  • Modification and testing of matching implements for 2-wheel tractors
  • Study on irrigation water management in rice, wheat and potato
  • Irrigation scheduling in low cost drip system for cauliflower
  • Estimation of water requirement of rice and wheat based on 30-years data
  • Improved multi-rack solar dryer
  • Drying, storage and milling of rice and maize
  • Study on pulping, drying and storage of coffee and Lapsi
  • Action research and on-farm testing of solar dryer for perishables
  • Study on off-season vegetable cultivation in semi-controlled environment
  • Study on hailstone mitigation measures for small vegetable growing farmers
  • Study on Finger Millet Pearler/Thresher
  • Study on Coffee Pulper

Researchers

  • Dr.Shreemat Shrestha, Principal Scientist, S-5 (Agri-Engineering)/Chief
  • Dr. Shiv Kumar Jha, Scientist
  • Er. Sanjeet Kumar Jha, Scientist
  • Er. Ganga Ram Bhandari, Sceintist
  • Er. Shailendra Khatri, Scientist
  • Er. Kriti Ghimire, Technical Officer – Study Leave
  • Er. Mukti Nath Jha, Technical Officer

Contact Address

National Agricultural Research Institute
Nepal Agricultural Research Council
National Agricultural Engineering Research Centre
Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal
Ph. No. 5521307, 5524351
Fax: 977-1-5524351
E-mail: aed.narc@gmail.com
Website: www.narc.gov.np