University staff in Nepal learn about farmer-led joint research

Staff members of the Institute of Science and Technology (IOST) at Tribhuvan University and affiliated campuses joined a training programme on local innovation and farmer-led joint research, thanks to funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nuffic (Dutch organisation for internationalisation of higher education).

The training began with a 6-day residential workshop in March 2017 conducted in Nagarkot by Chesha Wettasinha of the Prolinnova International Secretariat at the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and Basanta Rana Bhat of Ecoscentre in Nepal, with support from Dharma Dangol (IOST) and Suman Manandhar (UNDP) as resource persons. The training included visits to three peri-urban farmer innovators near Kathmandu involved in rooftop gardening, mushroom growing and nursery management. The trainees were highly impressed by the creativity of the farmer innovators.

In their post-training assignments, the trainees designed how they would put the new knowledge and skills into practice in their day-to-day work as teachers and researchers. Follow-up visits by the trainers in November 2017 revealed that more than half of the trainees had held seminars in their own campuses to share what they had learnt with fellow staff and students. Two of the campuses were planning to include some elements of the farmer-led research approach into their curricula. One campus was applying for funds from the Nepal University Grants Commission to support students to document local innovation processes. The trainees had also shared their experiences on Facebook and in articles in local newspapers. More information and photos of the training programme can be found here.