May 04, 2023, Janakpurdham, Nepal – GGGI successfully concluded its fourth Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting for the KOICA-GGGI Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) project. The TAC is the apex approving body for the project which guides the overall implementation of the project. It is also mandated to review, validate, and approve key documents, guidelines, and the project’s overall outputs. The meeting, held at the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoLMAC) meeting hall, concluded to endorse the qualified applicants for receiving grants under the Terai Agribusiness and Enterprise Challenge Fund (TAECF) managed by GGGI.
Chaired by Dr. Namrata Singh, Secretary of MoLMAC, the meeting was attended by other TAC members and GGGI officials. Mr. Vikas Rawal, Assistant Country Director, KOICA, attended the meeting as a special guest. The meeting aimed to share the status of the TAECF, discuss the evaluation and selection process for the applicants, and finalize the qualified applicants for the TAECF grants.
“The TAECF is a significant component of the KOICA-GGGI CSA project. It aims to provide grants to micro and small enterprises to expand and broaden their products and services, particularly in the agriculture value chain,” Dr. Lasse Ringius, Country Representative, GGGI.
According to Mr. Mahesh Chettri, Agribusiness Associate, GGGI, a total of 216 applications were submitted to the TAECF; 137 from project municipalities, 71 are women-headed enterprises, and 16 entities are led by returned migrant workers. The applicants covered various aspects of climate-smart agriculture, including organic farming, crop diversification, soil conservation, solar irrigation, and others.
Mr. Purusottam Prasad Gupta, Senior Project Coordination Officer, GGGI, provided an update on the evaluation process and stated that the screening committee had identified the top 80 applicants based on their potential impact and feasibility. In the meeting, the TAC members announced that they would review the shortlisted candidates in two working days and then endorsed 60 applicants, 30 from micro agribusinesses and 30 from small agribusiness, who are expected to receive the TAECF grants. The TAC members also highlighted the need to visit the shortlisted enterprises and cross-check the credibility of their concept notes.
“Having the esteemed Secretary of MoLMAC present at this meeting is crucial in demonstrating the government’s active participation and ownership in the project. This serves as an exemplary model for other projects to follow, and I am thrilled to witness it firsthand,” said Mr. Rawal. At last, Dr. Singh thanked everyone for their presence and concluded the meeting by reiterating the project’s objectives and the need for collaboration to promote sustainable agriculture in Nepal.
The KOICA-GGGI Climate Smart Agriculture project is funded by KOICA and implemented by GGGI in partnership with MoLMAC. It aims to support the widespread adoption of climate-smart agriculture to reduce vulnerability and improve food and job security, especially for women, youth, and returned migrant workers in the Terai Flood Plain region.