AGCO Agriculture Foundation and Heifer Netherlands Announce a Two-Year Partnership to Reduce GHG Emissions using Climate-Smart Dairy Farming in Nepal

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by KnowESG

The AGCO Agriculture Foundation (AAF), a private foundation that wants to prevent and relieve hunger through sustainable agricultural development, gave USD 250,000 to Heifer Netherlands (Stichting Heifer Nederland) to develop a climate-smart and productive dairy model in Nepal that will help smallholder dairy farming families become more sustainable, productive, and resilient.

The two-year partnership was chosen from the hundreds of grant applications that AAF received in response to its climate campaign. The project is an important part of the AAF's plan to support climate action in agriculture through strategic sustainability actions.

Dairy farming is an important way for rural people in Nepal to make a living. It provides income, food and nutrition security, and jobs, especially for low-income families. But dairy livestock produces a lot of greenhouse gases (GHG) and contributes to climate change, which causes things like changing rain patterns and flooding that impact Nepalese dairy farmers.

Funded by the AAF, this project will help minimise existing GHG emissions from Nepalese smallholder dairy farming practices while improving productivity. It will also help smallholder dairy producers, particularly women, focus on climate-smart solutions. The project approach will combine several sustainable farming methods. 

Producers will learn to develop climate-smart feed management and animal husbandry systems that reduce enteric fermentation, improve the productivity of animals, and sequester carbon emissions through fodder trees and proper manure management with clean energy production using biogas and organic fertiliser.

Roger Batkin, Board Chair, AGCO Agriculture Foundation, said: 

"Nepal remains one of the world’s least-developed nations. The majority of people live in rural areas. We want to prioritise actions for the direct benefit of these farmers’ livelihoods while supporting sustainable agricultural practices that maintain soil fertility, raise healthy livestock, and improve the environment. Across food chains, from livestock to crop production, climate change continues to have a significant impact on food security and livelihoods of farmers and their communities."

Over the next 24 months, the project will support beneficiary farmers (100 households/500 family members), dairy value chain actors, and dairy farmers across Nepal during the dissemination phase, rural communities, academia, research institutions and government and non-governmental institutions. In addition, the project will contribute directly to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 7 and 13 and indirectly to SDGs 8, 10, 12 and 17.

Goossen Hoenders, Executive Director of Stichting Heifer Nederland, said:

"We are very happy with the trust and financial support that the AGCO Agricultural Foundation is providing to Heifer Netherlands to implement the climate-smart dairy farming project in Nepal. This project will also contribute to the work of a large long-term program called 'Milky Way Nepal' that aims to transform the smallholder dairy sector into a fair, profitable and climate-smart value chain by 2030. The granted award is one of the first steps into realising this ambitious programme."

Source: AGCO

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