Nepal Agricultural Services Development Programme (NASDP) – Main Credit Phase 1

Project completed

Agriculture in Nepal is characterized by low growth and productivity, yet it still is the mainstay for 66% of the rural poor people. The small farmers will improve their productivity, income and food security thanks to the strengthening of a decentralized and pluralistic extension and research system, receptive to their needs and demands. Built on previous SDC interventions and in line with Nepal’s Agricultural Development Strategy, this system will also enhance their social inclusion.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Agricultural development
Household food security
Agricultural policy
Agricultural services & market
01.04.2014 - 30.11.2020
CHF  9’790’000

The Agricultural Development Strategy (ADS) assessment indicates that one of the major reasons of low competitiveness in the sector is due to limited availability, access and adoption of relevant and modern technologies. While the ADS and the Nepal Agriculture Extension Strategy (NAES) foresee the establishment of a pluralistic and decentralised extension system relevant to farmer’s needs, this has been only partly realised. However, previous interventions of SDC and other partners show that considerable improvements are achievable in terms of productivity, diversification and outreach to farmers-including from disadvantaged groups. This is possible by increasing the technical and organisational capacity, coordination and approach of public and private providers of agricultural extension and research, such as the Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC), District Agricultural and Livestock Development Offices (DADOs/DLSOs), the local Agriculture Forest Environment Committees (AFECs) and private agro-veterinary operators.


Farming households, especially female-headed households and farmers from disadvantaged groups[1] increase their farm income, food security, resilience and social inclusiveness.


[1]     Disadvantaged Groups (DAGs) are defined in the Swiss Cooperation strategy as groups of economically poor people who additionally suffer from social discrimination based on gender, caste/ethnicity and regional identity.


Target groups

30,000 HH of which 18’000 from disadvantaged group and 8’000 de facto and de jure female-headed HH in the 9 programme districts, will benefit as receiver of rural advisory services from decentralised systems and plurality of actors.

Service providers: the public and private actors who will enhance their service delivery capacity through improved coordination, research and evidence based policy changes.


Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Farmers use relevant know-ledge, information and technology to sustainably increase their productivity, and

Outcome 2: A decentralised and pluralistic research and extension system provides technologies and services as demanded and needed by farmers



Expected results:  

Output 1.1: Farmers have access to relevant knowledge, information and technology, Output 1.2: Farmers have increased capacity to use relevant, modern technologies and practices, Output 1.3: Farmers have increased capacity to participate and articulate their needs and demands in the planning and feedback processes at district and local levels; Output 1.4: Relevant technologies are available in response to market, migration and climate change, and Output 1.5: District Innovation Centers are established to foster collaboration between the public and private actors.

Output 2.1: MoAD, MoFALD have increased capacity for extension and research policy implementation, Output 2.2: DDCs/VDCs allocate adequate resources to support farmer-led innovations, Output 2.3: DDCs/VDCs and DADOs/DLSOs have established partnerships with qualified private agricultural service providers, Output 2.4: Partnerships for innovation have been established to address specific constraints related to research and extension in selected value chains and cross cutting issues as identified in NAGI and Output 2.5: NARC provides adapted solutions for female-headed households and addressing climate change.


Results from previous phases:  

NASDP is one project of the new, more strategic and comprehensive SDC approach – the Nepal Agriculture Growth Initiative – to support the government’s objective of making agriculture more productive and competitive. It builds on the experience and lessons of previous SDC support to agriculture, which has demonstrated that:

  • The existing structure of District Agriculture Development Committees (DADCs), DADOs/DLSOs and 1’300 Agriculture and Livestock Service Centers can be mobilized cost-effectively to better plan, facilitate and deliver extension services.
  • DADCs as well as AFECs can be effective for establishing participatory planning and monitoring processes for extension services, leading to a higher allocation of funds for agricultural development.
  • Outreach to farmers can be tripled by “Farmer-to-Farmer” (FtF) and similar approaches that have been at the core of SDC’s agricultural sector programme since the 1970s.
  • Considerable gains in productivity and income are possible with relevant and improved techniques, varieties and inputs, also for female headed and disadvantaged households (HHs).


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
  • Foreign private sector North

Other partners


Coordination with other projects and actors


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    9’790’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    8’952’778
Project phases Phase 99 01.04.2014 - 31.12.2026   (Current phase)

Phase 1 01.04.2014 - 30.11.2020   (Completed)