SURVIVAL IN HIGH ALTITUDE COMMUNITIES
Altitude, harsh weather conditions, low soil fertility, and absence of any modern production technology make farming in Mugu a very hard undertaking. As a result, food shortages regularly jeopardise the well-being and survival of the local communities. Mugu’s communities are categorised as either moderately or highly food insecure by Nepal’s Food Security Monitoring System (2017). That means families struggle to satisfy minimum food needs, let alone providing a nutritious balanced diet. Many even experience consumptions gaps.
To address this situation, Back to Life offers agricultural trainings and promotes simple technologies to increase the yields of staple crops and vegetables. Our aim is to increase productivity to a point in which the family consumption is fully covered and surplus produce can be sold at the local markets and generate an income for the family.
Our interventions include:
- Provision of tools and quality seeds suitable to the high altitude climate
- Training activities (‘Farmer Field School’)
- Establishment of greenhouses for vegetables
We select very motivated farmers to create demonstration-plots, which bring modern production techniques closer to the villages. Then, farmers have the opportunity to participate in practical, field-based training activities to learn how to replicate these methods. In addition, they learn about adequate post-harvest handling to prepare their soils for the next season.
The results of this programme are significant: families in Mugu are now growing green leafy vegetables, which they enjoy as part of their meals and sell at the markets. To further strengthen the local agricultural capacity, Back to Life has also given young adults the opportunity to complete a certification training at an agricultural training institution.