AGCO Agriculture Foundation and Heifer Netherlands partner to reduce GHG Emissions

At the centre of the two-year partnership will be a Climate-Smart dairy farming operations in Nepal chosen from hundreds of applicants for the US$250,000 grant

Nepalese dairy farmers will benefit from a USD 250,000 grant made possible by the AGCO Agriculture Foundation to take part in a climate-smart project aiming to reduce GHG Emissions – image: Heifer Netherlands

The AGCO Agriculture Foundation (AAF), a private foundation with the vision to prevent and relieve hunger through sustainable agricultural development, has announced a USD 250,000 grantto Heifer Netherlands (Stichting Heifer Nederland).

The grant is aimed at improving the sustainability, productivity and resilience of smallholder dairy farming families through the development of a climate-smart and productive dairy model in Nepal.

The two-year partnership was chosen from hundreds of grant applications received in response to AAF’s climate campaign. The project is an integral part of the AAF’s strategic sustainability actions to support climate action within the context of agriculture.

Dairy farming is an important source of livelihood for rural people in Nepal, generating income, food and nutrition security and employment, particularly for vulnerable households. However, dairy livestock generate high amounts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute to climate changes, including erratic rainfall patterns and flooding that impact dairy farmers in Nepal.

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.

Dairy farming is an important part of life in Nepal and a valuable source of income for many otherwise vulnerable households prompting the AAF has released US$250,000 to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contributed to dairy farming in Nepal

“Nepal remains one of the world’s least-developed nations. The majority of people live in rural areas. We want to prioritize 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,” said Roger Batkin, Board Chair, AGCO Agriculture Foundation.

“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.

“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 program,” said Goossen Hoenders, Executive Director of Stichting Heifer Nederland.