After a decade of armed insurgency by Maoists, tension in Nepal has increased making some impoverished areas more susceptible to insurrection. The Nepal Economic Agricultural and Trade Activity (NEAT), a USAID funded program, has addressed this problem with a new campaign which involves circulating agricultural training materials throughout impoverished communities in Nepal.
By attempting to decrease poverty, reduce conflict and improve lives, NEAT has targeted the illiterate and semiliterate with training materials. The program is working with 67,510 food insecure and disadvantaged households in 20 districts. Combining photos and written descriptions, the 263,000 pieces outline different ways to increase the quality and quantity of 13 different crops and three types of livestock.
The effect of this type of aid is not only a stronger economy in rural and impoverished areas of Nepal, it is also an improved resistance to insurgency and other roots of violence.
This program falls in line with USAID’s newly implemented efficiency program, USAID Forward, which works toward cutting its global footprint. Programs such as NEAT are made from Nepali people who can more easily assess their country’s problems and work toward a sustainable solution.
Thus far, NEAT has helped Nepali farmers increase their household incomes by a total of $8.5 billion,, with 99 percent of them reporting that they had increased access to markets for their crops. The project is slated to close in August 2013.
– Pete Grapentien