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SRI Promotion Project Wins World Bank Nepal
Development Marketplace 2005 Award

At the start of 2005, the World Bank’s Kathmandu office announced the Nepal Development Marketplace (NDM), a national competition for innovative ideas to support the development of rural areas and to benefit people facing difficulties in the current situation of conflict in Nepal. The 1137 proposals submitted from different fields of development and basic service delivery were first screened down to 250, and then 80 were chosen as semifinalists. Forty ‘finalists’ were invited to submit detailed proposals.

On May 5, after evaluation by 9 jury teams, 20 award winners were announced in a large ceremony in Kathmandu. The proposal of SRI collaborator, Mr. Rajendra Uprety from the District Agricultural Development Office in Morang in the terai (plains) -- to promote SRI within his and neighboring districts in the coming season -- was ranked second among the 20 awardees and received $20,000 to carry out this proposed work. (See for details and pictures)

Farmers cooperating with Uprety in 2004 to introduce SRI methods in Morang district increased their yields by 114% on average, and reduced the time for crop maturation by 15 days on average, with savings of water and cost of production. This was documented by Uprety (Nepal Morang 2004 SRI Report). That SRI does not require any external inputs (whose supply in Nepal has been disrupted by current conflicts) makes it attractive for aiding poor rural families faced with food insecurity and with no access to new seeds, fertilizer or credit. The proposal includes innovative collaboration with local FM radio stations.

This award has called national attention to SRI. Other NGOs and even some other NDM award winners have already sought Uprety out for more information on the new methods. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has offered to print 10,000 posters presenting SRI methods. So the value of this award is greater than the monetary amount.

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