CSAM and Partners Engage Key Stakeholders for Pilot Initiative on Integrated Straw Management in Nepal

Photo credit: Purwanchal Campus, Tribhuvan University

On 27 Feb. 2022, an Inception Workshop on ‘Enabling Sustainable and Climate-smart Agriculture in Nepal through Mechanization Solutions for Integrated Management of Straw Residue’ was held in Purwanchal Campus, Province No. 1 of Nepal. The event, conducted in a hybrid format (on-site and online), was co-organized by the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Purwanchal Campus, Tribhuvan University.

Burning of straw residue or stubble is a common concern in many countries of the Asia-Pacific region which leads to adverse impacts on agriculture as well as serious environmental and public health consequences. The workshop was convened as part of a two-year project which is receiving funding support from the China-ESCAP Cooperation Programme (CECP) and aims to promote agricultural machinery-based solutions to this problem. The project is being implemented by CSAM and the Environment and Development Division of ESCAP through national partners in Cambodia, Indonesia, and Nepal. 

In her remarks at the gathering, Dr. Yutong Li, Head of CSAM, pointed out that “Apart from accelerated Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution via release of particulate matter in the atmosphere, straw burning leads to loss of soil carbon and micro-nutrients while adversely affecting soil temperature, pH, moisture, and organic matter.” She further added that “This project is a key priority for CSAM because it directly supports Sustainable Development Goal 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 13 (Climate Action), among other SDGs.” 

The workshop highlighted the important role of agricultural machinery in sustainable and integrated management of straw residue and briefed key national, provincial and community-level stakeholders in Nepal about the country pilot in order to enable their active support and engagement for producing practical, impactful outcomes suitable for the national context.

The workshop was facilitated by the Institute of Engineering of Purwanchal Campus, Tribhuwan University, and benefited from the participation of relevant departments of the Government of Nepal as well as Province No. 1,  Nepal Agriculture Research Council, ESCAP’s Environment and Development Division, United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office in Nepal, local farming community representatives and other  domestic stakeholders.