Capacity-building and Sustainable Development
Monthly seminar series.
Venue: Universal Cafe, Sukedhara, Kathmandu
Date: Monday, December 16, 2019.
June 6, 2019. Asta-Ja RDC organized a seminar on ‘Climate Change and Environmental Quality: Challenges and Opportunities ’ on 6 June, 2019 in Kathmandu as part of the monthly seminar series on raising community awareness on environmental issues with the support from Non-Resident Nepalese Association USA, Community Environment Academy, and Asta- Ja USA.
The effects of Global Climate Change on our environment are widespread.
Professor Poudel introduced the Nepal Field Experience Pilot Study Program (May 21-June 8, 2019), of the University of Louisiana in which sixteen students and two faculty members were visiting Nepal. All sixteen students presented their findings in the seminar.
A fundraiser campaign on Gofundme started on July 5, 2017, and ran for about 10 days to raise funds to help set up Asta-Ja RDC Kathmandu Office. Mr. Sahas Shrestha, Asta-Ja ICC member in Houston, Texas, USA, coordinated the campaign. Thirty donors participated and a total amount of $1,405 was collected during the campaign. We would like to thank all the donors for their support to make the campaign successful.
Asta-Ja RDC was introduced to the Specialty Group Meeting of Scientists and Students of Nepali Origin in USA on October 23, 2017, during the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting, Oct 22-25, 2017, in Tampa, Florida, USA. Asta-Ja ICC members Dr. Khusi Ram Tiwari, Dr. Kabindra Adhikari, and Dr. Upendra Man Sainju introduced Asta-Ja to the audience. Dr. Kabindra Adhikari introduced and discussed the Nepal Soil Information System (NepSIS), a Digital Soil Mapping project, that Asta-Ja RDC is currently conceptualizing with potential collaborators in the US and in Nepal. This was the first official meeting of its kind and an historical event for members of this group.
The 1st Asta-Ja ICC meeting was held on August 12, 2017, in Asta-Ja RDC Office at Bafal, Kathmandu, Nepal. With the gracious presence of Asta-Ja ICC Advisor, Professor Late Madhukar Shamshere Jung Bahadur Rana, development economist and ex-Finance Minister of Nepal, Asta-Ja ICC members representing USA, South Korea, and Nepal, representatives from Asta-Ja Abhiyan Nepal and Asta-Ja Agriculture Cooperatives, Asta-Ja RDC volunteers, and other stakeholders participated in the meeting. Community capacity building and the application of the Asta-Ja Framework as a resource planning and management tool by national, regional, and local agencies remained the focus of the meeting. Professor DD Poudel led a workshop entitled “Asta-Ja Planning and Management Workshop (A Case of Kathmandu Metropolitan City)” where the Asta-Ja Framework was presented as a unifying planning and management tool. He introduced the Asta-Ja Log Frame, which consists of a matrix of AstaJa (Jal, Jamin, Jungle, Jadibuti, Janashakti, Janawar, Jarajuri, and Jalabayu) and the eight principles of Asta-Ja (community awareness; capacity-building; policy decision making; interrelationships and linkages; assessment of Asta-Ja; sustainable technologies and practices; institutions, trade and governance; and sustainable community development and socio- economic transformation) . Furthermore, he demonstrated techniques for problem analysis, setting goals, and project development based on the log frame. Linkages between the principles of Asta-Ja and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals were established and discussed. Professor Poudel made future recommendations for the advancement of Asta-Ja campaign: 1)institutional strengthening, 2) coordination with governmental agencies and other stakeholders in planning and management of Asta-Ja resources, 3) expedited research and development on Asta-Ja resources, 5) formation of Asta-Ja Consortium, 6) development of Asta-Ja Data Portal, and 7) the establishment of Asta-Ja Think Tank.
January 11, 2017. Mr. Tim Kunin, Chief Executive Officer GreaterGood.Org, visited Asta-Ja RDC on January 11, 2017. With the support from GreaterGood.Org and the hungersite, Asta-Ja RDC in coordination with District Agriculture Development Offices had distributed 40,000 GrainPro Super Grain Bags to the Gorkha Earthquake victims in 23 earthquake devastated districts of Nepal in 2015. They also provided seed packets for earthquake victims in select areas of Kathmandu, Nuwakot, Kavre, and Sindhupalchowk districts. Asta-Ja RDC organized an all-day program for Mr. Kunin’s visit which included a meeting with the government officials in the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) in Dhulikhel, Kavre; field visits, and dinner meeting with Asta-Ja RDC officials. A meeting was held between the Kavre DADO officials, Mr. Kunin, and Asta-Ja RDC officials. The DADO officials mentioned that Asta-Ja RDC brought 4,000 bags to Kavre district following the earthquake devastation and they coordinated with Asta-Ja RDC for distribution through their four Service Centers. The hermetic bags proved to be a big relief for the earthquake victims. According to the officials, Asta-Ja RDC was the first NGO to bring such hermetic bags in Kavre district. There was a high demand for these bags from the farmers. As a result, the DADO officials contacted other agencies and got additional bags and distributed in the district later. Each household needs about 10-12 bags for their grain storage. The Agricultural Officers appreciated Asta-Ja RDC for working with them and supporting their work in the district.
In the afternoon, Mr. Kunin visited two earthquake affected communities in Kavre district along with four DADO officials and the Asta-Ja RDC team. The first visit was at Kantitar, Chandenin Mandan-1, Kavrepalanchowk, located 65 km north east of Kathmandu. The community was very welcoming, and received the CEO and the group with garlands. Mr. Kunin expressed that he was happy to help even in a small scale following the earthquake devastation. Farmers said that the bags were used for storing rice, maize and wheat; they liked the bags because they protected their grains from insect damage and molds, and also they did not have to dry their grains again to drive off the insects as in porous bags. They observed improved capacity for seed germination when they were stored in the bags. The second site for the field visit was on the way back to Kathmandu at Kuntabeshi, Mahadevsthan-2, Kavrepalanchowk.
December 22, 2016. A four-member Chinese delegation team led by Ms. Zhang Qiujin, Counsel, Beijing Municipal Research Center for Rural Economy, Beijing, China, visited the Asta-Ja Research and Development Center (Asta-Ja RDC), Kathmandu, Nepal, on December 21, 2016. Ms. Zhang Qiujin was accompanied by Mr. Du Lijun, Division Chief, Social Division of Beijing Municipal Research Center for Rural Economy; Mr. Zhao Yuzhong, Chairman of the Board, Beijing Beicaiyuan Agricultural Science and Technology Development Co., Ltd; and Mr. Bai Yingbin, Vice General Manager, Beijing Agriculture Consultant and Smart Management Technology, Company, Beijing, China. Beijing Municipal Research Center for Rural Economy, a sub-institution of Beijing Municipality, is a professional authority responsible for rural affairs management, policy research for Beijing rural areas, agricultural economic development, and rural planning and reform in Beijing, China.
May 28, 2016. Dr. Durga D. Poudel, the president of Asta-Ja RDC, presented his research paper entitled "Rebuilding Coupled with Sustainable Land Use, Food Security, and Agribusiness for Community Resiliency in Gurkha Earthquake Devastated Region in Nepal" to the 1st General Assembly of Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas (NAPA) in Irving (Dallas), Texas, USA. The list of attendees included senior IAAS faculty members such as Dr. Kailash Nath Pakuryal, Dr. PP Sharma, and Dr. Gopi Upreti, and His Excellency Dr. Arjun Karki, Ambassador of Nepal to USA. In his talk, Dr. Poudel stressed on Land Use Planning and Resettlement, Food Security (Food Storage and Biotechnological Advancement), and Agribusiness as the three cornerstones for Nepal's national resiliency. He has given the same talk to audience of International Workshop on the 1st Memorial Day of Gorkha Earthquake, organized by the Department of Mines and Geology on April 24-25, 2016 at Yak and Yeti Hotel in Kathmandu; the Chamber of Development Committee, Hon. Mr. Rabindra Adhikari, Legislature-Parliamentarian, at Singhadurbar, Kathmandu on May 8, 2016; Nepal Reconstruction Authority in the presence of CEO Mr. Sushil Gyawali in Singhadurbar, Kathmandu, on May 10, 2016; and to the Nepal Council of World Affairs (NCWA) at NCWA building in Hariharbhawan, Lalitpur, Nepal, on May 11, 2016.
May 9, 2016. Hon. Minister Shanta Manavi, Ministry of Livestock Development, Government of Nepal, attended the "Livestock and Poultry Production, Marketing and Advancement" Interaction program hosted by the Asta-Ja Research and Development Center (Asta-Ja RDC) in Hotel Kamal, Kathmandu, About 60 participants representing livestock producers, government officials, researchers, journalists, and other stakeholders attended the event. Meanwhile, the Asta-Ja RDC also initiated its Volunteers Program presenting the first Asta-Ja RDC Volunteer T-Shirt to the Hon. Minister Manavi by Asta-Ja RDC President, Dr. Durga D. Poudel, Minister Manavi presented the Asta-Ja RDC Volunteer T-shirts to the volunteers. In her address to the audience, Minister Manavi appreciated the work of Asta-Ja RDC in agricultural and livestock development in Nepal. She stressed many challenges including improved breeds, diseases and parasite control, feed and nutrition, and markets in relation to livestock industry in Nepal. Livestock producers shared their livestock production and marketing problems to the audience.
Dr. Durga D. Poudel, President of Asta-Ja RDC presenting the Asta-Ja RDC Volunteer T-shirt to the Hon. Minister Shanta Manavi.
Asta-Ja RDC President, Dr. Durga D. Poudel, Professor, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, presented a paper entitled "Rebuilding coupled with Sustainable Land Use, Food Security, and Agri-business for Community Resiliency in the Gurkha Earthquake Devastated Region in Nepal" at the International Gurkha Earthquake Anniversary Workshop held on 24-25 April, 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The above picture shows students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette working on GIS database and analysis for rebuilding Nepal.
On November 2, 2015, a poster on Nepal Agro-industrial Information System (NAIS) was presented in the Geological Society of America (GSA) 2015 Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The poster session was followed by a special session on Gorkha Earthquake in the morning where 14 papers were presented. The Asta-Ja Research and Development Center (Asta-Ja RDC), Kathmandu, Nepal, has taken the initiative for agro-industrial development of the nation through the development of NAIS. The Asta-Ja RDC will be working closely with various funding agencies including the GreaterGood.Org and the hungersite, universities, NGOs, and several governmental agencies including the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative and the Ministry of Industry in Nepal. The NAIS project will begin with cataloging information related to earthquake-devastated cottage industries and agricultural production (e.g., soil types, geology, irrigation, cropping system, livestock, geohazards, climate, farming communities), developing mobile application so that current field information such as soil moisture, pest infestation, and crop yield can be directly fed into the system, and conducting spatial analyses using GIS to identify potential small to medium size agro-industries and businesses for rural Nepal that most efficiently use the resources immediately available
The Asta-Ja Research and Development Center (Asta-Ja RDC), the Institute of Cultural Affairs-Nepal (ICA-Nepal), and the Institute of Rubber and Jatropha Research-Nepal (IRJR-Nepal) jointly hosted a rubber interaction program “Rubber Production in Nepal: Current Status, Opportunities, and Challenges” on March 9, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The chief guest of the program was Mr. Leela Mani Poudel who was the Chief Secretary of the Government of Nepal. The program was chaired by Mr. Khyam Sharma Paudel who is the retired Director General of the Department of Agriculture. The event was attended by a broad spectrum of stakeholders including Director Generals from the Department of Environment and the Department of Industries, government officials from various agencies, representatives from the rubber industries, banks, Rubber Farmer’s Associations, and several media persons. Following the keynote presentation by Dr. Durga D. Poudel, President of Asta-Ja RDC, discussions on the status and concerns of the rubber industry and plantation in Neplal was completed. Several issues and concerns were raised by the participants in relation to governmental policies, rubber nurseries and planting materials, training, processing, marketing, governmental support, research and development, and production management.
January 31, 2015. Green Fundraiser Event in Irving (Dallas), Texas, USA. The Asta-Ja RDC and the Institute of Rubber and Jatropha-Nepal (IRJR-N) hosted the Green Fundraiser Event in Ramailo Restaurant at Irving, Texas, USA. More than 50 participants attended the event. While the President of Asta-Ja RDC, Prof. Durga D Poudel, gave a PowerPoint presentation on Asta-Ja RDC's research and development initiatives and Asta-Ja movement in Nepal, Mr. Tilak Bhandari, Executive Director of IRJR-Nepal, gave a PowerPoint presentation on rubber production and development in Nepal. The event was full of fun with Nepalese cuisine and cultural show.
Dr. Durga D. Poudel (left), President of the Asta-Ja Research and Development Center, Kathmandu, Nepal, and Mr. Tilak Bhandari (right), Executive Director of the Institute of Rubber and Jatropha Research-Nepal, McKinney, Texas, USA, signed a Memorandum Of Understanding between the two organizations for research and development related to rubber and jatropha in Nepal on January 31, 2015 in McKinney, Texas, USA. Both organizations have agreed to spearhead initiatives on rubber research and development focusing on introducing modern techniques and technologies in rubber production and processing in Nepal, developing approaches to enhance sustainability of rubber industries in the country, and utilizing rubber plantation as an approach to rehabilitate the degraded lands in the rubber production region of Nepal.