Organic Seeds & Grains of Upper Mustang

Hariyo Ban Program is a USAID funded five-year program implemented with the consortium of four partners: WWF Nepal, CARE Nepal, FECOFUN and NTNC. This program aims to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change and threats to biodiversity in Nepal, which will be, accomplished working together with the Government of Nepal, civil society and private sector.

The Organic Certification/Branding and Effective marketing of Upper Mustang Grains and Seeds & Preserving their Genetic Uniqueness is one of many projects supported by WWF, Hariyo Ban Program. The other wing of the project contributor and implementing partner is The Organic Valley Pvt. Ltd. (TOV) and Lead Nepal. The Organic Valley is an organic grains herbs and spice trade company that promotes community based farming & supplies organic products both in the domestic and global market. Lead Nepal is an NGO that aims to develop a sustainable economy strengthening the ecosystem services delivery that works for the people and the earth that we live in. With joint effort currently, Upper Mustang is progressing towards soil protection and productivity and at the same time reducing CO2 emission by converting into organic agriculture simultaneously increasing livelihood.

Goal and Objective

  • To produce high quality, organic certified and packaged grains and vegetable seeds
  • To generate employment in agriculture sector for local people
  • To preserve local genetic crop diversity and optimize the use of resources using
    conservation friendly techniques
  • To promote Upper Mustang as an organic branded and fair trade area
  • To ensure a structure, managed by an innovative local woman and trade on organic agricultural products, a cottage industry, ‘Upper Mustang Organic Production’, was registered in 2015 under the proprietorship of Ms. Tsethen Bista Gurung from Ghami, Upper Mustang. The Upper Mustang Organic Production (UMOP) will hold 40% of the overall business.

In order to facilitate the establishment of an industry and procure quality agro-commodity directly from the farmers TOV and Lead Nepal adopted ” Farmers Groups scheme in Upper Mustang from 2016. Following this, The Ghami Organic Farmers Group was registered with Department of Agricultural Development Office (DADO). When registering the farmers groups with DADO the farmers can benefit in acquiring latest farming technology, improve quality and quantity of commodity and an opportunity to diversify in other crops include market expansion. Secondly with the support of TOV and Lead Nepal a renowned organic certification body will certify the soil and products of the organic farms. This exercise will guarantee the organic nature of the products and help enhance business within and outside Nepal. Thirdly, the Farmers Group becomes 40% shareholders in the overall business.

In Ghami, four green houses were built and trainings on seed production, soil protection, organic agriculture, biodiversity conservation, watershed management and business management were imparted to the farmers.

By end 2018 a processing unit will be established at Ghami Upper Mustang. The processing unit will process buckwheat and naked barley and their by-products including packaging, thus upgrading the living standards of the farmers and directly linking them to the business world ensuring sustainable agriculture. This also aims to preserve the continuity of local genetic crop diversity and optimize the use of resources.

A tripartite agreement is signed between TOV, UMOP and Ghami Organic farmers groups for cultivating and trading on high quality organic grains with partnership of 20% TOV, 40% farmers groups and 40% UMOP.