Manoj Kaphle

Humphrey Alumni Mr. Manoj Kaphle (Nepal; 2020-21) shares his work at the Agricultural Development Bank in Kathmandu. Through his work, he formed a new model of farmer business schools in 4 rural Nepali districts, assisting more than 1,200 people with technical support and financial tools to initiate small agri-businesses. As Nepal recovers from the impacts of COVID-19 on employment, he is currently working on launching projects focused on expanding walnut production in remote districts in Rukum and improving the living standard of the Chepang community through the development of small honey bee enterprises.

 What do you see as some of the most pressing issues in your home country within your field?

Nepal is still facing the impact of Covid-19, primarily in employment and livelihoods of people. The country is facing high inflation this year. In this regard, projects based on income generation and self-employment are needed. I have designed two projects in this year, though both are not implemented yet. I am seeking funding opportunity from Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program 2022 Alumni Impact Award due to my low equity. I could start my project soon as I received grant from any agency.

Another project is focused on walnut (high value crop). Expanding the walnut growing area in remote district of Nepal (Rukum district), I would like to see the change in income of rural people. As climate of Rukum is the great assets for walnut production, I am keen interested to develop technical skill of smallholders to propagate walnut for the higher yield. I hope I will apply this proposal for the Alumni Engagement Innovation award in 2022.

How do the global connections made through the Humphrey Fellowship help you address these challenges?

I got opportunity to submit my project proposal, as I am the member of Humphrey Alumni. Due to the fellowship, I am connected not only with global resource centers rather I am enriched with friends and professionals from USA. Jessie Hughes from Cornell just visited to Nepal and performed a research survey in Mygdi district of Nepal. I got opportunity to exchange my ideas on her research in migration. Dylan Rodgers, undergraduate student of Cornell is currently in Nepal for his project work. He met me last week and started his work in Pokhara and Lamjung district of Nepal. He is doing his project in organic agriculture through NGOs of Nepal. I got another opportunity to share my ideas for his project.

Currently I am going to submit project proposal for the Humphrey Alumni Impact Award 2022 collaborating with another Humphrey fellow (who was in Syracuse University) of Nepal. This project has been developed with aim to improve livelihoods of tribe people (Chepang) by developing small agricultural enterprises. Along with honey bee enterprises the project intendents to improve awareness on health and education of those marginalized people.  

Do you feel better equipped and positioned to act on these critical challenges due to certain skills/connections gained as a Humphrey Fellow? If so, what skills and connections are serving you?

Yes, I found my skill in writing and publishing has been improved. My organization has published a book entitled “Agriculture Production Norms” and I am the one author among three authors of this book. This is policy level guideline book which makes efficiency in agriculture credit lending process.

Secondly, I am working on second edition of text book entitled “Fundamentals of Agroforestry”.  This book is text book for the student of undergraduate in agriculture science. As a first author, I would like to address the comments from the students and professors through the first edition.

Furthermore, I feel that I am more equipped on delivery of knowledge through training and lecture. Recently, I facilitated training on enterprise and credit facilities for the women entrepreneurs which was organized by NGO with financial support of Care International (Nepal). I did this job voluntarily. Similarly, I became able to provide lecture on agribusiness and banking as a course of agribusiness and management of Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU) students. The class was for the students of Masters in science of Agriculture. This is also my volunteer work for this year that was learn from the fellowship period at Cornell.