S1: Agriculture and Food Security


S1: Agriculture and Food Security

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Challenges of providing adequate, safe and nutritious food to all population is a global is sue. Over 50% of house holds in Nepal are reported as food insecure and one-in-three house holds were either mildly or severely food insecure in 2017. Nepalese agriculture has several issues, such as soil nutrient losses by erosion and nutrient mining, scarcity of water for irrigation, mis-management of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, inadequate supply of agrifood seeds and animal genetic materials, and lack of improved technology-based farming. Further, agriculture is marred by shortage of labor force due to outmigration, resulting in feminization of agriculture and land abandonment. Despite these challenges, agriculture has a major role to play to solve food and nutrition problems. The planned symposium will be instrumental in bringing together agricultural and allied experts from Nepal and globally to share their experiences, and discuss possible policy initiatives to reduce food and nutrition insecurity problems in the country.

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Dr Jagadish Timsina is a globally respected agricultural scientist specialising on agronomy, soil management and agroecosystems sustainability. He has a wide range of experiences in Australia and a number of countries in Asia. He has worked with some of the world’s most respected agriculture research institutes such as IRRI and was involved in collaborative activities with several others, including ILRI, CIP, and ICRISAT, and World Agroforestry Centre. He acted as Consultant at International Maize and Wheat Research Centre (CIMMYT) in Bangladesh. He has led a number of research projects on crop modelling, soil and plant nutrients, food security, and sustainable agricultural intensification, to name a few. He has served as a senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne, and continues to be associated with the University as an honorary Principal Research Fellow. He also holds an Adjunct Professor position with Agriculture and Forestry University in Nepal. He has published over 140 scientific papers and sits in the editorial boards of Agricultural Systems, Agronomy Journal, Global Journal of Agriculture and Allied Sciences, EC Nutrition, and Cambridge Scholars Publishing. He has also worked with CSIRO and ACIAR in Australia on various projects related to agriculture, water and nutrient management. With extensive field works experiences in Australia, The Philippines, Nepal, India, and Bangladesh, Dr Timisna brings an applied, problem-solving and community-driven research and innovation expertise critical to achieve Sustainable Development Goals on reducing hunger and terrestrial sustainability. Last but not least, he is an active academics contributing to higher and vocational education sectors in Australia.

Session Chair:

Dil Bahadur Gurung is a natural resource manager with extensive experience in planning and implementing agricultural research and development works in Nepal. He holds a Ph.D in plant breeding from CLSU, Philippines. He has over 30 years of experience working in the various capacities including Senior Scientist, Station Chief, Coordinator and Executive Director of NARC. He has provided key scientific leadership in the implementation of research and development in the agricultural sector. He led development and releasing of number of high yielding improved crop varieties including hybrid maize for different agro-ecological zones within Nepal.

Dr Gurung worked as an Agriculture Expert in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Nepal for Earthquake Emergency Program in agriculture. He has number of research articles in the national and international journals to his credit. Currently, he is holding a position of member of the National Planning Commission (NPC), an apex policy making body of government under the chairmanship by Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister where he oversees agriculture and livestock development, poverty alleviation and cooperatives, drinking water and land resource management of Government of Nepal. He can be reached at gurungdb12@gmail.com and dbgurung@npc.gov.np.

Dr Bimala Rai Paudyal is Member of National Assembly in Federal Parliament of Nepal. She also served as advisor to the President’s Office and Member of National Planning Commission. She has extensive work experience on different portfolios at government, non-government and development organizations. She is also strong advocate of democratization of Nepal’s public sector governance and improving professionalism. She equally raises voices and writes regularly on women’s empowerment, public sector governance and development.

Dr Paudyal holds PhD from Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Hague in Development Studies and Masters from Manchester University, UK in Economics and Management of Rural Development. Bimala also holds a position of Adjunct Faculty Member in department of Development Studies at Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU) in Nepal. She has excellent understanding of geo/socio political context of Nepal and has extensive working experience with a broad range of actors including bilateral and multilateral donors, policy makers, senior government officials, local government bodies, academia, national and international non-government organizations and civil society groups. Bimala is engaged both at the grassroots and national as well as at the regional and international arena of development politics, articulating her role as development planner, fund and human resource manager and negotiator and policy maker. She has undertaken extensive research and has published books, reports and articles in national and international journals reflecting her academic knowledge and learning from experience on the issues of Politics of Poverty, Gender Equality, Social Inclusion, Natural Resource Governance, Aid Effectiveness and Social Development.

Bimala is activist advocate of human rights and democratic freedom since her high school student life and comes from a rural lower class family background. Therefore, she has not only academic knowledge of poverty, injustice and unequal relationship but also brings first hand experiences of living on poverty and unequal society. Bimala strongly believes on addressing the structural causes of poverty, injustice and inequality.

Bimala’s most current engagements include: Program Management Specialist and Coordinator for Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Thematic Team at Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) Embassy of Switzerland in Nepal (2008-2014); visiting faculty member at the Kathmandu School of Education (KUSOED) Kathmandu University (2013-2014); Social Development and Livelihood Advisor for DFID Livelihoods and Forestry Project (2004-2008) and Manager for Impact Assessment at Action Aid Nepal (1997-2001)

Invited Speaker:

Dr Bimal Rai Paudyal

Dr Hari Bahadur K.C., PhD, is the joint secretary and the chief of Food Security and Food Technology Division in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development of the Government of Nepal with 25 years of experience in the civil service. The division looks after the food and nutrition security, climate change and biodiversity, environment, food technology and food safety issues related to agriculture and food sector of Nepal. He joined the civil service in 1995 as a Plant Protection Officer in the Department of Agriculture. He also served as the Senior Agriculture Development Officer in three different District Agriculture Development Offices. He was the first Province Secretary in the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Co-operatives of Province 1. He also served as the Program director of Vegetable Development Directorate under Department of Agriculture.

He has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Tribhuvan University and master’s degree in Nematology from Ghent university, Belgium. He has got his PhD degree in Applied Biological Sciences from Ghent University, Belgium.

He has led Nepalese delegations in international meetings and workshops. He has published more than twenty scientific articles in national and international peer reviewed journals and workshop proceedings. He has presented scientific papers and posters in many national and international workshops. He has also authored and co-authored more than ten booklets and books on horticulture and plant protection as the technical resources for agriculture extension. He has co-edited a couple of workshop proceedings, and the Journal of Agriculture and Environment published by Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and the Journal of Plant Protection Society Nepal. He is currently the General Secretary of the Plant Protection Society Nepal. He is chairing many official committees on food and nutrition security, plant genetic resources conservation, agriculture and environment, agricultural policy formulation etc. He is serving as the national focal point of ITPGRFA, family farming and Fall Army Worm management. He is also the spokesperson of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development.

Dr Peetambar Dahal grew up at Sankhuwasava in eastern Nepal. He did undergraduate studies from Rajasthan (1974). He worked in plant quarantine at Biratnagar, Nepal for 4 years and certified rice exported to Mauritius. Then, he worked in horticulture seed production at Sarlahi for 8 years. He joined the Department of Plant Sciences at University of California, Davis, USA in 1987 and earned both MS and PhD degrees. He continued seed reaserch on maintaining seed quality. Starting 2010, he became associated with assessing horticultural seed quality in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. A scaled up seed vision could address the concern of the medical community and international food organizations regarding the threats posed by toxigenic molds and insects and nutrient losses. Minimizing such triple effects of moisture could help in food security including protecting foods from annual floods that in turn induce toxic natural molds in foods. Artificial pesticide residues present another daily threat to human health. Minimizing both groups of toxins is essential to improve immunity and nutrition and health.

Lancet Planetary Health 2020; 4:e259-e260.

Dr. Devendra GAUCHAN, PhD is an Agricultural Economist  and Honorary Research Fellow at the Alliance of Bioversity International and International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Rome, Italy. He is also  an Adjunct Professor in Institute of Agriculture and Animal Sciences (IAAS), Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. He has a PhD degree from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom with specialization in Agricultural Economics and Agrobiodiversity Conservation. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines focusing his research in South Asia from 2008-2011.

Previously (2004-2014), Dr. Gauchan served as the Senior Scientist and Head of Socioeconomics & Agricultural Research Policy Division at Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) Kathmandu.  Dr. Gauchan has worked as Consultant, Co-investigator and Expert for various national, international and bilateral organizations in agriculture and natural resource management project evaluation, impact studies and formulation of national agricultural strategies, policies and plans. He was one of the core team members in drafting ‘National Seed Vision 2025’ in 2012-13 and also lead coordinator in Agriculture theme in drafting of National Strategic Framework of Nature Conservation for Sustainable Development (NSFNCSD) of Nepal in 2013-14.

He has also served as a Co-Principal Investigator in POSHAN (Policy Science, Health, Agriculture and Nutrition) project studies in Nepal from 2012-19 led by Johns Hopkins University, Tufts University and Feed the Future, USA. He has been actively engaged in research in agrobiodiversity, agriculture and food security policies, market and value chains and supervising PhD and MS students in Agricultural Economics. He is currently a General Secretary of Nepalese Society of Agricultural Economist (NAES), Nepal.

Dr Megha N. Parajulee, PhD, is a Regents Fellow Professor at Texas A&M University. Former faculty member at Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science in Rampur, Nepal, Dr. Parajulee earned B.Sc. (Agri. Econ.) from Himachal Pradesh, India, and Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. Parajulee joined Texas A&M University in 1994 as a cotton entomologist and is serving as the Cotton Entomology Program Leader in Texas since 2001. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Texas Tech University and an Honorary Professor at Nanjing Agricultural University in China. Dr. Parajulee is a leader in cotton entomology/cropping systems research, teaching, and service, with an exemplary record of scientific research, publication, and delivery of pest management technologies to the producer clientele of Texas and beyond.

He has authored/co-authored 115 refereed and over 350 non-refereed publications, organized several international invited symposia, presented over 400 scientific papers, and mentored 35 M.S. and Ph.D. students. He is active internationally with plenary/keynote/special speaking roles in Egypt, China, India, Colombia, Nepal, Uzbekistan, United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Finland, Brazil, and Ghana, and was also a Fulbright Senior Fellow in Nepal and Uzbekistan. He received the Texas A&M Vice Chancellor’s Award in Research Excellence, Faculty Fellow Award, Regents Fellow Award, and Texas A&M Vice Chancellor’s Award in Collaboration. He is a member of Entomological Society of America (ESA), including ESA National Program Chair (2010), ESA International Branch President (2017), and Society of Southwestern Entomologists (President, 2010). He is also a Founding Life Member and current President of Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas (NAPA). He is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences.

Prof Dr Madhav K. Shrestha, born in Tahoon, Palpa, Nepal is retired Professor of Aquaculture from Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU), and currently Chairman of Center for Aquaculture-Agriculture Research and Production (CAARP) Pvt. Ltd. Chitwan Nepal He completed M.Sc. Zoology from the Tribhuvan University (TU), Nepal in 1979; M.Sc. Aquaculture and Doctor of Technical Science (Ph.D.) from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand in 1989 and 1994. He was post-doctoral research fellow for 1996-1997 at the AIT. He has a professional carrier of more than 40 years as a faculty of aquaculture and fisheries including 4 years’ experience as government fisheries officer. He served as faculty member at Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), TU from the position of Assistant Lecturer to Professor of Aquaculture, Professor of Aquaculture and Fisheries at AFU. He has served as Director of Research at IAAS/TU, Coordinator of Post Graduate Studies at AFU, President of Nepal Fisheries Society (NEFIS), Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Agriculture and Animal Science, and Nepalese Journal of Aquaculture and Fisheries. He has supervised more than 45 graduate students as major adviser and committee member including PhD students. He has contributed over 75 research articles in the national and international journals, and in the proceedings; 16 books/ book chapters and manuals in the field of aquaculture. He is a life member of Nepal Fisheries society (NEFIS), Nepal Animal Science Association (NASA), and member of Asian Fisheries Society (AFS), World Aquaculture Society (WAS).

Dr Banshi Sharma

Dr Banshi Sharma, is the Director General at the Department of Livestock Services under Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development. He is the national delegate of Nepal to World Animal Health Organization (OIE) since 2019. He has served the Government of Nepal for 32 years since joining the civil service in 1988. He began his service as the Veterinary Officer and has served in more than 18 offices during this long period. He served as the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development for 2 years and as the Provincial Secretary of the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives in Province 2 and 3 for about two years. He has led Nepalese delegations in international dialogues, meetings and workshops.

Dr Sharma has a Bachelors’ degree in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry from Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, India. He has two master’s degrees- Master in Molecular Biology (Belgium) and Master in Public Administration (Nepal). He has participated in various national and international trainings and published many articles in national and international journals. He has authored 13 books and has contributed greatly for the development and advancement of livestock sector in Nepal.

Dr Sharma is the life member of Nepal Veterinary Association and worked as the vice president of this organization for 3 years. He is also the life member of Nepal Red Cross Society.

Miss Yamuna Ghale has done PhD on “Food security governance” at Agriculture and Forestry University, Chitwan. She has work on gender mainstreaming, social inclusion, public policy analysis, food and agriculture and natural resources for last 25 years.

Mr. Bhola Man Singh Basnet, Master of Science (M.S), University of the Philippines at Los Banos (UPLB), Philippines with the Master Thesis work on Rice from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and B.Sc (Hons) Ag. & A.H. G.B.Pant University of Agriculture & Technology Pantnagar, India ; both Degrees obtained under the U.S.A.I.D. Participant Program Fellowship. Principal Scientist (Agronomy), Senior Rice Expert and former Director for Planning and Coordination under Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC). He has received 10-month training entitled “Rice Production and its Extension “in Japan and was the Farm Manager of the then Hardinath Agriculture Farm (now National Rice Research Program) for 5 years. He has received Royal Nepal Academy of Science & Technology (RONAST), Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Society of Agricultural Scientists, Nepal (SAS/N) and Rudra-Oli National Memorial Agriculture awards for rice research and development plus widening the access of farmers to agricultural technologies through mass media etc. He has also received University Merit Certificates. He is the life-member in Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), JICA Alumnae Association of Nepal (JAAN), Society of Agricultural Scientists, Nepal (SAS/N), Nepal Agricultural Association (NAA) and Agronomy Society of Nepal (ASON).

He served more than 37 years in Department of Agriculture (DoA) and Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) at various positions. Now, he is retired but not tired.

He has received 25 training, imparted 100 training, participated in 100 workshops, presented 50 papers at national, regional and international levels, involved in consultancies, and travelled fifteen countries, all related with his professional activities.

He is well known personality in agriculture sector as well as in major print & electronic media in Nepal. Thus, is well recognized as an agricultural researcher and development worker, a good agro-communicator plus also was the “Spokesman” for Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC). He believes that researchers should not “lack in salesmanship, be pro-active and a good communicator” too because “not publish, not inform means not done “ i.e publish or perish. He was invited plus attended the Third International Rice Congress, November 8-12, 2010 held in Hanoi, Vietnam and had presented three (3) papers related with rice, Solar Radiation Increases Rice Production, Environmentally-friendly and Sustainable Rice Production and Innovative Knowledge-based Information Dissemination for Increasing Rice Productivity. The Congress was organized on the auspicious occasion of Golden Jubilee (50 years) of the International Rice Research Institute (1960-2010). He had also attended and presented rice-related paper in the 4th International Rice Congress in Bangkok, Thailand in 2014. His name is synonymous to rice in Nepal. He can also be searched in Google for rice-related research and development works.

There are more than five hundred (>500) publications in home and abroad (professional/research papers, popular articles, books, booklets, folders, posters, manuals, research highlights, technical annual reports, proceedings, newsletter etc.) in his credit.


Dr Yogendra Karki is Joint Secretary at  Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Government of Nepal.Dr Karki is also the president at Nepal Agricultural Economics Society, Hariharbhawan, Lalitpur, Nepal.

Dr. Govinda Rizal, a plant breeder, and a molecular biologist joined C4 rice project in 2010 as a postdoctoral research fellow. He led the mutant verification team from 2010 to 2012, and gene discovery team from 2013 to 2015 to hunt genes for C4 syndrome. Govinda has worked with soybean, sorghum, rice, wheat, maize, Setaria and has designed field experimental plans, supervised large scale cultivation of mutants and transgenic plants as well as performed high throughput phenotyping. Govinda’s works on gene identification involved mutant characterization through detailed phenotyping and next-generation sequencing, and gene validation through a transgenic approach. He has fruitful collaboration with scientists from Australia, USA, UK, Korea, and China. Having worked in laboratory, greenhouse and field environments as a mutation breeder and next-generation sequencing practitioner, Govinda has gained extensive work experience in agronomy, plant breeding, molecular biology, plant physiology, and bioinformatics, various research skills and the ability to work with people of different cultural and academic diversity. Govinda is meticulous, attentive to detail, and an enthusiastic team player. He is diligent, quick to pick up new skills and comfortable to learn from others. He has good experience supervising and training staff members of different educational levels. Govinda also has provided thesis students with research guidance, supervision of data analysis and result interpretation.

Since the end of 2015, he has been working in different sectors in Nepal including but not limited to:

  • Project evaluation, training, freelance consultant
  • Trainer, training on Citrus Cultivation and Management. Gamgadi, Mugu
  • Research and Development, private sectors, Nepal
  • Freelance consultant, private sector and INGOs, Nepal
  • Periodic assessment of private and non-governmental projects
  • Training and supervision on the cultivation of vegetables and cereals at farmers’ field
  • Supervision of hybrid rice seed production in Nepal
  • Trade of hybrid seeds, agro-chemicals, and equipment from international companies
  • Supervision of M.Sc. and Ph.D. students’ thesis works
  • External examiner at Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Mrs. Jiwan Prabha Lama was born in a small village of Tehrathum district in 1958. After the completion of her secondary schooling at Dharan, she did her postgraduate study from the Reading University (UK) in food science, Technology and Nutrition in 1996 parallel with civic job at the Department of Food technology and Quality Control. She has published many research articles and publications in Agrobusiness especially in relation to food and nutrition sciences. She has keen thirst of interest to adopt good practices to uplift human health, wellness and people health care through research. She has 38 years of work experiences in Nepal government.

Dr Dinesh Gautam has a rich experience of nearly two decades in the veterinary sector. He has received various awards including Gold Medal in Veterinary Science from IAAS Rampur. He has been associated with the company since its inception and has been instrumental in making strategic decisions. Besides this, Dinesh is the speaker of Nepal Veterinary Council.

Mrs Shanta Banskota Koirala holds the position of Director at Kanchanjangha Tea Estate and Research Centre (KTERC), leads planting and processing organic tea, herbs and spices in tea garden and factory at the remote hill district of Phidim, Nepal. She organizes small farmers for organic farming thereby contributing to improving quality of life by increasing income in an environmentally sustainable way; a total of 418 small farmers have been developed; the products have received NAASA, JAS, USDA certifications including FLO. There are 150 workers with 85% women for the operation of the tea garden and factory. KTERC has established workers’ cooperative; savings activities by women; scholarship programme to the children of workers; cow bank project;skill training to the economically weaker communities for producing tea packaging boxes made from local bamboo; training to develop women entrepreneurs; packaging, labelling and marketing knowledge and skill to women; developing and promoting eco-tea tourism including local communities.

Mrs. Banskota is Director at Shangrila Agro World Pvt. Ltd. that takes care of processing, packaging and international marketing of organic tea, herbs and spices- the products are exported to Japan, Germany, USA, Canada, Gulf countries.Expansion of the local business is taken care of by Banskota Group of Industries in Kathmandu where Shanta is a Co-Director.Mrs. Banskota is also a Proprietor of Panchthar Juice that produces orange juice from the organic certified orange produced by the farmers in the Panchthar District;

Shanta Banskota Koirala represents private sector at national level policy level discussions in the tea sector as well as other areas of concern related to women entrepreneurship. She is Central Secretary at Central Women Entrepreneurs Committee of the Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries. She has been crucial in advocating and lobbying for women friendly policies in agriculture business sector; coordinating training to develop women entrepreneurs; developing and strengthening national and international networks for business expo. She has also been members of high-level evaluation committees for the evaluation of exhibitor’s expos.

A Life Member of Federation of Women Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal, Shanta is a Sub-committee Member of central for International Private Enterprise looking after policy issues at central government level, formation of women’s group and assisting in production, labelling, pricing and marketing. She is also an Executive Member of Women Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal, Executive Member of Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (Nepal AOTS Alumni Society) where she leads the Women Sub-Committee and coordinates policy discussions by creating women’s groups, identifies raining needs and programmes to capacitate them, coordinates with various women entrepreneurs’ organizations.

With a Master degree in Sociology Shanta has consolidated her corporate business knowledge through series of national and international trainings, conferences and exposures such as Corporate Management, Good Agricultural Practice, Value Chain, Marketing, Leadership, Innovative Agricultural Extension Systems to Improve Farm Productivity and Income, etc.

Contributions of Shanta Banskota Koirala have been recognized through various awards by many public, private and social organizations. She has received awards such as National Women Service Award, National Award on Tea Development and Special Awards in National Expo, Nepal Women Entrepreneurship Award.

Mrs Samjhana Dahal

Pawan Golyan is the Chairman of the Golyan Group and NMB Bank Board of Directors. Mr. Golyan was elected to the NMB Board as representative of Promoter shareholders in the Bank’s 24th Annual General Meeting held on January 9, 2020 at Staff Administrative College, Jawalakhel, Lalitpur.


Mr Yubaraj Gurung is the Chair Man of Munna Krishi Ltd., Jamal, Kathamandu. Mr Gurung was the Chair of Agriculture Promotion Committee, ICC Advisor & NCC Belgium Founder President in NRNA. Mr. Gurung was born on 21 April 1969 in Mad Municipality 3, Shankhuwa-Sawa. He lives in Antwerpen, Belgium and temporarily living in New Baneshwaor , Kathmandu 31, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Dr. Purna Kandel PhD (University of ALBERTA, Canada/ University of LIEGE, Belgium) and working on International Business based in Toronto and Kathmandu. He is also global coordinator of NRNA Agriculture Promotion committee. He has international business interest in AgriFood, BioMed, Garment, Aviation and Homes between Nepal, Canada, US and other south Asian countries. Before working on Business, he was Marie Curie Researcher from European Union. He has worked as an officer in Government of Nepal and researcher in Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, and Canada. He is from Chitwan, Nepal and currently based in Toronto Canada. He is also President of Canada Nepal Business Council.

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Date And Time

2020-10-09 @ 09:00 AM to
2020-10-09 @ 01:30 PM


Online event

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