Project Objectives

1. Using Nepal as a model, we will test strategies that intensify terrace agriculture including a neglected concept, farming on terrace walls (FTW) which comprise 20-50% of hillside surface area.

2. We will test products (including tools) that reduce female drudgery on terraces, accompanied by a picture book to share and scale-up best practices with illiterate women farmers.

3. We will test products that encourage terrace sustainability, focusing on soil fertility, employing a patented U.Guelph biotech invention called GlnLux to maximize production of organic nitrogen fertilizer from symbiotic Rhizobium bacteria associated with legumes. GlnLux has the potential to cost effectively match crop cultivars with compatible Rhizobium strains and micronutrient formulations.

4. We will pilot products that help farmers become resilient against climate change, including biodiversity seed kits.

5. We will test empowerment strategies to encourage farmer experimentation and also empower local innovators like black smiths in order to diminish institutional reliance in remote regions.

6. We will test the use of smartphone videos as a means of assessing farmer needs and to facilitate participatory-based interventions in remote regions.

.7 We will test a scaling up model for remote, mountainous regions whereby the above technologies from Canada and Nepal can be sold as part of inexpensive sustainable agriculture kits (SAKs) or for-rent “Community SAKs” for machinery, taking advantage of pre-existing snackfood/stall-based distribution systems and existing commercial vendors for agricultural products (agro-vets) allowing for a holistic toolkit of interventions to be made available to ensure high rates of adoption of at least one intervention