CASA Nepal briefs key British embassy staff (story revised 30 September)

Story revised on 30 September 2022

On 2 September 2022 CASA Nepal presented its work to the UK Aid Project Coherence Unit in Butwal, Nepal. The unit helps to coordinate UK aid-funded programmes in three provinces in Nepal

Ms Pippa Bird, the new development director of the British Embassy, was present as part of her orientation to the country.

The FCDO recently reprioritised its investments to account for support for the Ukraine crisis, the Pakistan flood and other humanitarian crises. However, it remains committed to supporting transformational change and climate resilience. Other critical factors are scaling and innovation potential, private sector development, and gender equality and social inclusion.

Manish Bikram Shah from CASA Nepal said: “Ms Bird seemed pleased with what CASA Nepal has achieved to date. She has asked us to share our insights, from private sector perspective, to support FCDO’s planned private sector development projects in Nepal. We look forward to our next meeting where we can share our upcoming plans.”

Credit: CASA Nepal

Later in September Ms Bird was back at CASA visiting Mangalam Dairy & Food Industry in Sarlahi, Madhesh Province. This time she was joined by her colleague Andrew Long, head of governance at the British Embassy.

Company owner, Sabal Singh explained that the site in Sarlahi had been made possible as a result of CASA support. Further help in phase 1 had supported the  company’s milk procurement and processing capacity.

A tour of facility gave the visitors chance to see first-hand the production of Mangalam dairy products. Recent innovations including dry aged cheese (dog chew) and new ice-cream had been made possible as a result of technical assistance from CASA Nepal.

 In the current phase, CASA’s partnership with Mangalam will focus on:

  • Strengthening Mangalam’s supply chain by developing linkages with milk collection centres and smallholder dairy farmers
  • Helping them with product diversification and quality production of dairy products.
  • Developing market presence for Mangalam by helping them supply dairy products to new areas of Madhesh Province.

In August, UK Ambassador to Nepal, Nicola Pollitt, and her deputy Dr Luke Beaumont visited Kamdhenu Dairy Development Cooperative, to better understand how CASA Nepal is investing UKaid. They also heard first-hand, about the outlook and challenges for the dairy sector in Nepal.

UK Ambassador to Nepal, Nicola Pollitt, visits Kamdhenu Dairy Development Cooperative (Credit: CASA Nepal)

CASA Nepal’s is supporting smallholder farmers to shift towards a more productive commercial agriculture approach. It does this by enabling agribusinesses to connect smallholders with commercial markets, to locally, regionally or for export markets.

Board members welcomed the delegation to the new dairy in Tarahara, Sunsari. The upgraded plant now has the capacity to handle 50,000 litres of milk per day.

The delegation learned that CASA’s and Kamdhenu Dairy next work package will focus on:

  • Increasing farmer aggregation, by collecting milk from more collection/chilling centres and dairy cooperatives.
  • Capacity development of the dairy technical team to promote effective utilization of the plant; and diversification into new lines including ice-cream and lassi.
  • Capacity development of the marketing team to develop linkages with retailers and distributors and expand sales in new areas.

CASA Nepal is implemented by NIRAS and Swisscontact in Nepal.

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