Knowledge-based Integrated Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition (KISAN) Project

USAID’s Knowledge-based Integrated Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition (KISAN) project will work with the Government of Nepal (GoN) to sustainably improve food security and increase incomes through integrated agriculture, nutrition, and sanitation activities. 

Agriculture plays a crucial role in Nepal’s economy. It is the main source of employment for the majority of the population, and contributes to 38 percent of the gross domestic product. Nepal has competitive advantages in a number of high-value agriculture areas, yet remains the poorest country in South Asia and the 13th poorest country in the world. Due to increasing population and slow rates of agricultural growth, Nepal is considered a structurally food deficit country. Likewise, almost 41 percent of Nepal’s population, which includes nearly half of all children under five year, are chronically undernourished. The Mid-Western and Far-Western regions typically have the highest rates of food insecurity, hunger and nutrition deficiency.


KISAN is a five-year Feed the Future (FTF) Initiative in Nepal that represents USAID’s global efforts to advance food security and nutrition objectives. Nepal was one of 19 focus countries chosen for the Presidential FTF initiative in 2010. The project has two primary and integrated components:

A) Increase agricultural productivity
B) Improve nutrition

The project will work in close coordination with the GoN’s Ministry of Agricultural Development (MOAD) and Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP). Moreover, KISAN will engage with a wide-range of public, private and civil society stakeholders that include farmers, NGOs, academic and research institutions, businesses, training centers, and media partners.

This project will also be closely aligned with the other FTF projects in Nepal: the various Innovation Lab (IL) programs and Cereal System initiative for South Asia (CSISA). KISAN will also collaborate with the GoN’s World Bank-managed Agriculture Food Security Program (AFSP).


  • Improve the quality and availability of agro-inputs like seeds, fertilizers, and credit for farmers.
  • Improve the capacity of agriculture extension workers, service providers, farmers, health workers, mothers/caregivers, Female Community Health Volunteers to deliver services more efficiently.
  • Facilitate improved and sustainable agriculture production practices and technologies including production of nutritiously diverse vegetables, fruits and backyard poultry, and application of post-harvest technologies and practices at the farm level.
  • Improve market efficiency and farmer access to markets.
  • Increase the capacity of GoN and Nepali organizations to solicit and implement development projects.
  • Improve knowledge and behaviors for nutrition, water, hygiene and sanitation practices.
  • Improve access to water and sanitation facilities.


Over the next five years, the project will –

  • Enhance agro-input distribution system through establishment and training of private sector input suppliers and other local service providers.
  • Disseminate sustainable, market-based, proven small-scale irrigation technologies.
  • Promote proven farming “packages” adapted to specific ecological zones.
  • Enhance capacity of local organizations to sustainably plan, implement, and manage large-scale agriculture development projects.
  • Support and train private sector service providers and GoN extension agents as major change agents in disseminating agro-inputs, scaling-up appropriate technology, irrigation systems, and best management practices.
  • Enhance clean water, sanitation, and hygiene conditions, for example, promote hand-washing with soap or ash at critical times; ensure safe disposal of feces; encourage and support community or family construction and use of affordable latrine; treat and facilitate safe storage of drinking water; promote open defecation free initiatives; and develop the capacity of local communities to improve access to water and sanitation facilities.
  • Support scaling-up of proven agricultural technologies as evidenced by research and experience.
  • Train farmers and processors on enhancing nutrition in cereals and other foods.
  • Improve health and nutrition behaviors of target farm families


Building on recent USAID achievements, the project will -

  • Train approximately 160,000 households in improved and sustainable agriculture production, post-harvest technologies and practices, and better nutrition, water, hygiene and sanitation practices.
  • Ensure sustainable agriculture production and post-harvest technologies and practices adopted at farm level in at least 45,000 hectares of land.
  • Strengthen the capacity of 200,000 agriculture extension workers, service providers, health workers and Female Community Health Volunteers.
  • Produce and ensure adoption of 1,000 tons of high quality seed by farmers.
  • Increase consumption of diverse and nutritious foods by increasing access to locally produced nutrient-dense and fortified foods.
  • Improve health and nutrition behaviors among pregnant and lactating women, children under five and their families.
  • Improve access to water and sanitation facilities.  
  • Certify one to three Village Development Committee (VDC) per district as Open Defecation-free VDC. 

Last updated: December 16, 2013

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