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Strengthening the Business Environment in Nepal

The Nepal Economic Agriculture and Trade Activity focused on improving Nepal’s economic foundations to promote rapid, sustained, and inclusive economic growth that lessened the potential for conflict, reduced poverty, and improved lives.

The Nepal Economic Agriculture and Trade (NEAT) Activity worked to promote economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve lives. Nepal, a low-income country with high levels of poverty and modest growth rates, has been undergoing a period of social and political tension. Substantial differences in poverty had long existed among Nepal’s ethnic and caste groups and locations, and after a decade of armed insurgency by the Maoists, Nepal found itself in the midst of an historic political and social transition.

Underlying much of the conflict was the fundamental problem of poverty. Key governance issues included deficiencies in the legal framework for and treatment of business. The NEAT activity addressed these challenges by strengthening the foundations for rapid, sustained, and inclusive economic growth that lessened pressures for conflict, reduced poverty, and improved lives.



NEAT addressed the challenges listed above and promoted positive political and social change through four components:

  • Fostering a conducive business environment for private sector-led growth and improving trade and fiscal policies to increase revenues without distorting the economy
  • Encouraging competitiveness and exports in selected agricultural sectors by reducing production, processing, and marketing constraints
  • Enhancing food security through improvements in sustainable agricultural production practices, improved input delivery systems, and enhanced market linkages
  • Increasing access to microfinance services for underserved and disadvantaged populations by building the capacity of existing microfinance service providers

Project Results:

  • $26.5 million increase in agricultural sales (ginger, tea, vegetables, lentils) as a result of technical assistance to farming households
  • 17,030 lentil-growing households trained in good agricultural practices (GAP) facilitated by NEAT partner FORWARD
  • 3,000 ginger farmers given contracts with NEAT partner Annapurna Organic Agricultural Industries
  • 40 economic policy or administrative reforms analyzed, 9 of which have been implemented
  • 718% average income increase for farmers who received training
  • 111 tea, lentil, ginger, and vegetable collection centers improved through management capacity and infrastructure strengthening efforts
  • 300 mobile money agents trained to help smallholder farmers

Read the NEAT Final Report here.

Project Duration: 2010 – 2013


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