In Nepal and around the world, iDE has taken a leading role in the micro irrigation revolution. Over the last 20 years, iDE has developed low-cost, appropriate technologies for smallholders including drip systems, micro sprinklers, treadle (foot) pumps, and water storage and distribution technologies. iDE invests in design and initial promotion of these technologies, which private companies cannot afford to develop because they are unable to establish enforceable patent rights. Once popularized, these products are sustainably manufactured and marketed by the local private sector.
iDE has taken a leading role in innovating low-cost piped water irrigation systems, including multiple-use systems (MUS) that provide water for irrigation and domestic use. The iDE MUS program is globally recognized by IWMI (International Water Management Institute).
iDE has also developed appropriate agricultural equipment for essential oil distillation and coffee processing and has developed IPM packages that use safe bio products to reduce chemical use on major horticultural crops.
iDE Nepal has taken a leading role in establishing and scaling smallholder commercial pockets in public private partnership. The approach includes developing sufficient volume to establish private service providers within rural areas and to develop community-managed collection centers that enable market access. Collection centers are managed by marketing and planning committees elected from members, and entrepreneurs are selected to run the collection centers. Over time, many choose to become cooperative businesses. These centers aggregate produce and provide key services:
Linking with government, other projects, and the private sector to advocate for local development. This includes investments for training, credit, and infrastructure (agricultural roads, collection centers, and water resource development), and mobilizing local resources to match government grants and serve as a channel for government to allocate services.
Explaining market concepts to rural populations, including the reasons for price differences between distant markets and meeting market requirements.
Developing cropping plans with local traders to take advantage of off-season high-value opportunities, and accessing crop-appropriate inputs, credit, and extension services for member farmers.
Photos By: Bimala Rai Colavito, iDE Nepal Volunteer