Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (test)

Plant breeding programs in Nepal

Nepal is a small and land-locked country. A country which was not only self-sufficient in food production but also exporting until the 1980s, is now facing food deficits leading to widespread malnutrition, especially among children. Consequently, agricultural development has been receiving national priority in the policy of the government. Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy and supports the livelihood of the majority of the Nepalese population.

The establishment of the Department of Agriculture in 1924 initiated research and extension activities for agricultural development. Today, there are 24 public sector organizations in the country that undertake research in plant breeding while only five in biotechnology, involving a wide variety of crops. Currently, there are virtually no private sector organizations in plant breeding.

The five most important commodity research programmes are rice, maize, wheat, potato and sugarcane. There is increasing demand for high and stable yielding varieties resistant/tolerant to various biotic and abiotic stresses that meet specific user needs. However, the decreasing trend of resource availability (funds and scientists) has been responsible for the decreased number of varieties released in recent years.

The two main limiting factors for Nepal’s plant breeding activities are the inadequate number of breeders for each crop and the lack of financial resources to carry out field and laboratory experiments.

Research and education institutes with activities in plant breeding

Public Institutes


Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC)
Website available in Nepali and English

The NARC was established in 1991 as an autonomous organization to conduct agricultural research in the country to uplift the economic level of the people. Its major financial resource is the Nepali government. The NARC budget drastically decreased with the political crisis more than two decades ago. It includes 15 Agriculture Research Stations (ARSs) dispersed around the country.

Tr Univ

Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), Tribhuvan University (TU)
Website available in English

Set up in 1959, Tribhuvan University (TU) is a pioneering institution of higher education in Nepal. The IAAS is only one institute under TU to develop human resources in the area of agriculture and veterinary science. The main objective of the Institute is to design and implement educational programs capable of balancing between established and emerging needs in the agricultural sector of Nepal.

Private Institute


Himalayan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (HICAST)
Website available in English

HICAST was established with a mission of producing competent human resources able to catalyze the overall process of sustainable development, and in particular the process of agricultural development as well as the promotion of agro-based industries and marketing. HICAST is a service-oriented non-profit academic institution. The philosophy of HICAST is to help strengthen national agricultural research and development systems by producing the technical human resources needed to effectively manage research, development and training.


Information by Bindeshwar P. Sah and Parashuram L. Karna (2009) - Information based on the Nepal's full report from the PBBC survey. Last revised 17-03-2010, GIPB.