Plugging the livelihood gap and creating alternatives to migration in rural Nepal

How FAO agribusiness training is offering new opportunities in rural communities

Nearly 3.7 million Nepalis work abroad. One FAO project is helping people start their own agribusinesses to give them financial and entrepreneurial opportunities in their own villages.

©FAO/Suman Giri


It was 2022, and Bipana Bishwakarma’s husband, Bishal, had recently lost his job working in an aluminium factory in Malaysia during the COVID-19 pandemic. While he looked for work, first returning to their village and then going back to Malaysia, Bipana started contemplating ways that she too could financially support her family in her district of Rautahat, which lies 180 kilometres southeast of the capital, Kathmandu.

It was pigs that provided this unexpected boost for the family’s economic security and for Bipana’s personal and professional growth.

When Bipana heard about the training in pig rearing organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in a nearby town, something caught her imagination, even though she had never worked with pigs before. Demand for pork in the country is growing and the sector therefore has good potential, though traditionally, some communities in Nepal avoided eating the meat.

The training was part of FAO’s support for rural women and youth in communities from where many of the men migrate in search of jobs. A lack of opportunities in rural areas leads many to migrate. Currently, nearly 3.7 million Nepalis work abroad.

The aim of the FAO project is to help women and youth in these rural areas start their own agribusinesses by providing them training in farming and entrepreneurial skills and facilitating access to markets and finance.

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