The Government of Nepal has several long-term strategies for transforming its agriculture sector into a competitive, climate-resilient, self-reliant, and export-oriented industry. Climate-smart agriculture investments aimed at increasing key crops' yields by between 20 and 50% could benefit 3 million farmers by generating higher income and rural employment, and increasing surplus and diversifying diets for the most vulnerable populations.

PDE-cat_tercile-den Nepal_Investment_Analysis

Large cardamom (also known as black cardamom)

Grown in eastern hills, cardamom is an important non-perishable cash crop, with an annual production of 8,000 metric tons. About 80% of this is exported to India. Given this, there are opportunities for investments to grow the crop on the hill areas in target regions.

Interventions focus on expanding production areas and improving the health and quality of the produce, including high-quality planting material production, mitigation of disease risks and improvement in seed supply and technology. Interventions also aim to upgrade post-harvest technology with drying and tailing, and support the use of certification.

An investment of US$17.19 million will benefit 8,415 farmers.


Highland potato

Nepal has a national production of 3.3 million metric tons of potato, with 43% of the 3.81 million farmers growing them. National potato consumption is around 88.1kg per capita and demand is fast growing. The country also imports 343,000 metric tons of potato and their by-products every year. Potato is more productive than rice and maize in the cool climate and yield gaps are currently high.  

As such, there are opportunities for import substitution by improving access to input supplies and transportation of potato out of highland production pockets​, loss reduction, and by introducing cost-reducing technology.

Investments will focus on the following: technology development and resources management; variety selection and healthy planting materials production; ​establishment of tissue culture laboratories and production of foundation seed; screen houses to develop better quality potato; capacity building; virus-free potato seed multiplication; storage facilities and industrial processing plants​.

An investment of US$39.6 million is expected to benefit 15,404 households.


Timur pepper (also known as Szechuan pepper)

Nepal exports most of Timur pepper it produces annually (850 - 1,100 metric tons), as demand from Europe (for Timur oil) and India run high. So expansion of growing areas to mountain areas and slope lands translates into opportunities.

Currently, 20,000 farm holdings, as well as poorer populations, especially women, children and the unemployed, are involved in collecting the Timur fruit, while grazing cattle. Some farmers have already started planting it to rehabilitate degraded forest lands. 

Investments will support technology development and resources management. Specifically, they focus on identifying and developing Timur varieties to maximize the yield of essential oils, and on improving dryers, storage, processing plants and marketing.

Required investments are US$ 4.06 million. 


Ginger cultivation happens in hilly areas and slope lands of poor farmers, many of whom are women. The total annual production is 279,206 metric tons. With strong domestic and global demand, the Government is prioritizing investments in product development and climate-resilient varieties.

Investments also focus on expanding production areas and boosting healthy seed production, rhizome production, post-harvest aggregation, washing and grading machines in packing facilities and processing facilities to make available dehydrated ginger, candy, powder, oil and Oleoresins. The Government also aims to support certification, product specifications and marketing.

An investment of US$19.8 million would benefit 5,000 households.
See Nepal's investment plan slide deck presentation, " Investment Opportunities in Green, Inclusive, Upland Agriculture."

Minister Dil Bahadur Gurung discusses the HIH Initiative in Nepal

For more information, please contact the Hand-in-Hand team.