Engaging Youth in Mapping Agriculture and Food Security

Status: Completed

31.55 sq. km of farmland, 31.46 km of canals mapped in 3 VDCs

Problem and Context
About 65.6 % people are directly or indirectly dependent in agriculture in Nepal. Despite being a predominantly agricultural country, people in Nepal—particularly the young generation, aged between 10 and 24, which constitutes 33% of the total population—do not choose agriculture as their preferred profession and do not work in countryside. Rather, they prefer to move to urban centers in search of better life. This results into in two major problems: decrease in agricultural productivity and over-crowded urban centers with significant challenges to manage.

Two major issues are widely reported to exist in engaging youth in agriculture: lack of access to information and knowledge about agriculture; and lack of visibility of their agro-products and access to market.

Our Contribution
We will develop teaching and learning materials to help local schools embed open mapping in their existing curriculum or as an additional learning activity. After discussing it with schools, we have identified that it nicely fits into existing Social Studies curriculum of grades IX and X.

  • Since mapping activities will be carried in the context of agriculture and food security, we believe that students will consciously observe, inquire, reflect and enhance their knowledge in agriculture.
  • Agriculture and food security data will be open to public in OpenStreetMap. Additionally, we will also create a separate website with custom map visualization of agricultural data. This will make farmers’ products visible to market. Such visualization might also motivate other youth to engage in agriculture.

Current Status
We started mapping Bajrabarahi VDC in Makawanpur District, which is about 90 kilometers roadway from Kathmandu. Please take a minute to view these pictures below to get a sense of our work.

The project is now complete. It was carried out in three different VDCs (Bajrabarahi VDC in Makawanpur, Manahari VDC in Makawanpur and Padampur VDC in Chitwan). Please watch the project video below.

Anticipated Impact

Since we will be engaging local students, teachers and small farmers’ co-operatives in mapping agriculture, they will have learned about agriculture; and since this mapping involves use of technologies like smartphones, computers and the internet, they will have developed local capacity in such emerging technologies. More importantly, we expect that a publicly accessible agriculture map will increase the visibility of farmers’ local products to market and enhance their income.

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