Highlights: 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 on 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 the countryside. Rather, they prefer to move to urban centers in search of a better life. This results 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.
We developed 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 the existing Social Studies curriculum of grades IX and X.
- Since mapping activities would be carried in the context of agriculture and food security, students would begin to consciously observe, inquire, reflect and enhance their knowledge about agriculture.
- Agriculture and food security data were made publicly available on OpenStreetMap. Additionally, we also created a separate website with custom map visualization of agricultural data. This was done to help make farmers’ products visible to market.
Latest Updates and Intended Impact
We started mapping from 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.
Local students, teachers and small farmers’ co-operatives mapped their locality and its agricultural produce. They were able to put themselves on the map - literally and figuratively. They also developed their skills and knowledge on using everyday technology tools to give an exposure to their agri produce and processes. More importantly, we expect that a publicly accessible agriculture map will increase the visibility of farmers’ local products to market and enhance their income.