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Our Nepal has been blessed with an incredibly diverse geography, ranging from the heights of the Himal, to the rugged mountain slopes, subtropical foothills and the fertile Teri. Nepal boasts some of the best biodiversity and natural beauty in the world. Couple this with our unique culture, many ethnic groups, languages and festivals, diversity in wildlife and simply unbeatable natural beauty and you have one of the most sort after tourist destination in the world!

This is the very reason why so many tourist travel to Nepal each year, which has created a country whose economic backbone is dependent on tourism. One can comfortably say that without our natural environment, those tourists would not come here and the economic state of Nepal would hence decline. Therefore it is vital that we all work together to preserve our environment. It’s essential that the tourism sector start looking at the environment as our “product”, something we must not only sell and market, but also look after with view to a sustainable future.

Currently, there are a number of factors that are causing environmental degradation, air pollution, water pollution, deforestation and natural imbalance. One of the reasons behind this is the practice of inorganic farming in rural Nepal. Though chemical farming may increase productivity and income for the farmer, the use of chemicals and pesticides causes damage and infertility not only to soil, natural vegetation, native animals and water pollution; it also creates health problems to the farmers themselves and people within the communities.

These facts are commonly known and organic farming is not a new concept, what is lacking is the commitment to make the change towards better environment practices. There may be multiple reasons, like increased income, lack of technology and knowledge that stop farmers from making the change, but the reasons to make the change to organic farming for a better environment should not be overlooked. We must remember that without a pristine natural environment, we would lose our number one marketing product, Nepal’s Natural Environment, the effect of which would be detrimental to the tourism industry and the livelihoods of thousands of Nepalese.

What NETIF is aiming to achieve is to promote the benefits of organic farming to the farmer, to the local community and to the hotel sector. Of course a farmer will not embark on the changes needed to undertake organic farming if he is not supported and receives no profit from doing so. First and foremost, the man of the land must be able to make a sustainable living from his work. This is where the local community, and more so the Hotel and tourism sectors can come in.

The change cannot be made by one alone; it must come from all parties involved. That we work together to achieve the goal is essential to the success of organic farming. The switch will not initially be easy, but the benefits of organic farming are multiple through all levels of society and most importantly the move towards organic produce, farming methods and life styles is crucial to the future preservation of our environment, the health of community members and the economic stability of the tourism industry.

Organic Farming is also a cheap and efficient way to help with these environmental problems.
If we all work together, buyers, sellers, community members and the government, we can work to achieve our goals and build a solid infrastructure for the future or Organic Farming and a blue print that can be used across Nepal as an example of the changes we can make by uniting and working together.
• The government must make a stand, send out the message that organic produce is better for the environment, the economy and for our health, they must implement certification plans, assist in the building of a solid infrastructure and also offer incentives to both the farmers and the buyers and the public to go organic.

• NGO’s and INGO’s can assist buy helping to build lines of communication and networking between all parties involved and also to bring on board international experience, technology and farming methods.

• The hoteliers must step up and agree to support the farmers by buying the produce, promoting the produce and educating the tourism sector and their guests about the benefits of organic produce.

NETIF is committed to assisting the communities involved in going over to organic farming. We are endeavouring to build community meeting houses that can also be used as selling points for the organic goods, to implement a certification system where both the buyer and the seller will be certified as following the organic guidelines and to bring together members from all sectors involved to get them networking, communicating and supporting each other in one united become organic.

The foundations for building organic farming practices in rural community must be laid down with care. Though we must also consider the people involved, the finical benefits and possible draw backs, we must also focus on how privileged we are to live in such a beautiful natural environment and understand that it is our job to ensure the ongoing preservation of it.


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