Lentil is a leading pulse crop of Nepal. It is also a high value crop, having an immense potentiality of export to other countries. Although Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) has recommended ten varieties and improved production technologies of lentil, the adoption at farmer’s field has been low due to which the average yield is far below its attainable yield. Poor access to improved seeds, technical knowledge and services among farmers, and lack of appropriate market intervention are major shortcomings to develop this sector commercially. So, to enhance the productivity and production of lentil and to improve linkages among the value chain actors, FORWARD Nepal implemented the project on commercial farming of lentil in 11 terai districts of Nepal in 2011/12 and 2012/13. The project introduced a technology package consisting of improved varieties, rhizobium inoculation, seed priming and basal application of fertilizer diammonium phosphate (DAP) on a cost share basis with farmer groups. Value chain improvement activities including collective marketing were intervened to help growers realize competitive price of the produce.
The project used HH surveys and group discussions with concerned stakeholders for the study. The effectiveness of project interventions were assessed through baseline and endline surveys of the randomly selected sample households from the project districts. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA techniques.
The findings reveal the effectiveness of project interventions in increasing the production, productivity and household (HH) income of lentil growers. As a result of technology adoption, average lentil productivity increased by 18%, total HH production by 44%, area under lentil by 25%, HH sale by 29% and HH income by 115% over the baseline figure. It is concluded that in addition to delivery of technology packages to farmers, improvements in value chains and marketing play crucial roles in enhancing farm level profitability and commercial farming of lentil in Nepal.