Under the auspices of the Green Enterprise initiative, walnut (Juglans regia), lemon (Citrus limon) and mausami (Citrus limetta) farming in Kalikot Village is successfully combining sustainable utilisation of natural resources with small entrepreneurship in the Himalayan region.

The project originated in March 2018 when Kalikot-based HuRENDEC Nepal consulted with the District Forest Office and the Kalikot Chamber of Commerce to assess the potential for green enterprise. With farming identified as an ideal means to support livelihoods in the densely forested and richly biodiverse upper parts of Kalikot district, the next step was to find suitable entrepreneurs.

A group of CBOs are asked to rank themselves on their social and economic status, to identify the poorest and most excluded households. The ranking identified four very poor individuals as potential entrepreneurs to implement livelihood support initiatives.

The project provided a NRs 109,000 (approximately €1,000) enterprise grant. Among the beneficiaries is Jay Bhadur Mahotara from Kalikot village, who grows walnut, lemon and mausami. Jay says, “The idea of farming had been previously presented to me. But without any external support, I was unable to start a green business. Look at me now: through the support of TDH/BMZ Germany, I supply my produce to villages all over and outside the district. I was unemployed earlier, now I have earned NRs 50,000 by selling my produce in the market as well as to my neighbours.

Pankha Mahotara, a neighbour, says “With the help of farming tips taught from Jay, I have started cultivating the softwood tree, grown and used worldwide for medicinal purposes. Both its timber and fruit are useful.”

By encouraging green enterprise and the creation of livelihood improvement plans, the project is helping to ensure livelihood security for communities that live in and around protected areas. Green Enterprise also promotes sustainability, by helping decrease the haphazard exploitation of natural resources.