Nepal Agroforestry Foundation (NAF) is a non-governmental and non-profit organization established in 1991 by the group of agroforestry practitioners, leaders of community-based organizations (CBOs), professionals from various disciplines and farmers of Dhading, Kavrepalanchowk, Ramechhap and Sindhupalchowk districts of Nepal. The organization was formally registered with Kathmandu District Administration Office under the Society Registration Act 2034 B.S. and affiliated with the Social Welfare Council (SWC). Prier to formal registration, NAF members and farmers were involved for long time to promote both local and exotic food resources such as agricultural products, fodder, fuel wood and value of NTFP species. As a result, NAF came into existence and now become able to give its identity in Nepal as well as in various countries of mountain origin.
NAF, as an umbrella organization, provides innovative agriculture techniques and agroforestry/community forestry support to CBOs, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community forest users groups (CFUGs), and savings & credit cooperatives (SCOs) and is committed to strengthen the capacities of poor and marginalized communities and groups to meet their basic needs. NAF is the leading and only one national NGO working in agroforestry researches and development works in Nepal.
NAF facilitated to establish of Nepal Agroforestry Seed Cooperative Ltd. (NAFSCOL), a cooperative organization owned by local farmers involved in NAF agroforestry program and to institutionalize the production and marketing of agroforestry seeds to interested organizations, farmers and individuals involved in agroforestry. Shareholder farmers provide quality seeds of agriculture, agroforestry and forestry species to NAFSCOL. As a sister organization of NAF, NAFSCOL deals with farmers and other stakeholders in supplying planting materials, particularly the quality seeds and identifying seed production pocket areas for promotion of quality seeds. NAFSCOL also provides training to seed growing farmers, tests seeds quality and provides extension services to its members. NAFSCOL is a leading and only one farmer based cooperative involved in agroforestry seed production, promotion and marketing. Conclusively, NAFSCOL is a national level unit of biodiversity conservation and quality seed service centre.
As the recent advancement in promoting applied agriculture, forestry and agroforestry in the country, NAF promoted a forestry college, Kathmandu Forestry College (KAFCOL) in 2005. Many professionals developed by NAF in the past have been involved to promote KAFCOL activities. Currently, KAFCOL has been running two programmes including 4-year B. Sc. in Forestry course affiliated to the Tribhuvan University (TU) and 3-year Diploma in Forestry affiliated to the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT). The college intends to institutionalize training on agroforestry for mid level extension workers through the academic institute and introduces agroforestry courses in its regular forestry degree curriculum. KAFCOL plans to run MSc degree program in Geo-informatics beginning of the year 2011. The memorandum of understanding has already signed with Salzburg University, Austria.
NAF is known for its work with marginalized and deprived farmer groups, women, cooperatives, CFUGs, local NGOs and CBOs in the Tarai, hills and mountain areas. During initial stage, NAF’s programs were concentrated in some of the central middle hill districts (i.e., Sindhupalchowk, Kavrepalanchowk, Dhading, Ramechhap and Dolakha districts) of Nepal. Later on, in 1999, the organization has been working in Rasuwa district in the issue of social development targeting to students, women and community farmers through right based approach, technical support in agricultural production enhancement and economic development of local people through formation of cooperatives and mobilization of revolving fund. It has also promoted agroforestry program to improve the living condition of visually blind and impaired individuals in these districts. In Sindhupalchowk and Rasuwa districts, NAF focused on agroforestry based non-timber forest products (NTFPs) promotion and marketing through Cooperatives and Buffer Zone CFUGs. NAF promotes agroforestry for poverty reduction and community development and has integrated health activities to protect women’s reproductive health. In Tarai, (Dhanusha district of central Tarai) NAF helped farmers to establish 6747 to promote plantation and marketing of private forestry in the area. This is a first kind of initiative in Nepal and currently the organization is running independently while NAF continues to provide technical support whenever demand comes from the farmers.
Improved livelihoods of women, ethnic groups/scheduled caste and disadvantaged rural communities through activities oriented to social justice, right based approach, equitable distribution of resources, gender focused programme, capacity building, protection of rights of users' groups and conflict management.
To improve living standards of resource poor and marginalized communities through networks development of self-supporting groups and effective mobilization of local resources.