The project “Farming, Health, and Environment in Nepal (FHEN)” has been a collaboration between Nepal Public Health Foundation (NPHF) and International Centre for Occupational Health, Environment and Public Health (ICOEPH), a part of the Danish Society of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (DASAM) and Diálogos through the last eight years (2012-2020). FHEN aimed to improve the health of farmers and consumers by promoting healthy and sustainable food production in Nepal. FHEN mainly focused on the Chitwan District in Southern Nepal and has played a major role in putting spotlight on the pesticide issue through the project’s first and second phase. NPHF has successfully established itself as a leading organization to advocate for the issue of pesticide and health. FHEN had a unique feature of combining the agricultural field with the health field: healthy farm and healthy food. It has adopted ‘Participatory Development and Multisector Approaches’ to all its work activities.

Furthermore, the community interventions like participatory Integrated Pest Management Farmer’s Fields Schools (IPM-FFS), training to different target groups, and researches have provided evidences and experiences to raise awareness and perform advocacy. These activities and interventions were based on research assessing the magnitude of pesticide use, perceptions and practice of farmers, spray workers, and retailers on safe handling of pesticides, extent of health effects experienced by farmers, and preparedness of the health sector to handle the pesticide poisoning cases.

Objective and relevance

In line with the Sustainable Development Goals 3 “Good Health and Well-being” and 12 “Responsible Consumption and Production”, the overall aim of the proposed project is to create an environment in Nepal which enables a sustainable use of chemical pesticides, with minimized harm to public and environment.

The objectives are to:

  1. Enable the local government and farmers’ cooperatives to enhance IPM compliance among farmers, spray workers, and retailers in Chitwan District, Nepal.
  2. Establish consumer forums that advocate for pesticide free foods through lobbying among politicians and fellow citizens.
  3. Define an operational strategy to prevent pesticide poisoning which has a multisector approach and can be adopted at the federal, provincial and municipal level.