Sustainability Exchange

Issues related to fostering sustainable supply chain in agro-businesses in the least developed countries: Nepalese perspective

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Dear all,

We are now opening a general discussion on a topic submitted a while ago by one of our users. Below is an exerpt and a shorter summary of the submision. We invite you to share your thoughts and comment on Binayak Malla's views!


"I strongly believe that sustainability in supply chain of agro businesses should be highly prioritized in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) because of its high dependence in agricultural sector in most of these countries. For LDC like Nepal whose 35% of GDP and about 70% of employment is generated from the agriculture sector, it is high time that the country understands the value that can be created and the competitive advantage that can be gained by achieving sustainability in each stage of supply chain of agro businesses.

However, the biggest challenge in the context of Nepal for achieving such objective is the issue related with connectivity of those producers to such platforms. Firstly, the producers and farmers who are the key actors of supply chain, are from remote rural villages of the country where there is lack of basic infrastructures such as electricity, computers, internet etc. Secondly, most of them lack formal education and have limited understanding about the sustainable way of doing agro business.

So the question arises as how best we can reach out to these people? What is the best way to connect them to the platform?

I believe these questions would be relevant not just in case of Nepal but in case of most of the LDCs. From my experience, when I had the opportunity to visit these farmers and producers from rural Nepal of Gulmi district last year, I found each of the story told by produces very inspiring. The agricultural that they did was very natural and I believe the most sustainable however they haven't had any certification for it. Since then, I have been wondering how they can be connected to the global platform where their stories can be shared. Certainly, they cannot do it themselves because of the challenges as mentioned above. So the questions remain the same."

Points to pay attention to:

  • aid organizations should pay special attention to the challenges to ensure that farmers not participating in formal sustainability initiatives are not "left behind" in achieving the sustainable development goal in global context;
  • more buyers (especially in developed markets) demand certification for quality assurance and to attain other objectives. This could, however, be difficult for LDC producers to comply with, despite possibly producing good quality products, in a natural and a de facto sustainable way;
  • the possibility of LDCs being dependent on subsidies, grants, or preferential treatment.


Your SustainabilityXchange team

June 27, 2016 16:16