Agriculture is the livelihood for more than 80% of the population. Agriculture is the main source of food, income, and employment for the majority. It contributes to 35% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Nepal. Efforts to boost the agricultural sector by Government of Nepal and foreign aid agencies have focused on various issues but notably crop diversification and technical capacity building of farmers.
Nepal has to apple farming for some years as a high-value crop as an income-generating solution in the remote hills of Nepal. It is also a source of high nutrition for the local population. Mountainous region has great scope for apple production due to the temperate climate with suitable soil and temperature which for apple cultivation. But the apple farming have not been able to grow on a commercial scale. Apple is cultivated in about 4,400 hectares of land in Nepal which yields about 32,000 metric tons of apples annually, putting Nepal yield at about 7 metric tons per hectare.
Study for low production shows that farmers are less aware about scientific agro commercial practices, horticulture schemes and agro inputs. The farmers do not have adequate knowledge on when or how to efficiently irrigate, fertilize or prune their apple trees and minimize post-harvest losses.
Thus, there is a need to organize specific training programs to impart them required technical knowledge and skills on improved fruit cultivation techniques on subjects like plant protection, training pruning, post-harvest handling. On-the-spot trainings on orchard management have proved to be very effective platform where the farmers can share experiences and knowledge with other farmers on practical aspects rather than theories.