The Himalayan Permaculture Centre (HPC) is a grass roots non-government
organisation (NGO) set up by trained and motivated farmers from Surkhet district
(Mid-Western Nepal) in 2010 to implement sustainable rural development programs in Nepal.
In Nepal, over 90% of the working population are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. Subsistence agricultural practices have developed to be finely in tune with local climate, landscape and people’s needs. Such practices are intimately interwoven with the forest and other natural resources to provide basic needs of food, fuel, fodder, timber, medicines, etc. Nationalisation of the forests, rising population and inappropriate aid programmes, which often try to replace traditional practices with “something better” have combined to undermine the sustainability of traditional agriculture. The result is a disempowered people with unequal access to basic needs, struggling to make ends meet despite working all hours and yet not even able to grow enough food to last the year.
These communities can be seen as “marginal” – lacking access to key resources such as education, health care, food security and credit. At the same time the physical areas where they live can also be described as marginal – high altitude, remote and steep, with zero infrastructure of roads, power and communications. These are the people and places where HPC has prioritised its work, where small inputs of appropriate technology and appropriate education can make huge differences.