Enhancing livelihoods and food security from agroforestry and community forestry in Nepal

Project Timeframe:
Apr 2013 to Mar 2018

Related country(s)



Nepal has three main geographical regions – high mountains, Middle Hills and the lowlying plains (Terai). The Middle Hills are home to 44.2% of Nepal’s population, 66% of whom derive their livelihood largely from a combination of agriculture and forest products. The forests and agricultural lands are closely linked systems providing food, fodder, fuelwood, grazing, timber and non-timber forest products. Over the last 30 years, under the purview of a national community forestry program, 23% of the forest lands have been handed over to local communities by way of more than 17,600 Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs). However, the management of community forests and subsistence agricultural systems in the Middle Hills is sub- optimal and livelihood outcomes remain limited and inequitable with the result that food insecurity is wide spread. Factors that impede the ability of community forestry and agroforestry systems to provide adequate livelihoods are complex and manifold, and are situated in social, cultural, political, economic and ecological domains. Some of the critical factors include: low productivity of agricultural lands; sub-optimum management of community forests; persistent inequity and marginalisation of some community members; limited marketing opportunities for community forestry and agroforestry products and centralised planning and service delivery. This project proposal draws on an ACIAR scoping study (Gilmour, 2012) and a project-planning workshop on the research needs to enhance livelihoods and food security from agroforestry and community forestry systems in Nepal.

What is EnLiFT Nepal

EnLiFT Nepal is a 5-year project that involves local community, conservation organizations, universities, and the government to enhance livelihoods and food security from improved implementation of agroforestry and community forestry systems in the Middle Hills of Nepal.

Where do we work?

Lamjung and Kavre districts of Nepal

What do we want to achieve?

  1. To improve the capacity of household based agroforestry systems to enhance livelihoods and food security
  2. To improve the functioning of community forestry systems to enhance equitable livelihoods and food security of CFUG members
  3. To improve the productivity of, and equitable access to, under-utilised and abandoned agricultural land.

How do we achieve the goal?

The project’s goal can be achieved through the following paths:

  1. Improved management of agroforestry and community forestry systems including improved silvicultural practices, and institutional and governance models for community forestry
  2. Critical analysis of when, how and to what extent community forestry and agroforestry can enhance food security and improve  livelihoods
  3. Insights into improving existing markets and creating new markets for products of agroforestry and community forestry systems
  4. Demonstrated approaches to bring abandoned agricultural land back into productive and equitable use
  5. Demonstration sites and extension material to disseminate the new knowledge
  6. A knowledge base to support improvements to the policy and regulatory environment for improving livelihoods from agroforestry and community forestry.

Who will benefit from our project?

Local community benefiting from agroforestry practices, community forest user-groups, communities living in the area of under-utilised landscape, conservation organizations, and the government of Nepal.

Who do we work with?

University of Adelaide, Australia leads the project along with University of New South Wales as co-leader. ICRAF as collaborating partner is working with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Nepal, Search Nepal, Nepal Agroforestry Foundation, Forest Action Nepal, Institute of Forestry, Tribhuvan University, Federation of Community Forest Users (FECOFUN), and the Department of Forests.