Capacity-building and Sustainable Development


                         Asta-Ja Research & Development​ Center

                         Kathmandu, Nepal​

Seeds and Sacks for Earthquake Victims

The Devastating Earthquake with a Magnitude of 7.8 in Nepal occurred on April 25, 2015 and numerous strong aftershocks are felt thereafter. A second earthquake with a Magnitude of 7.3 occurred on May 12, 2015. The incidents have caused more than 8,000 casualties and over 20,000 injuries as well as complete destruction of more than 800,000 houses across 15 mountainous districts and the capital city of Kathmandu in Nepal. More than 8 million people, one third of Nepal’s population, are affected. This national tragedy occurred just before the monsoon season when farmers across the nation were preparing to plant their main crops of rice, vegetables and legumes in order to supply food for their families for the next year.  In this subsistence mountainous economy, with the complete loss of rice, vegetable, millets, soybean, wheat and other seeds (which families have stored for this year’s planting) the earthquake has posed the threat of mass starvation and hunger in Nepal if it is not handled swiftly. Therefore, and The Hunger Site in U.S.A. and the Asta-Ja Research and Development Center in Kathmandu, Nepal, have entered into a collaborative agreement to supply seeds and sacks to the earthquake affected communities. The impermeable grain bags protect the seeds from future natural disasters, insects, and rodents. For additional information please go to the websites of the or The Hunger Site.

Chure Conservation and Development

Asta-Ja Research and Development Center is also involved in a joint study of Chure degradation with the Faculty and Students of School of Geosciences at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, USA. During the 3rd and the 4th  week of June, 2014, Asta-Ja RDC supported the field work of a research team that comprised of two faculty members, Dr. Tim Duex and Dr. Durga D. Poudel, and a graduate student Ms. Terri Bannister, from School of Geosciences at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The research team gathered field information from Bara and Rautahat districts, verified landslide information obtained from landsat images, conducted key informant survey, visited several locations in Chure range, observed land degradation by Chure rivers, and collected data on gravel and rock exports. Left picture below shows Dr. Duex measuring subsidence/decrease of 7' 5" of river- bed under one of the bridges of East West Highway in past 40 years.

Rubber Research and Development

Jointly with the Institute of Rubber and Jatropha Research-Nepal, McKinney, Texas, USA, the Asta-Ja Research and Development Center has spearheaded its activities on rubber research and development in Nepal focusing on introducing modern techniques and technologies in rubber production and processing in Nepal, developing approaches to enhance sustainability of rubber industries in the country, and utilizing rubber plantation as an approach to rehabilitate the degraded lands in the rubber production region of Nepal. The two organizations are also working diligently in forging a broad coalition of all stakeholders involved in the rubber industry including producers, cooperatives, processing industries, businesses, governmental agencies, import/export agencies, and other non-governmental organizations to expedite the development of the rubber industry in Nepal.

Climate Change Adaptation 

Although the Asta-Ja RDC is a newly established organization, its foundation basically lies on the interdisciplinary livestock climate change adaptation research that started in June 2011. Its executive members especially Dr. Durga D. Poudel, Dr. Ram Pukar Thakur, Dr. Kamal Kant Acharya, Dr. Bishnu Chapagain, and Mr. Amleshwar Singh are among the main investigators of the "Capacity-building and Strengthening of Livestock Production System while Adapting to Climate Change in Nepal (SLPS)" Nepal Seed Grant Project funded by LCC-CRSP and sponsored by USAID. During implementation of this project, researchers felt a great need of a grassroots-based, multidisciplinary, research-focused non-governmental organization with high academic standards and research credentials for effectively handling challenging research issues such as climate change adaptation. As a result, Asta-Ja RDC was established in 2014..  

Agricultural Commercialization 

The Asta-Ja RDC has been vigorously assisting commercial vegetable producers, poultry farmers, pig producers, dairy farmers and other specialty crop producers, especially in Kathmandu Valley region, through technical support, farm visits by volunteer technicians, trainings, raising community awareness on commercial production, and organizing meetings with farmers and governmental line agencies. 

The Asta-Ja Research and Development Project J834N

The Asta-Ja RDC has entered into an agreement with the Global Development Groups,effective September 2014, to implement this comprehensive, grassroots-based, participatory, and collaborative rural community development project. This project aims at income generation, access to clean drinking water, food security and safety, and climate change adaptation in Tanahu district of Western Nepal. Project beneficiaries include mostly small-holders, poverty-stricken, and distressed ethnic communities such as Magar, Kumal, Bote, Gurung, and Dalits. This project will involve local communities in various activities such as drinking water supply, commercial vegetable production, homegardening, compost management, backyard local chicken raising, rainwater harvesting, surface runoff collection, and goat production and management. Technology transfer is enhanced by hosting a number of community trainings, establishing participatory demonstration sites, creating community awareness, and information dissemination.

Our Projects and Activities