“My name is Nikita Bhusal and I am from a small and beautiful Himalayan country, Nepal.
I feel very proud to be one of the beneficiaries of INGENAES in Nepal.” Nikita currently works as the Communications Focal Point with Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) in Nepal after completing her undergraduate studies in Food and Dairy Technology in 2016.
After learning of the INGENAES project over a year ago, Nikita immediately decided to join the gender and nutrition strengthening activities in Nepal. Being a young professional with a focus on and passion for food and nutrition, Nikita jumped at the chance to build up her soft skills in communication, project management, and interpersonal relationships by engaging with INGENAES.
In July 2016, Nikita attended her first workshop with INGENAES, on organizational capacity building for integrating gender and nutrition within agricultural extension services, facilitated by Dr. Muthusami Kumaran in Kathamandu, Nepal. This three-and-a-half day workshop was great exposure to learning about organizational structure, planning a project and program, and developing relationships with partners. It also served as a platform to learn more about agricultural extension services and to connect with different non-governmental organizations in Nepal.
YPARD Nepal has since built a very strong relationship with INGENAES given their shared objective of providing opportunities for young professionals in agriculture. Many Nepalese young professionals equally benefitted from INGENAES capacity building efforts, like identifying best practices on how to integrate nutrition into trainings, agricultural market development, and suitable communication approaches.
In March 2017, a delegation from YPARD Nepal participated in the Regional Symposium on Integrating Gender and Nutrition in Agriculture Extension held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They presented YPARD Nepal’s work entitled “Promoting Food and Nutritional Values among Nepalese Young Minds,” where they discussed the importance of underutilized food crops, food processing methods, food and dairy entrepreneurship, and the initiative for school nutrition clubs.
The symposium was the best place to learn about nutrition and gender integration in agricultural extension to improve in nutrition and livelihood outcomes, with different scientists and researchers sharing knowledge. “Words are insufficient to describe the learning opportunities that I have received from INGENAES, though I am not the only person from YPARD Nepal, many of my colleagues have told similar accounts [here and here]. It has grown my communication skills personally and professionally.
The formal and informal meetings, workshops, website-accessible material, and the network of expertise that I have encountered through INGENAES are great sources of knowledge. Thank you INGENAES.”
Photo courtesy: INGENAES