Linking Smallholders to Market OpportunitiesRATIONALE
The SIMI effort is a part of an international SIMI network (SIMINet). The network, formed in 2002 in Switzerland, includes SDC, GTZ, FAO, the World Bank, and the Dutch Government, as well as several international NGOs and private sector firms in micro irrigation. Winrock and IDE are committed to a 10-year SIMI Nepal program with the goal of alleviating poverty for 250,000 households (over one million people) through facilitation of access to micro irrigation and sales of high-value crops.
Since 2003, SIMI Nepal has operated in 28 districts in total, with an objective of increasing the average family income by $133 per year for 71,000 participating households (an estimated 350,000 total beneficiaries) through the sale of high-value crops. SIMI aims to establish private sector micro irrigation supply chains, expand market linkages, and develop connections to South Asian markets.
The SIMI program fits closely and contributes to USAID SO 1: Increased Sustainable Production and Sales of Forest and High-Value Agricultural Products. SIMI has targeted and exceeded an increase in annual sales of US $26.25 million under this indicator. Because SIMI follows a value chain approach, it aims to strengthen agricultural input and services markets. To this end SIMI has targeted and surpassed an increase in sales of over US $11 million in these markets.
The SIMI approach is proven and straightforward:
SIMI has demonstrated impressive returns in terms of donor investment and income generated by smallholders, yielding an average B/C ratio of nearly four. Project costs for development of the value chain and generation of demand for micro irrigation equipment in an environment characterized by poor infrastructure and underdevelopment are less than US$50 per year per adopting household. Adopting households under this program have increased their incomes by more than US$ 180 per year from land plots around half a hectare through marketing high-value crops to local, domestic and Indian markets.
Major accomplishments of the project from July 2003 to March 2009: