Appropriate Technology Asia

Our Nepal programme

concentrates predominantly on the remote north-western region of Nepal. We also work in Kathmandu and Surkhet in mid-western Nepal.


Kathmandu is home to the regional headquarters of ATA and we employ a multi-ethnic staff of four people.


One of the world's poorest nations, Nepal contains a number of areas in which ecosystems are under considerable pressure from increase in population. The growing needs of this population, cause increased rates of deforestation, erosion, landslides, pollution, disintegration of local cultural values, poverty and socio-economic inequality. Around 40% of subsistence farmers live below the poverty line and depend on marginal lands for agriculture and the fast depleting forests for fuel, fodder and timber.

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 ATA has prioritised its work, where small inputs of appropriate technology and appropriate education can make huge differences.