Employment projects in Nepal created by processing turmeric leaves, medicinal herbs, bananas, and pineapples.

Elam, an Informal Sector Enterprise Development Generation Programme of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal, focusses on employment generation based on the promotion of local resource value chains and their value addition. This includes natural resources as well as resources that are locally available, e.g. waste from local manufacturing processes. The programme was initiated in 2003 in the Tarai of the Central Development region initially focusing on off-farm job creation and enterprise development. In 2006 the programme was expanded to the Tarai of the Far Western Development region by adding farm based enterprise development components for job creation and livelihood improvement of disadvantaged groups. In late 2012 first activities of the programme were initiated in the mid hill district Syangja.



The project aims at disadvantaged women and men in Nepal to benefit from employment opportunities based on the productive use of local resources. The project will innovate promising products or approaches based on the use of local resources and with the potential for gainful employment for poor and disadvantaged. With the support of funding agencies these products and approaches will be validated resulting in gainful employment. The project provides advisory services to our HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation projects related to business development services.


The Government of Nepal has given priority to employment generation through its periodic plan and policy. In January 2012, Elam was restructured and was given an adapted mandate of exploration, innovation, product testing and development and the implementation of enterprising activities. After this restructuring, the project now focusses on three main components:
Research and Exploration: Based on sector assessments and area potential surveys, potential products are identified for testing and further business development.
Pilot Implementation: Successfully tested products are piloted at a small scale with the involvement of the private sector in order to attract funding for further upscaling.
Capacity Development and Consulting: Elam builds local capacity for business services through the development of Enterprise Service Providers, and for extension services through the development of Local Resource Persons.

Private business houses and organizations are involved for product development, diversification and market linkage. In order to foster learning and develop capacity within HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal, Elam facilitates knowledge exchange on business plan development, enterprise development and job creation amongst relevant HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal projects.


– Business relationship is being developed among business stakeholders in different value-chains like banana, herbal processing, pineapple and turmeric in order to enterprise development and job creation.
– All together 13 tissue culture based private led banana nurseries were established with a capacity of 250,000 banana suckers in Kailali, Kanchanpur, Banke, Bardiya, Chitwa, Bara Morang and Jhapa districts in the partnership of Nepal bio-tech Private Limited, Kathmandu and banana farming is expanded in 135 hector in 2013 and 2014.
– Crop insurance scheme is introduced in banana farming as piloting in the partnership of Nepal Insurance Company Limited. Kathmandu in 2013.
– The banana local resource person’s development package has been accredited by the Nepal Skill Test Board as level one from Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training and training manual prepared based on this curriculum.
– All together 23 banana paper making enterprises were established. Banana paper making enterprises is expanded in other areas of the country in the partnership of private sector development organizations and different organizations of Nepal government.
– Semi-automatic machine and technology developed and piloted it for paper making in sarlahi district. There is opportunity to expand it in other areas.
– Product diversifications enterprises were established in three places Kailali, Kanchanpur, and Sarlahi.
– Seven distillation units, one big factory and traders were identified to initiate enterprising activities in the herbal processing sub sector resulting in 875 households benefiting from it.
– A memorandum of understanding was signed by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal, Energizing Development of the German Agency for International Cooperation and the National Association of Community Electricity Users Nepal for piloting enterprising activities in Syangja and Banke districts with the productive use of electricity.
– A memorandum of understanding was signed by Elam project/HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal with different organizations like MEGA Bank Limited., Nepal Insurance Company Limited., Vocational Skills and Training Center of Nepal government, traders associations and Enterprise Service Providers for providing business support services in order to develop market system in different value-chains in Elam working districts.


Elam primarily uses local service providers for business services, while technical and extension services continue to be provided to primary stakeholders through private sector local service providers. It coordinates with relevant government agencies for project steering, experience exchange and local fund generation/co-funding. Elam engages the private sector for product development and testing, product diversification, market linkage, technology improvement, buy-back guarantees, business exposure, credit linkage and risk sharing and facilitates businesses for enterprise development and job creation.


Private sector enterprise service providers, business associations and organisations, private industries, traders and buyers, local government agencies are our primary stakeholders and partners.


Project activities are implemented in Kailali, Kanchanpur, Banke, Bara, Bardiya, Parsa, Rautahat, Sarlahi and Syangja.


Elam has a total of four technical staff and an annual budget of CHF 208,000 in 2014.

Contact Details

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal
Dhobighat, Lalitpur
G.P.O Box: 688
Phone: +977 1 5524925
Fax: +977 1 5531109
E-mail. elam@helvetas.org.np

Courtesy of Helvetas Nepal