Launch of ICIMOD’s Renewable Energy Solution in Agriculture (RESA) Incubation Program

By: Padmakshi Rana and Aarati Joshi 

As part of our continued partnership with ICIMOD, the second incubation cohort at the Tourovation Hub was launched this month – Renewable Energy Solution in Agriculture (RESA) Incubation Program. It’s been an enriching experience working with the ICIMOD and SELCO Foundation teams in this journey of supporting MSMEs in the tourism sector and now in the agriculture sector. As we begin this new chapter, we are thrilled to introduce our new partner R&D Innovative Solution, who has been working for two decades to address the challenges of the farming communities of Nepal. We were able to pull together a soft launch of the program while celebrating Sunita ji’s birthday at the Hub!

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We are feeling proud of this program and collaboration with ICIMOD and Nepal Communitere, as we are confident that this program will help to address the energy deficiency faced by farmers and food processors in a more sustainable way.

Sunita Nhemaphuki, Co-Founder/CEO, R&D Innovative Solution Pvt. Ltd.

The RESA Incubation Program aims to help Nepali agricultural enterprises adapt and transform to resilient businesses through the development of sustainable business models. This intervention specifically focuses on bringing innovation in the agriculture value chain by introducing renewable energy (RE) and energy-efficient (EE) solutions. RESA contributes towards ICIMOD’s REEECH (Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Capability of the Hindu Kush Himalaya) objective to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investors, and policy enablers, to integrate RE and EE solutions into small mountain enterprises across the HKH, and scaling up enterprises. Anu Joshi Shrestha, Rural Enterprise and Value Chain Specialist, Livelihoods, and project lead from ICIMOD shares,

“Excited to partner with Nepal Communitere yet another time for this second cohort where we are creating a nexus of agriculture, renewable energy, and entrepreneurship under the name RESA for Innovation. RESA meaning veins in Nepali providing necessary nutrients to plants, the abbreviation, and the name perfectly resonates with the work we plan to do. Our RESA incubation program tries to bring RE innovation to encourage youth participation in the agriculture sector and transform them from farmers to agripreneurs to build green and resilient businesses.”

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The eight agri-enterprises participating in the six months program come from varied backgrounds – technology developers, users, and service providers. We recently kicked off the Program with our first virtual masterclass on ‘orientation and incubation milestones’. The enthusiasm and motivation of the incubatees despite the technical challenges (electricity and internet!) is commendable. We are very much looking forward to engaging with the enterprises through upcoming business and financial coaching sessions, design sprints, business modeling, and access to finance amongst others.

“We see great opportunities to enhance the agricultural productivity in the mountains, which could be tapped by integrating RE and EE solutions into the value chains. We are, therefore, keen to explore applied innovations, co-create approaches and build evidence to the mainstream deployment of RE and EE solutions by partnering with enterprises in the mountains. We believe in helping mountain communities by providing the tools and information as needed to help themselves.”

Mewang Gyeltshen, Program Coordinator, REEECH, Adaptation, and Resilience Building

We will be introducing the eight dynamic enterprises of RESA in our August newsletter, please keep a lookout!