Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture (NSA)

Inadequate consumption of a varied diet of vegetables and animal-sourced foods is a significant cause of maternal malnutrition. To address the issue, Helen Keller has been heavily involved in Nepal’s food systems through our home gardening and nutrition education programs starting as early as the late 1990s. We have Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (NSA) signature programs, which have been implemented for almost 35 years, providing appropriate technologies and training to improve household food security and dietary diversity. These programs have been rigorously evaluated and have shown positive impacts on food intake and nutritional status of young children, women’s anthropometry, household food security, as well as women’s economic and social empowerment.

The NSA approach developed by Helen Keller has served as the foundation for subsequent USAID projects, such as Action Against Malnutrition Through Agriculture (AAMA), Sustainable Action for Resilience and Food Security (SABAL), and Suaahara I & II. Suaahara program followed a garden-to-plate model to increase access to diverse and nutrient-rich foods and then link these households to markets so that they can sell surplus products. The Suaahara II program has collaborated closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development to create a favorable setting for nutrition-sensitive agriculture. Working alongside agriculture and livestock stakeholders, Suaahara II has designed an intervention package and trained government workers in agriculture and livestock development to serve as leaders.

Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA)

Helen Keller has been at the forefront of introducing climate-smart agriculture (CSA) technologies to address the adverse effects of climate change on food security and livelihoods of targeted families. With its partners and communities, it has tested climate smart technologies and leveraged its at-scale programs like Suaahara and SABAL to expand its reach.

Our Strengths

  • · Climate-smart and resilient agri-food system
  • · Strengthen coordination with food value chain actors
  • · Increase access to markets for poor farmers


  • · Improved access to enough and affordable, nutritious and healthy foods
  • · Increased production to climate-related shocks
  • · Enhanced livelihoods and income generation

The Suaahara program helped provincial and municipal governments to expand the use of tested CSA techniques within the home food production system. Suaahara also implemented water management practices such as drips, rainwater harvest pond, mulching, and cocopeat seedling growing, promoting multiple-use systems, and growing vegetables in polyhouses, which is a leading CSA technology. Additionally, the program has encouraged the cultivation of drought-resistant vegetables like Kangkong, Beans, and Okra, maintained vegetable diversity in kitchen gardens year-round, implemented post-harvest management practices, and solar drying.