Baitadi is one of the four districts within Mahakali Zone and lies in the Far Western Development Region of Nepal. Khalanga is the district headquarter. The district, with an area of 1,519 sq. km, is divided into 62 VDCs and one municipality. It has 45,167 households with a total population of 250,989 (Male 117,407 & Female 133,491). Literacy Rate in the district is 62.97% (women’s literacy rate is 49%).
The district is connected with Bajangh, Darchula and Dadeldhura through black topped roads. Attariya Dadeldhura-Baitadi road connects it to the Terai Region.
Agriculture (including livestock/poultry), bee keeping, and cottage industries are the main economic activities of the district. Wheat, Paddy and Maize are the main agriculture commodities produced in the district along with other cash crops such as vegetables and sugarcane. Its rich forestry resource, around 54% of the total area is covered by forest, also provides potential for herb collection and processing.
The district is served by five different branches of ‘A’ Class Commercial Banks and one branch of ‘B’ Class Development Banks. The population served per branch is 43,336 against the national average of 8,960 . This indicates the need to further expand the outreach of financial services and facilities to the unbanked population of the area.
Agriculture is the main income source of majority of households and it is the core economic activity. If we analyse the use of credit products in Agriculture, only around 28% had agriculture credit out of which relatives (58%), Farmer’s group (6%) were the major sources of credit. To unleash the full potential of the agriculture sector, there is a need to increase access to credit and other financial products on the district.
Besides agriculture, paddy processing (mainly grinding), furniture, hosiery and knitting are the other economic activities in the district. However, these are carried out in a very small scale.
Women suffer from gender based discrimination in education, nutrition, social and cultural norms. Disseminating practices such as Chaupadi (women and girls spend their menstrual days in the nearby shed and not allowed to enter their own home) are still prevalent. Women are less likely to be involved in economic activities outside home and are marginalised in major decision making. Caste based discrimination is still prevalent in district. The district also has a number of vulnerable groups such as former Haliyas (bonded labours).
A key aim of the AFP programme is to improve access to financial services and encourage formal participation in the economic sector for women and deprived segment of the districts. The AFP programme will use the GESI lens throughout the project cycle for addressing these issues.
Delivery Channel Innovations