In 1996, Peter Effenberger travels from Germany to Nepal and meets Shyam Hada, it is the beginning of a long-term friendship and business relationship. Each man complements the other: Hada is a Nepalese development expert and Peter is a Demeter agronomist with contacts in the European organic movement.
In 1997, the search for the right piece of land begins, and so does an adventure. At the time, Nepal is still a kingdom and westerners, at least in the countryside, are unusual. Finally, Peter and Hada find a suitable property in Gorkha District located in central Nepal which is purchased. OneWorld – a learning center is established as a Private Limited Company.
The first goal of the company is to demonstrate that organic agriculture and conservation can be implemented economically viable way benefitting smallholder farmers.
In 1998, the horticultural initiative begins on the Gorkha property, and Nepal’s first bio-dynamic farm is born. The farm is named “The Land of the Medicine Buddha” in which it is embedded the idea of protecting the local medicinal plants and so contributing to biodiversity protection.
Three years later the exports of products to Germany began. Shortly thereafter, the farm becomes certified by Demeter International, the only internationally recognized body for bio-dynamic certification.
In 2005, the farm begins to focus primarily on production of medicinal herbs for teas and incense. A short time later, OneWorld began its work with a wild plant collectors cooperative located in Chitwan District. The cooperative, known as the “Praja Cooperative”, belong to the Chepang ethnic group who are considered to be the poorest of the poor among the Nepalese ethnic groups. In 2007, OneWorld helps certify the cooperative and the local community forest for sustainable wild collection of plants, adhering to organic standards.
In 2007 OneWorld attends the Organic Trade Fair in Nuremberg, Germany. It presents new Demeter products: fine incense and Ayurvedic herbal tea.
In 2010, OneWorld’s non-profit sister organization, The Himalayan Bio-Dynamic Developments Trust is established to promote bio-dynamic farming in Nepal.
In 2010, HBDT establishes a nursery in Chitwan with support from the German Embassy and in 2011 it begins to supply seedlings for re-forestation and agroforestry in areas under swidden cultivation.
In 2011, the biodynamic conversion process begins on approximately 120 ha of leasehold forest and farmers’ private land in Shaktikhor, Chitwan district.
In February 2012, the Himalayan Bio-Dynamic Developments Trust and OneWorld begin a three-year joint project, ‘Sustainable Integrated Farming Systems’ (SIFS), along with the German NGO Welthungerhilfe eV. The objective of the project is to improve food self-sufficiency and to develop sustainable incomes among the Chepang. Within the project OneWorld cover the role of marketing partner while the Himalayan Bio-Dynamic Developments Trust is the implementing one. An expansion of the project into neighboring areas is planned for 2015.
Facts and Figures
1997 Establishment of One World as a Private Limited Company and acquisition of the land in Gorkha District.
1998 Start of the horticultural initiative – Nepal’s first biodynamic farm is born.
2001 First export of agricultural goods to Germany.
2003 Certification of farm by Demeter International.
2005 Conversion to cultivation of medicinal herbs and the first product design under the label ‘Nepali Gardens’.
2006 Start of cooperation with the Praja Cooperative.
2007 Certification of the Praja Cooperative and community forest for organic and sustainable wild collection.
2008 First participation at the world’s largest organic trade fair, BioFach.
2010 Foundation of the non-profit organization “Himalayan Bio-Dynamic Developments Trust” and establishment of a nursery to promote re forestation in Chitwan.
2011 Afforestation nursery begins distributing trees in Chitwan. Beginning of biodynamic conversion process on 120 hectares of leasehold forest and private farmers’ private land in Shaktikhor, Chitwan.
2012 Start of the implementation of the Welthungerhilfe-BMZ project, ‘Sustainable Integrated Farming Systems’ in Chepang areas.
2014 Planned expansion of activities with private farmers and cooperatives into new areas.