About us

The Center for Environmental and Sustainable Agricultural Research (CESAR) is a non-profit organization registered in Nepal that was established in 2020 with the aim of advancing knowledge and practices in the fields of environmental sustainability and agriculture. CESAR is committed to supporting the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly those related to sustainable agriculture, food security, and climate action.

To achieve this mission, CESAR conducts interdisciplinary research and innovation in key areas such as precision agriculture, sustainable irrigation, agroforestry, soil health, robotics in agriculture, and biochar, with the goal of improving crop yields, reducing the use of chemical inputs, and protecting the environment. CESAR is particularly interested in helping traditional farming communities to adopt new technologies and practices that can improve their productivity and sustainability, while also preserving their cultural traditions and knowledge.

In addition to its research activities, CESAR also offers consulting, training, and technical assistance to organizations, communities, and individuals to help them apply the latest research and technologies in their work. CESAR is committed to collaborating with a range of partners and stakeholders, including universities, research institutions, government agencies, NGOs, and the private sector, in order to maximize the impact and reach of its work.

CESAR's work is driven by a dedication to interdisciplinary collaboration for transformative insights, and a belief that by advancing knowledge and improving practices in the fields of environmental sustainability and agriculture, we can help to protect the environment, improve food production, and enhance the well-being of people around the world. Overall, CESAR is a dynamic and forward-thinking organization that is dedicated to making a positive impact in the world through its research and services in the fields of environmental sustainability and agriculture.

The mission of the Center for Environmental Sustainability and Agricultural Research (CESAR) is t o promote sustainable agriculture, protect the environment, and enhance the well-being of local communities through research, innovation, education, and partnerships.

The vision of CESAR is a world where agriculture is sustainable, resilient, and productive, and where the environment is protected and conserved, and communities thrive in harmony with nature.

  1. Conduct cutting-edge research and innovation in the fields of agriculture, environment, climate, water, energy, gender, and social inclusion, with a focus on sustainability and resilience.
  2. Provide consulting and technical assistance services to governments, non-governmental organizations, private companies, and other stakeholders, to help them implement sustainable practices and policies.
  3. Foster partnerships and collaborations with local, national, and international organizations, including academic institutions, research centers, NGOs, and private sectors, to leverage resources and expertise, and to amplify impact.
  4. Educate and raise awareness among stakeholders, including farmers, policymakers, educators, students, and the general public, about the importance of sustainable agriculture, environmental protection, and social inclusion, through training, capacity building, outreach, and advocacy.
  5. Promote eco-civilization as a holistic approach to development, which integrates economic, social, and environmental dimensions, and recognizes the interdependence between humans and nature.

Our Advisors

Dr. Santosh Koirala


Dr. Santosh Koirala brings almost 20 years of experience working in the diverse field of engineering, molecular biology, data infrastructure and leadership. He received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 2009 from Texas A&M University, College Station, USA. He continued his education and earned Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2015 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. After graduation, he joined OSIsoft (now acquired by Aveva, majority-owned subsidiary of Schneider Electric), a multi-national company that specializes in industrial software providing data infrastructure to its customers. He started his 4-year tenure at OSIsoft as an individual contributor and progressed to team lead and program manager. He is genuinely interested in chemical engineering, molecular biology research, biotechnology, operational intelligence, digital transformation, project/program management, teaching and coaching.

Dr. Prayan Pokharel


Dr. Prayan Pokharel has a diverse academic journey blending chemistry and biology. He earned his Bachelor's in Pharmacy from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, India, in 2013, followed by a Master's in Agrobiotechnology from Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany, in 2016. Subsequently, he completed a PhD in Natural Sciences from the University of Hohenheim, Germany, in 2022. Dr. Pokharel's research focuses on the effects of plant toxins on insects and their defense mechanisms, showcasing his expertise in insect physiology, behavior, ecological interactions, and analytical chemistry. In his postdoctoral role at the Department of Applied Entomology, University of Hohenheim, Germany, he emphasized sustainable agricultural practices, aiming to reduce chemical pesticide usage by exploring the nexus between plant nutrition and insect interactions. Dr. Pokharel is not only dedicated to research but also to science communication, actively contributing through engaging popular science articles.

Dr. Shiva Devkota


Dr. Shiva Devkota brings over two decades of expertise in ecology and evolution, focusing on wild mushrooms, caterpillar fungi, and lichens in Himalayan landscapes. He holds a PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) and the University of Bern, Switzerland, as well as an MSc in Botany and an MA in Anthropology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Dr. Devkota has established collaborative relationships with various governmental, intergovernmental, non-governmental, and academic organizations. His noteworthy achievements include a wealth of scientific publications and a strong track record of securing research grants. He was selected as a Fellow Scientist for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) after a global competition. In recognition of his contributions, a lichen species, Lobaria devkotae M.X. Yang & Scheid, was named in his honor by Swiss and Chinese scientists. Passionate about delivering science to society, Dr. Devkota actively works to educate the public about the dangers of mushroom poisoning, promotes tourism focused on mushrooms and fungi, and maps the underground networks of fungi in Nepal.

Dr. Christine Bosch


Dr. Christine Bosch is a social scientist and agricultural economist. She earned her M.Sc. and PhD degrees from Hohenheim University, Germany. With her research, and through student supervision, she aims to advance understanding how agri-food value chains, land-based investments, social protection policies, and development projects impact livelihoods and working conditions of farmers and labourers. She prioritises applied research and policy-relevant work, utilizing case studies on innovative approaches, diverse conceptual frameworks such as sustainable livelihoods and political economy, intersectional analysis, feminist/decolonizing perspectives, and mixed-method and participatory approaches to drive positive change. 

Our Team

Dr. Sanjay Sharma


Dr. Sanjay Sharma holds a PhD in Sociology and Anthropology from the National University of Singapore (NUS). His doctoral research examines women’s lived migration experiences under mobile patriarchy. Mobile patriarchy underscores the transnational mobility of patriarchy between the origin societies and the destinations mediating and governing women’s experiences and agency. Sanjay uses feminist methodologies, visual and virtual ethnography, and feminist historiography in his research. Sanjay has more than 13 years of research and development experience in the areas of migration, gender, climate change, governance, elections, political economy, trade, private sector engagement, historiography, social memory, alternative research methodologies, Gurkhas, Nepal, South Asia. His recent publications can be viewed here: https://shorturl.at/cAUY4

Dr. Devraj Chalise


Dr Devraj Chalise, a Certified Professional Soil Scientist holding a Ph.D. in Soil Erosion, contributes more than a decade of specialised knowledge in his capacity as Senior Soil Scientist at Mackay Area Productivity Services. Focused on soil science, environmental modeling, and Geographic Information System (GIS), he delivers meticulous, data-driven resolutions to intricate agricultural issues. His adeptness in erosion modelling, conducting erosion plot experiments, and proficiency in utilising R, ArcGIS, and ENVI software sets him apart as a distinguished professional in the field. Dr. Dev has garnered a wealth of accolades, notably securing the esteemed International Postgraduate Research Award during his Ph.D. journey in Australia. With career investments exceeding AUD 500K, he has actively pursued funding grants, scholarships, and active participation in conferences. Driven by a passion for soil fertility, pedology, precision agriculture, and GIS, his remarkable contributions earned him the Australian Government's Global Talent Visa, securing permanent residency. His impactful collaborations extend to 67 esteemed soil erosion scientists worldwide, culminating in the creation of the Global Applications of Soil Erosion Modelling Database. This initiative plays a crucial role in supporting country-based United Nations soil erosion assessments, showcasing Dr. Dev's commitment to global soil conservation efforts.

Roopali Bista


Ms. Roopali Bista, a development professional, has a rich academic background and extensive work experience in governance, economics, and social development. She earned a Master's degree in Development and Governance from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, in 2020, supported by a scholarship. She also completed a summer course in Political-Economics and Governance Studies at the University of Hong Kong in 2019. Her undergraduate degree is a Bachelor’s in Development Studies from the National College, Kathmandu University, Nepal. Professionally, Roopali has worked with various organizations, focusing on research, project management, and policy analysis. Since December 2022, she has been a Research Officer at South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics, and Environment (SAWTEE) in Kathmandu, where she contributes to project management, stakeholder engagement, report writing, and public events. Previously, she was a researcher at Samriddhi Foundation, leading projects on political-economic affairs and conducting research on business development in Nepal's major cities. Roopali's experience also includes roles at Bikalpa – An Alternative, Save the Children, and Governance Facility, where she engaged in research, project support, and event management. Her publications on governance, business environment, and economic issues reflect her commitment to fostering positive change in her community and beyond.

Ruja Pokhrel


Ms. Ruja Pokhrel is an accomplished advocate for human rights, currently serving as Team Leader at CWISH (Children-Women in Social Service and Human Rights) Nepal. With a diverse academic background including degrees in Human Rights, Law, and Medical and Psychiatric Social Work, she possesses a strong foundation for her work. Ms. Pokhrel's leadership is evident in her roles as Operational Head at SAN (Swatantrata Abhiyan Nepal) and as a part-time lecturer at Kadambari Memorial College. She has dedicated over four years to addressing issues like Foreign Labor Migration, Human Trafficking, and Child Labor, showcasing her commitment to positive change. Additionally, her expertise as a qualitative researcher, demonstrated during her tenure at TPO (Transcultural Psychosocial Organization) Nepal, has contributed significantly to understanding mental health and child rights issues. Ms. Pokhrel's impact extends beyond her professional roles, as she has co-authored influential academic research papers.

Shova Poudel

Research Associate

Shova Poudel is a multidisciplinary researcher with a Master's degree in Business Studies (MBS), specializing in Financial Management, and a second Master's degree in MA Anthropology (awaiting dissertation submission), both from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. In her current research, she investigates food security within the indigenous Gurung community through both biological and anthropological perspectives. Her research interests encompass assessing the economic costs and values of biological resources and understanding the collective human impact on the environment. Shova possesses prior experience as a research associate and data surveyor for projects funded by organizations such as UNDP, ILO, and the Rufford Foundation UK. In these roles, she adeptly applied rigorous and systematic methodologies/tools. Besides her professional endeavours, she enjoys travelling to remote areas of Nepal to experience diverse cultural and physical landscapes. 

Shashwat Dhungana

Research Associate

Shashwat Dhungana is a dedicated civil and infrastructure engineer specializing in water resources engineering. With a Bachelor's degree from the Asian Institute of Technology and a Master's from KU Leuven, Belgium, he possesses a strong foundation in civil engineering principles and specialized knowledge in hydraulic engineering, hydrology, and environmental impact assessment. Throughout his career, Shashwat has been actively involved in various projects related to water resources engineering in his home country as well as abroad. He has worked on designing and implementing water supply systems, conducting hydrological studies and assessing the impact of future climate on river flows, crop water requirements, and assessing the environmental impact of water infrastructure projects. His meticulous approach and attention to detail have earned him a reputation for delivering high-quality results.

Shiva Pokhrel

Research Associate

Shiva Pokhrel is a seasoned influencer specializing in geospatial data analytics, with a focus on environmental issues and natural resource management aligned with UN SDGs. Holding a Master's degree in Geographical Information Science and System, he has authored numerous publications on integrated natural landscape, forestry, and natural resources. With a diverse career spanning roles such as Visiting Faculty, Research Fellow, and Remote Sensing Associate, Shiva brings expertise in both qualitative and quantitative analysis, international fieldwork, and laboratory research. His skill set includes geospatial data analytics, project coordination, management, and teaching.

Nemi Bhattarai

Research Associate

Nemi Bhattarai is a transportation engineer specializing in highway design, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Remote Sensing. With a Master's degree in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems from the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, and a Master's in Transportation Engineering from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, he possesses a solid foundation in utilizing advanced technologies for transportation and spatial analysis.  Passionate about leveraging technology for sustainable development, he applies his skills in various projects, contributing to informed decision-making and efficient infrastructure planning.

Ayush Dhungel

Research Associate

Ayush Dhungel is a researcher and writer with six years of experience, He specialize in renewable energy finances, energy statistics, sustainable businesses, and value chains. His passion lies in conducting research with a sustainability lens, aiming to address pressing environmental challenges while promoting economic growth and social equity. Through my work, he strive to contribute to the development of innovative solutions that drive sustainable development and mitigate climate change.

Dinesh Mani Bhandari

Research Associate

Dinesh Mani Bhandari is a dynamic interdisciplinary researcher with a Bachelor's degree in Mechatronics Engineering and a Master's degree in Remote Sensing and Geospatial Information Systems, both from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. Dinesh possesses a unique skill set honed for innovation and problem-solving. Professionally, Dinesh has collaborated with various organizations, specializing in research, serving as a visiting faculty, and leading projects. His expertise lies in seamlessly integrating hardware and software to analyze and interpret complex datasets. Dinesh has a proven track record in handling multi-source and multi-resolution data, employing advanced processing techniques for precise analysis. His passion for advancing the field of remote sensing and GIS is evident through his commitment to developing cutting-edge tools for vegetation monitoring. 

Santosh Kafle

Student Researcher

Santosh Kafle is a graduate of Agricultural Science from the Agriculture and Forestry University, class of 2022. His research journey began during his undergraduate years, publishing his first article in the third semester and continuing to contribute with several submissions to date. With a focus spanning horticulture, entomology, economics, and molecular biology, his research interests are diverse and evolving. He honed his skills through internships at esteemed institutions such as the Temperate Horticulture Development Center in Mustang, Nepal, and the Gandaki Province Academy of Science and Technology in Pokhara, Nepal. Beyond academia, Santosh is passionate about climate activism, boasting many years of experience, and recently participated in CoP28 in Dubai, UAE. His journey as a student researcher is driven by a commitment to advancing knowledge and addressing pressing global challenges.

Dharma Prasad Chapai

Student Researcher

Dharma Prasad Chapai, an agriculture graduate, recently completed his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the Agriculture and Forestry University, Chitwan, Nepal. His areas of interest include crop improvement and biotechnology, sustainable agriculture by understanding plant-insect interactions, and technology adoption and dissemination. During a two-month "Work-Study Program" in Israel, he actively participated in tomato production and management under Controlled Environment (CA) conditions. Additionally, he has contributed to peer-reviewed articles on the propagation and productivity determinants of apples. Currently, he serves as a student researcher at a core facility within the Gandaki Province Academy of Science and Technology.

Nirajan Acharya

Student Researcher

Nirajan Acharya is an agriculture graduate student and author who recently completed his undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture  from the Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU), Rampur, Nepal. He participated in “learn and Earn” Program and completed one-year Agriculture Internship Israel. He worked in one of the largest Tomato Farm and was actively involved in performing horticultural operations and research during his stay at Israel. In addition to his International experience, he also interned at Citrus SuperZone,Syangja,Nepal during his undergraduate study .His areas of interest include controlled environment agriculture, crop improvement , sustainable crop production ,Technology adoption and dissemination. Currently he is working as a student researcher at core facility of Gandaki Province Academy of Science and Technology Lab, Kaski, Nepal.