Commercialization for resiliency
Parbati Devi Khadka, a 28 years old farmer of Chaurpati-5 Lungra, Achham live with her husband, father in law, mother in law, one son and a daughter. Her son studies at grade 1 and daughter in nursery at nearby boarding. The only occupation of her family is agriculture with total 6.5 Ropani of cultivable land. Her father in law and mother in law cannot perform any heavy work however her husband helps her in field work. Among total cultivated land, she used to grow vegetables in 0.5 Ropani dominated by potato, onion and garlic vegetables only and rest of the area was under cereal cropping. Her annual income from agriculture was NPR 20,000/- per annum which was not sufficient to fulfill demand of daily necessary goods and school fee of children. Unfortunately, she used to ask for loan in order to pay school fee for children and other needs. She used to sell her agriculture produce from house at village level at low price. Although she was willing to produce and sell more vegetables, there was lack of technical knowledge and inputs as she didn’t received any sort of trainings related to agriculture. She was seeking for a supporter who could really fulfill the gap between such subsistence level of farming and commercial one.
At the meantime PAHAL program was launched in Lungra in 2016 and helped in formation of Tapsikunda farmers group. She became member of that farmers group in October, 2016 and received trainings related to kitchen garden, group management and leadership, seasonal and off-season vegetable production and Integrated Pest Management. She was more enthusiastic towards off-season vegetable production after she received training. Later her dream came true as she received plastic house from PAHAL program along with technical support and backstopping. She planted cucumber, bitter guard under the house and earned NPRs. 30,000/- during that season. Her knowledge and skills were further enhanced by the trainings and began to cultivate vegetables in more area. Later she also planted tomatoes under plastic house.
Her hard work and dedication paid off by production of fresh vegetables and she started to sell in nearby market of Sanfebagar and Pipaltola at higher price instead of selling at household level. Her annual income during that year was NPR 80000/- which made easy to manage the school fee for her children as well as other daily needs. She is now cultivating vegetables in 3 Ropani of land and she has started saving in Chimeki microfinance and Sagarmatha Women Multipurpose Cooperative. Her family is also fully supporting her to achieve her goal and husband is also studying intermediate level in nearby campus. She also shares her knowledge and skills with other farmers so that they can also uplift their economic status. Other farmers in her village have also started vegetable farming and increasing area of cultivation. Her future planning is to continue the commercial vegetable production and help other farmers to commercialize the current subsistence farming system of village.
“I would like to thank PAHAL program for showing me right avenue and future plan towards commercial agriculture to be resilient at crucial time” Said by Parbati.