Pic. Nirmala Kandel of Sundwari in Surkhet District teaching local women to make fertilizer through degradable wastes.
Surkhet, May 23, 2016:Â Jayarm Poudel, 33, was a gatekeeper at a private residence in Mumbai of India. Those years, his saving amount per month would not exceed above Rs 5000 per month no matter how much he tried. The local of Kunathari – 4 in Sundwari of Surkhet gradually lost patience as he turned desperate to earn better. Three years ago, he thought of trying something else at his own place instead of going back to Mumbai. He started vegetable farming. Poudel is proud of his decision today, thanks to the returns his new venture offered him.
“It’s far satisfying and rewarding in terms of money as well. There is no comparison between that work and this one,” says the proud man. “I would work for over 14 hours in Mumbai. Except for Rs 4 or 5 thousand, I was never able to save anything more in a month. When I can earn so good money here itself, why to waste blood, sweat and tears in other’s country?” Poudel added.
Poudel sold off 20 quintal of cauliflower recently. Just earlier to that, bitter gourd, watermelon, pumpkin and cucumber, among other vegetables were sold in the market. “With little investment, you can earn a lot by vegetable farming. The only thing is that you have to be careful and hard working in the field,” he explained. “If you are working in your own land, all your effort pays back, when you work for others, that’s not so.”
It is more than sufficient for Poudel’s five-member family to survive with the earnings from his farm. No extra money is needed to buy essential food as he can exchange the vegetables with food grains, he says. Apart from that, he saves over Rs 70,000 annually.
Poudel’s path has been actually followed by number of youths in the village. While many vegetable farmers say that they are self motivated, some were encouraged by Agricultural Office. Soft loans and other incentives provided by the district office has become turning point for several locals to take up farming.
Dalbahardu Kandel is one of them. The local of Sundwari states that the new found love in vegetable farming has stopped many from going to India or elsewhere for job. Kandel said he saves Rs 100,000 in a month through agriculture. “I stared professional farming two years ago. I am going to expand it further,” he said. “What’s very exciting is I never had to wander in market to sell my product. These are grabbed in no time,” said the happy man.
No wonder, people throng to his farm to pick several types of vegetables. Customers’ satisfaction gives him more energy. He wonders why so many youths of Nepal are going to Gulf countries despite harrowing tales come up every day. “If you work hard in field, you can earn enough for yourself and your family. Why are our people leaving the country for pathetic jobs abroad? I’d never suggest them to go there,” he said.
Ran Bahadur Darlami of Kunathari has been farming vegetables in seven ropanis of land. He is no less satisfied with his job. “It keeps your health sound and your mind happy. It’s a wonderful engagement,” he stated, adding that growing number of youths in his district are getting attracted to vegetable farming and that’s indeed remarkable.
“People have started to use latest techniques and scientific methods. This has been enhancing production. Traditional farming is indeed being fast replaced and more and more youths are embracing vegetable farming these days,” Darlami said.
Kunathari is now known as pocket area of vegetable farming. Professional vegetable farming is done by 80 households here. “This has turned a once barren land into green area. It’s really encouraging,” he remarked, adding that credit must be given to the district agricultural office as well. According to senior officer at the district office, Bijay Kumar Giri, trainings and soft loans have done wonders indeed to attract youths to agriculture.