For many in Nepal, traditional farming is not viewed as the path to prosperity that it was for their parent’s generation. Many initially start farming the traditional way on a small piece of land. They consume most of what they produced. Low-quality seed varieties and outdated production and post-harvest methods lead to low yields. Often times they have little left over to sell. Most farmers lack the knowledge and have access to modern farming technologies and methods limiting their potential to grow more food and earn more money.
The joint partnership between CHOICE Humanitarian and Mentors International is changing this situation in Nepal.
The Thaha Municipality is considered a remote and poor region. People in this area are now just beginning to realize the importance of professional farming and the benefits it can bring into their lives.
Chet is a hardworking farmer and father to seven children. He also owns an agro-vet. A shop where he sells various agriculture and veterinary items. Their family grows vegetables on 8 ropanis (a little over one acre of land). In their words, they were “lacking in skills and expertise” to make an income.
Today three of his children are being trained in more modern agricultural practices. This got their mother Sarita interested. She started attending the training classes from CHOICE and Mentors International.
Sarita was able to qualify for one of the polyhouses. This is allowing her to farm her vegetables year-round and get a second-season harvest.
She shares, “The training and polyhouse support has helped me to improve production and increase my understanding about farming. The mentors have also assisted my family to send the produce to the market, which was difficult before and resulted in a loss.”
Sarita excitedly shared with us “We have already sold 50 kilograms of vegetables at a good price. We have an additional 300 kilograms of vegetables to be sent to the market. We hope to have an income upwards of about $350 USD from just one polyhouse. This is possible because of the training classes which taught us about market trends and fixing prices. Our mentors are always available for new and exciting ideas as well as technical assistance. Due to such a positive atmosphere, we are investing and adding five more polyhouse this year and hope to add $2,000 USD to our annual income.”
Sarita recommends her fellow farmers to participate in the business training from Mentors International, and to implement the lessons to become successful entrepreneurs. More farmers and people with entrepreneurial drive are showing strong interest in this program. The mentors are optimistic as they are gradually becoming successful in changing the mindset of the local people.