10 Mar Nepal, sustainable farming and Phulmaya’s story
In April 2019, ASIA Onlus started a project in Naukunda municipality, in Rasuwa (Nepal). The project, funded by Italian Caritas, is focused on environmental protection, tackling climate changes, food-safety and on farming and herding.
In Rasuwa there is a considerable water shortage, especially during the dry season (from October to May). Then, during monsoon season, water is not collected to irrigate the soil. In drier periods, agricultural production is inferior or even interrupted. Farmers invest a lot in basic crops – such as maize, paddy rice, millet and potatoes –, but the production yield does not cover the investments and can meet the families’ food needs for no more than 6 months.
After having collected needs and demands from the Naukunda community, ASIA started up this project, which has various objectives. First, to improve the life condition of rural communities, strengthen agricultural production and to develop sustainable commercial agriculture. Then, it aims to enhance livelihood improving access to water for irrigation and offering training so that they can undertake the production of organic vegetables.
In practice ASIA built and will build irrigation system, collection centers managed by local farming cooperatives. It offers training on biofertilizers and treatment technologies for manure, it implements 18 nurseries for horticulture and distributes 5,000 coffee trees, 5,000 cardamom plants and 900 fruitrees.
Read here the direct testimony of a farmer involved in the project:
My name is Phulmaya Thing, I’m 42 years old. There are so many of us in my family: my husband, our three children, my parents and I! Agriculture is our main occupation, even though my husband sometimes does some little chores. Until some time ago it was hard to maintain three children and two older people, especially due to education and health services’ high costs. We couldn’t meet our expenses by traditional farming practices, handed down from our ancestors.
Then, in 2019 ASIA and Nepal Agroforestry Foundation realized a tunnel-greenhouse 6×12 meters with a drip irrigation system for my family. They offered us training in horticulture techniques, treatment technologies for manure and bio-pesticides. They also gave us seeds of commercial vegetables and adequate equipment.
Once I used to employ only my farm’s manure in small quantities. When I employed jholmol, a biofertilizer, it totally changed my life! Thanks to this I was able to lower the cost of production and increase revenues and earnings! That year I gathered 200 kilos of cauliflower and 200 kilos of kale, earning almost 12,000 rupees just in one season! Once I could only do vegetable farming for my family’s sustenance, without any extra earning. I’m happy that agricultural production has become a great source of income for my family!
This year I also sowed several commercial vegetables, such as cauliflower, kale and tomato, both in my tunnel-greenhouse and in open-air. I should make even more money than I have in the past few years.
I’m really thankful to ASIA and Nepal Agroforestry Foundation for supporting my family and the others in Naukunda!