12 Mar Small farmers in Nepalese rural areas, Surendra’s story
In november 2019 ASIA started up a project in Kavre and Sindhupalchock districts (Nepal) thanks to Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo’s funds. The project aims to enhance the livelihood of 3500 farmers, improving small-scale agricultural production and marketing of high value seeds and spice.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Nepalese economy: it includes one third of the nation’s GDP and it provides work for two third of the population. Nevertheless, in Kavre and Sindhupalchock there are numerous problems that deal with the production of quality seeds, poor knowledge of marketing channels and of production techniques.
Some project’s activities point to improving the production of local seed in order to meet the local markets’ demands, so that it can increase the average income of producers. Others are directed towards the improvement of production, commercialization and transformation of spices such as ginger, turmeric and chili, in order to develop their export potential.
ASIA involved the Agricultural and Forestry Sciences Department of Tuscia University, which is of great value for the introduction of new techniques and technologies for high quality seeds production and conservation. It also preciously helps in realizing a seed bank for safe-guarding the genetic heritage of local varieties. The beneficiaries are supported also by the marketing experts from Prato University Centre in business planning and in studying the value chain of selected products, in order to create a sustainable commercial system.
The local partner CEAPRED (Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development) is responsible for the activities coordination and articulation, for the involvement of local authorities and for ensuring the development process ownership.
Read Surendra Badal’s story, a farmer directly involved in the project, especially for the production of local seeds.
I’m Surendra Badal, 48 years’ old. I live in Teemal Rural Municipality ward No-1, Kavrepalanchowk (Nepal). I am a small farmer, I make my living with integrated agriculture (I plant crops, I dedicate myself to herding and apiculture). In my family we are five and all of us work the land.
A long time ago, I noticed some wonderful areas for mustard seeds production in the nearby villages. I heard that farmers were excited, because they were receiving the seeds at an affordable price. I really wanted to grow mustard seeds, but I didn’t have any sort of technical knowledge to launch a similar business.
When ASIA and CEAPRED presented the project to the Teemal community, I was looking forward to taking part in it. I signed up in Dharmakhamba Farmer Group, formed by 31 people which elected me as the president, so that I could receive the necessary training to implement the seed production.
Firstly I sowed mustard, peas, beans and zinger tomatoes on my 0,51 hectares land (on 0,81 available). Then the Agricultural and Forestry Sciences Department of Tuscia University proposed us theoretical-practical training on potential farmland. I was chosen as a potential farmer and directly involved in those training.
I’m excited! The training really energized me to implement tomato and cucumber seeds production. I’m planning to realize a plastic greenhouse to make it even more fruitful. I hope that ASIA and CEAPRED will continue to support me with techniques, technologies and the necessary equipment!
I’d really like to share with other farmers all that I’ve learned and to keep being involved in project activities so that I can even more enhance my business in the near future. Thank you very much!