Involvement with the vegetable farming group helps a farmer improve his livelihood in Rupandehi

People at Sanaidiha Rayapur-9, Rupandehi were not aware about being organized in groups and receiving support in a collaborative manner. Though it is located close to the district headquarter, Bhairahawa (about 20/25 km), not much services and facilities can be seen in the village. Most of the people possess some land, where they practice conventional agriculture farming of rice, wheat, cereal etc as they are skeptic to adopt new agriculture technology such as vegetable farming. It is very difficult for them to support their family whole year round as they do not have any additional income.

Sitaram Kurmi, 48 is an inhabitant of this VDC with his family of 9 members (5 female and 4 male). As it is hard for him to support his family with agricultural income alone; he works under daily wages as well. He has 10 kathha of land with additional 3 kathha for shared cropping. Besides, his livestock include two pairs of buffalo and oxen. Out of the total land area, about 1 kathha is used for occasional vegetable farming. As his children are still attending school, he must work for daily wages. Furthermore, the situation is worsened due to inadequate irrigation facility.

Samayamai Vegetable Group was formed after the intervention of ICCA project, in Sanaidiha-9, Rayapur in 2070 BS. The group is comprised of 23 members (11females and 12 males).

Sitaram Kurmi, Chairperson of Samayamai Vegetable Group says, “Mr. Abdesh Barai, the Community Facilitator under ICCA, informed us about the objectives and goals of ICCA and persuaded us to form a vegetable cultivation group. I was chosen as a Chairperson of a 9 membered Executive Committee.” The group was supported through capacity development training along with nursery management and vegetable cultivation. Some inputs (seeds and technology) were also provided.

He explains, “I also got an opportunity to participate in trainings related to nursery management and post harvest management. We started demo plot for leguminous crop in the beginning and distributed seedlings to all members in the group. I have planted bitter gourd, long beans, Ladies finger, cucumber, pumpkins, Sponge gourd, onion etc covering about 2 kathha of land. Mr. Barai has helped me to get onion seeds from District Agriculture Development Office with 50% subsidy as well.”

He adds, “I am happy to have participated in different capacity development trainings such as nursery management and post harvest management and others through ICCA program.  It has been helpful in increasing coordination and cooperation between and among group members. Occasional vegetable farming of about 1 kathha in earlier time has now converted to 2 kathha of commercial cultivation. Now, two of my children are admitted in private boarding school. I have also purchased a water pumping set from the sale of vegetables. Now I don’t need take loans for buying fertilizers. This year alone I have earned Rs.33,300 by selling onions worth NRs. 25,000, Bitter gourds worth NRs. 4,500 and other vegetables worth NRs. 3,800. The income that I earn within 6 months alone is enough to support my family“.

Now, he is fully aware about how one can benefit by associating to a group. He is planning to increase 1 more kattha for farming vegetable this year and is planning to increase land area gradually in the coming years. No he has also an increased understanding of how farming practices compatible to changing climate conditions can be a great measure to cope with its adverse impacts and increase resilience too.