Migrants who have returned from overseas feels more ambitious to search for better country with better opportunities but thing were different for Lalit Kumar Rai, a returnee from Malaysia.
Mr. Rai being the secretary of Shree Dhumse Migrant Agriculture group in Jhapa is an active member of our project who is involved in almost all activities.
Seeing his ambition to do something, CN granted him loan of NPR.50, 000 including different varieties of seeds and input. Soon after getting the loan he got an opportunity to join IPM training in Jhapa.
It was a 17 week long training. He was able to gain adequate knowledge on modern farming and also made use of local resources for pesticides. After applying the modern techniques his production increased significantly.
The production helped him to sustain during lockdown. Beside vegetable farming, he has also started fish farming along with duck rearing in the pond from the profit he made from fish and vegetable farming.
“I will be able to earn at least NPR. 30,000 (€ 240) from fish left in the pond.”
He also tried pig rearing but he failed due to lack of knowledge.
This made CN conduct animal husbandry training focusing on the farmers who have started livestock farming for commercial purposes.
Mr. Lalit grabbed this opportunity to train himself and acquired skills. Being happy and confident, he says
“Now I know how to manage and take care and rear animals. I am planning to start goat farming very soon as well.”
Mr. Lalit has become an idol among returnees because of his confidence and hard work. He says, “There are many opportunities in Nepal itself, if we explore and work hard, our youths do not have to option for labor migration in abroad.”
Rai shares his story of change from his own words :
Since my grandfather’s time before 50 years, we have lived here. We are engaged in agriculture since then.
At that time mostly youth prefer to go for foreign employment. Our financial situation was also not that strong as we only relied on agriculture for income. The income was only sufficient to feed us but for other expenses, we were struggling.
Being the only son I had lot of responsibilities to look after by elderly parents. That is when I chose to go to Malaysia in 2000. I had to do extreme hardship working in others country. While we were doing agriculture with our own way, I felt little distressed working for other. Although worked for day and night we had limited salary making it hard to save and send family.
I had no choice as I had to repay some debt which forced me to work 18 hours a day for 18 months.
I was there to work in steel factory which was risky and small mistake would make us handicapped. We had to cut, weld, and handle sharp equipment. The spark of that steel used to infect our eyes frequently.
I returned thinking to agriculture and started doing it in similar traditional ways. With less agricultural tools I was just following my father. I was rearing few cattle as well for sustaining.
In 2018 Caritas here came with this new agricultural practice called IPM (Integrated Pest Management). Our village is situated in remote location of Damak. They started conducting awareness raising activities. Youths were oriented on dos and don’ts while heading abroad. Through trainings and workshops we were informed about all the required procedures and formalities on safe migration.
After that rate of youth seeking for foreign employment has minimized. We were promoted to do something in our own land with innovative ideas and methods. And in recent days youth are doing enthusiastically. Some are doing goat farming; some are cow rearing. You can observe there are various farmlands in our village now.
I started fish farming 4 years back. I was surprised that my investment was doubled. And Caritas supported me with loan grant support to expand my farm. And after I invested that NPR 50,000 and managed to repay and NPR. 50,000 profits.
I want to advice to try to do something in our own land. If not agriculture there are lot of other skills you can acquire as organizations are also here to support.
We can progress be employed in our own place if we have skills, devotion, and willpower. Let us not face painful life abroad.