The production of good quality vegetable seedlings is essential for improving yields and getting quality product. High tunnels can be used to grow a wide variety of fruit and vegetable seedlings crops, in a more controlled and shielded environment than regular field conditions. High-tunnel production can improve crop/seedlings quality and increase yields by decreasing pest and disease problems. Caritas is promoting farmers technically and financially to start high tech farming benefiting them to be commercial farmers.
Kul Kumari Bhatta (54 years), Local Resource Person (LRP) of the Laligurans Farmer group at Archale, Kispang-05 is the land donor of the high tech tunnel. She contributed her land to the community for them to do tunnel farming and support themselves in livelihood.
Kul Kumari is doing high tech farming since the initiation of our project there. “The intervention was implemented with the support of Caritas Espanola, Caritas Nepal, and Community Development Center Nepal almost 2 years back. We were made to form 4 different farmer groups. Involved 135 farmer member started to save money monthly”, she remembered.
“With the training on financial literacy farmers were enabled to understand loan proceeding system within the group”, she added, “The intervention provided different kinds of trainings on tomato cultivation, livestock management, nursery management, off-season vegetable cultivation, mushroom production and members were also supported with plastic sheets, drip irrigation kit, goats, mushroom seeds, polybags, and lots of different varieties of vegetable seeds.”
Kul Kumari took training on tomato cultivation and nursery management and utilized the learning from the training on her farm resulted improved production and income. She then wished to help her fellow farmers on adapting this model of farming and allowed them to use her land to make more high tech tunnel, helping them to do unseasonal farming.
Before seedlings purchased from the market and self-made seedlings were not germinating as it were supposed to be. The high tech tunnel makes it easier for the seedlings to be raised in any season without destroying it and in wide varieties.
“The tunnel is under the supervision of the management committees which represents the 4 LRPs of the 4 farmers groups. We have divided the tunnel plot into 4 different subplots according to group’s name. The seed is chosen by the group member meeting before planting in the tunnel.”
The tunnel creates microclimate suitable for the plant growth, it protects plants from bright sunlight, cold waves, winds, and hailstorm, to control temperature and humidity, to control pest and disease efficiently, plants get a constant supply of through an automatic irrigation system, able to produce larger yields of vegetables on a small area of land.
Lastly, she shared that she feels grateful for the organization for contributing to the sustainable livelihoods of her community and farmers are also happy to see vegetables in an optimum growing environment, protected from disease and pest, unaffected by bad weather saving energy and money.