Joyous Farmers with Agricultural Input Support from Caritas

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  • Shikha Rai
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“My dryland will yield gold in few months’ time”

“Agriculture is the primary source of living for farmers like me”, says Krishna Dhoj Sanghamfe (61), a small scale farmer from Miklajung-6, Morang. Krishna has dry land, which compared to normal land yield less, however since 15 years he has been managing family needs from the same land.

Despite the season, Krishna had not started plantation due to lack of agricultural input in the market. “COVID-19 devastated everything. Markets lacked agricultural inputs for plantation such as seeds, fertilizers, micro nutrients etc. ”, says he. Livelihood Support Project (LSP) included farmers like Krishna in Miklajung, Morang during pandemic. “I received Knapsack sprayer, vegetable seeds, and copper oxychloride worth NRS. 5500. If I had bought the same items outside the project then I would have to spend a lot more than what the project has paid the vendors“, he smiles. “ I feel this year my land will yield gold with use of Agricultural input”, he adds.

“ I don’t worry about my hands anymore, Knapsack sprayer protects my hands from harsh chemicals and pesticides”

Bir Bahadur Bohara like most farmers in his village grow vegetables for sale purpose. His needs get easily fulfilled with the income from vegetables. Bir Bahadur tells, “Life was good before COVID, but its different now”. He remembers selling vegetables in nearby market and earning good to support his family. But due to COVID, his vegetable sale was halted for months. In addition, he was unable to start plantation as the market lacked Agro-input required for farming. It was then he heard about Livelihood Support Project that was targeting small holders farmers like him. At first, he had no idea how to get his name involved as the beneficiary but then with others help met the ward president and then got his name included in the beneficiary list (meeting beneficiary criteria).

He along with many of his village farmers received support package including quality seeds, micro nutrients, Knapsack sprayer etc. Input quality was best, and at the same time the sprayer seemed magical. Before, he had to use his hands to spray chemicals in his farm but now, he uses sprayer keeping his hands safe from the chemicals. He then shares that the support him will help reestablish and improve his and farming of many farmers in his village. Lastly he is hopeful that Caritas will continue support to them, mainly in gaining agriculture related trainings.

“Life would still have been a struggle without Caritas’ support”

Pabitra Devi Limbu (45), single and differently abled woman lives with her father in Miklajung-8, Morang. The duo are engaged in farming since decades. “I was compelled to do farming as there were no other options for illiterate and disabled woman like me”, she says. She sells her farm vegetables to support the family of two. Every year she struggles to buy seeds and other agricultural inputs needed for farming, as they have no saving or any spare money to purchase the input. But 2020 gave her big opportunity to receive these agriculture input through Cartas’ Livelihood Support Project. Many households including she received Agri-input support worth NRs. 5500. Upon receiving the support, she planted tomato and cabbage in her 5 katha land, and is positive towards making good income from it. She shares that life is now worth living with Caritas support as she need not worry about other things apart from planting.

Bimala Raya’s family is involved in farming and livestock rearing. The family directly depends on farm income to address family needs. Bimala sells vegetables and animal products in the local market. Life is not easy for people like Bimala who depend on markets for their living. The pandemic brought curse upon the world, affecting small holder farmer like Bimala. At first everything was normal but later with increasing number, Government announced lockdowns closing down all the income generating activities, including markets.

This directly affected her family income. Vegetables and farm products could not be sold at the market, moreover, community despite wanting cannot purchase goods due to lack of their income in lockdown. She was compelled to stay home, with no markets, and buyers, vegetables started rotting in the field. In such critical situation without income for months, farmers like her were unable to purchase Agro input such as seed, fertilizers from the market. And there was also scarcity of these inputs in the market due to lockdown. This scarcity hyped input price. And these farmers that were already affected with pandemic had no choice than paying excess for the usual Agro-input items. Fortunately, Caritas implemented Livelihood Support Project in her village. She became part of the project and received support package worth Rs. 5500. The support package was a live savior especially to farmers like her. She uses the inputs, and makes sure the tools are kept safely as she wants to last it longer. Work has become easy with Knapsack sprayer. She like others is hopeful to have good yield and better income this year compared to previous years. She too plans to start her own agricultural product business.

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