Rajendra Tharu from Baijnath Village in Banke has always been a vegetable farmer, although he was really successful. Now that Caritas Nepal helped him to grow a mushroom farm, his chance of making more money and making a living for his family increased. As if that weren’t enough, he even plans to make further investments in the future to further expand and improve his business.
It has been two years since Rajendra Tharu registered his farm as “Banita Mushroom farm” and started growing mushrooms. Previously, he was less successful farming other vegetables for five years. “My friend gave up and went abroad to make more money. But I stayed. I had a different vision. I thought it was possible to stay in my own country and make money. Earning money with a local company that is sustainable and does a better job for the country than any job abroad.” With the support of Caritas he did exactly that, even though the investment was high. His income doubled. From that moment on, he was firmly convinced to concentrate entirely on growing mushrooms. Of course, he did not have much experience in this area, but he was motivated and positive.
“I might fail once, maybe also the second and third time. But with every failure I will gain experience and eventually succeed.”
Rajendra Tharu was surprised at the level of demand for such mushrooms on the local market. “Since the Indian border is not too far away, we get a lot imports from there. Vegetables in particular, but almost no mushrooms and the few that they offer are very expensive.” He is one of the only farmers in the region who cultivates mushrooms. He is also involved in the local agricultural cooperative, which is supported by Caritas, and has received business management training. This helped him to create business plans, analyse the market and request funds. All of these are reasons why his business is booming.
So far, Rajendra has made 414 450 rupees in sales. Since he invested 245 000 in the business, he made 169 450 rupees in profit. For his family of six, this profit helps to improve their financial situation. His family is also actively involved in the management and maintenance of the mushroom tunnel. With the support, he strives to produce a quintal (=100kg) per day Even though he is very ambitious, complications sometimes arise. For example, in summer it is very difficult to grow mushrooms as the temperature is too high. As a solution, he plans to invest even more: “My goal is to install two air conditioning units and a house made of cement and soil so that I can continue producing in the summer.” That would cost a lot, but he is willing to invest.
“You have make a lot of efforts in the beginning, but in the end the reward is high!”