Pursuit-of-Happiness accomplished from cucumber seeds; a case study of Rajabas
Ramesh Bhujel, 39, living with his six family members in Bardibas-3, engaged in substantial farming since his adulthood. He appeared as a farmer since he was 8 years old when his father had no enough income to send him to school. He had no alternative left rather than being a helping hand of his father. Days passed, year passed but the outcome from farming was still stagnant. He tried to change his profession to mason but he was not lucky enough to get what he needed. He used to do daily wage work for his living. Days were filled with ups and down in his life.
He recalled his struggles for comfortable life and said, “I left no stone unturned and did all the possible things for my family. Nevertheless, we did not come out from the vicious circle of poverty.” He remembered the days of lockdown (due to COVID-19) when inflation was all around and have no enough hard cash to buy necessitates of his family. The family was worried about making ends meet. They were hardly managing basic food themselves during lockdown.
Ramesh was identified as vulnerable group member under Poor and food unsecured Household category. ‘‘Community Development & Advocacy Forum Nepal, Bardibas Mahottari” a local NGO is a leading organization in the development sector in Mahottari calming a substantial contribution in chure conservation. There are several best practices innovated by the organization and alongside in livelihood development as well. The organization was supporting the livelihood of people of rajabas even before lockdown providing seeds and other necessary faming inputs and Ramesh was one of the user group member of CDAFN.
A research project with fund support of ACIAR, Australia executed by CGED-Nepal and implemented by CDAFN, Bardibas Mahottari was doing a research in extension and have three municipality of Mahottari including Bardibas-3 Rajabas as a work area. During the demonstration phase of the project, climate smart farming was to be exhibited in which Ramesh was also selected as one of the benefitting farmers of the project. CDAFN supported him to make plastic tunnel house to cultivate cucumber and other off seasonal vegetables. He spends most of his time at tunnel to nurture and care the cucumber crop. He dreamed that the farm will provide foundation to turn his dream into reality. Agriculture officer and technician of the project were in a regular follow-up to monitor the crop situation and suggested better ideas to cope the problems in every stages of crop development.
During March-April period, Ramesh succeeded to sell cucumber at Bhiman and Bardibas (local market). The product is high in demand due to better quality, Ramesh told us. Ramesh hardly believes what is happening now. He was too much happy when he sold first one KG of cucumber at Rs. 75 rupees. Other vegetable items like tomato, Rayo, green chili that were grown outside the plastic tunnel were sold in market at Chure and Bhiman.
Ramesh, from his first harvest of cucumber crop, collected around 45 thousands rupees as income within the period of 3 to 4 months. He is harvesting three off-seasonal crops from a single plastic tunnel per year. Now the technical knowledge is not limited to him only but guiding other benefitted lead farmers of his village.
Altogether four plastic tunnel was installed in Bardibas-3, Rajabas and each plastic tunnel later considered as a big success of the demonstration phase. Visiting bodies from all around the country applauded the farmers and the organization for fruitful demonstration of climate smart technology.