Bountiful Changes in Badakhola, Khubu-Value Chain Innovation and Upgrading in Off Season Vegetable26 Jul 2016 in GreenGrowth by Saurav
Photos: Devaki Bista
Far West region is renowned for remoteness in Nepal where district can be considered as a showcase of remoteness due to its difficult geographical condition, extreme poverty and isolate from eyes of development. Until few last years, due to lack of irrigation, inputs and technical know-how of commercial vegetable farming, majority of the land used to be cultivated by maize in one season and grazing land for rest of the season.
As said, change comes with development when development organizations were sprouting in Achham and the slow growth of change seen at Badakhola. In the year 2013/2014, when Helvitas- Nepal and District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) Achham, supported 3 water collection ponds then WAC Nepal (LNGO) facilitated Badakhol Farmer Group to approach with High Value Agriculture Project (HVAP) to support on commercial vegetable farming. In the same year, HVAP provided PPF fund to group to produce off season vegetables.
The progressive improvements in farming systems and livelihood mechanism seen at Badakhola through improvement in agriculture infrastructure, enhancing skills/technologies (plastic house, pipe irrigation, preparation of organic manuring, ease access on farming tools, developing marketing mechanism, promoting off season vegetables and technical trainings, etc.) at the subsistence level to successively improved on the existing farming practices. They found changed on their mind-set and did some revolutionary workout such as controlled on haphazard grazing, convereted barren/abandoned land into vegetable pocket areas. From such key factors of progression, it was very urgent and important that another intervention approaches should be in like to shift them from semi-commercial to commercial. Hence, they were able to secure value chain fund (VCF) W2.
The intervention approaches has become very effective since the project areas was largely dominated by smallholder, resource poor and marginalized farmers (12 Dalit, 3 Janajati and 67others – Total 82) who were suffering from less production and low income from their farming practice, were lacking in irrigation, transportation, market information, mechanisms, basic inputs (seeds, seedlings, tools) and improved technology as well. At the beginning, the 25 group members initiated vegetable farming on 15 ropani land under PPF fund. After conversion into VCF fund, total 51 group members producing various off season vegetable products such as cauli, cabbage, tomato on 62 ropani of land. On the first season, they earned NRs. 11822 selling 15610 kg vegetables. Now, they seems very well organized and well equipped as 10 households improved manuring, 25 households producing organic pesticide as they have constructed 15 plastic house, and 4 spray tank, 25 hajari is in group.
“The successes of VCF fund shift majority of farmers into commercial off season vegetable production that increased food-security at households’ level, facilitated access to finance, increased investments in agriculture, and further strengthened market linkages. Most importantly, the project was also crucial in connecting farmers to microfinance institutions for access to credit, supporting the purchase of irrigation equipment, and reinforcing agricultural best practices”, says Prem Buda, Chairperson of the Group.