VDRC-Nepal (Vijaya Development Resource Center)

Sharada - The Model Agriculturalist

Sharada - The Model Agriculturalist

 

Sharada Adhikari, permanent resident of Kalika Rural Municipality Ward No. 3, Rasuwa is a Village Model Farmer who practices agriculture as her major source of income. She is a well-known model farmer in her community. She has been helping herself and her community members eat healthy food and use their garden to grow nutritious vegetables.

 

However the situation of Sharada was not same in the past. In earlier days, though agriculture was her major occupation, she was not able to make desired profit out of it.  She says at that time, our food wouldn’t last for more than six month. My husband had to go abroad for additional income.

 

Suaahara program has made efforts to increase the number of local volunteer agriculture support persons, such as VMFs and HFPBs who act as local agriculture resources for the community. Sharada was one of the beneficiaries for Suaahara program.  It’s when she got 2 days HFP training in 2069 B.S. her life changed. She considers the training as a breakthrough in her life. She says it drastically changed the way she was practicing agriculture.

 

She says: “I was practicing agriculture but it wasn’t helping me at all. I was working very hard but was doing it all wrong. It’s when you don’t know something new you keep on doing the same old stuff. Same thing happened to me. I only knew traditional farming method. With modern farming you can earn more and on top of that you can have diverse green leafy vegetables all year round. It’s a good value”.

 

Later on, she was also chosen as a model farmer. Sharing about her experience of being selected as VMF she says: “The responsibility was more challenging than the previous one. But I was prepared for it. When I received HFP training it was mainly focused on how to help me and my child eat diverse and healthy foods through home gardening. But now being village model farmer I could serve as a supply center that would help my community members to produce and eat healthy.

 

After participating in 5 days training for VMF, she was given 5 small vines of OFSPs. She says “I sowed it in my garden. I was surprised with its growth. Within 2 months of sowing, it grew very well.” She has not limited its’ benefit to herself. She says, she shared about its importance and also gave 1 vine each to 1000 days mothers of her community. I insist them to have it because sweet potato is really amazing. You can eat its roots as well as its leaf. Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes (OFSPs) are said to be best source of vitamin A.

 

Now her business has become successful. She credits success to the support of her family members and hard work. Her husband has now come back home and they both work together. So far she has earned Rupees Three Hundred Thousand (300,000) by selling the vines of OFSP. Likewise, she has sold over 5 quintals of sweet potato.

 

Sharada now has plans to upsurge her occupation. She is thinking to make powder of the sweet potato in days to come. Recently, she also participated in capacity building training on group mobilization/saving & credit and account keeping. She says she is now well aware about managing the HFPB group. Nowadays, she is busy in sowing diverse vegetables. She now has a collection center from support of other organization, which has helped her household product to have access to market opportunities. She also has been marketing her vegetables for sale in some markets of Nuwakot and Rasuwa. She has registered her HFPB group in government. She says she has good relation with supporting line agencies. She has been going to Agriculture and Livestock service center for consultation on regular basis.

 

Sharada says, “I am thankful to Suaahara program for enhancing my capacity to serve as community-based agricultural change agent.”

 

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