Farmers of Nawalparashi, becoming Millionaires from zero
By Gajendra Budhathoki
Mr. Shree Prasad Adhikari, 68 a farmer of Kawasoti Nawalparshi, has been earning 2 hundred thousands Rupees every year, without investing in to any industry or starting any business. Now a day he is not farming major crops like paddy, maize, wheat and mustard
Four years back Mr. Adhikari, was depend on traditional farming, he just changed his mind of traditional farming and income has increase dramatically.
" If I am depended on traditional farming, which my generations has depend on it, I can't make money, also I not able to recover my investment on farming," says, Mr. Adhikari. " I just decided to convert all of my land in to a Banana Farm."
Banana Farming in Nawalparshi, nearly 100 miles far from Katmandu, has maid revolution in to the farmer's livelihood. In this district, Kawasoti, Shivamandir, Narayani, Naya Belhani, Pragatinagar, Prasouni, Tamsariya, and Dhobadi Village Development Committee (VDC)'s are pocket areas for the Banana farming.
Before Banana farming, when they are depended in to traditional farming, most farmers of this district are seeking 500 to 1000 Rupees in 60 percent interest from local lenders, now they are becoming Millionaires.
No body has promoted, or trend them to banana farming, even any government body, or any Non government Organization (NGO)'s. They find banana is better than any other traditional crops for commercialization. Till 2000, banana is farming there only for house consumption, but in 2000, three farmers of Shivamandir, namely Mr. Ramchandra Bhattarai, Krishna Kadel and Narayan Kafle has decided to farm banana in to commercial way. They started farming banana in less than one hector for trail. Result is unbelievable. They get 35000 Rupees return, in 15000 Rs. investments within one year.
Mr. Bhattarai, who has only 0.03 hector of land on his ownership, is now farming banana in more than 3 hector land in lease and he is earning more than two thousands Rupees every year.
"This is more profitable area we found ourselves to commercialize our agriculture system", says Mr Bhattarai 48.
Now Banana faring in Nawalparashi is nearly 1000 hector, and more than 2100 families are involved in this sector. There is also interesting factor, totally landless to landlords, even some government officers are involved in Banana farming, and the number is increasing day by day.
Banana farming in Nawalparshi has not maid contribution for change in livelihood of the farmers; it is also contribute to national economy via import substitute. In Nepal there is nearly 18 Million Rupees spending in to banana consumption and only Nawalpashi's banana has contributed more than 60 percent of total consumption. Before banana faring in Nawalparashi, there is 90 percent banana has imported from India.
"If we can provide soft loan for banana farming to farmer's, right market price and subsidy for transportation to Kathmandu and nearly markets the district can contribute more than 80 percent of whole Nepal's consumption" says Chief District Agriculture Development Officer Nawalparashi Mr.Shambhu Prasad Shrestha.
The major obstacle faced by the farmers is unfair price competition with Indian Banana, which is importing to Nepal by smuggling and low custom duty. The government of India, already provided vast subsidy and easy access to soft loans to its farmers, when, cost of farming in Nepal is much more higher than India.
Now farmers of Nawalpashi are demanded to government to formulate separate policy on Banana to protect local farmers.
© Gajendra Budhathoki