After I received the pea cultivation training last year, I was very excited. So I planted about 24 kilograms of seeds. That gave me more than 300 kilograms of peas. I earned 32,000 rupees when I sold the peas. I didn’t know this was so profitable! Now I will produce 600 kilograms next year.
– Ngima Sherpa
Chairperson of Milijuli Farmer’s Group, Beuma, Sotang
Over the past year, we have worked with 2,500 farmers like Ngima to help them raise their family income through vegetable and spice crop production.
Ngima is not the only one to fall in love with the profitable, nutritious, and easy-to-grow peas.
Debkumari Khatri from Rakha invited us to her kitchen garden to show her peas that “are touching the sky and grown so much taller than her.” She sold peas worth 9000 NRs (~USD90) and hot akbare pepper worth around NRs 17000 (~USD170) last year. Inspired by this, she recently expanded her plot of peas, tomatoes, and pepper.
Over the past 3 years, we have helped farmers like Ngima and Debkumari improve their family nutrition while finding an avenue of income generation through cash crops like peas, turmeric, onions, peppers.
Since early 2017, we have also piloted the post-processing of turmeric for the first time. The Creative Herbs Cooperative in Rakha, which initially formed to help our chiraito farmers create better market linkages, led this new venture. Turmeric grown organically by farmers from Rakhabangdel, Sungdel and Dipsung was collected, dried, processed and packaged in Rakha. Some of this powder has been sold to markets in Kathmandu, while most of it was consumed within the local community and the adjacent Aiselukharka market.
Turmeric processing has been just one of the many components of our program that aims to improve the nutrition and income of our partner communities.
“For us farmers, our farm is like our mother while the soil is like our heart. We should love it. To get something from soil, we need to love it and care for it. If your heart is damaged, you cannot function. It is just like that with soil, if we damage it we cannot get anything out of it. We need to nourish this soil with good organic fertilizers and not damage it with external chemicals. I have found out recently that urine is also quite good for soil.” Our beloved Amrit Baje (Grandpa) from Chheskam shares his wisdom with us as he tends lovingly to his vegetables. Amrit is the local craftsman who has been making income through weaving natural nettle fibres, bags and other handicrafts for a long time. Recently after being part of our farmer’s group, he has also begun to sell vegetables and spice crops. We are humbled to hear his philosophical take on our organic farming practice. Amrit is among the 800 farmers in Chheskam who we helped construct eco-san toilets that recycles urine into fertilizers. #ecosan #chheskam #kulung #solukhumbu #farming #recycle #organic #motivation