Rajendra Mudbhari, a 34-year-old farmer in Nuwakot, Nepal, couldn’t save money to support his father, wife, and three children.
Although he owns 2.5 acres of land, he was only able to grow vegetables and grains a small portion of his property.
He didn’t know how to control plant diseases, and was unaware of new farming techniques that would help him grow more.
In 2013, READ Nepal launched the Practical Answers program at the READ Center in Rajendra’s village in partnership with Practical Action. Through this program, Rajendra became a member of a technical group of local farmers called ‘Jwalamukhi’, and participated in agriculture interaction programs led by experts from the District Agriculture Development Office in off-seasonal vegetable farming, crop rotation, and paddy and corn farming. He learned how to properly use fertilizers and pesticides to increase his crop yields.
Rajendra also joined the Agriculture Cooperative at the READ Center and began saving money. From the cooperative, he bought fertilizers, wheat, and corn to sow.
This year, he grew new vegetables like green chilies, tomatoes, okra, potatoes, long gourds, green beans, cabbage, and cauliflowers, which he sold at the local market near the READ Center. He was able to more than double the amount of productive space farmed on his property because of the new skills he learned.
Rajendra tripled his income this year by selling his new vegetables and grains, making around NRs 300,000 (US $3,158).
He was able to use his new income to send his children to school and to buy medicine for his family.
“The interaction programs have linked farmers like us with agriculture experts whose proper guidance and teaching have helped to increase production,” he says. Rajendra hopes to continue to expand his business in the future.
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