“Even after spending two full days in such an informative training, I found the third day to be even more fruitful. We had only heard about the modern farming technology depicted in the image, so seeing it with our own eyes made me realize that we don't need to be experts in that field; instead, we can learn through experience. Furthermore, we don't even need to make a sizable investment; even locally accessible resources can improve our farming methods. I was surprised to learn that the old brinjal plant which I used to burn could be used as a cucumber trellis". (Geeta Khatri, Tinchamke FG,Sunkoshi)
A visit to a successful commercial farm in Charaudi, Dhading, was the highlight of the third day of Residential Refresher leader farmer training. Two farms operated by a cooperative were visited, and the farmers observed the new technology of cucurbit nursery keeping. Mr. Hem Raj Thapaliya, the cooperative's chairperson, briefed the participants on the farm's history and current operating mechanism. Similarly, Mr. Kailash Tripathi, JTA, described the technical aspects of the farm. Similarly, Mr. Dipak Kandel, a farmer, shared his farming journey and experience.
Leader farmers were able to exchange and acknowledge information about farming practices during the field visit. Seeing a place not far from Sindhupalchok adopt various minimal technologies not only motivated farmers to adopt such techniques, but also sent a message to the leader farmers that successful commercial farming requires patience and understanding. Residential Refresher Leader Farmer’s training thus ended successfully by connecting the farmers to real-world examples of successful commercial farms.
‘I realized that being a leader farmer I bear huge obligation towards the fellow farmers in my Farmer’s Group. It is imminent to work and grow together to improve our economic status. The refresher training this year has been as insightful as the previous year’s training. I am even more motivated and energized to go back to my place to help other fellow farmers as much as I can. ”- Kabita Kunwar, Leader Farmer, Bindabasini FG, Sunkoshi.
Today is the second day of the Residential Refresher Leader Farmer Training. The first session aimed at enhancing the leader farmer’s technical knowledge on insect pest identification in vegetables especially tomato, crucifers, and cucurbits through an intensely interactive discussion by Mr. Dinesh Babu Tiwari, Senior Plant Protection Officer, Department of Agriculture. In addition, Mr. Jaya Ram Sigdel, Social Worker, and a Trader from Banepa shared his personal experience as a trader in the country which although revealed a harsh reflection of the farmer’s status in the country, but also drove the leader farmer participants to be optimistic. Building on to this, the final session by Mr. Umesh Sapkota, Horticulture Development Officer, Agriculture Knowledge Center, Kavre, stimulated the discussion reverting to the main argument that farmers should work in union to obtain benefits such as government subsidies and insurance, to uplift their status.
A short drama prepared by the technical team of PIWAAI at the end of the day restored the importance of the leader farmer’s roles, which consequently can be catalyst in establishing the collection centers as significant assets of farmers to elevate economic gains from commercial agriculture.
The final day of the Refresher Leader Farmer will take the 28 leader farmer participants to Dhading to observe the commercial farms which is an indispensable part of ISAP’s training.
Leader farmers who hold the biggest responsibility to provide extension services to their fellow farmers, must be competent enough in terms of agriculture knowledge and practices. With an objective to brush off their existing agriculture knowledge and give exposure to new agriculture practices and policies, Refresher Leader Farmer Training is being conducted from January 24 to 26, 2023 where 28 leader farmers, 17 male and 11 female from Melamchi, Sunkoshi and Balefi have participated.
The first day of the training was conducted successfully. Experts in the field of horticulture and plant protection were invited to share their experience and knowledge regarding vegetable cultivation,disease and pest management. Dr. Ram Chandra Bhusal, Team Leader of PIWAAI officially inaugurated the training session by sharing his knowledge regarding the importance of group formation and the role of leader farmer in the community. The second session was led by Mr. Surya Prasad Baral, Senior Horticulture Expert, Department of Agriculture and discussed off-season vegetable and cucurbits cultivation technology. This session was followed by Mr. Indra Raj Pandey, Senior Horticulture expert who provided an informative session on cultivation technology of crucifers and plastic house tomato cultivation. The last session for the day was conducted by Mr. Mahesh Chandra Acharya, Senior Plant protection Officer, Plant Quarantine and Pesticide Management Centre on disease symptoms and their management focusing on crops such as tomato, crucifers and cucurbits.
Leader farmers were actively participating in all the session where they put several queries on different methods of disease and pest management and operating system of farms. They also discussed in detail on producing varieties of vegetables, techniques used, and the problems faced by fellow farmers in their groups.
The second day of the training will continue tomorrow on 25th January 2023 with training sessions on topics such as importance of farmers group pan registration in getting crop insurance and government subsidy, Integrated pest Management (IPM), marketing of vegetables, and an informative drama on value chain and information related to agricultural Apps.
Bishnu Bahadur Karki, a teacher who also became a farmer, is an epitome of “where there is will, there is a way”. When “Project for Improving Water Access and Agriculture Income” was introduced in Melamchi Municipality, ward no 9, Karki developed an innately strong desire and determination to do something.
A Leader Farmer of Karkitole Pipaltar, Bishnu owns 10 plastic houses from which he earns more than one lakh annually. He will be adding more plastic houses in the future and will be attending the Two days Residential Refresher Leader Farming Training which is going to be conducted on January 24 and 25, 2023.
Two days Residential Refresher Leader Farmer Training is going to be held from 24 to 25 January 2023 for 30 Leader Farmers of Balefi and Sunkoshi Rural Municipality and Melamchi Municipality, Sindhupalchok.
These six personalities have dynamic expertise that will be very educational and informative for our leader farmers.
One day Refresher nursery management training on off-season cucurbits & tomato crop to all Farmer Groups (FG) at Melamchi, Balefi and Sunkoshi has been successfully conducted from December to first week of January 2023 under PIWAAI Project. A total of 370 farmers actively participated in the training, especially leader farmers.
Mr Krishna Lal Giri, leader farmer of Unnati FG said, “This refresher training has upskilled our knowledge and skills on how to make a healthy seedling in the bed and on raising healthy nursery bed for off-season cucurbits and tomato crop.” The objectives of conducting the refresher training are firstly to refresh and reinforce the farmers on nursery management of the off-season cucurbits and tomato. Secondly, it is to motivate and instill the significance of nursery preparation to grow healthy seedlings for better crop yield. Finally, as the project is in the final year, it is important to enhance the willingness of farmers towards adopting these skills for sustainable agriculture.
“From this field visit, I am astounded to discover how locally available resources could be used to improve farming practices. I am inspired by Mr. Karki to practice low-chemical input vegetable cultivation. I also learned that quality is more important than quantity," says Bal Mukunda Adhikari, Leader Farmer of Milanchok FG, Melamchi.
Mr. Hom Bahadur Karki welcomed 31 more farmer beneficiaries from Melamchi on the second day of the Inter Farmer Group Visit organized by PIWAAI. Most of the farmers were incredibly surprised by how the 21 plastic houses of Mr. Karki produced such high-quality vegetables such as tomatoes, peas, onion, garlic, and cabbage etc., by religiously following a specific technique for over five years, where he used only one specific type of fungicide, once a week which prevented fungicidal attacks such as late blight, Fusarium wilt etc., in tomatoes. The maintenance of high-quality production was supplemented by well maintained sanitation of the farm as well.
An opportunity to connect their knowledge to real world examples, learn from the experienced, and gain new insights- this two day visit to Chautara has truly been an inspirational one.
Inter Farmer Group field visit has always been a hands-on interactive educational method to enhance farmers’ knowledge and perception on commercial agriculture since SAFII (2018-2020) (a project implemented by ISAP and PWJ with funding from JICA). It is found that beneficiary farmers gain a lot from these experiences through interacting with fellow farmers, connecting training lessons to real-world examples, and increasing interest and awareness.
Yesterday (11th January 2023), 28 PIWAAI beneficiaries from Sunkoshi and Balefi had an enriching learning experience when they visited Karki Krishi Tatha Pashupalan Farm Pvt. Ltd., a 21 plastic house farm in Chautara, Jalkini, owned by Mr. Hom Bahadur Karki, a beneficiary from SAFII. In those well-maintained plastic houses, Mr. Karki produces tomatoes, and other seasonal vegetables such as peas, onion, garlic, cabbage, cauliflower etc.
“Work done by Mr. Karki is really fascinating. In such a dry area and with a land of red soil, he has done an incredible job. His farm is very clean and it is inspiring to see the tomato yield. Even with adequate water supply and better soil quality, it feels like we have done so little in our area. But, if there is will and determination, nothing is impossible. I want to add five more tunnels to my farm now,” said Mr. Ram Bahadur Karki, farmer member of Anterpu FG.
Today, Mr. Karki is eager to welcome farmer beneficiaries from Melamchi who are intrinsically motivated to obtain knowledge and experience, to wield them into their own agricultural practices.