Vegetables are Good for You!
Story from Nepal under Sustainable Livelihoods
Gorakh Bahadur Khadka, 35, is a typical Nepali farmer living in a remote village in Bajhang with his wife, four sons and two daughters. He was in Grade 10 when his first wife passed away, leaving behind two children to be taken care by him. He struggled to feed his children and himself. He married a second wife and bore more children. Increasingly, family members with no source of income added more burdens. The wrinkles on his face indicate the relentless pressure he sustained while fighting extreme poverty throughout his life.
In March 2009, United Mission to Nepal started its food sovereignty and enterprise development work, in partnership with a local NGO, Ekikrit Samudayik Ban Tatha Bahudeshyia Krishak Samuha. Gorakh Bahadur attended an entrepreneurship orientation programme. Through this, he discovered how he could generate income through vegetable farming. He immediately prepared his business plan with the assistance of UMN staff, borrowed NRS 10,000 from the UMN partner organization, and started off. His hard work and passion repaid him well. He earned NRS 7,000 just by selling cabbage and broad leaf mustard.
He smiles with pride as he continues telling how he earned an additional NRS 5,000 by selling Jukuni Squash. He thinks that he will earn at least NRS 20,000 by selling tomato, which is yet to be harvested. What a difference! Gorakh Bahadur's family has gone from poverty to security in just one season. Vegetables have certainly been good for them.
(NOTE: USD 1 = NRS 73)