A Loan free person
Story from Mugu under Sustainable Livelihoods
Kanna Bahadur Shahi, a poor farmer from Pina Village, Mugu, is the only breadwinner of his family. He used to cultivate millet as a primary food crop for local consumption, using traditional agriculture systems. But since millet takes a long time to germinate and mature this result in low productivity. The production of millet from his own land (about 2 ropani, or about 1000m2) was only sufficient to feed his family for six months. He had to struggle hard for the rest of the year to provide for his family.
Gramin Samudayik Sanstha (GSS), one of UMN's partner organisations, invited Kanna to participate in a VDC-level orientation programme. The programme highlighted the importance of adapting to high yield crop cultivation and improved agricultural techniques. Later GSS provided high yield improved vegetable seeds and regular technical support on vegetable farming to the farmers in his community, including Kanna. With the support received from GSS, for the first time, he was able to produce enough vegetables for household consumption from his land and sell 3 quintals (300 kg) of onions @ NRS 80/kg (AUD 1.10/kg) and 5 quintals (500 kg) of leafy vegetables and radish @ NRS 35 /kg (AUD 0.47/kg) in the local market. He earned NRS 41500 (AUD 564) that year.
Kanna Bahadur Shahi is satisfied with vegetable production and income he makes from it. He says, "I want to use the earning to purchase food for my family and for the medical treatment and education of my grandchildren. Before, I used to take loans from various shops to purchase food for my family, but now I don't have to take loans any more. Now I have become a loan-free person." In the future, Kanna Bahadur Shahi plans to expand his vegetable farming area, and encourage other community members to adopt vegetable farming using modern technology, and avoid the dilemma of traditional cropping patterns with low value and productivity.