I see an agribusiness that is profitable, healthy, and environmentally friendly. My motives are for developing ecopreneurship and organopreneurship along with agripreneurship.
I am Kiran Timilsina, a self-motivated visionary young man of 21, from Kaskikot, a rural place in Nepal situated 8 km west of Pokhara. I am doing my bachelor’s degree at the Faculty of Agriculture at the Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan.
I have dreamt for a project that is profitable, healthy, and environment amicable. The only realistic prospect for my dream is doing agribusiness that can fulfil all these three objectives. For this, I, along with my family, am producing organic products on our land for two years.
Here in Nepal, today’s agriculture in the name of high production is flooded with chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are not only degrading soil health but also human health and sustainable production.
This problem is now becoming more severe in rural areas. And the market is searching for healthy products not poisoned with any additives. Health consciousness has become aroused in consumers, so they prefer organic products over conventional and are ready to invest a little more to obtain it.
Glancing over this scenario: along with my family of six, we are engaged in the production of organic vegetables (cucurbits, cole crops, brinjal, tomato, and leafy crops) and spices (chilies, onion, and garlic) all year round on about 20 ropanis of land here in Kaskikot, 8 km northwest of Pokhara.
Organic manure is obtained from livestock that we rear. We used to supply our products to nearby Pokhara, via local transport. Now consumers have shown their keen interest to buy our organic products from the field. For the past six months our products are being sold from the field. Hotel entrepreneurs come to our field to buy our organic products.
To exploit this craze by hotel entrepreneurs, I devised a project, ‘Integrated Organic Farming’, with the intention of producing organic vegetable products along with establishment of a vermicompost plant and an organic lunch spot for tourists.
Currently, we are not able to supply more than half of the total demand. In order to meet the demand we would lease extra land around our field, which is fallow and cheap. To meet the manure need we will contract local farmers. And other innovative motive for this project would be the establishment of a vermicompost plant.
Hotel entrepreneurs, when they come to fetch our organic product, would come along with the decomposable waste produced in their hotel. This could be fed to earthworms and processed further to obtain vermicompost that would be a source of organic manure for production.
The farm is connected to the main road to Pokhara, where more than 100 tourists travel, because it the road to Kaskikot, a venue for parachuting, and it is the best spot of rural tourism. There are not any managed lunch spots for tourists. So my further steps would be establishing organic lunch spot, targeting foreign visitors and promoting rural tourism. This would not only be a source of income but a way to advertise my farm products among them.
Water for irrigation is available for seven months (from May to October) from natural springs. In order to manage irrigation during the dry period we have recently constructed ponds for rainwater collection.
Recently we have planted more than 100 Sajiwan cuttings (Jatropha curcas), from which biofuel can be extracted—after processing their seeds—to be used for running machinery tools on the farm. This motive would be innovative and completely ecofriendly.
Additional organic manures are easy to obtain in villages. Farm Yard manure can be contracted with farmers, and this would be source of income for local people. Vermicompost plant setup would utilize the degradable wastes products produced in hotels, which would be brought to our farm when they come to buy our organic products. This would be beneficial for the management of urban decomposable wastes and a source of organic manure in our farm.
For additional labour, we would employ local people in our village, who remain spare most of the time currently. This would create employment opportunities at the local level, raising their living standard. Later, a co-operative organization can be established to boost economic sustainability.
Pokhara is one of the dream cities for many foreigners who visit Nepal. And this is the basis for the hotel business. The increasing health consciousness and demand of tourists means the hotels seek organic products. So our market would be those hotels.
Initially we use to supply our products to Pokhara with the aid of local transport, but now hotel entrepreneurs themselves come to fetch our products on contract basis and there is competition among them as supply is below demand. This has lessened the three to four hours of time and the manpower needed along, with the cost of transport, which can be utilized on our farm for further production.
Previously, we used this land for production of rice, wheat and maize, and the production obtained from there was enough to fulfil family needs. But now, after we started producing organic vegetables, the situation has reversed and we are able to make a certain income from the field.
A little investment can bring a lot of changes and create lot of possibilities, if we became able to exploit the situation to fulfil total demand. This farm can be run on a sustainable basis if it could be upgraded to managed integrated organic farming, supplemented with other eco-friendly measures.
With regard to the expenses of USD 5,000, it will be mostly used for initial inputs.
USD 1,500 for farm machineries and tools
USD 750 for setting up small-scale vermicompost plant
USD 500 for irrigation system set-up
USD 750 for inputs, like seeds of improved varieties, FYM
USD 1,500, for establishing a thatched house and other materials necessary for the organic lunch spot for tourists. This would be made by utilizing locally sourced resources, like bamboo, straws, etc.
Agripreneurship will never make me millionaire but this business is more about the lifestyle I want for myself, for my family, and community.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Kiran Timilsina (Nepal): kiranfreedom13[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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