I am Prashant Mainali and I currently reside in Dhulikhel, Nepal. I am 22 years old and I am a final year Bachelor’s student in Biotechnology at Kathmandu University.
My Bachelor program is about to finish. Then, I am planning to work in the agricultural sector in Nepal. Implementing the knowledge that I have acquired during my four-year course, I hope uplift the status of my village.
Nepal has fertile plains to the south and is drained by perennial rivers. Agriculture used to be a pillar of our economy but recently it has lost its appeal. Many youth are abandoning the thought of becoming a farmer.
The tragedy is that our country is still an agricultural country and yet we have to depend on neighboring countries for foods. We apply traditional farming approaches and this hinders our productivity. People earn very little from agriculture and the trend of going to gulf countries for employment is burgeoning.
Most of the youth have left Nepal and our villages harbor women, children and old people, but no youth. Thus the fields that used to be green are now lying barren.
I have grown by the nourishment provided by sugarcane juice. Chewing those healthy and succulent sugarcanes used to be best part of my childhood. Sugarcane is cultivated as a cash crop in my area. I live in the Sarlahi district of Nepal.
However, the cultivation and harvesting of sugarcane requires extensive labor. As most of the energetic manpower has deserted the village, the lands are kept barren. The most horrible thing on earth in a country of 7 billion people is keeping the agricultural land barren.
To mobilize the women and old manpower that still resides idle in the village, garlic farming can be a good option. Garlic farming is less labor-demanding yet economically lucrative. The dried garlic has a longer shelf-life and one does not have to worry about the strikes that are common in Nepal.
Garlic cultivation suits the climate and the villages have enough women and old people who can be mobilized. This can help to increase the economy of many villagers and can somehow decrease the quantity of garlic that is imported from neighboring countries.
Making good money from agriculture can also change the state of mind of youth and convince them to stay in their land doing agriculture. This will benefit my village as a whole and my country also, to a certain extent.
I studied about genes for my degree in Biotechnology. I am from an agricultural background and now I have realized that the genes of agriculture reside in every cell of my body. I believe that progress in my country can’t be achieved unless it is through agriculture.
I just want to show that agriculture can never go out of fashion, and this project will be my initiative.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. I know good planning is needed if I want my project to succeed. To accomplish my goal these are the few and simple things that I would do:
- Dialogue with villagers and ask for their involvement
- Selection of land (which is now barren).
- Selection of best garlic species for the soil.
- Drill a standard borehole for irrigation.
- Construct a plastic tunnel mini green house.
- Arrange garlic seeds.
- Arrange fertilizers.
Recently I have talked with the people of the villages. Their positive answer is invigorating my desires. I have selected 10 acres of humid land that belongs to my uncle and is uncultivated for the project.
The success of this project doesn’t include economic profit for me. The involvement of people of my village will count for me. Rediscovering greenery in barren fields is success for me. If I could lure youths to stay in the country doing agriculture then that is the greatest success.
If one does the work with dedication and passion then economic profit is inevitable.
USD $5000 is big chunk of money for Nepal, and we can build a lot of infrastructures needed for the farming with it. We intend to use the grant of USD $5000 as follows:
- In order to have a reliable source of water, we will drill a standard borehole for $1500. This step will happen immediately after receiving the funds.
- Borehole pump for $600 will be bought immediately after we receive the funds.
- $1000 will be used for the building of plastic tunnel mini green house.
- $500 will be used for buying the seeds.
- $500 will be used for worm compost manure.
- $500 will be used for manpower.
- $400 will be used for solving the problems that will be faced during project.
The money from the grant, the labor from my people and the dream that I have seen will make the difference. This will be my initiative and I am sure my dream will be accomplished by joint effort. I hope more people will be interested in agriculture in my country and that they see the glamour in farming.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Mainali Prashant (Nepal) – mainaly.prashant[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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