GFAR blog

YAP Proposal #358: Garlic farming (Mainali Prashant, Nepal)


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.

MainaliPrashantGarlic 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]

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

This post is published as proposal #358 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

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100 thoughts on “YAP Proposal #358: Garlic farming (Mainali Prashant, Nepal)”

    1. After the Bachelors, yes if selected, since it is my home town, so I plan to stay there and work! It generally takes about 4-6 months for the harvest and since my plan is in the tropical climatic condition, It will take 5 months for the harvest.

  1. From biotechnology(You read genes) to Agriculture(Practical knowledge). How are you gonna cope the transition?

    1. Biotechnology is not only about genes but covers most areas regarding agriculture as well. The transition shall be difficult but by the support of the villagers who have been working in the field for many years, I believe we can do it. With the technical knowledge I have gained through studies and the farmers experience, I hope it to be a perfect synergistic relationship.

  2. You have mentioned about involving women and elderly people. How do you propose to distribute the manpower for the works?

    1. Maximum of the youth, and male population of the region are currently abroad, and the women mostly know about the cultivation. Distribution of the manpower will not be that difficult as one would expect because the elderly can look over the managerial works regarding the project. Since this project is distributed in large area of the village, and the lands are barren, so it will be a collective effort of all the villagers. Also, mostly the distribution of manpower is spontaneous in the village. All the people know their respective jobs which they have been doing for years. But building the strategy for utilizing the manpower will be in the hands of the elderly of the village, because setting up new strategies may upset the locals there and for the project to be a success, all the villagers should work in harmony which they are already excited about.

  3. Are you planning to use locally available indigenous seeds or other commercially available seeds for the project?

    1. Initially, the plan is to use indigenous seeds available in the local markets of Sarlahi District. Cannot afford to take too much risk in the beginning and since we can know the production from the locally available seeds(cloves), the local seeds will be preferred. Later, the plans can be modified according to the production.

  4. What particular species of garlic would you be cultivating! Have you optimised if any to your area?

    1. Allium sativum L. is the most prominent found garlic in Nepal. But, no significant identification has been carried out. We have checked the quality of the product. Yes, we have been producing the garlic in Sarlahi as well, though in small lands as compared to the one, and the results have been satisfying.

  5. What particular species of garlic would you be cultivating? Have you optimised it (if any ) to your area?

  6. What particular species of garlic would you be cultivating? Have you optimised it (if any) to your area?

    1. Yes, since I will not be alone in this project and I have talked to the villagers and they too are excited about the ideas. Since they too think this project can be successful economically, we all shall work towards reaching that goal which will be the hall mark of this project.

  7. How will you market your end-products? Is there any strategy you’ve thought of ? Well, it is obvious that the persons who rely upon and work under you expect a good pay of their labor.

    1. In Lalbandi, Sarlahi, there is a large vegetable market directly linked with Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board. Currently, large amounts of tomatoes are send to Kathmandu from that area. We have planned for marketing the garlic we produce in similar manner. Currently, the price of garlic per kilo is about Rs.240. We are sure we can sell the garlic we produce since the demand is high. The labor payment will not be a problem if we can sell as per the demand.

  8. great idea which will be applicable in the context of nepal. you can bring change in agricultural system of nepal.

  9. Keep it Up brothet….(y)
    Its good that U thought about working in agricultural sector in Nepal….

  10. thats good one mate ;Loved how you talk about Nepal being a agricultural country but is depended on India and that part you said yu study gens and have agriculture in your gens. proud of you mate may you reach all goals. bravo (clap clap)

  11. A remarkable idea.
    You are an ispiration for youths who wants to contribute to their homeland. What biotechnological techniques would you be applying to improvise the farming?

    1. We are planning to use Organic manure enriched with Rhizobacteria. Since we will be working in huge area of land, crop rotation is an option, alongside other leguminous plants. Also, we will be working under the standards of Good Agricultural Practices. During the later years, we have planned to study the plant cultivation alongside various stress responses using forward genetics as our tool. We will optimize the production and compare with other species as well. Though this will take time, we can develop the agricultural standards used in Nepal. An additional advantage we will have is extra support from our friends who we are currently studying with, as they too are excited with this idea. Support from all our teachers, professors and friends will be an advantage which will guide us.

    1. If provided with the opportunity, we can assure you that this project will not just remain in paper. We are highly enthusiastic about developing the agricultural level of the country. Though Garlic seems to be mundane and ubiquitous, but this simple vegetable can be highly beneficial as it is used in almost every homes in Nepal daily.

  12. onec great to improve the agriculture sector of Nepal and specially thanks to u for doing this job…. keep it up….may success kiss ur feet…

  13. Mr. Mainali its a good initiative and I am so happy that youth you like you show interest in agricultural. hope you achieve you goal. Best of luck for your future.

  14. It’s great job bro. to develop the Nepal in agriculture sector. good job,keep it up,may success kiss your feet

  15. its a great motivation for the people… to increase the economy of our country through agriculture.we must pay attention to the barren land which can earn a lot for our country….

  16. its a great motivation for the people… to increase the economy of our country through agriculture.we must pay attention to the barren land which can earn a lot for our country…. keep it up bro…

  17. I believe bio tech also has scope in agricultural development as it helps to synthesize new types of good seeds. I haven’t read all these article so I am sorry for that. I would like to know how this gonna beneficial since garlic farming is almost everywhere in Nepal and its not so hard to cultivate. So my question is how this gonna change traditional garlic farming? (if it was mentioned in this article sorry I didn’t read all ).

    Good luck 🙂

    1. Not much differences can be carried out in the current scenario in a brief period of time. But what we have is the technical basis of agriculture and lab works which we can use. We can cultivate garlic in various concentration of auxin, gibberellins and other plant hormones. Hence, we aim to optimize the growth conditions in a short period rather than checking the cultivation in the soil directly itself(which is cost effective as well). Also, we are able to study the soil conditions, NPK ratio and pest control measures without negatively affecting the soil and plant. Yes, garlic farming is carried out all over Nepal but the demand has not been made yet. Still, chinese garlic dominates the market. The problem today is of supply but if we can fulfill the demand, we can be successful.

  18. Great initiative… How will you find out the best garlic species that yields the best product?

  19. Very impressive view n believe that u ll surely do it.Scientific way of farming is most essential for Nepal n it should start from the youth like you.If we r able to utilize the degree certificates practically that ll b the most great achievements..Gud luck Prashant….

  20. Why did you choose Garlic instead of many other tropical crops that can grow in larger amounts in Sarlahi?

    1. Not so much specific reason there. We analyzed some of the vegetables like sugarcane, banana as well. Processing of the crops is also a major task and market value as well. Sugarcane is produced in sufficient amount as per the demand and the processing of sugarcane is difficult as well. Banana is another fruit we wanted to do but selling it to profit was a hindrance. Garlic provided us the solution those areas, so we chose it. 🙂

  21. It seems to be a good planning and initiative you are taking for the development of local people as well as there is good use of land.
    Have you also planned for the marketing of your product?? The way it will b transported, to right place?

    1. Yes, We have planned the marketing of the product. About 30% of our production can be consumed in Sarlahi as well the neighboring districts. Rest of the product will transported to Kathmandu, in the same way many other vegetables are been transported everyday. We have an added advantage as garlic has a greater self life than other vegetables.

  22. Great idea but you have talked about about not involving yourself in the profit. How will that work?

  23. To what extent do you think the worm compost manure will be able to replace the chemical fertilizers/pesticides needed for cultivation? I am also curious about this composting method. As you seem to plan to sell the produced garlic to other parts of the countries, have you also considered the transportation cost for this purpose and do you think this will be substantial? Nevertheless, I appreciate your desire and passion to contribute towards your country and I wish you all the best!!!

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