Nepal: Villagers Shift Away From Traditional Farming
“I can’t describe in words how thankful I am to WFP and GIZ for showing us the way to overcome poverty and making us independent and self-reliant,” says Pabitra as she started weeding the garlic field with a hoe. “I had always felt my life was cursed but their (WFP and GIZ) support has turned it into a blessing.”
BAJHANG - In a remote hilly village of Moyal in Far-west Nepal, 40-year-old Pabitra Bista always had to struggle to produce enough food for her family.
“Initially, we faced lots of difficulties in convincing the villagers because they were worried that if the cash crops failed they would have nothing to eat,” recalls Khagendra Rai, GIZ Programme Officer in Bajhang, who monitors the project. “But we were determined and confident that the project would be successful and the hard work has paid off now.”
In order to win the trust of the villagers, GIZ and WFP staff regularly interacted with the villagers providing them with technical support. The farmers received on-the-spot training on land preparation, plantation, cropping pattern, irrigation and proper harvesting techniques.
At the same time, under the Food- and Cash-For Assets activity, WFP provided the farmers with an average of 40 days of labour wage (80 kg of rice, 10 kg of lentils and NPR3,400 -- about USD38) for their involvement in constructing an irrigation canal and a community pond.
“WFP provided me with the short-term employment and the ration helped me to meet immediate food needs of my family,” explains Pabitra Bista.
“I can’t describe in words how thankful I am to WFP and GIZ for showing us the way to overcome poverty and making us independent and self-reliant,” says Pabitra as she started weeding the garlic field with a hoe. “I had always felt my life was cursed but their support (WFP and GIZ) has turned it into a blessing.”
Including Moyal village, the community-based commercial farming project has now spread to 10 Village Development Committees (VDCs) of Bajhang and 13 VDCs of Baitadi districts under the Food- and Cash-For-Assets schemes, benefitting nearly 47,000 food-insecure people in the region.