Potatoes help feed Dhana’s transformation

INF’s IDEAL project in rural Bajura works in communities which have very limited road, communication and health services.

Dhana (aged 35) lives in a village which is two days’ walk from Bajura’s district headquarters. She is a widow, and lives with her son and two daughters. She relies on subsistence farming to survive – only able to grow produce for her family, with nothing left to sell. Most of the people in Dhana’s village are subsistence farmers.

Dhana storing her potato harvest

Dhana joined a self-help group which was started by the IDEAL project, and started actively participating in the monthly meetings and its activities. Through her regular and active participation in the meetings, Dhana learned many things about livelihoods, health, gender rights, disability, climate change, and disaster risk reduction – as facilitated by the project staff and community mobilisers.

During the monthly meetings, Dhana also learned about the benefits of crop diversification, mixed cropping, and crop rotations, so used these to replace her traditional farming practices.

She said: “People warned me that I would not be able to get even what I was yielding, but I didn’t listen to them. Within a period of three months, I was able to harvest 240 kilos of potatoes (replacing millet) and radishes, even before the millet harvesting time!”

Dhana sold 90 kilos of potatoes at a nearby market, and made a profit of NPR 5,400 (£36). This has helped her to fulfil her daily basic needs and pay her household bills. Dhana has kept the rest of the potatoes for her family, and the seeds for the next season.

“This type of farming system is better for us, as we can grow the crops for both home and for making some money from the sale. I am very thankful to INF for introducing such farming practice to us,” she added.

 

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