Women of Manang practice collective farming in effort to become independent

Manang, Mar. 17: A settlement was just built after being damaged by the flood of Marsyangdi River in 2078 B.S. Some flat land was saved from that settlement. And the women of Tal village are engaged in collective farming by making good use of that land.

Also, there is very little arable land in the Himalayas. The lands are also slopy, but the land in the Tal village is flat even if it is on the bank of a river. At this plain land, the women of Nason Rural Municipality-1, Tal village are engaged in collective farming.

The women here are attracted to collective farming because they fulfill household needs and they become self-reliant.

They are also gaining independence from this group farming. Compared to other crops in Manang, potato is considered as the main crop. The local women here are becoming self-reliant through commercial potato production, said local Tirkashi Ghale.

She said, “We have started collective potato farming by taking land in lease.” Ghale said that in order to end the situation of having to import potatoes, a group of 11 women started potato cultivation in 10 ropanies of land.

She said that it was expected that collective farming would end the situation of having to import potatoes.

“We are attracted towards this because there is a lot of potential for potato farming here. After the production has started, the demand in the potato market is also increasing. Produced potatoes are being consumed here itself,” she said.

The collective farming was not practiced in other areas of the district. Another farmer of the women group Kanchi Gurung said that the production was low when working alone, so they started working collectively.

She said, “It is easier to work and have fun with friends when you are in a group and also take good income.” However, she said that the demand for potatoes produced in Manang is high in big cities, and the production is not enough to meet the demand.

She said that the message has been conveyed to the common people that they can be self-sufficient even through agriculture after generating a handsome income from collective farming.

Manang, which is self-reliant in potatoes, has not been able to meet the external demand even though able to meet the internal demand of the district, according to Manang Agricultural Knowledge Centre.

Ghanashyam Gaire, officer of the Agriculture Knowledge Centre, said that they have been teaching the method of plantation of potatoes to farmers at the field as this is the potato plantation time.

He said, “How to plant potatoes to have better produce? We have provided the quantity of fertiliser, moisture condition and necessary technical support.” According to Gaire, the centre has also been giving priority to crops that produce more here.

He said that various subsidies have been arranged to encourage farmers in the agricultural sector in coordination with the municipality and the AKC, and the work is being done with the aim of encouraging the farmers here.

Other women here are also attracted to potato farming. Farmers said that Manang is a tourist area, so the potatoes produced are consumed inside the district.

Farmers said, ‘This year, it has been easy for the agricultural workers because it has snowed on time. Irrigation is not a problem because the land is wet. Farmers all over the municipality are busy planting potatoes at this time.” 

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