“After doing bonded labor for years as Kamaiya for Malla, we were able to receive four dhur (approx. 0.008 hectare) land from the owner, where we built a small house to live in. I grew crops in small quantities in our tiny garden and sold them to the market to earn some extra income for my family. Meanwhile, my husband acquired skills to drive tractor. The revenue was just enough to pay for our daily needs. We then took a loan from Malla and bought one kattha (approx. 0.03 hectare) farmland of NPR 20,000/-” Recalls Mrs. Chaudhary. “I felt blessed because for the first time I owned something.” Mrs. Chaudhary added with a smile.
However, the family could not be benefited from the land they owned due to the lack of technical knowledge and skills to produce. Things finally took a turn when Sabita received training on Banana farming carried out by “Woman Initiative Fund” – WIF under MRED Project supported by the Nepal Red Cross Society.
Sabita Devi Chaudhary including other 11 members were trained in technical methods about crop management techniques and risk associated with Banana farming. Banana plants along with fertilizer and pesticides were also distributed among members to encourage them to cultivate Bananas in their own farmland.
Desu Ram Chaudhary, SM of Red Cross Society, Kailali.
“In 2013 A.D, I cultivated banana in one kattha (approx. 0.03 hectare) land and have continued cultivating bananas on it ever since.” mentioned Mrs. Chaudhary. “Initially, I took bananas to Bhajani market on cycle to sell. The average profit was NPR 500/- per day. This helped start my Banana farming business. I gradually settled my loans and bought additional one kattha (approx. 0.03 hectare) land, which helped to expand my production. Over the years, we saved money and then purchased an auto rickshaw. I drive auto rickshaw to collect raw bananas from Tikapur village, Baidi village and Satti village. Once those bananas get ripe, I sell them at market which profited me NPR. 15000/- on a monthly basis.”
The auto rickshaw bought by the Sabita Devi Chaudhary.
Photo Credit: Deepa Shrestha
“The training on Banana farming through WIF was very helpful to us. Since, it turned out to be more profitable business, I along with my husband invest most of our time in the fields rather than in labor work. We also have decided to buy additional one kattha (approx. 0.03 hectare) land next year during banana harvesting period” shares Sabita Devi.
Sabita Devi Chaudhary has become a role model for many women farmers. Her determination and the will to excel in life has helped her to transform her dreams into reality.