Jhiwang villagers hail a farmer’s feat

Pyuthan, June 27:

Till about a year back, before he had turned from paddy farming to vegetable farming, he used to be a usual ‘useless fellow’ in everyone’s eyes.

Now, Gir Bahadur Bohara of Pakala-1 Jhiwang, has become a role model for everybody in his village. Now everyone seeks his advice when it comes to vegetable farming.

They are all praise for him after he was able to earn Rs 90,000 from half a ropani of land where only two muris (160kg) of rice, valued at Rs 1,200, used to be grown.

Bohara, who has studied till seventh grade in school, was able to earn that sum within six months, after the Jhimruk Industrial Development Centre (JIDC) under the long-term agriculture planning cooperation programme granted him a plastic, half-tunnel roof for greenhouse farming purposes, worth Rs 23,000.

Bohara who used to work as a coolie to support his family earlier said, “People laughed at me when I turned to vegetable farming. They used to wonder how I would feed my children. The same people have started to approach me and demand vegetable seeds from me now. I feel proud.”

Bohora added that the same people who had turned their backs on him when he had asked for a loan of Rs 10 are now ready to lend him money without collateral.

With this success, a maxim has come alive at Pakala VDC, ‘Why should Gir Bahadur go to gulf countries?”

Srikant Pathak of JIDC said, “And, why should he indeed, since he is able to earn thrice as much as those who have left for Gulf countries,” he added.

However, the Bohoras have grievances that marketing is tougher than producing vegetables. Bohara’s wife Amrita said how nice would it be if the marketing of these produce were possible in nearby places rather than district headquarters and its adjoining areas.

On many occasions, they have had a bitter experience when vegetables rotted before they could be transported to the market, he added.

Advisor to the long-term agriculture planning cooperation programme in Pyuthan district, Rajendra Kadariya said that Bohara had made a plastic half-tunnel roof seven metres wide and 27 metres long.

“I know for a fact that he was able to earn Rs 90,000 by cultivating tomatoes during the off-season on half a ropani of land by covering it with the plastic half-tunnel cover,” Kadariya said, adding that Bohora had told him that he earlier he was unable to make around Rs 1,200 by cultivating paddy on the same piece of land.