Coriander farming bails Ilam folk out of poverty

Jhapa, October 25:

Lal Bahadur Tamang, of Pashupatinagar-9, celebrated Dashain in a big way this time because he managed to earn a good sum by selling coriander seeds. Earlier, people along the border with India used to feel sad with the arrival of Dashain because they used to have no money to celebrate the festival.

Coriander seeds have become a reliable source of income for the people of Pashupatinagar-9. After harvesting maize crop, Lal Bahadur Tamang cultivated coriander in his entire field.

Hundreds of families here have taken to coriander cultivation.

They have been able to send their children to schools. Says Bishnu Taman, a local, “Coriander cultivation is giving us good income.” Ningmar Yolmu of a women’s group says, “Coriander seeds are not only helping us eke out a living. Women now also have money to lend.” The environment here is best suited for cultivation of coriander. Coriander seeds and vegetables are in demand in Darjeeling and Siligudhi, traders say. A local Wangbu Yolmu said he sold nearly 1,500 kgs of seeds at villages including Pashupatinagar’s Jil, Kattewung, Majhgaun, Rungsung. A kilo of coriander seeds fetches Rs 400.